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 postdoctoral fellows, medical fellows, and predoctoral trainees and provides research funds up to $16,000 available over two years.

Program overview

  • For postdoctoral and predoctoral 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 two years 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: 2022–23

Post-doc scholars: 2022–23

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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


Jayne Fulkerson, PhD
Director, Translational Research Development Program (TRDP)

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Research mentors


[email protected]