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Photo of Fritschi, Cynthia

Cynthia Fritschi, PhD, RN, APRN, CDE

Associate Professor

Department of Biobehavioral Nursing Science

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers


Building & Room:

NURS 748


845 S. Damen Ave., MC 802, Chicago, IL 60612

Office Phone:



The overarching goal of my research is to develop real-world physical activity interventions in aging, urban adults with or at risk for cardiometabolic diseases to maximize metabolic health, enhance quality of life, and attenuate the risks for early disability associated with being sedentary. The major focus of my work has explored the relationships between physical function, physical activity and symptom experiences among obese, sedentary adults with type 2 diabetes.  In my clinical work as a Certified Diabetes Educator and throughout my research, I’ve worked primarily with inner-city, low-income adults with type 2 diabetes. My expertise is in the use of ecological momentary assessment (EMA) and real-time data collection methods. As the PI on several University and NIH-funded projects, I’ve used objective, continuous physical activity and glucose monitoring to examine the influence of baseline health, diabetes distress, symptom experiences, and real-time biobehavioral factors (fatigue, sleep, and blood glucose levels) on physical activity in aging adults with T2DM.  I am also working on studies examining the effects aging well with type 1 diabetes. I've taught at the undergraduate and graduate level, including  Graduate-entry Pathophysiology and Pharmacology; Undergraduate Professional Nursing 3,  and Evidence-based Practice.  I also teach Measurement; a core course in the PhD curriculum.  I have been a guest lecturer for the Honor's College and the College of Applied Health Sciences. My favorite teaching role is that of mentor. I advise PhD and DNP students and have been the faculty mentor for many Honor's College Capstone and  DNP Projects.

Selected Grants

NIH/ NIDDK P30 DK092949 (sub-award through Chicago Center for Diabetes Translational Research), Building self-regulation capacity in AA T2DM women: Feasibility of an ecological momentary intervention, PI

Midwest Roybal Center for Health Promotion and Translation, Cognitive Function and Self-Management in Type 2 Diabetes, Faculty Mentor (PI Kim)

Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation 4-SRA-2020-887-M-B, Type 1 Diabetes in Pre-Menopausal Women: Integrating Menstrual Cycle Related Physiological Changes and Symptoms into a Multivariable Artificial Pancreas, Co-I (PI Quinn)

Selected Publications

*Fritschi, C., Park, C.G., Quinn, L. & Collins E.G. (2020). Real-time Associations between Glucose Levels and Fatigue in Type 2 Diabetes: Gender and Time Effects. Biological Research for Nursing 22(2), 197-204.

*Fritschi, C., Martyn-Nemeth, P., Zhu, B., & Kim, M. (2019) Active Learning: Lessons from women with type 2 diabetes in a walking program. The Diabetes Educator; 45(4), 370-379

Zhu, B., Kapella, M.C., Zhao, X., & Fritschi, C. (2020). Intra-individual variability in sleep is related to glycemic control in adults with type 2 diabetes. Journal of Advanced Nursing 76(4), 991-998.

Fritschi, C., Bronas, U. G., Park, C. G., Collins, E. G., & Quinn, L. (2017). Early declines in physical function among aging adults with type 2 diabetes. Journal of Diabetes and its Complications, 31(2), 347-352. doi: 10.1016/j.jdiacomp.2016.06.022

Publication Aggregators

Licensures and Certifications

1992-present Registered Nurse (Illinois)
1996-present Advanced Practice Nurse (Illinois)
1994-present Certified Diabetes Educator