TRACT TL1 Program

The Translational Research and Career Training (TRACT) program for pre-and post-doctoral scholars (NIH TL1) provides comprehensive, flexible training for a diverse cohort of predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees who are committed to a substantive and impactful career in translational research and team science.

The program's mission is to improve human health by catalyzing and accelerating the translation of research findings to the community. The one-year training program integrates a mentored research experience, an individualized curriculum, and professional development activities that focus on team-based research and effective collaboration and communication with the larger community.

    Program overview

    • 100% time committed to research and research career development.
    • Includes an individualized curriculum; professional development activities; mentorship; a stipend; health insurance; course and registration fees; and research-related supply and travel funds.
    • Requires a primary mentor and co-mentor. A near-peer mentor will also be available to interested Scholars.
    • Individuals from underrepresented in medicine groups are encouraged to apply.

    Additional information

    The NIH Grants Policy Statement is the final authority on the terms and conditions of stipends. 

    Jayne Fulkerson, PhD, professor, School of Nursing, and affiliate professor, School of Public Health, Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, directs the program, and Angela Panoskaltsis-Mortari, PhD, professor, Medical School, Blood and Marrow Transplantation Division, and vice chair of research, Department of Pediatrics is the program's associate director.

    Current TRACT TL1 Scholars

    Current TRACT TL1 Scholars

    Full TRACT TL1 Scholar bios

    Pre docs

    Odichinma Akosionu, MPH, Health Services Research, Policy and Administration PhD Program, School of Public Health
    Primary mentor: Tetyana Shippee, PhD, School of Public Health
    Additional mentor: Peter Huckfeldt, PhD, School of Public Health

    Project: The impact of Private Equity buyout of nursing homes on the quality of care Medicaid funded long stay residents receive and racial inequities in health outcomes

    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

    Emily Faherty, MA
    Epidemiology PhD Program, School of Public Health
    Mentors: Christy Boraas, Eva A. Enns, Sarah Lofgren, Kumi Smith, Meghan Rothenberger
    Project title: Cost-effectiveness and clinical implications of Expedited Partner Therapy for the treatment of N. Gonorrhoeae and Chlamydia Trachomatis Infection

    Lillian Haine, Biostatistics PhD Program, School of Public Health
    Primary Mentor: Joseph Koopmeiners, PhD, School of Public Health
    Additional Mentors: Thomas Murray, PhD, School of Public Health; Jason V. Baker, MD, Medical School

    Project: Utilizing real world evidence to increase efficiency of clinical trials with application to COVID-19 clinical trials

    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

    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

    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

    Post docs

    Rayna Addabbo, PhD, Institute for Molecular Virology
    Mentors: Louis Mansky, Joachim Mueller
    Project title: Human pathogenic virus detection and replication - studies on SARS-CoV-2 and HIV-1

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

    Tenzin Namdul, PhD, TMD, 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

    Former Scholars

    Former Scholars

    Rebecca Brown, RN

    PhD Program, School of Nursing
    Mentors: Diane Treat-Jacobson, School of Nursing and Erica Schorr, School of Nursing
    Project title: Development of predictive screening tool for patient-reported symptom clusters for artery disease

    Max Herzberg

    Child Psychology PhD Program, College of Education and Human Development
    Mentors: Kathleen Thomas, Institute of Child Development, CEHD; Bill Iacono, Department of Psychology, CEHD; and Bryon Mueller, Department of Psychiatry, Medical School
    Project title: Resting-state brain networks underlying psychopathology and associations with early life stress

    Shannen Kizilski

    Mechanical Engineering PhD Program, College of Science and Engineering
    Mentors: Victor Boracas, Biomedical Engineering, College of Science and Engineering; and Rumi Faizer, Department of Surgery, Medical School
    Project title: Developing a capacitive aortic stent-graft for blood pressure management

    Michelle Korir, PhD

    Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Medical School
    Mentors: Gary Dunny, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Medical School; and Courtney Aldrich, Department of Medicinal Chemistry, College of Pharmacy
    Project title: Biofilm-associated antibiotic resistance and stress induced alteration of biofilm architecture in Enterococcus faecalis

    Ethan Leng

    MSTP Student, Biomedical Engineering PhD Program, College of Science and Engineering
    Mentors: Greg Metzger, Department of Radiology, Medical School; and Joe Koopmeiners, Department of Biostatistics, School of Public Health
    Project title: Computer-aided diagnosis for prostate cancer detection on multiparametric MRI

    Kevin Lin, Medical Scientist Training Program (MD/PhD) 

    Bioinformatics and Computational Biology PhD Program, Computer Science and Engineering
    Mentors: Chad Myers, Anja-Katrin Bielinsky
    Project title: Targeted Chemical-Genetic Screen Platform for Identifying Novel AML Therapeutics

    Warren McKinney, PhD

    Hennepin Healthcare Research Institute
    Mentors: Ajay Israni, Department of Medicine, Medical School; Marilyn Bruin, College of Design, Betram Kasiske, Nephrology, Hennepin Healthcare System; and Andrew Wey, Biostats, Hennepin Healthcare System
    Project title: Creating a culturally-sensitive report card for Afican-American kidney transplant candidates

    Kathleen Miley

    PhD Program, School of Nursing
    Mentors: Fang Yu, School of Nursing; and Sophia Vinogradov, Department of Psychiatry, Medical School
    Project title: Identification of the neural correlates of social functioning and evaluation of the neuroprotective effects of a novel cognitive training intervention in first episode psychosis

    Zachary Rivers, PharmD

    Social and Administrative Pharmacy PhD Program, College of Pharmacy
    Mentors: David Stenehjem, Department of Pharmacy Practice and Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy; Karen Kuntz, Department of Health Policy and Management, School of Public Health, Emil Lou, Department of Medicine, Medical School; and Andrew Nelson, Department of Lab Medicine and Pathology, Medical School
    Project title: The clinical and economic impact of the implementation of prospective pharmacogenomic testing in the care of patients with cancer

    Megan Schmit

    MSTP Student, BMBB PhD Program, College of Biological Sciences
    Mentors: Anja Bielinsky, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics, College of Biological Sciences; and Jeff Miller, Department of Medicine, Medical School
    Project title: The role of Mcm10 in NK cell deficiency

    Joshua Shirley

    Medicinal Chemistry PhD Program, College of Pharmacy
    Mentors: Erin Carlson, Department of Chemistry, CSE; Ryan Hunter, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Medical School; and Elizabeth Hirsch, Department of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology, College of Pharmacy
    Project title: Detection of bacterial pathogens and β-lactamases in cystic fibrosis patient samples using chemical probes and flow cytometry as a novel diagnostic technique

    Rebekah Summers, DPT, PhD

    Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Medical School
    Mentors: Colum MacKinnon, Department of Neurology, Medical School; and Noam Harel, Departments of Radiology and Neurology, Medical School
    Project title: Alterned neuroplasicity of the motor system with people with ideopathic REM sleep behaviour disorder: a harbinger of Parkinson's Disease?


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