Career Development Programs

Seventeen UMN faculty and trainees receive CTSI career development awards

CTSI has welcomed 17 scholars into career development programs designed to help advance the University of Minnesota’s rising stars in health research.

Each program focuses on a unique stage of a researcher’s career, with multidisciplinary scholars ranging from pre-doctoral students through early associate professors. Scholars receive research funds, guidance from a team of mentors, translational research experience, and individualized career development support.

TRACT TL1 scholars

The Translational Research and Career Training (TRACT) program for pre-and post-doctoral Scholars (NIH TL1), now in its second year, integrates a mentored research experience, an individualized curriculum, and professional development activities that focus on team-based research. TRACT Scholars receive salary support and funding for tuition, fees, and health insurance. 

  • Gretchen Buchanan
    Family Social Science PhD Program, College of Education and Human Development
    Mentors: Jerica Berge, Timothy Piehler, Gerald August
    Project title: Optimizing integrated care implementation in primary care settings using latent class analysis

  • Rebecca Emery, PhD
    Postdoctoral Fellow, Epidemiology, School of Public Health
    Mentors: Susan Mason, Catherine McCarty
    Project title: Identifying health disparities in gestational weight management among rural pregnant women

  • Emily Groene, MA
    Epidemiology PhD Program, School of Public Health
    Mentors: Eva Enns, Christy Boraas, Sarah Lofgren
    Project title: Cost-effectiveness and clinical implications of expedited partner therapy for the treatment of N. Gonorrhoeae and C. Trachomatis infection

  • Laura Hooper, RD
    Nutrition PhD Program, College of Food, Agriculture and Natural Resource Sciences
    Mentors: Dianne Neumark-Sztainer, Marla Eisenberg
    Project title: Weight stigma experienced during adolescence and young adulthood: Cross-sectional and longitudinal associations with disordered eating, body mass index, and health risk behaviors 

  • Jesse Kowalski, DPT
    Rehabilitation Science PhD Program, Medical School 
    Mentors: Leslie Morse, Clas Linnman
    Project title: Identification of neuroanatomical biomarkers of outcomes after spinal cord injury with resting state fMRI  

  • Kevin Lin
    Medical Scientist Training Program (MD/PhD)
    Bioinformatics and Computational Biology PhD Program, Computer Science and Engineeringz
    Mentors: Chad Myers, Anja-Katrin Bielinsky
    Project title: Targeted chemical-genetic screen platform for identifying novel AML therapeutics  

  • Kellen Mulford
    Medical Physics PhD Program, Medical School
    Mentors: Pierre Francois Van de Moortele, Donald Nixdorf, Andrew Grande
    Project title: MRI-based biomarkers of treatment outcomes in trigeminal neuralgia  

  • Tenzin Namdul, PhD, TMD
    Postdoctoral Fellow, School of Public Health
    Mentors: Richard MacLehose, Dedra Buchwald
    Project title: Factors associated with physical and cognitive resilience among a large Tibetan monastic community in southern India 

  • Dechen Wangmo
    Pharmacology PhD Program, Medical School
    Mentors: Subree Subramanian, Emil Lou, Tim Starr
    Project title: Role of tumor cell intrinsic factors in colorectal cancer immune evasion 

  • Serena Xiong, MPH
    Epidemiology PhD Program, School of Public Health
    Mentors: DeAnn Lazovich, Rebekah Pratt
    Project title: HPV self-sampling in primary care clinics in Minnesota: A pre-implementation study

TRDP scholars

The Translational Research Development Program (TRDP), now in its eighth year, provides funding and mentorship for pre- and post-doctoral scholars’ translational projects. TRDP Scholars receive research funds up to $16,000 available over two years.

  • Sarah Kim, PharmD
    Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology PhD Program
    Mentors: Jeanine Jarnes, Mahmoud Al-Kofahi, Chester Whitley
    Project title: Optimizing the dose of gene therapy to improve clinical efficacy  

  • Sasha Prisco, MD
    Cardiology Medical Fellow, Medical School
    Mentors: Kurt Prins, Thenappan Thenappan  
    Project title: Mechanisms of right ventricular dysfunction in pulmonary arterial hypertension  

Pre-K Discovery scholars

The Pre-K Discovery Scholars Program is designed to provide mentorship, career development experience, and pilot funds to junior faculty underrepresented in medicine. Ultimately, it aims to place scholars on the path to be competitive for NIH K awards. Pre-K Scholars receive $50,000 in research funding.

  • Hai Dang Nguyen, PhD
    Department of Pharmacology
    Mentors: David Largaespada, Lin Zhang
    Project title: Targeting R-loop regulation in myelodysplastic syndromes

  • Ronald Ordinola Zapata, DDS, MS, PhD
    Department of Endodontics
    Mentors: Alex Fok, Weihua Guan
    Project title: Optimization of root canal therapy through the use of minimally invasive procedures

K-R01 scholars

The K-R01 Transition to Independence Program is available to Assistant Professors (in rank ≤ 7 years) and early Associate Professors (in rank ≤ 4 years) conducting clinical or translational research and aims to place investigators further on the path to be competitive for NIH R01 awards. K-R01 Scholars receive $50,000 in funding over two years.

  • Antonella Borgatti, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVIM, Dipl. ECVIM-CA
    College of Veterinary Medicine
    Mentors: Bruce Walcheck, Jaime F. Modiano, Joseph S. Koopmeiners
    Project title: Utilizing antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity by natural killer cells as a treatment strategy for canine B-cell malignancies

  • Jazmin Camchong, PhD
    Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
    Mentors: Kelvin Lim, Mark Fiecas
    Project title: Longitudinal trajectory of neuromodulation and cognitive training effects in alcohol use disorder

  • Amanda Klein, MS, PhD
    Department of Pharmacy Practice and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Duluth
    Mentors: Donald Simone, Carolyn Fairbanks, John Connett
    Project title: KATP channel prodrugs as therapeutics for chronic pain and substance abuse disorders

  • Katie Loth, PhD, MPH
    Department of Family Medicine and Community Health
    Mentors: Jerica Berge, Jayne Fulkerson, James S. Hodges
    Project Title: Exploring the momentary mechanisms of a broad range of food-related parenting practices among racially/ethnically and socioeconomically diverse parent-child dyads.