New investigator: Nicole Shonka, MD

Nicole Shonka, MD

This profile is part of a series to highlight the researchers who will be honored at a ceremony on Nov. 9 for UNMC’s Scientist Laureate, Research Leadership, Distinguished Scientist, New Investigator and Community Service to Research Award recipients.

New Investigator

The New Investigator Award is given to outstanding UNMC scientists who in the past two years have secured their first funding from the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense or other national sources. New investigators also had to demonstrate scholarly activity, such as publishing their research and/or presenting their findings at national conventions.

  • Name: Nicole Shonka, MD
  • Title: Associate professor, Division of Oncology and Hematology, Department of Internal Medicine, UNMC College of Medicine
  • Joined UNMC: July 2010
  • Hometown: Bellevue, Nebraska

Please describe your research focus in three words or less: High-grade glioma

Why is research important in the world today? Research is essential to improve patient care and outcomes.

My research will make a difference because: Although rare, high-grade glioma is universally lethal and disproportionately impacts patients, families and communities. More effective therapy is integral to prolonging independence and improving the quality of life for all affected by this cancer.

The best advice I’ve ever received is: Don’t sweat the small stuff — and almost everything is small stuff.

Three things you may not know about me are:

  • I have lived in eight states but consider Omaha home.
  • People who have known us for decades still confuse me for Alissa Marr, MD, and vice-versa.
  • My first role at UNMC was as a volunteer in the emergency room in 1996.


  1. Vijaya Bhatt says:

    Congratulations, Nicole! And thank you for all you do.

  2. Carol Gaebler says:

    Congratulations, Dr. Shonka! I feel so fortunate to get to work with you!

  3. Hannah Christiansen, MD says:

    Congrats, Dr. Shonka!

  4. Lynette Smith says:


  5. Mason Savine says:

    Congrats Dr. Shonka!

  6. Elizabeth Hartman, MD says:

    Well deserved recognition! Our patients are fortunate to have Dr. Shonka!

  7. Amy Dodson says:

    Congratulations!! So well-deserved, we’re lucky to get to work with you!

  8. Sonja F. Tutsch-Bryant, PhD, MPH, BSED says:

    Big congratulations to an outstanding physician and researcher!

  9. Krishna Gundabolu says:

    Congratulations Nicole!

  10. Jawed Siddiqui says:


  11. Chi (Kevin) Zhang, MD, PhD says:

    Congratulations, Nicole! Great to have a colleague like you to work with!

  12. Taylor Johnson says:

    Congratulations! You do wonderful work and are such a joy to work with!

  13. Lisa Sund says:

    Congratulations Dr. Shonka!!

  14. Parthasarathy Seshacharyulu says:

    congrats Dr. Shonka!

  15. Lynn Borstelmann says:

    Congratulations Dr. Shonka! It has always been a pleasure to work with you on improvement projects.

Comments are closed.