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USC Scholars Named to New Training Programs

USC Scholars Named to New Training Programs
Los Angeles Basin CTSI Center for Education, Training and Career Development administrative leaders and scholars

Aiming to train a new generation of translational researchers, the Los Angeles Basin Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) has named its first nine scholars in its new pre- and postdoctoral training programs.

Based at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, the institute received a $56.8 million grant from the National Institutes of Health last summer to accelerate the pace at which research discoveries are translated into clinical practice.

The institute’s Center for Education, Training and Career Development has presented predoctoral TL1 and postdoctoral KL2 translational research training awards to young investigators highly motivated in acquiring the scientific competencies necessary to perform clinical and translational research in diverse populations with a multidisciplinary, team-based approach.

“The training programs of the CTSI have created new opportunities for faculty and students at USC and our CTSI partner institutions to learn how to carry out translational research,” said Jonathan Samet, holder of the Flora L. Thornton Chair of the Department of Preventive Medicine at the Keck School of Medicine and director of the Center for Education, Training and Career Development.

For pre-doctoral students, TL1 research training awards support two years of mentored career development, including research in health problems of diverse populations. Students will have dual mentorship from their doctoral adviser and a translational research mentor.

Awardees include the Keck School of Medicine’s Tanya Alderete, a student in the Ph.D. program in systems biology and disease; Jamaica Rettburg, Ph.D. student in neuroscience; and Melissa Warden, Ph.D. student in preventive medicine/molecular epidemiology. Ian Holloway, a Ph.D. student at the USC School of Social Work, also received a TL1 award.

KL2 mentored research career development awards were given to individuals who are in the early stages of their academic careers. The three-year KL2 program supports individuals with health professional or research doctoral degrees who are seeking advanced training in clinical and translational research.

Keck School of Medicine recipients of the KL2 awards are Kimberly Aldinger, a postdoctoral fellow at the Zilkha Neurogenetic Institute; Alex Balekian, assistant professor in the Department of Internal Medicine; William Mack, assistant professor of neurosurgery and director of the Neurovascular Research Laboratory at ZNI; and Kathleen Page, assistant professor in the Department of Internal Medicine. Robert Brown, senior research fellow of neuro-oncology at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, also received a KL2 award.

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