Georgia CTSA KL2 Scholars Program: Career Development for Junior Faculty in Clinical and Translational Science


The goal of the Georgia CTSA KL2 Program is to support and enhance career development for junior faculty (MD, PhD, MD/PhD, or PharmD) interested in a career that encompasses clinical and translational science (CTS) and clinical and translational research (CTR). The KL2 Program supports career development for junior faculty from a wide variety of disciplines at the Georgia CTSA partner institutions: Emory University, Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM), Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech), and University of Georgia (UGA). The Georgia CTSA KL2 Program is committed to supporting junior faculty (Instructor or Assistant Professor level) at the partner institutions to become independent, established, and ethical clinical and translational science investigators. Trainees accepted into the Georgia CTSA KL2 Scholars program will receive salary support to enable them to spend at least 75% of their professional time (50% is allowed for trainees from surgery or surgical subspecialties) on clinical and translational research (CTR)/clinical and translational science (CTS) and research training. They will also receive a KL2 technical budget of $25,000 per year for research-related expenses and tuition for the Master of Science in Clinical Research (MSCR) degree or Certificate Program in Translational Science (CPTS) programs. Didactic research training is provided through the MSCR or CPTS programs and mentored research training under the direction of an established, federally funded clinical investigator at one of the collaborating institutions. Support in the Georgia CTSA KL2 Program will be provided for up to two years. The Georgia CTSA KL2 Program also provides opportunities for leadership training, mentor training, Team Science training, and Scientific Communications training.


Georgia CTSA KL2 Program Application Deadline: February 3, 2025 5:00 PM (EST).


All publications derived from work supported by the KL2 award must acknowledge the NIH-funded Georgia CTSA KL2 and UL1 grants (KL2TR002381 and UL1TR002378).

More Information

The KL2 program responds to national efforts to support the training and development of junior faculty members who will become well trained, successful, and independent clinical and/or translational investigators. The KL2 program builds on the considerable strengths and outstanding resources in Atlanta and at Emory, MSM, Georgia Tech, and UGA.

The Georgia CTSA KL2 addresses the recommendations of the National Academy of Medicine and others about the need to intensify efforts to train and retain clinical and translational researchers in order to reverse the dramatic decline of clinical and/or translational investigators entering the research workforce. The rationale for the education and training program includes the expanding need for high-quality clinical and translational research; the necessity for integration of the analytic sciences and clinical and translational research; the need to translate research findings from the bench to the bedside and from the bedside to the community; the importance of interdisciplinary education and training in clinical and translational research; and the extensive expertise in and record of clinical investigation represented by the faculty at the collaborating institutions (i.e., Emory, MSM, Georgia Tech, and UGA).

The MSCR or CPTS programs at either Emory or MSM provide didactic training for those applicants from the respective institutions accepted into the KL2 program. All applicants accepted into the Georgia CTSA KL2 program will be required to enroll in the MSCR program (either at Emory or MSM) or CPTS, although students can take courses in either program and there are some joint courses. The Emory MSCR program is offered by the James T. Laney School of Graduate Studies.

The Emory MSCR program requires a minimum of 30 hours of academic credit that include in-class didactic coursework and a written research thesis. Generally, three semesters of didactic study (10-12 months minimum for full-time students) are required and an optimal time of 18-24 months to complete the program (including the mentored thesis). For most investigators, the period of two years is appropriate to accomplish both the didactic work (one year) and completion of an appropriate investigative research thesis.

The MSM MSCR program is a broad-based multidisciplinary graduate level program in clinical and translational research designed to address the problem of health disparities and the shortage of clinical and translational researchers through a concerted effort to recruit and train doctoral prepared minority candidates for successful careers in clinical and translational research.  The program provides training in the principles and methods of biostatistics, epidemiology, including genetics and clinical trials, big data and informatics, and outcomes research, including health services research, patient centered outcomes research methods and community engagement.

An investigator initiated, hypothesis driven proposal with specific aims will be developed by each trainee. The research proposal must have a “human component,” i.e. interaction with human subjects or specimens obtained from identifiable humans. This will be initially outlined in the application submitted by candidates for the program and will be further refined after enrollment in the KL2 program. If the KL2 scholar’s research project involves a clinical trial, per NIH rules, ONLY clinical trials through the end of Phase IIA are eligible. Progress towards those aims will be updated in required semi-annual reports. It is anticipated that the clinical or translational research project that the trainee is working on under the guidance of their lead mentor will provide the data to be analyzed for their mentored thesis, which is required for those enrolled in the MSCR degree program. Clinical and/or translational research will begin during the first year of the KL2 program. Much of the KL2 scholar’s time in the first year will be devoted to didactic research trainings (e.g., first year of MSCR curriculum). In the second year of the KL2 program, a large portion of the KL2 scholar’s time will be devoted to working on their clinical and/or translational research project, under the guidance of their mentor and completing the MSCR written thesis for those enrolled in the MSCR degree program. The KL2 scholar’s thesis research must be presented to the Georgia CTSA Research Education Executive Committee and the mentoring team at a session scheduled before the final written thesis is submitted to the Graduate School. The KL2 program will provide additional support as well through ongoing functions such as journal club, colloquiums, and special seminars (often in collaboration with the MSCR program or other Georgia CTSA components). Other KL2 scholar’s career development research training activities include leadership training, Science of Team Science training, and mentorship training. The importance of interdisciplinary research will be emphasized in these additional colloquiums and seminars. Each KL2 scholar accepted into the Georgia CTSA KL2 program must submit a mandatory NIH K23 Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award or equivalent NIH K award (e.g. K01, K08) grant application by the end of their first 12 months of KL2 funding.

Junior faculty with a doctorate (MD, PhD, MD/PhD, PharmD, or equivalent) at the rank of Instructor or Assistant Professor at Emory, Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM), Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech), or University of Georgia (UGA) are eligible to apply to the program. Individuals who have accepted a faculty appointment at any of the four collaborating institutions may also apply if they will be on the Emory, MSM, Georgia Tech, or UGA faculty at the date of receipt of the award (e.g., June 1 or July 1). Faculty appointments cannot be dependent upon receipt of this KL2 award. Junior faculty physician candidates should have completed training in a specialty or subspecialty and be board eligible or certified. Non-physician candidates must have a PhD and/or PharmD degrees.

Candidates must be committed to a career in clinical investigation (clinical and/or translational research) and be willing to commit in writing to serve on the faculty of an academic institution pursuing clinical and/or translational research for each year of support received through the KL2 program.

Per NIH guidelines, candidates must be a U.S. citizen or permanent U.S. resident at the time they submit the application. Individuals on temporary or student visas are not eligible.

Also per NIH rules, KL2 scholar applicants may not simultaneously submit or have pending an application for any other PHS mentored career development award (e.g. K01, K07, K08, K22, K23, K25) that duplicates any of the provisions of the KL2 program. Former or current Principal Investigators on any NIH research project grant (e.g. R01, U01) or equivalent non-PHS peer reviewed research grants that are over $100,000 direct costs per year, or project leaders on sub-projects of program project (P01) or center grants (P50) are NOT eligible to participate as KL2 scholars. KL2 scholars are allowed to hold NIH Small Grants (R03) or NIH Exploratory/Developmental (R21) grants or their equivalents and still be eligible for the KL2 award. Appointed KL2 scholars may apply for NIH K23 or equivalent K grant support; if successful, they transfer to the NIH K award.


The candidate must:

  • Be a full time junior faculty member at Emory University, Morehouse School of Medicine, Georgia Institute of Technology, or University of Georgia (Instructor or Assistant Professor or equivalent level) at the time of receipt of the award
  • Indicate a strong interest in pursuing a career in clinical and/or translational research
  • Be nominated by the candidate's Department Chair (and Division Director if applicable); the Chair must guarantee in writing in the letter of support that a minimum of 75% of the junior faculty's professional time will be protected to pursue clinical and/or translational research training if the candidate is accepted into the KL2 program (an exception is made for a minimum of 50% effort for trainees from surgery or surgical subspecialties)
  • Identify an established Emory, MSM, Georgia Tech, or UGA faculty lead mentor who meets approval criteria. Additional faculty members may serve as co-mentors or Advisory Committee members but there must be a designated single lead mentor.

KL2 Application Instructions

UGA applicants must notify the Assistant Director of the Owens Institute for Behavioral Research (OIBR), Kim Cherewick, of their intention to submit a KL2 application. The Owens Institute will provide extensive pre-award proposal support in addition to important communication (to candidate and their department) about internal procedures related to Georgia CTSA. Contact info: Kimberly Silvis Cherewick,, 706-542-6078.

All application components should be uploaded to online submission system. Please use online submission system (click to start) to upload your KL2 application files. Once you have started submission by entering your name and email address, you will receive a confirmation email with the link to your KL2 application. You can use this link to upload and update your submission files. Please share your submission link with your Department Chair, Lead mentor, Co-lead mentor (if applicable), and Advisory committee members (if applicable) to upload Letters of Support.

a. Cover Page - Click on the link to view the cover page required.

Formatting your proposal: All sections single spaced, at least one-half inch margins (top, bottom, left, and right). Font size should be 11 points or larger; either Arial, Helvetica, or Georgia typeface.

b. Cover Letter from Applicant should indicate the applicant’s rank (e.g. Instructor, Assistant Professor, etc.) as well as the name of the applicant’s lead mentor. The candidate should indicate their interest in pursuing a career in clinical and/or translational investigation and agree to serve at least one year on the faculty of an academic institution pursuing clinical and/or translational research for each year of support from the KL2 program. The applicant should also state that they will:

  • agree to the rules of the KL2 program
  • meet with the KL2 program director(s) at least once every six months to review progress
  • submit semi-annual progress reports
  • keep the program office updated on publications and grant submissions/awards during AND AFTER completion of the program
  • complete the MSCR or CPTR program unless you have already graduated
  • submit a NIH K23 or other appropriate NIH application (e.g. K01, K08) before the end of their first year in the KL2 program

c. Abstract - 30 lines maximum. Provide an abstract of the entire application (candidate, environment, and research). Include the candidate's immediate and long-term career goals, key elements of the research career development plan, and a description of the research project. In the SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide, there are specific instructions for a K Abstract. Another good place to review funded NIH Individual K abstracts is to study others’ abstracts on the NIH RePORTER (under Activity Code, select K awards).

d. Research and Training Plan: 13 pages total

Specific Aims – 1 page
Candidate Section + Research Strategy – 12 pages

Include a Specific Aims page outlining a brief background for the grant, the hypothesis, and a listing of the specific aims.

As described in the Application Guide, prepare a Candidate Section (Candidate Background; Career Goals and Objectives; Career Development Training Activities) as well as a Research Strategy section (Significance, Innovation and Approach) with a specific focus on the respective K program. The Approachsection will include methods – including human subjects recruitment, statistical analysis plan, anticipated outcomes, potential pitfalls and alternative approaches, and timeline subsections. Preliminary data if any, is not required, but should be included in the appropriate section of the Research Plan.  Preliminary data supporting any aspects of feasibility of the methods is considered to be an advantage. Preliminary data can include published or unpublished findings. Be precise about your role in generating the preliminary data, if any.

The Candidate Section should indicate the candidate’s background and career goals and should also describe the faculty member who will serve as the lead mentor as well as a planned schedule of interactions between the trainee lead mentor and mentoring team (be specific and indicate frequency of meetings, types of interactions, etc.).  For the Career Goals, it is important to describe a compelling plan describing  “Future Plans for NIH Research” which would include at a minimum, a K23, K01, or K08. Applicants who clearly preview the KL2/K12 as a pathway to the NIH K (or similar) tend to receive better scores from reviewers. The Career Development Training Activities should provide a clear description of the didactic training that is planned and may include electives in the second year. Applicants who have already completed a Master’s degree should explain the rationale for the proposed didactic training plan.  The research strategy section will include a hypothesis driven clinical and/or translational research proposal that they would develop under the guidance of their lead mentor as well as plans for didactic and mentored clinical and/or translational research training.  Pilot studies are acceptable.

A Human Subjects/Data Safety and Monitoring Plan (not counted towards the 12 page limit) should be included, if applicable. Please follow the NIH SF 424 Application Guide section for the Protection of Human Subjects.  IRB approval for the research is not required at the time of application but will be required prior to funding.   Another good resource for preparing this section (for all areas of human subjects research) can be found here.

e. Literature Citations: Please include a typical literature citation section at the end of the Research Strategy (not included in the page limit).

f. Budget may be submitted on the NIH SF 424 forms or can be a line item listing and should include applicant’s salary (show total salary as well as 75% requested) along with the current fringe benefit rate which can be found on the Emory Office of Sponsored Programs website. The salary cap imposed by NCATS for KL2 scholars is $160,000 (not including fringes) and thus the Georgia CTSA KL2 Program can support $120,000 in salary support (plus fringes at the respective institution’s federal fringe rate) for 75% effort in the KL2 Program. If the applicant’s salary is above $160,000 then the applicant’s division or department would need to cost share the difference. Also include a technical budget of $25,000 per year (which should include $10,000 in year one for MSCR tuition for applicants who propose to complete the MSCR program, and $2,500 per year maximum for travel. KL2 scholars should plan to attend annual Southeast Regional Clinical and Translational Science Conference and Translational Science meeting in Washington, DC.) and a budget justification of no more than two pages. Do not include items not allowed on Federal Grants such as software, books, and administrative support staff (ask if uncertain).

g. Letters of Support from the lead mentor and Department Chair, and from co-mentors, consultants and advisors - The letter from the Department Chair must guarantee that the applicant will have protected time (equivalent to the salary support provided by the program) to carry out clinical research training if accepted into the KL2 program. If the candidate is in the Department of Medicine, a letter from the Division Director is required in lieu of or in addition to the Department Chair.

The lead mentor’s letter should reflect willingness to serve as mentor for the candidate, the mentor's assessment of the candidate, prior trainees he/she has mentored, a brief summary of the applicant’s research proposal, and a brief summary of plans for mentoring and enhancing the research capabilities of the applicant. If there are co-mentors, consultants and/or collaborators, or an advisory committee, the commitment and role of these individuals should be clearly stated.  The mentor should include detailed information on what portion of the applicant’s time will be devoted to clinical activities and what will be the clinical activities and responsibilities once accepted into the K program. The K program requires a minimum of 75% protected effort (50% minimum for surgery department faculty).

Other letters of support for the candidate from applicant’s consultants and advisory committee members are also required.

Note: these are not letters of recommendation but rather letters of support to mentor the candidate.

h. NIH Biosketch of candidate and lead mentor as well as co-lead mentor (if applicable), advisors and collaborators (if any). The NIH biosketch instructions for the K awards and an example of the NIH biosketch can be found on this website

i. Facilities and Other Resources, Equipment: 2 pages.

j. Application fee in the amount of $75.00 payable to Emory University (if your application is successful). If you are currently enrolled at Emory University, no application fee is charged by the University. Deliver to the program office (see below). 

k. Original transcripts from every secondary institution you have attended except Emory. Once you are accepted into the program, your transcripts can be sent by the issuing institution directly to the Laney Graduate School.

(For resubmissions only: Please add a one-page Introduction that outlines the weaknesses and concerns of the previous reviews and how you have addressed those in this submission. This page will not count toward the 13-page limit.)

Selection/Review Criteria

The selection process will be carried out under the direction of the Georgia CTSA Research Education Executive Committee, which has established the rules and regulations for the KL2 program. The goal of the KL2 program is to select candidates who, with proper career development and clinical and/or translational research training, have potential to become independently funded, successful, and ethical clinical investigators. Decisions will be based on the strength of the application submitted by the prospective trainee, the potential of the applicant, the success and track record of the lead mentor in mentoring previous junior faculty members and other trainees and diversity issues. Decisions of the KL2 Review Panel are final. Applications will be scored using the NIH scoring system (1 to 9 point scale).

Plan for Recruitment and Retention of Underrepresented Minorities, Women, and those with Disabilities

The KL2 program is committed to meeting the NIH/NCATS goal and that of Emory University, MSM, Georgia Tech, and UGA to increase the participation of women and individuals from ethnic or racial groups underrepresented in the biomedical and behavioral sciences. Such groups include American Indian or Alaska native, Asian, Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, and Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander. Applications from women and minority candidates are encouraged. In addition, accommodations will be made to assist any individuals with disabilities so those persons who are qualified applicants can complete the program.

Questions: We encourage interested KL2 candidates to contact the Georgia CTSA education program leadership for questions and assistance with the application process. Questions on the application process can be directed to Cheryl Sroka, Georgia CTSA Research Education Program Coordinator ( or 404.727.5096).  For questions, especially technical issues, or problems with the online submission website please contact Alexey Kurbatov ( Applicants are also encouraged to contact the KL2 Co-Directors for additional information.

Each junior faculty trainee must identify a lead mentor who is an established, independently funded clinical and/or translational science investigator at one of the collaborating institutions (Emory, MSM, Georgia Tech, or UGA). Lead mentors should be established and successful clinical and/or translational science investigators with a strong mentoring track record. Generally this means that the lead investigator must be a federally-funded investigator (e.g., NIH and/or CDC). A faculty mentor may only serve as lead mentor for a single KL2 applicant or scholar at any one time.

A letter of support from the lead mentor indicating their willingness and desire to serve as the trainee's lead mentor should be included in the candidate's application. All KL2 scholars must have mentored clinical and/or translational research training under the direction of their lead mentor. Additional co-mentors or Advisory Committee members are permitted; however, there must be a single lead mentor that is identified. Multidisciplinary mentoring teams are strongly encouraged as is having representation from at least two of the Georgia CTSA partners on the mentoring team or Advisory Committee (Emory, MSM, Georgia Tech, or UGA).

Junior faculty members accepted into the KL2 Program must devote a minimum of 75% professional effort to clinical and/or translational research training (the only exception to this is a minimum of 50% effort for trainees from surgery or surgical subspecialties). Salary support reflecting effort will be provided by the KL2 Program (as well as the costs to cover fringe benefits on that salary). Salary support is based on the KL2 scholar's institutional salary. The maximum salary support that the KL2 Program can provide is $120,000 per year (plus fringe benefits) for 75% professional effort. Ongoing support for year two is contingent upon the trainee making adequate progress in the program. In addition to salary support, a $25,000 per year technical budget will be provided to each KL2 scholar. These funds may be used to pay for MSCR or CPTS tuition (if applicable) while the trainee is in the KL2 Program and can also be used for other research related needs including research supplies, laboratory assays, non-faculty research staff salary support, and travel to national meetings or to receive additional specialized training. Salary support for the lead mentor is not allowed by NIH.

Source of Support

Funding for the Georgia CTSA KL2 Scholars Program comes from the NIH/National Center for Advancing Translational Science [NCATS]) [KL2TR002381].

Sankaraleengam Alagapan, PhD, MS

Georgia Institute of Technology

Research Scientist II

Lead Mentor: Robert Gross, MD, PHD

Dr. Alagapan is a research faculty member in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Georgia Tech. Dr. Alagapan received his PhD in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Florida and has completed postdoctoral training at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Alagapan’s research interests are in identifying brain dynamics impairments in individuals with psychiatric disorders and developing brain stimulation treatments. Dr. Alagapan’s KL2 project, ‘Electrophysiological dynamics of anterior cingulate cortex in effort evaluation,’ aims to understand electrical brain activity that underly how individuals make decisions about expending effort. The project’s goal is to pave the way for brain stimulation treatments for hard-to-treat symptoms like anhedonia. 

Complete list of Dr. Alagapan’s published works

Mandakh Bekhbat, PhD, MS

Emory University

Senior Associate, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, School of Medicine

Lead Mentor: Jennifer Felger, PhD, MS

Co-Lead Mentor: Christina Gavegnano, PhD, MBE

Dr. Bekhbat is a Senior Associate in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Emory School of Medicine. Her research combines translational and clinical approaches to understand the neuroimmune and endocrine basis of psychiatric illnesses and identify mechanisms for developing novel treatments. Dr. Bekhbat’s KL2 project is titled “The role of monocyte metabolism and migration in inflammation-related reward circuit deficits and symptoms of anhedonia in people with HIV.” The goal of this project is to explore immune cell metabolic pathways that contribute to the impact of inflammation on the brain and depressive symptoms in patients with HIV while examining potential targets and treatments to reverse these effects.

Complete list of Dr. Bekhbat’s published works

Puneet Chehal, PhD

Emory University

Assistant Professor, Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, School of Medicine
Assistant Professor, Department of Health Policy and Management, Rollins School of Public Health

Lead Mentor: Solveig Cunningham, PhD

Dr. Chehal is an assistant professor in the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine at the School of Medicine and an assistant professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. Prior to arriving at Emory, she completed a postdoc at the University of Chicago. Dr. Chehal’s professional career in economic research began as a research associate in the Economic Research Department at the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank. She subsequently pursued doctoral training in Public Policy at Duke University with a focus on health policy and economics. Dr. Chehal’s research studies Medicaid programs, race disparities and diabetes. She aims to understand how Medicaid programs can improve health over the life course of low-income populations. Her KL2 project, “The Association between the ACA Medicaid Expansion and Cardiometabolic Disease Severity Across Heterogeneous State Medicaid Managed Care Programs” aims to reconcile mixed empirical findings on changes in health outcomes attributed to the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA’s) Medicaid expansion by analyzing measures of cardiometabolic disease severity, and exploring differences in state Medicaid managed care programs that likely affect policy outcomes across states. 

Complete list of Dr. Chehal’s published works

Sarah H. Cross, PhD, MPH, LMSW

Emory University

Instructor, Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, School of Medicine

Lead Mentor: Dio Kavalieratos, PhD

Co-Lead Mentor: Neal Dickert, MD, PhD

Dr. Cross is an Instructor in the Division of Palliative Medicine, Department of Family and Preventive Medicine at Emory University. Prior to pursuing her PhD in public policy at Duke University, she was a social worker in home hospice and inpatient palliative care. Dr. Cross’ research priorities are identifying, understanding, and improving the experience of people facing structural inequities at end of life. Her mixed-methods KL2 project, “Dying While Poor: Investigating Multi-level Determinants of Inequities in End-of-life Care for Adults with Cancer,” aims to examine the role of social determinants in end-of-life outcomes and to inform future research and interventions addressing the needs of terminally ill individuals experiencing poverty.

Complete list of Dr. Cross’s published works

Ezequiel Gleichgerrcht, MD, PhD

Emory University

Assistant Professor of Neurology, Department of Neurology, School of Medicine

Lead Mentor: Leonardo Bonilha, MD, PhD

Co-Lead Mentor: Jinho Choi, PhD

Dr. Gleichgerrcht is an Assistant Professor of Neurology in the division of Epilepsy and Clinical Neurophysiology at Emory University. His research combines neuroimaging and neurophysiology to understand clinical phenotypes in neurological disorders, with a particular interest in epilepsy, post-stroke aphasia, and brain aging. Specifically, his KL2 project will investigate personalized biomarkers derived from discourse using natural language processing (NLP) methods to characterize and predict accelerated brain aging in an otherwise healthy population.

Complete list of Dr. Gleichgerrcht’s published works

Jinhee Jeong, PhD

Emory University

Instructor, Division of Renal Medicine, Department of Medicine, School of Medicine

Lead Mentor: Jeanie Park, MD, MS

Co-Lead Mentor: Camille Vaughan, MD, MS

Dr. Jinhee Jeong is an Instructor in the Division of Renal Medicine at the Emory University School of Medicine. She has a background in exercise physiology and clinical vascular biology from her PhD at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and postdoctoral training at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University. Her translational clinical research focuses on studying mechanisms underlying adverse cardiovascular, renal, and functional outcomes and developing therapeutic strategies to produce meaningful health improvement in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD). The goals of Dr. Jeong’s KL2 project, entitled “Neurovascular Mechanisms of Kidney Disease Progression in Older Adults” are to identify neurovascular pathways contributing to accelerated kidney damage and frailty in older CKD patients, with her new skills in autonomic function, kidney imaging (ultrasound and MRI) and geriatric nephrology that will be obtained during the KL2 project.

Complete list of Dr. Jeong’s published works

Joseph M. Kindler, PhD

University of Georgia

Assistant Professor, Department of Nutritional Sciences

Lead Mentor: Bradley Phillips, PharmD

Dr. Joseph Kindler is an Assistant Professor of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Georgia (UGA). Prior to joining the faculty at UGA in 2020, he completed post-doctoral training in childhood growth and nutrition at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and a Certificate in Translational Research at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. Dr. Kindler’s independent clinical and translational research program seeks to define diet and disease-related threats to lifelong bone health using state-of-the-art bone imaging methods, including dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry and high resolution peripheral quantitative computed tomography. His KL2 research titled “Evaluating the Gut-Bone Axis in Cystic Fibrosis” explores a novel biological mechanism underpinning the convergence of diabetes and bone disease in people with cystic fibrosis.

Complete list of Dr. Kindler’s published works

Subasri Narasimhan, PhD, MPH

Emory University

Research Assistant Professor, Hubert Department of Global Health, Rollins School of Public Health

Lead Mentor: Jessica Sales, PhD

Dr. Subasri Narasimhan is an Assistant Professor in the Hubert Department of Global Health at Emory University. She is a public health social scientist specializing in sexual and reproductive health, maternal and child health, and intimate partner violence in Sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Southeastern US. She came to Emory as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for Reproductive Health Research in the Southeast (RISE) where her work centered on employing mixed and multi-level methodology to study the impact of policy restrictions on the health and well-being of people capable of pregnancy. Her KL2 project titled "Strengthening Adolescent, Parent, and Health Provider Partnerships: A Triadic Approach to Support the Use of Dual Prevention Strategies Among Girls" will collect the foundational information necessary to design a triadic intervention, or a health provider-facilitated effort to coach caregivers to support beneficial health behaviors, focused on the use of dual prevention strategies for the prevention of STIs and HIV.

Complete list of Dr. Narasimhan’s published works

Xiaoyun Wang, PhD

University of Georgia

Assistant Research Scientist, Department of Clinical and Administrative Pharmacy, College of Pharmacy

Lead Mentor: Somanath Shenoy, PhD, FAHA 

Dr. Wang is an Assistant Research Scientist in the Clinical and Experimental Therapeutics Program, Department of Clinical and Administrative Pharmacy at the University of Georgia. She completed her F32 research fellowship in the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, where she received personalized training on the role of proteinases in the pathogenesis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), acute lung injury (ALI), acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), and other lung diseases. In her KL2 project entitled “TIMP-1 as a potential prognostic biomarker and therapeutic target for acute respiratory distress syndrome”, Dr. Wang will test if TIMP-1 in the plasma could reflect the severity and predict the outcome of ARDS patients, especially in female patients. In addition, she will explore the therapeutic efficacy of TIMP-1 monoclonal antibody (mAB) neutralization on ALI/ARDS. The long-term goal of this project is to identify TIMP-1 as a biomarker and novel therapeutic target for ALI/ARDS.

Complete list of Dr. Wang’s published works

Leanne Woods-Burnham, PhD

Morehouse School of Medicine

Assistant Professor, Department of Physiology

Lead Mentor: Rick Kittles, PhD

Dr. Leanne Woods-Burnham is an assistant professor in the Department of Physiology at Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, GA. Her team focuses on prostate cancer health disparities using a translational approach. Dr. Burnham obtained a B.S. in biology from The University of Akron, and a Ph.D. in physiology from Loma Linda University School of Medicine. Her research evaluates ancestry-associated HER2 and AR expression as it relates to worse clinical variables and survival outcomes for Black men with prostate cancer. In addition to bench and preclinical studies, Dr. Burnham has fostered several multidisciplinary collaborations with clinicians and pharma to conduct translational research studies and clinical trials. She co-directs the Prostate Cancer Precision Prevention Program (PCP3) at Morehouse School of Medicine which leverages community partnerships to provide health education and free prostate-specific antigen (PSA) tests to at-risk men in the greater Atlanta area. Dr. Burnham has been recognized by Cell’s #FacesofCell Twitter campaign to increase visibility of talented Black scientists, as well as The Cancer Health 25: Black Lives Matter, as a “remarkable individual breaking down racial barriers to better cancer care.” 

Complete list of Dr. Woods-Burnham’s published works

Jason Lee Yu, MD

Emory University

Assistant Professor, Department of Otolaryngology, School of Medicine

Lead Mentor: Donald Bliwise, PhD

Co-Lead Mentor: Steven Goudy, MD

Dr. Yu is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Otolaryngology at Emory School of Medicine. He completed his surgical residency in otolaryngology and clinical sleep medicine fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania. He then completed an additional 2-year T32 research fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania where he studied how the anatomy and pathophysiology of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) can predict outcomes in OSA surgery. His KL2 project is entitled "Characterizing the effects of lung volume on upper airway patency during drug induced sleep endoscopy in patients with obstructive sleep apnea". This research will study how lung volume can influence upper airway collapse patterns observed during drug induced sleep endoscopy, a diagnostic procedure used to evaluate the airway prior to OSA surgery. The long-term goal of this project is to develop therapies aimed at improving lung volume as a means of treating OSA.

Complete list of Dr. Yu’s published works