CICATS Welcomes Six New Young Innovative Investigator Program Scholars

The Connecticut Institute for Clinical and Translational Science (CICATS) at the University of Connecticut announces the selection of six new Young Innovative Investigator Program (YIIP) Scholars. These new YIIP Scholars are college graduates prepared to complete graduate level coursework and conduct supervised research in biomedical laboratories on the UConn Health campus.

YIIP, which began in 2013, aims to provide academic training to underrepresented minority students who are dedicated to pursuing careers as scientists and scholars in biological and biomedical science with the intent of developing the next generation of innovative biomedical scientists and increasing diversity among the pool of academic scientists. YIIP Scholars earn a stipend through their employment as UConn Graduate Assistants and tuition expenses associated with required graduate level courses are waived.

“YIIP is an essential program for CICATS,” said Dr. Cato Laurencin, CICATS CEO. “The program provides tools for Scholars to conduct research, succeed in an academic environment, and become competitive candidates for medical or graduate school. Increasing the number of underrepresented minority students in the fields of science and medicine is one of our primary goals as an Institute.”

This will be the third cohort of YIIP Scholars. The 2018 Scholars are:

  • John Garcia, University of Connecticut
  • Joshua Green, Southern Connecticut State University
  • Anisha Lewis, Brown University
  • Jaliyah Peterson, Spelman College
  • Kaussar Rahman, Mount Holyoke College
  • Savannah Samuel, Xavier University Of Louisiana

Mentoring is a key component of YIIP and each Scholar is currently in the process of selecting a UConn scientist to serve as their mentor. Additionally, YIIP Scholars have access to CICATS M1 Mentors Dr. Jennifer Cavallari of UConn Health, Dr. Nicholas Leadbeater of UConn, Storrs, and Dr. William Zempsky of the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center.

“Mentoring has proven highly beneficial for the success of underrepresented minority students across the entire academic pipeline,” said Lana Angelo, YIIP Program Coordinator. “Our program teaches the Scholars how to select the right mentor and lab placement, and we guide these students every step of the way during their time at the UConn Graduate School.”

To learn more about CICATS Young Innovative Investigator Program please visit our website.