Photo of Kapella, Mary Catherine

Mary Catherine Kapella, PhD, RN, FAAN, ATSF

Associate Professor

Interim Director of the Center for Sleep and Health Research

Department of Biobehavioral Nursing Science


Building & Room:

208 NURS


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

Office Phone:



Mary Catherine Kapella is an Associate Professor at the College of Nursing. As a nurse sleep health scientist, she is principal investigator on a federally funded clinical trial determining the efficacy and mechanisms underlying a unique form of behavioral therapy for insomnia with COPD. Her research is contributing to worldwide understanding of sleep problems which affect 70 million people, many with co-existing, chronic medical conditions. Her work amplified the realization that fatigue reduces physical function and insomnia contributes significantly with COPD. She is currently examining mechanisms of insomnia therapy on clinical COPD disease outcomes. Results reveal that mood, beliefs about sleep, and self-confidence for managing COPD symptoms account for much of the variation in insomnia severity. With her guidance, students/scholars from the USA and abroad have developed knowledge about sleep, chronic illness and research methods that will facilitate their career development.

Selected Grants

NIH/NINR, Efficacy and mechanisms of a behavioral therapy for insomnia coexisting with COPD., Principal Investigator

VA Office of Nursing Services, Effects of Mindfulness on Sleep and Cognition in Women Veterans, Co-Investigator (PI Karen Saban, PhD,RN)

NIH/NHLBI, UIC Institute for Health Research and Policy, T32 grant: Precision Lifestyle Medicine and Translation Research (PREMIER), Mentor

Selected Publications

Zhu B, Quinn L, Kapella MC, Bronas UG, Collins EG, Ruggiero L, Park CG, Fritschi C. (2018). Relationship between sleep disturbance and self-care in adults with type 2 diabetes. Acta Diabetol. 2018 Jun 21. doi: 10.1007/s00592-018-1181-4.

Zhu B, Vincent C, Kapella M, Quinn L, Collins, E, Ruggiero L, Park C, Fritschi C (2018) Sleep disturbance in people with diabetes: A concept analysis. Journal of Clinical Nursing. Jan;27(1-2):e50-e60. doi: 10.1111/jocn.14010.

Klumpp H, Roberts J, Kapella M, Kennedy A, Phan K. (2017). Subjective and Objective Sleep Quality Differentially Modulate Emotion Regulatory Brain Function in Anxiety and Depression. Depression and Anxiety. 34(7):651-660.

Kapella M, Vispute S, Zhu B, Herdegen J (2017). Actigraphy Scoring for Sleep Outcome Measures in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. Sleep Medicine. 37:124-129.


University of Illinois Chicago PhD 2003 Nursing
University of Illinois Chicago MS 1994 Nursing
Aurora University BSN 1990 Nursing

Professional Memberships

American Thoracic Society

Sleep Research Society

Illinois Sleep Society