K12 Scholars Career Development Program

KL2 scholars at a seminar

Be competitive for NIH independent K- or R01 awards with support from this three-year program for early-stage investigators at the University of Minnesota.

How we support Scholars

Funding and salary support

  • 75% salary support on salaries (up to $120,000 inclusive of fringe)
  • $30,000 in scholar research and development support

This award is funded by the NIH CTSA grant for 24 months and the Medical School Dean’s Office for 12 months.


K12 Scholars have a multidisciplinary mentor team representing different areas of expertise:

  • Primary senior accomplished mentor
  • Secondary mentor
  • Biostatistician
  • Community mentor (paired by CTSI-Ed for 1 year)

Potential research mentors

Training and networking

  • Weekly K Scholar Multidisciplinary Seminar Series with CTSI K Accelerator ScholarsBIRCWH (Women's Health K12), MN-LHS (Minnesota Learning Health System Mentored Career Development Program), and individual K awardees
  • Bi-annual Translational Research Retreats
  • Annual CTSI Poster Session

Our goal for Scholars

Develop a successful clinical and translational science research career with extramural funding and scholarly publications

Veronika Bachanova

How we evaluate program success

Current K12 Scholars

Current K12 Scholars

Emily Coffey, DVM, PhD

Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences
Mentors: Timothy Griffin, Eva Furrow, Aaron Miller
Defining the Impact of Short Chain Fatty Acids on the Gut-Urinary Axis in a Naturally Occurring Canine Model of Calcium Oxalate Urolithiasis

Sian Durward-Akhurst, PhD, BVMS, MS

Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences
Mentors: Samuel Dudley, Alena Talkachova, Aaron Rendahl
A spontaneous animal model for human arrhythmias and autopsy-negative sudden arrhythmic death

Kristin Elgersma, PhD

School of Nursing, Child and Family Health
Mentors: Michael Georgieff, Elllen Demerath, Julian Wolfson
Human milk, growth quality, and neurodevelopmental outcomes for infants with critical congenital heart disease

Julia Heneghan, MD, MS

Department of Pediatrics
Mentors: Marie Steiner, Samuel Goldfarb, Sisi Ma
Projecting Outcomes in Respiratory Technology Dependent Children After Serious Illness (PROJECT ORCAS)

Ellen Ingolfsland, MD

Department of Pediatrics
Mentors: Raghu Rao, Bryce Binstadt, Eric Lock
The role of anemia and its treatment with iron or erythropoietin in the development of retinopathy of prematurity

Christopher LaRocca, MD

Department of Surgery, Division of Surgical Oncology
Mentors:Julia Davydova, Clifford Steer, Eric Jensen, Subree Subramanian, Lin Zhang
Project title:A Sodium-Iodide Symporter Expressing Oncolytic Adenovirus: Facilitating Imaging and Therapy of Metastatic Colorectal Cancer

Corey McGee, PhD, MS, OTR/L, CHT (KL2 Scholar)

Program in Occupational Therapy
Primary Mentors: Erin Krebs and Paula Ludewig
Additional Mentors: Ann Van Heest, Ann Brearley
Project Title: Mechanisms of a dynamic stability protocol for persons with thumb osteoarthritis

Caleb Skipper, MD (KL2 Scholar)

Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases and International Medicine
Mentors: David Boulware, David Meya, Biyue Dai
Project Title: Impact of CMV Viremia on Mortality in Advanced HIV Disease in Uganda

Former KL2 Scholars

Former KL2 Scholars

Terrence Adam, MD, PhD

Primary mentor: Wendy St. Peter
Additional mentors: Vipin Kumar, James Neaton, and Connie Delaney
Project title: The Clinical Significance of Clopidogrel Drug-Drug Interactions: Data Science Applied to Drug Safety

Cristina ‘Sophia’ Albott, MD, MA

Department of Psychiatry
Primary mentor: Kelvin Lim
Additional mentors: Shmuel Lissek, Kathryn Cullen, Paul Thuras
Project title: Characterization of Comorbid Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Major Depressive Disorder Utilizing Ketamine as an Experimental Medicine Prob

Joshua Aman, PhD (UMN CTSI Collaborative K Scholar)

Department of Neurology
Primary Mentor: Jerrold Vitek
Project Title: Characterizing the pathophysiological role of the pallido-thalamocortical motor pathway in Parkinson's disease

Katherine Arlinghaus, PhD, MS, RD

School of Public Health
Mentors: Marla Eisenberg, Melissa Laska, Rona Carter, Daheia Barr-Anderson,  Darin Erickson
Project Title: Puberty and adolescent health behaviors at the intersection of race, gender, and sex

Veronika Bachanova, MD, PhD

Primary mentor: Jeffrey Miller
Additional mentors: Daniel Weisdorf, Linda Burns, and Jaime Modiano
Project title: Natural Killer Cell Immunotherapy for Lymphoma

Arianne Baldomero, MD, MS (K Prime Scholar)

Department of Medicine/ VA Health Care Systems
Mentors: Adams Dudley, Chris Wendt, Ken Kunisaki, David Nelson
Project title: Rural‐Urban Disparities in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) among Veterans

Anne Bantle, MD

Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Medicine, Medical School
Mentors: Lisa Chow, Elizabeth Seaquist, Dan Knights, Lynn Eberly
Project title: A weight neutral, high protein, low biologically available glucose diet for treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus

Andrew Barnes, MD, MPH

Primary mentor: Gerald August
Additional mentors: Ann Masten, Megan Gunnar, and John Connett
Project title: Self-Regulation and Health in High-Risk Young Children

Maneesh Bhargava, MD

Primary mentor: Christine Wendt
Additional mentors: David Ingbar, Peter Bitterman, Baolin Wu
Project Title: Biosignature of Survival in Acute Lung Injury and ARDS

Carolyn Bramante, MD, MPH

Medical School, Department of Pediatrics
Mentors: Anne Joseph, Nancy Sherwood, Kyle Rudser
Project title: Assessing daily self-weighing for weight management in adolescents with obesity

Jazmin Camchong, PhD

Department of Psychiatry
Primary mentor: Matt Kushner, MD
Additional mentors: Kelvin Lim, Angus W. MacDonald III, Kyle Rudser
Project title: Brian Functional Connectivity During Early Recovery in Alcohol Use Disorder as a Marker for Relapse

Cari Clark, PhD

Primary mentor: Michael Resnick
Additional mentors: Iris Borowsky and John Connett
Health Disparities in Obesity: Partner Violence and its Psychosocial and Behavioral Pathways

Curtis Corum, PhD

Primary mentor: Michael Garwood
Additional mentors: Michael Nelson and Lynn Eberly
Project title: Improved Breast MRI Utilizing SWIFT: Detection of Breast Calcifications with MRI and Correlation with Mammography

Dori Cross, PhD

School of Public Health
Primary Mentor: Genevieve Melton-Meaux
Additional Mentors: Joseph E. Gaugler, Haitao Chu
Project title: Use of Electronic Health Record (EHR) Data to Optimize Team-based Care

Sarah Cusick, PhD

Primary mentor: Chandy John
Additional mentors: James Hodges and Michael Georgieff
Project title: Immediate vs. Delayed Iron Therapy: Effect on Red Cell Iron Incorporation During Severe Malaria

Christen Ebens, MD, MPH, AB (K Prime Scholar)

Medical School, Department of Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant
Mentors: Jakub Tolar, Bryce Binstadt, Xianghua Luo
Project title: Epidermolysis Bullosa: Characterizing and targeting immune dysfunction 

Ida Fonkoue, MD, PhD (ECRA Scholar)

Department of Rehabilitation Medicine
Primary Mentor: John Osborn
Project Title: Autonomic and Vascular Mechanisms of Cardiovascular Risk in Women with Post- traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Steven Friedenberg, DVM, PhD

Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine
Mentors: Marc Jenkins, Jaime Modiano, Kristin Hogquist, Aaron Rendahl
Project title: Immunological Basis of Autoimmune Addison's Disease in a Novel Canine Model System

Anne Frosch, MD, MPH

Medical School, Department of Medicine
Mentors: Marc Jenkins, Katherine Huppler Hullsiek, Paul Bohjanen, Kristin Hogquist, David Boulware
Project title: Memory T follicular helper cell kinetics and localization during recall immune responses to tetanus vaccination

Bernadette Gillick, PhD

Primary mentor: Bin He
Additional mentors: Kelvin Lim and Kyle Rudser
Project title: Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation and Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy in Pediatric Hemiparesis

Andrew Grande, MD

Department of Neurosurgery, Medical School
Primary mentor: Jakub Tolar
Additional mentors: Walter Low, Yasushi Nakagawa, James Hodges
Project title: Repairing the brain after stroke - Neuroregenerative therapy in canine model of stroke

Allyson Hart, MD, MS

Department of Medicine
Primary mentor: Ajay Israni
Additional mentors: Melissa Partin and John Connett
Project title: Creating a Decision Aid to Improve Informed Treatment Decisions for Kidney Transplant Candidates

Samir S. Khariwala, MD

Primary mentor: Stephen Hecht
Additional mentors: Dorothy Hatsukami and Chap Le
Project title: The study of tobacco metabolism to determine the risk of developing head and neck cancer

Hee Yun Lee, PhD

School of Social Work, College of Education and Human Development
Primary mentor: Jasjit S. Ahluwalia
Additional mentors: Douglas Yee, Dipankar Bandyopadhyay
Project title: Mobile Phone Multimedia Messaging Intervention for Breast Cancer

Jiwoo Lee, PhD, RN

School of Nursing
Mentors: Jayne Fulkerson, Lisa Harnack, Weihua Guan
Project title: Reducing the summer health gap: Evaluation and enhancement of a community‐based child nutrition assistance program

Xiufeng Li, PhD

Primary mentor: Gregory Metzger
Additional mentors: Lynn Eberly and Ibrahim Hassan
Project title: Advanced Multi-Parametric MR Imaging for Renal Transplantation

Eric Lock, PhD 

Division of Biostatistics
Primary mentor: Wei Pan
Additional mentors: Peter Bitterman and Michael Georgieff
Project title: Biomarkers from Multi-source, Multi-way Data

Emil Lou, MD, PhD

Primary mentor: Melissa Geller
Additional mentors: Greg Vercellotti, Richard King, and Chap Le
Project title: Novel Biomarkers of Chemoresistant Ovarian Cancers

Silvia Mangia, PhD

Primary Mentor: Elizabeth Seaquist
Additional mentors: Kamil Ugurbil and Lynn Eberly
Project title: Characterizing Brain Structure and Function in Diabetes by Novel MRI/MRS Approaches

Siobhan McMahon, PhD

Primary mentor: Alexander J. Rothman
Additional mentors: Jean Wyman, Michael Oakes, and Weihua Guan
Project title: Enhancing Motivation for Physical Activity to Reduce the Risk of Falls among Community-Dwelling Older Adults: A Wellness Intervention

Stephanie Misono, MD, MPH

Primary mentor: Kelvin Lim
Additional mentors: Patricia Frazier and Kyle Rudser
Project title: Dysphonia, Distress, and Control: Technology-based Assessment and Intervention

Amir Moheet, MBBS

Primary mentor: Elizabeth Seaquist
Additional mentors: Gulin Oz, Lynn Eberly, and Jeffrey Wozniak
Project title: Hippocampal Metabolism and Function in Patients with Type 1 Diabetes and Hypoglycemia Unawareness

Hai Dang Nguyen, PhD

Department of Pharmacology
Primary Mentor: David Largaespada
Additional Mentors: Gregory Vercellotti, Lin Zhang
Project Title: Establishing a genetic-driven discovery platform for targeted cancer therapies

Mark Osborn, PhD

Primary mentor: Bruce Blazar
Additional mentors: Stephen Jameson and Weihua Guan
Project title: Next generation chimeric antigen receptor and engineered nuclease based tumor therapy

Ann Parr, MD, PhD 

Primary mentor: Jakub Tolar
Additional mentors: James Hodges and Walter C. Low
Project title: Autologous Oligodendrocyte Progenitor Cells for Transplantation in Spinal Cord Injury 

Rene Pierpont, PhD

Medical School, Department of Pediatrics
Mentors: Jeffrey Wozniak, Chap Le, Michael Georgieff, Paul Orchard
Project title: Early detection of white matter disease in X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy 

Alexa Pragman, MD, PhD

Primary mentor: Chris Wendt
Additional mentors: Richard Isaacson and Cavan Reilly
Project title: Evaluation of the Lung Microbiota and Inflammation in the Progression of COPD

Anna Prizment, PhD

Primary mentor: Timothy Church
Additional mentors: Heather Nelson and Srirama Rao
Project title: Eosinophil biomarkers and colorectal cancer

Armin Rashidi, MD, PhD

Department of Medicine
Primary Mentor: Daniel Weisdorf
Additional mentors: Alexander Khoruts, Christopher Staley, Xianghua Luo
Project title: Gut microbiota restoration to reduce infectious complications of intensive chemotherapy in patients with acute myeloid leukemia

Elizabeth Rogers, MD, MS

Department of General Internal Medicine
Primary mentor: Anne Joseph, MD, MPH
Additional mentors: Stuart Speedie, Victor Montori, John Connett
Project title: Factors Affecting Safety-Net Medical Home Care Quality for Patients with Comorbid Diabetes

Zohar Sachs, MD, PhD

Department of Medicine
Primary mentor: David Largaespada, PhD
Additional Mentor: Jeffrey Miller, MD
Project title:  Molecular mechanisms of leukemia stem cell persistence in AML relapse

Sandra Safo, PhD, MSc (K Prime Scholar)

Division of Biostatistics, School of Public Health
Mentors: James Neaton, Jason Baker, Daniel Duprez, Dr. Cavan Reilly
Project title: Integrative Omics Methods to Assess Genomic and Metabolic Influences on Subclinical CVD in HIV-Infected Men and Women

William Schmalstieg, MD

Department of Neurology
Primary mentor: Stephen Jameson
Additional mentors: Charles Howe and James Hodges
Project title: Mechanisms of CD8+ T Cell-mediated Axon Injury 

Craig Schulz, DC, MS

Center for Spirituality and Healing
Primary mentor: Gert Bronfort
Additional mentor: Roni Evans, John Connett
Project title: Behavioral and Contextual Mechanisms of Action in Spinal Manipulative Therapy for Low Back Pain

Sabrina Scroggins, PhD (ECRA Scholar)

Department of Biomedical Sciences, UMD
Mentors: Jean Regal, Stephen Contag, Kris Hogquist, Mary Owen
Project title: Testing the efficacy of regulatory dendritic cell treatment in the prevention of preeclampsia

Chetan Shenoy, MD

Primary mentor: Russell Luepker
Additional mentors: Daniel Duprez and Sue Duval
Project title: Cardiac Fibrosis for Risk Prediction in Cancer Therapy Cardiotoxicity

Tetyana Shippee, PhD

Primary mentor: Robert Kane
Additional mentors: Joseph Gaugler and William Thomas
Project title: Using Facility and Resident-Level Predictors of Quality of Life in Long-Term Care to Design Successful Interventions    

Rebecca Shlafer, PhD

Primary mentor: Michael Resnick
Additional mentors: Julie Poehlmann, John Connett, and Grant Duwe
Project title: Incarcerated Parents in Minnesota and their Minor Children

Guisheng Song, PhD

Primary mentor: Clifford Steer
Additional mentors: Jeffrey Albrecht, Do-Hyung Kim, and Wei-Shou Hu
Project title: The combination of miR-24-ASO and miR-30e-ASO as a therapeutic agent for both NAFLD and hyperlipidemia

Elizabeth Swanson, DO

Department of Pediatrics
Primary mentor: Mark Schleiss, MD
Additional mentors: Mark Schleiss, Lou Mansky, Steven Rice, Michael Georgieff, John Connett
Project title: Mechanisms of Perinatal CMV Transmission: Immune Effectors of Protection, Pathogenesis of Functional Disability, and Potential for Therapeutic Intervention

Katherine Vickery, MD, MSc

Department of Medicine, Medical School
Mentors: Andrew Busch, Mark Linzer, John Connett
Project title: Medication support for people with diabetes experiencing homelessness


Kelvin Lim, MD
Co-Director, K12 Scholars Career Development Program

Tetyana Shippee, PhD
Co-Director, K12 Scholars Career Development Program


[email protected]

Megan Larson, Operations Manager
[email protected]