Translational Research Development Program

The Translational Research Development Program (TRDP) aims to provide an opportunity for early stage investigators to gain significant experience with clinical and translational research.

The program is available to predoctoral trainees, postdoctoral fellows, and medical fellows and provides research funds up to $16,000 available over one year.

    Program overview

    • For predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees, especially those from under-represented populations 
    • Aims to provide an opportunity for early stage investigators to gain significant experience with clinical and translational research
    • Research funds up to $16,000 available over one year for up to four Scholars.
    • Requires a primary research mentor and a translational mentor (a senior faculty member or biostatistician who will help guide and advise)

    Nature and purpose

    The Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) will provide institutional research funds for predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees with a demonstrable and significant interest in clinical or translational research focused on human health. The program aims to provide an opportunity for early stage investigators to gain significant experience with clinical and translational research as a foundation for the development of an independent research career focused on human health.

    Funds are designed to support a modest research project that will result in a publication in a peer reviewed journal. The TRDP project is secondary to the applicant’s primary research endeavors and must advance the trainee’s research along the clinical and translational research spectrum. For example, a TRDP project for a trainee currently conducting basic research (T0) should be in the T1, T2, T3, or T4 translational categories. Similarly, a trainee currently conducting health services research (T3) should develop a TRDP project that demonstrates a clear movement toward the T4 category.

    Pre-doc scholars

    Post-doc scholars

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    Former scholars

    Former scholars

    Mariam Ahmed, MS

    Primary mentor: Richard Brundage
    Additional mentor: Gerald Raymond
    Project title: A Model-based Approach to Optimize Lorenzo's Oil Therapy in X-Linked Adrenoleukodystrophy

    Daniel Beisang, BS

    Primary mentor: Michael Georgieff
    Additional mentor: Marc Jenkins
    Project title: Quantitative Assessment of the Diversity of the Neonatal T cell Repertoire

    Tyler Bosch, PhD

    Primary mentor: Lisa Chow
    Additional mentor: Patrick Bolan
    Project title: The Effect of High Intensity Interval Training on Liver Fat and Insulin Sensitivity in Adults with Obesity

    Nicholas Brady

    Primary mentor: Kathryn Schwertfeger
    Additional mentor: Douglas Yee
    Project title: JAK Inhibition Disrupts Inflammatory Homeostasis in Human Macrophages

    Michael Burns, PhD

    Primary mentor: Ran Blekhman
    Additional mentor: Timothy Church
    Project title: Using Virulence Genes in Stool as Markers of Colorectal Cancer

    Caroline Diep, BS, BA

    Primary mentor: Peter Argenta
    Additional mentor: Carol Lange
    Project title: En vivo modeling of primary ovarian cancer cells in 3D culture systems

    Amy Dwyer, PhD

    Masonic Cancer Center
    Primary mentor: Carol Lange, PhD, Department of Medicine, Medical School
    Translational mentor: Doug Yee, MD, Department of Medicine, Medical School
    Project title: Targeting the Progesterone Receptor in an ex vivo model using primary mammary epithelial cells

    Jeff Flynn, PhD

    Primary mentor: Ryan Hunter
    Additional mentor: Jordan Dunitz
    Project title: Anaerobic bacterial consortia sustain the growth of pathogens in the upper airways of cystic fibrosis patients

    Anne Frosch, MD

    Primary mentor: George Ayodo
    Additional mentor: Chandy John
    Project title: The effect of HIV infection on malaria specific B cell subset frequency

    Zachary Galliger

    Biomedical Engineering PhD Program, College of Science and Engineering
    Primary mentor: Angela Panoskaltsis-Mortari, PhD, Department of Pediatrics, Medical School
    Translational mentor: Rafael Andrade, MD, Department of Surgery, Medical School
    Project title: 3D Bioprinted HumanTracheal Graft for Pediatric Trachea Reconstruction in a Rabbit Model

    Diego Garcia-Huidobro, MD

    Primary mentor: Michele Allen
    Additional mentor: Iris Borowsky
    Project title: Feasibility of a One-To-One Parenting Intervention to Prevent Substance Use in Latino Youth

    Benjamin Hanisch, MD

    Primary mentor: Gregory Vercellotti
    Additional mentor: Chandy John 
    Project title: Impact of Iron Supplementation on Oxidative Stress in Children Recovering from Severe Malaria

    Lauren Harasymiw, MD, PhD, MPH

    Medical School
    Primary mentor: Kyriakie Sarafoglou, MD, Department of Pediatrics, Medical School
    Translational mentor: Scott Grosse, PhD, National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
    Project title: Prevalence and Implications of Mental Health Comorbidities in Children and Young Adults with
    Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia

    Rachel Hardeman, PhD, MPH 

    Primary mentor: Diana Burgess
    Additional mentor: Katy Kozhimannil
    Project title: Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Birth Outcomes: Examining the Role of the Patient/Provider Relationship

    Christopher Janson, MD

    Primary mentor: Cornelius Lam
    Additional mentor: Gunda Georg
    Project title: High-Throughput Discovery with Unique Alzheimer's Cellular Model

    Sakeen Kashem, BA

    Primary mentor: Daniel Kaplan
    Additional mentor: Maria Hordinksy
    Project title: Langerhans cell function in controlling fungal immunity and commensalism

    Carlos Perez Kerkvliet

    MSTP Student, Microbiology, Immunology and Cancer Biology PhD Program
    Primary mentor: Carol Lange, PhD, Department of Medicine, Medical School

    Translational mentors: Doug Yee, MD, Department of Medicine, Medical School and Andrew Nelson, MD, PhD, Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Medical School

    Project title: Unraveling GR-driven regulation of cancer phenotypes in breast cancer

    Sarah Kim, PharmD

    Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology PhD Program
    Mentors: Jeanine Jarnes, Mahmoud Al-Kofahi, Chester Whitley
    Optimizing the Dose of Gene Therapy to Improve Clinical Efficacy

    David Knorr, BS

    Primary mentor: Michael Verneris
    Additional mentor: Todd DeFor
    Project title: Evaluation of the CD4+ T cell response against influenza following hematopoietic cell transplantation

    Liliane Mukaremera, PhD

    Primary mentor: Kirsten Nielsen
    Additional mentor: David Boulware
    Project title: Alteration of the innate immune response by different Cryptococcus neoformans morphologies in HIV and healthy individuals

    Jessica Musselman, MS

    Primary mentor: Julie Ross
    Additional mentor: Jenny Poynter
    Project title: Methylation of the BMP/TGFβ pathway and correlation with survival in childhood germ cell tumors

    Emily Pisetsky, PhD

    Primary mentor: Scott Crow
    Additional mentor: Jim Hodges
    Project title: Negative Affect and Substance Use as Momentary Mechanisms of Suicidality in Eating Disorders

    Alexa Pragman, MD, PhD (current CTSI KL2 scholar)

    Primary mentor: Chris Wendt
    Additional mentors: Richard Isaacson and Cavan Reilly 
    Project title: Comparison of the Oral and Lung Microbiota in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

    Sasha Prisco, MD

    Cardiology Medical Fellow, Medical school
    Mentors: Kurt Prins, Thenappan Thenappan
    Mechanisms of right ventricular dysfunction in pulmonary arterial hypertension

    Justin Ryder, PhD

    Primary mentor: Aaron S. Kelly
    Additional mentor: Kyle Rudser
    Project title: Longitudinal assessment of novel biomarkers for predicting cardiovascular disease in youth

    Brent Sorenson, MS

    Primary mentor: Rajaram Gopalakrishnan
    Additional mentor: Mark Herzberg
    Project title: Tumor-targeted reduction of hyopxia-inducible factor in oral carcinoma by calprotectin

    Anja Srienc

    Primary mentor: Eric Newman
    Additional mentor: Matthew Hunt
    Project title: Cortical Spreading Depression as a Biomarker of Brain Injury During Neurosurgery

    Alena Svatkova, MD

    Primary mentor: Igor Nestrasil
    Additional mentor: Kyle Rudser
    Project title: Revealing the Core of White Matter Alteration and Cognitive Deficits in Mucopolysaccharidosis Type 2

    Brian Sweis

    MSTP Student, Neuroscience PhD Program
    Primary mentors: Mark Thomas, PhD and A. David Redish, PhD, Department of Neuroscience in the College of Biological Sciences (primary co-mentors)

    Translational mentor: Kelvin Lim, MD, and Sheila Specker, MD, Department of Psychiatry, Medical School

    Project title: Translational approach to resolve neurobiologically distinct decision-making dysfunctions in addiction

    Elizabeth Thompson, MS

    Primary mentor: Eric A. Hendrickson
    Additional mentor: Jakub Tolar
    Project title: Gene therapy for Fanconi anemia using Cas9/CRISPR-mediated gene targeting

    Diana Wallin, BS

    Primary mentor: Michael K. Georgieff
    Additional Mentor: Gregory Vercellotti
    Project title: The effect of recombinant human erythropoietin (RhEpo) therapy on the hippocampus of anemic neonatal mice

    Tonya Ward, PhD

    Additional mentor: Cheryl A. Gale
    Project title: Infant Fungal Microbiome and Allergic Disease Development

    Alexa Weingarden, BA

    Primary mentor: Alexander Khoruts
    Additional mentor: Michael Sadowsky
    Project title: Bacterial Bile Acid Metabolism in Fecal Transplantation Treatment of Clostridium difficile Infection

    Andrea Wolf, BS

    Primary mentor: Greg Beilman
    Additional mentor: Raj Suryanarayanan
    Project title: Formulation Optimization of a Low-Volume Resuscitation Fluid for Hemorrhagic Shock

    Zhou Ye, PhD

    School of Dentistry
    Primary mentor: Conrado Aparicio, PhD, MSc Eng, Department of Restorative Sciences, School of Dentistry

    Translational mentor: Hooi Pin Chew, PhD, Department of Restorative Sciences, School of Dentistry

    Project title: Development of an Antibiofilm Resorbable Membrane for Treating Peri-Implantitis


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