CTSI revamps junior career development program for URM investigators; welcomes two new scholars

To demonstrate its commitment to building diversity in the University of Minnesota translational workforce pipeline, CTSI’s Research Education, Training, and Career Development (CTSI-Ed) core recently restructured a key research career development program for junior investigators across the Academic Health Center and beyond for populations underrepresented in Medicine, which include racial and ethnic populations that are underrepresented in the medical profession relative to their numbers in the general population, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).

“Through the Pre-K Discovery Scholars program, which was previously the New Investigator Pre-K Career Development Program, our hope is that the University of Minnesota will attract more faculty from diverse populations, and that they will enter our research pipeline to become independent researchers,” said Dr. David Ingbar, Director, CTSI-Ed.


This bold change is in response to continued local and national emphasis on the value of developing diverse research workforce, which includes enriching investigators’ learning environment through CTSI’s K scholar program.

Welcoming new scholars

CTSI is pleased to welcome the first two scholars under the restructured program, which aims to place junior investigators on the path to being competitive for NIH K awards. The program provides mentorship, oversight, $50,00 in research funds, and courses and training relevant to an early-stage investigator’s career. They join seven other scholars currently in the program who will continue to be supported until they complete the program, many in February 2017.

Brooke Cunningham, MD, PhD
Department of Family Medicine and Community Health
Project Title: Health Equity Climate: Survey Development
Primary Mentor: Diana Burgess
Mentoring Team: Kola Okuyemi, Todd Rockwood, Richard Lee, Jim Hodges

Scott Reule, MD
Department of Medicine
Project Title: Outcomes and Risk Prediction After Provider Switch
Primary Mentor: Robert Foley
Mentoring Team: Areef Ishani, David Gilbertson Congratulations Brooke and Scott!


CTSI-Ed offers a pathway for clinical and translational science research training and career development, from the undergraduate experience to an independent research career as a faculty member, and for research support staff as well. More than 230 University of Minnesota scholars have been trained through its seven scholar programs since 2011.