Published: September 15, 2023

On the heels of the Miami CTSI’s recent seven-year Clinical and Translational Science UM1 Award, comes an additional K12 award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to support its career development program for faculty scholars in clinical and translational science research.

The award of $3.8 million over five years will build on the Miami CTSI’s highly successful KL2 program with a goal of training and mentoring promising early-stage investigators in cross-disciplinary clinical and translational science research as well as team science.

The K12 program will be led by co-directors and multiple principal investigators Tatjana Rundek, M.D., Ph.D., and Alessia Fornoni, M.D., Ph.D., and supported by administrative director, Patricia Avissar, who collectively provided leadership and support for the previous KL2 program.

“The new K12 carries forward an outstanding program that has benefitted more than 20 trainees, who remain involved in research and now have successful and sustained clinical translational research careers,” said Drs. Rundek and Fornoni. “Over the last 10 years, our K program has created excitement for careers in clinical translational research, fostered a culture of valued mentorship that has resulted in many lasting mentoring relationships, and established team science as a critical component to research success and to the implementation of translational science.”

Continuing the program’s commitment to diversity at all levels, the K12 will prioritize projects that promote diversity and health equity and improve the health of the local community. Training in minority health, health disparities, and community engagement are all part of the didactic, mentoring, and career enhancements activities.

With this award, the program will collaborate with the CTSI’s workforce development initiatives and integrate with other rapidly growing research training programs across the Institution to serve as a place to connect and create research networks and collaborations in a diverse and inclusive environment, integrate DEI and D&I principles in research, and focus on eliminating health disparity and advancing health equity in our community.

Other objectives of the K12 are to provide scholars with personalized training and development plans, career advising and coaching, a mentorship team that includes peer mentors and community advisors, and strategies to enhance the competitiveness and visibility of their research careers.

Additionally, the K12 will continue to serve as a research program that creates opportunities not only for the 10 scholars that will be awarded over the next five years, but for UM’s broader research enterprise.

“This K award is a very important additional component in the CTSI’s overarching mission of improving the health of our community,” said Miami CTSI co-director and multiple principal investigator Olveen Carrasquillo, M.D., M.P.H.




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