Daniel Chang at ACTS conference
Daniel Chang at ACTS poster session

Four TL1 scholars selected for Gold and Blue Ribbon awards at 2023 ACTS Annual Meeting

John Merritt

Abstracts by four University of Minnesota participants in this year’s TL1 program were selected to receive awards at the Association for Clinical and Translational Science (ACTS) Annual Meeting in Washington, DC, on April 18-20. The selected scholars were:

  • Gold Ribbons: Tailor Mathes and Daniel Chang
  • Blue Ribbons: Eric Rawls and Rachel Moss

In addition, TL1 scholar Alyssa Lantz was recognized with a Burroughs Wellcome Fund Award to travel to this year's annual conference.

The TRACT TL1 program funded by the NIH provides comprehensive, flexible training for a diverse cohort of predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees committed to a substantive and impactful career in translational research and team science.

It is a one-year program that integrates a mentored research experience, an individualized curriculum, and professional development activities with 100 percent time committed to research and research career development. The program includes a stipend, research-related supply and travel funds, and other benefits.

Tailor Mathes at ACTS conference poster session
Tailor Mathes at ACTS poster session

“I am appreciative of all the opportunities and mentoring the TL1 program has given me,” said Tailor Mathes, a PhD student in the Microbiology, Immunology, and Cancer Biology program. “I have learned a substantial amount about translational science and how to apply my work in numerous ways. Applying for the ACTS conference was all-inclusive and comprised of both scientific and laic components.”

Gold Ribbon winners were selected based on their scores by conference abstract reviewers nationally and gave special oral presentations of their projects at the Meeting. Blue Ribbon winners were selected by the U of M CTSI TRACT TL1 leadership team. Their poster abstracts will be published by ACTS.

Awardee abstract titles and names are listed below, followed by the names of their mentors. Congratulations to this year's awardees!

Gold Ribbon Winners

  • Mechanisms of progression of myelodysplastic syndrome to fatal secondary acute myeloid leukemia. Daniel Chang, BS; Klara Noble-Orcutt; Marie Lue Antony; David Largaespada; Chad Myers; Zohar Sachs.
  • Phagocyte heterogeneity and T cell dependence of cellular host defense mechanisms in tuberculosis. Tailor Mathes, BS, Tyler Bold; Christine Ronayne.

Blue Ribbon Winners

  • States of Exploration Evoke Brain Representations of Unexpected Rewards: a Translational Model for Examining Dysfunctions of Learning. Eric Rawls, PhD; Collin Teich; Caroline Demro; Angus W. McDonald III; Scott R. Sponheim.
  • A systems genomics approach to identify novel drug targets of Ewing sarcoma through ancestry-informed human iPSC modeling. Rachel M Moss, MS; Kelsie Becklin; Lauren J Mills; Branden S Moriarity; Beau R Webber; Logan G Spector.

In addition, TL1 scholars Alyssa Lantz, Dr. Eric Rawls and Dr. Rebecca "Rab" Abbott, along with TRDP scholar Bruno Bohn, represented the U of M in the Annual Meeting's Three Minute Thesis semifinals. Dr. Abbott was one of three post-doctoral scholars chosen to compete in the competition finals.