Dr. Michele Allen and Award Plaque

Three U professors receive CTSI awards for exceptional research mentorship

Last night, CTSI honored the following individuals with Mentor of the Year Awards:

Individuals were nominated by their mentees, and evaluated based on the research guidance they provided as well as their interpersonal and motivational skills, promotion of career development, mentor training record, and NIH biosketch.

Awards were announced at the annual CTSI Poster Session & Reception, along with awards for outstanding posters.

Mentor of the Year: Dr. Michele Allen

Dr. Michele Allen and Award Plaque
Dr. Michele Allen (right) receives the 2017 CTSI Mentor of the Year Award from Anne Marie Weber-Main, PhD.

Michele Allen, MD, MS, in an Associate Professor at the Medical School’s Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, and Interim Director of the Program in Health Disparities Research.

Every year, Dr. Allen delivers a very popular seminar on community-based participatory research to CTSI's summer scholars.

Dr. Allen conducts community-engaged participatory research to develop substance use prevention interventions for immigrant adolescents. In addition, she’s made scientific contributions in the areas of health equity and community-based participatory research.

Excerpts from nomination letters

Letters nominating Dr. Allen were full of praise and admiration for her ability to simultaneously nurture and challenge her mentees, and for being encouraging, approachable, thoughtful, and deeply invested in the success of her mentees.

Following are excerpts from these letters, which were written by Dr. Allen’s mentees and a colleague:

Biostatistical Mentor of the Year: Dr. John Connett

Dr. John Connett and Award Plaque
Dr. John Connett receives 2017 CTSI Mentor of the Year Award from Anne Marie Weber-Main, PhD.

John Connett, PhD, is a Professor with the School of Public Health’s Division of Biostatistics, and Director of CTSI’s Biostatistical Design and Analysis Center.

Dr. Connett also serves on the CTSI-Ed Internal Advisory Committee, has delivered countless presentations to CTSI scholars, and answers the call when CTSI needs a senior faculty member to serve in some capacity. He always says, “yes!”.

Dr. Connett has a wealth of experience in clinical trials research, teaching, administration, and mentoring young researchers. His research focuses on clinical trials in pulmonary disease, smoking, ophthalmology, and cardiovascular disease.

Excerpts from nomination letters

Dr. Connett was praised for being kind, caring, and generous with his time, as well as for adhering to uncompromising ethical and methodological standards and committing himself to his mentees’ research progress. Following are excerpts from letters by mentees and a colleague nominating him for this award:

Junior Mentor of the Year: Dr. Reena Kartha

Dr. Reena Kartha and Award Plaque
Dr. Reena Kartha (right) accepts the Outstanding Junior Mentor Award from Anne Marie Weber-Main, PhD.

Reena Kartha, PhD, is a Research Assistant Professor with the College of Pharmacy’s Department of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology and a Principal Scientist for the Center for Orphan Drug Research.

Her research focuses on the role of oxidative stress and inflammation in neurodegenerative conditions. Dr. Kartha generously helps interview applicants for CTSI's summer programs.

Excerpts from nomination letters

Mentees and a colleague praised Dr. Kartha for her intelligence, strength, open personality, research expertise, and for dedicating herself to her mentees’ success. Following are excerpts from letters nominating her for this award:

About the awards and CTSI’s mentorship approach

CTSI has bestowed awards to outstanding mentors since 2012, when it first created the Mentor of the Year award. The program has expanded since then to recognize outstanding junior mentors (since 2014) and biostatistical mentors (since 2015).

Previous winners

Mentor of the Year Christine Wendt, MD, Medical School
Biostatistical Mentor of the Year Kyle Rudser, PhD, School of Public Health
Junior Mentor of the Year Lisa Coles, MS, PhD, College of Pharmacy

Mentor of the Year James Cloyd, III, PharmD, College of Pharmacy
Biostatistical Mentor of the Year Lynn Eberly, PhD, School of Public Health
Junior Mentor of the Year Rebecca Shlafer, MPH, PhD, Medical School

Mentor of the Year Kelvin Lim, MD, Medical School
Junior Mentor of the Year Alicia Allen, PhD, Medical School

Mentor of the Year Carol Lange, PhD, Medical School

Mentor of the Year Betsy Seaquist, MD, Medical School

Mentorship approach

Every scholar in CTSI’s six research career development programs – which support students, trainees, and junior faculty – is paired with a research mentor. This enables budding researchers to receive dedicated guidance and support as they begin their research careers.

Case study: How U faculty mentors are advancing the next generation of health researchers

Become a mentor

Faculty interested in becoming research mentors are encouraged to complete a brief interest form.

To help cultivate a strong pool of mentors, CTSI offers an online module used nationally to train and prepare research mentors to effectively help advance the careers of their mentees.