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KL2 Program 

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The Institute for Translational Sciences' KL2 (ITS Scholars) program supports several young scholars by providing financial support and protecting at least 75% of effort for research career development. The program provides up to three years of NIH support for clinical and translational scientists and consists of three phases:

  • Phase 1 (Years 1-3) is designed to provide financial support for scholars and provide the foundation needed for a productive career in clinical and translational research. As part of this phase:
    1. A Lead Senior Faculty Mentor is chosen,
    2. Scholars are encouraged to participate as mentees in our Academy of Research Mentors (ARM) small-group mentoring program, and
    3. An individualized career development plan (IDP) is developed based on the scholar's past training and experience. The IDP typically consists of:
      • a structured didactic program focused on research methodology,
      • specialized courses and seminars, and
      • mentored grant writing experiences.

In Phase 1, scholars commit 75-100% of their time to research career development activities. 

  • Phase 2 (Years 4-5, seeking independent funding), is the period of transition in which ITS scholars move from KL2 support toward independent researcher positions with support provided by their department, if they have not yet achieved independent funding as a Phase 1 Scholar.
    • Scholars remain associated with the ITS Scholars program and continue to receive mentorship from their Lead Mentor and research team.
    • The ITS Scholars program will utilize its extensive clinical and translational research network to negotiate faculty positions in research-supportive environments. 
  • Phase 3 (Years 4-5 and beyond, if independent funding is achieved), is the period of transition for ITS scholars to move from mentored/supported to independently-supported researcher positions with their own independent funding (e.g., R01, R21).
    • Scholars remain associated with the ITS Scholars program and can continue to receive mentorship from the Lead Mentor, if desired.
    • The ITS Scholars program aims to successfully facilitate transition of all ITS Scholars from Phase 1 to Phase 3, moving from supported trainees to independent investigator faculty members. 
    • With achievement of independent funding, Phase 3 Scholars are encouraged to join the UTMB Academy of Research Mentors (ARM) to:
      • be trained in mentorship,
      • benefit from interactions with a large group of senior research mentors, and
      • become part of a small-group mentoring team and help to mentor upcoming scholars as near-peer mentors.


Director:
Bill Ameredes, MS, PhD
Professor, Division of Pulmonary Critical Care and Sleep Medicine
Biochemistry & Molecular Biology; Pharmacology and Toxicology
William C. Levin Chair, Environmental Toxicology
Director, NIH/NCATS KL2 Scholar Program
Director, Inhalation Toxicology Core
Director, NIEHS Environmental Toxicology Training Program
Sealy Center of Molecular Medicine

Phase 1 ITS Scholars:

ITS Scholars - Phase 1

Biography
Associate Professor
Associate Director, Metabolism Unit, Shriners Hospitals for Children

Contact: cr2porte@utmb.edu
Biography
Assistant Professor, Internal Medicine, Endocrinology 
Contact: detuvden@utmb.edu
Associate Professor
Surgery – Cardiothoracic Surgery
Contact: ikokerek@utmb.edu
Biography
Assistant Professor, Infectious Disease - Department of Internal Medicine
Contact: lsblanto@utmb.edu
Phase 2 ITS Scholars:

ITS Scholars - Phase 2

Biography
Associate Professor – Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology
Contact: an3rodri@utmb.edu
Phase 3 ITS Scholars: 

ITS Scholars - Phase 3

Biography
Associate Professor
Department of Surgery Sealy Center for Molecular Medicine
Contact: ccfinner@utmb.edu
Biography
Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology
Faculty in the Center for Addiction Research
Contact: jonathan.hommel@utmb.edu
Biography
Associate Professor
Internal Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology
Contact: ivpinchu@utmb.edu
Biography
Associate Professor
Department of Otolaryngology, Division of Head & Neck Surgery
NIH Award: “Targeting Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Head and Neck Cancer” K08CA184915 (15Apr2015- 31Mar2020, PI: Watts) 
Contact: tlwatts@utmb.edu
Biography
Associate Professor, Urology and Radiology
Chief, Division of Urology
Robert Earl Cone Professorship
Director of Urologic Oncology
Director of Urologic Research
Co-Director Department of Surgery Clinical Outcomes Research Program
Contact: stbwilli@utmb.edu


 

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