CTSI launches new research training program; new NIH-approved director appointed

Published by CTSI on August 7, 2018

CTSI is excited to announce the launch of a new mentored research training program for University of Minnesota pre- and post -doctoral trainees, including  medical fellows, led by newly appointed Director Dr. Jayne Fulkerson.

The TL1 Program provides an individualized curriculum; professional development activities that focus on team-based research and effective collaboration and communication with the larger community; mentorship; a stipend; health insurance; course and registration fees; and research-related supply and travel funds.

The program is a flexible training for a diverse cohort of Scholars who are committed to a substantive and impactful career in translational research and team science.  

Building a researcher pipeline

The new program is the seventh in CTSI’s Research Education, Training, and Career Development (CTSI-Ed) core, which is dedicated to building a pipeline of clinical and translational researchers spanning from undergraduate, trainees, to junior and mid-level faculty.

“The TL1 Program builds on our robust research career development programming to further develop the pipeline of next generation researchers who are adept at catalyzing and accelerating the successful translation of research findings that can ultimately improve human health,” said CTSI-Ed Director, David Ingbar.

Training expertise across the research spectrum

Dr. Jayne Fulkerson is directing the new trainee program and brings deep experience in conducting and translating behavioral intervention research to  population-level health.

Fulkerson and MortariDr. Jayne Fulkerson, School of Nursing, Director of CTSI's TL1 Program, and Dr. Angela Panoskaltsis-Mortari, Medical School, Associate Director of the program.

“As part of the CTSI-Ed leadership team, I look forward to working closely with trainees to see them become scientists whose research improves human health through the translational science spectrum from biology to public health,” said TL1 Director, Jayne Fulkerson.

Fulkerson is a professor in the School of Nursing where she holds the Core Meidl Siehl Endowed Chair in Nursing Research and directs the Center for Child and Family Health Promotion Research, and is also an affiliate professor in the School of Public Health’s Epidemiology and Community Health Division.

Child and family health promotion through home food environmental and behavioral lifestyle change is Fulkerson’s research focus, particularly for childhood obesity prevention. She is the Principal Investigator on an NIH National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute R01 grant that examines a family meals-based health promotion intervention to prevent excess weight gain in children in rural communities, and also is the Minnesota PI for an NIH multi-site National Institute of Nursing Research R01 grant studying weight gain prevention in after-school programs for at-risk youth. She has mentored students at all levels of education as well as junior faculty.

Additionally, Fulkerson has supported doctoral student research by serving as the Director of Graduate Studies and the Director of the Nursing PhD program, and has garnered funding for doctoral students through the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Jonas Nursing and Veterans Healthcare.

The TL1 Program Associate Director is Dr. Angela Panoskaltsis-Mortari, who is a professor and vice chair of research in the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Blood & Marrow Transplantation, professor of Medicine in the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care and Sleep, and director of the University of Minnesota 3D Bioprinting facility. Her research has focused on animal models of stem cell transplant, lung injury, mesenchymal stem/stromal therapy, and the biology of graft-vs-host disease after bone marrow transplant and most recently includes the tissue engineering field and bioprinting

Stages of Translation SpectrumAdditionally, Mortari has previously mentored many post-doctoral trainees, graduate students, and undergraduates in various training programs.

“With Angela’s T1 through T2 work and Jayne’s expertise in T3 through T4, the waterfront is covered across the research spectrum,” Ingbar said.

The successfully funded TL1 training grant program is part of CTSI’s U54 Clinical and Translational Science Award and was authored by Dr. Yoji Shimizu who is now the associate dean for graduate education and director of the University of Minnesota’s Office for Graduate School Diversity Office. Shimizu also serves as director of the Medical Scientist Training Program, assistant dean for graduate education in the Medical School, and is a professor in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology.

“Yoji’s leadership of CTSI’s Translational Research Development Program over the last seven years has been outstanding and his authorship of the TL1 was pivotal in successfully securing funding for this new trainee program,” Ingbar said.

The TL1 Program has evolved out of CTSI’s successful Translational Research Development Program (TRDP), which provided pre- and postdoctoral students with funds to conduct a modest translational project. The TRDP will continue to offer two slots in the program, which is currently accepting applications until Oct. 1.

An RFA for the the TL1 Program will be released soon.

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