Pre-K Scholar Career Development Award Program

The Pre-K Scholar Career Development Award Program is a 2-year interactive program designed to equip junior faculty with the knowledge and competencies to effectively apply for an NIH Research Career Development Awards (K award) as well as become leaders in clinical and translational science. The long-term goal is to increase the pipeline of researchers applying for a K award and a culture that supports this goal.

We are proud to announce the selection of the 2020 Pre-K awardees, read more here.


For more information about the program please contact Lana Angelo at

      2020 Scholars

      Name Research Title Where Are They Now?
      Loneke Blackman-Carr, Ph.D. Sociocultural Assets for Diet and Physical Activity Behavior and Adaptive Digital Health Intervention for Weight Gain Prevention Department of Nutritional Sciences
      Eileen Carter, Ph.D., R.N. Intra-Emergency Department Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 School of Nursing
      Kristen Cooksey-Stowers, Ph.D. Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR) Mixed-Methods Approach to Examine The Relationship Between Neighborhood Food Environments, Home Food Environments, and Preschool Children's Food/ Beverage Intake Department of Allied Health Sciences
      Jennifer Garza, Ph.D. The Effect of Occupational and Overall Activity During Pregnancy on Work and Maternal and Fetal Developmental Health Outcomes Department of Occupational Medicine
      Oh Sung Kwon, Ph.D. Autophagy in Human Peripheral Blood Cells: Impact of Aging and Biomarker Role in Geroscience-Guided Clinical Interventions Department of Kinesiology
      Kristin Morgan, Ph.D. Positive Neuromuscular Driven Gait Adaptation Post Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction Department of Biomedical Engineering
      Ben Ristau, M.D. Single Cell Transcriptome Investigation of Cellular Dysregulation in Bladder Carcinogenesis and The Application of Patient-Derived Organoids Towards Personalized Therapeutics Department of Surgery

      2018 Scholars

      Name Research Title Where Are They Now?
      Jenna Bartley, Ph.D. The Effect of Metformin on Influenza Vaccine Responses and T Cell Function in the Elderly Significance UConn Center on Aging
      Eliane Dutra, D.D.S., M.S.D., Ph.D. Anabolic Responses of Intermittent PTH Treatment in the Mandibular Condyle UConn Health Orthodontics
      Stephanie Gernant, Pharm.D., M.S. Improving MTM Delivery through Community Pharmacy Workflow Re-Design UConn Pharmacy
      Alexander Hogan, M.D., M.S. A Mixed-Methods Approach to Decreasing Late Asthma Readmissions Connecticut Children's Pediatrics
      Insoo Kim, Ph.D. Smart Sensing Platform for Upper Limb Prosthesis Monitoring and Functional Evaluation UConn Health Occupational and Environmental Medicine
      Minjung Kim, Ph.D. Mobile Adherence Evaluations in Heart Failure Care Management UConn Health Calhoun Cardiology Center
      Jeffrey Pella, Ph.D. The Costs and Benefits of a Teacher Delivered Intervention for Pediatric Anxiety UConn Health Psychiatry

      2016 Scholars

      Name Research Title Where Are They Now?
      Carolyn Greene, Ph.D. The Role of Parental Emotion Regulation in Evidence-Based Treatment for Children with PTSD UConn Health Psychiatry
      Michelle P. Judge, Ph.D., R.D. The Role of Parental Emotion Regulation in Evidence-Based Treatment for Children with PTSD UConn School of Nursing
      Ruth Lucas, Ph.D., RN Measuring Neonatal Sucking Microstructure During Breastfeeding in Clinical and Home Settings UConn School of Nursing
      Kevin J. Manning, Ph.D. Neurobiological Influences on Impulsivity and Alcohol Misuse in Young and Older Adults UConn School of Psychiatry
      Erin Mead, Ph.D. Addictive Potential of Little Cigar/Cigarillos in Dual Users: Effect by Flavor and Sex UConn Health Occupational and Environmental Medicine
      Mario F. Perez, M.D., M.P.H. Airway Inflammatory Profile of E-Cigarette Users UConn Health Medicine
      Stefan Pinter, Ph.D. Escapee Regulation and Gene Dosage Therapy in Turner Syndrome (TS) UConn Health Genetics and Genome Sciences
      Carla Rash, Ph.D. Developing Sustainable Contingency Management Interventions for Soup Kitchen and Homeless Facility Patrons UConn Health Calhoun Cardiology Center
      Emily Wakefield, Psy.D. The Development of a Health-Related Stigma Scale for Adolescents with Chronic Pain and their Parent Connecticut Children's Pain and Palliative Medicine

      2014 Scholars

      Name Research Title Where Are They Now?
      William L. Baker, Pharm.D., FCCP, BCPS-AQ Magnesium and Arrhythmias UConn Pharmacy
      Angela Bermúdez-Millán, Ph.D., M.P.H. Social Determinants of Health: Food Insecurity in Low Income Populations UConn Health Community Medicine and Health Care
      Alicia G. Dugan, Ph.D. Surviving at Work: Cancer Survivors’ Work Experiences and Workplace-based Supports UConn Health Occupational and Environmental Medicine
      Damion J. Grasso, Ph.D. Autonomic and Genetic Risk of Trauma-Related Psychopathology in Young Children UConn Health Psychiatry
      Melissa Santos, Ph.D. Pain and Weight Treatment for Those Inflicted with Chronic Pain and Obesity Connecticut Children's Obesity Center



      Barry, Lisa

      Lisa Barry, Ph.D., M.P.H.

      Associate Professor of Psychiatry

      UConn Center on Aging


      Bin Feng

      Bin Feng, PhD

      Assistant Professor

      Biomedical Engineering, UConn



      Mark Litt, Ph.D.

      Professor, Behavioral Sciences and Community Health, UConn School of Dental Medicine

      UConn Psychiatry

      UConn Obstetrics and Gynecology

      Scholar Testimonials


      "The Pre-K Scholar Career Development Award Program has helped me to succeed in so many ways. From protecting my research time to guiding me in every single step of my KO1 application, the commitment of the program directors was invaluable in this whole challenging process. The interaction with other pre-K scholars has also helped to ease the struggles of grant application."- Eliane Dutra

      “I truly appreciate the support that I received from the CICATS Pre-K Scholar Career Development Award Program. It gave me the protected time and know-how to write a compelling grant application - one that I was proud to submit.”- Alicia Dugan

      “I have found the program directors to be extremely approachable and helpful in addressing issues pertinent to my K, as well as overall career issues / questions. Their feedback was instrumental in me submitting my K and having it funded. I found the core workshops led by the directors to be excellent and of high quality. The amount of protected time I received to participate in the program was crucial and extremely helpful. This is a stand-out program for junior investigators at UConn. I would not be where I am today without this program."- Kevin Manning