CICATS Selects Seven UConn Junior Faculty as Pre-K Development Award Scholars

The Connecticut Institute for Clinical and Translational Science (CICATS) at the University of Connecticut has announced the selection of seven new Pre-K Development Award Scholars. CICATS Pre-K Scholar Award Program is a two-year interactive program designed to equip junior faculty with the knowledge and competencies to effectively apply for an NIH Research Career Development Award (K award) as well as become leaders in clinical and translational science.

The primary goals of the Pre-K program include developing skills to write a successful K award, promoting collaborative learning with CICATS investigators and research staff, and selecting the optimal mentorship team to support a successful research career.

“Developing a K Career Development Award Application can be confusing and overwhelming for junior investigators,” said Dr. Lisa Barry of the UConn Health Center on Aging, who serves as a co-director of the program. “The Pre-K program addresses these challenges by guiding Scholars through each element of the application process, such as finding mentors and writing the career development plan.  Scholars also benefit by receiving feedback and support from a cohort of peers who are going through the same process.”

The 2018/2020 Pre-K Scholars are:

  • Stephanie Gernant, PharmaD, MS, UConn Pharmacy, Research Title: Improving MTM Delivery through Community Pharmacy Workflow Re-Design.
  • Eliane Dutra, DDS, MSD, PhD, UConn Health Orthodontics, Research Title: Anabolic Responses of Intermittent PTH Treatment in the Mandibular Condyle.
  • Jenna Bartley, PhD, UConn Health Center on Aging, Research Title: The Effect of Metformin on Influenza Vaccine Responses and T Cell Function in the Elderly Significance.
  • Jeffrey Pella, PhD, UConn Health Psychiatry, Research Title: The Costs and Benefits of a Teacher Delivered Intervention for Pediatric Anxiety.
  • Minjung Kim, PhD, UConn Health Cardiology, Research Title: Mobile Adherence Evaluations in Heart Failure Care Management.
  • Insoo Kim, PhD, UConn Health Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Research Topic: Smart Sensing Platform for Upper Limb Prosthesis Monitoring and Functional Evaluation.
  • Alexander Hogan, MD, MS, CCMC Pediatrics, Research Topic: A Mixed-Methods Approach to Decreasing Late Asthma Readmissions.

This will be the third cohort of Pre-K Scholars since the program began in 2013. “The CICATS Pre-K program has helped tremendously in providing the time and resources in order for me to submit a NIH K23 Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award,” said Dr. Kevin J. Manning of UConn Psychiatry who is a graduating Pre-K Scholar. “I have really valued the guidance and feedback from my CICATS peers and instructors through the submission process.”

The Pre-K Scholar Award Program is at the core of CICATS work. “Increasing the number of researchers applying for NIH K and other awards is critical to the mission of CICATS and results in increased collaboration and groundbreaking scientific discoveries,” said Dr. Cato Laurencin, CEO of CICATS. CICATS Pre-K Scholars are awarded 30% protected time as well as funding for travel to national conferences.