Barbara Calhoun Outreach Coordinator, Assistant Professor of the Practice

Director of Minor in Science and Patient Advocacy, Department of Biological Sciences
Barbara Calhoun

Academic Interests:

As the Outreach Coordinator for the Boler Parseghian Center for Rare and Neglected Diseases, my focus is to support rare disease patients and their families. Educational, research and community based programs are developed to create an integrated format for raising awareness, and expanding research and treatments for rare diseases.

I co-teach the BIOS 40450 and 60565 courses (Rare Disease Topics/Research) with Kasturi Haldar PhD, where we provide a unique opportunity for upper level students to become adept in rare disease natural history studies. Through coursework, students learn to assess patient medical records to identify pertinent disease symptoms and how they progress. Natural history studies provide information that can assist researchers evaluating treatment effectiveness and allows providers and patients to better understand future disease related expectations. Students participate in Rare Disease Day and other planned events that provide additional experiences with rare disease patients, clinicians and researchers to heighten their understanding of these complex disorders.

Rare Disease patient families often find little information about their disease and treatment options are limited. I provide patient families with resources such as clinical trials, centers of excellence, current research and patient service organizations that can assist families with next steps. It is my goal to continue to build collaborations among patients, families, students, researchers and clinicians.


  • Concurrent Assistant Professional Specialist 2017-Present
  • Outreach Coordinator/Rare Disease Patient Advocate 2014-Present
  • Research Nurse, Dr. Cindy Bergeman Lab 2012-2014
  • Pediatric Nurse Practitioner


  • Master of Science in Nursing, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner-Arizona State University
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing- University of Arizona