Bolstering Research in the Health Sciences, UAHS Selects 7 for Career Development Awards

The awards to junior faculty members at the University of Arizona Health Sciences will lead to new clinical trials and the development of new biomedical or behavioral interventions to treat disease, while increasing the number of health-scientists.

To bolster academic careers in clinical and translational research, the University of Arizona Health Sciences (UAHS) has selected seven junior faculty for career development awards to support their research.

The UAHS Career Development Awards provide the selected scholars with mentorship, research training and salary support of $75,000 for up to two years, including funding for research activities including lab supplies and tuition and fees for enrolling in courses related to their research. The award also covers travel expenses to attend one or more academic conferences.

“We are in our second year of Career Development Awards, bringing us to a total of 15 University of Arizona Health Sciences junior faculty researchers working on an array of clinical or translational research studies supported by these awards,” said Monica Kraft, MD, chair of the UA Department of Medicine and the Robert and Irene Flinn Professor of Medicine. “We are committed to the success of these outstanding young investigators.”

“These studies will lead to new clinical trials and the development of new biomedical or behavioral interventions to treat disease, while also increasing the number of health and physician scientists,” said Jason X.-J. Yuan, MD, PhD, associate vice president for translational health sciences and chief of the UA Division of Translational and Regenerative Medicine.

Drs. Kraft and Yuan oversee the administration of the UAHS Career Development Awards.

This year, the following seven junior faculty were selected for the awards:

Archita Desai, MD, assistant professor, UA Department of Medicine, UA College of Medicine – Tucson, “The Hospitalist-based Healthcare Delivery Model in Cirrhosis: Closing the Quality Chasm,” mentored by Elizabeth Calhoun, PhD, MEd, associate vice president for population health sciences and executive director of the Center for Population Science and Discovery at UAHS, and Thomas D. Boyer, MD, professor of medicine and director of the UA Liver Research Institute.

Michelle Kahn-John, PhD, RN, PMHNP-BC, GNP, assistant professor, UA College of Nursing, “Depression in Diné (Navajo) Adults Who Participate in the Diné Hóchxó iji (Navajo Evil Way) Ceremony,” mentored by Thaddeus Pace, PhD, assistant professor of nursing and psychiatry; Marylyn McEwen, PhD, PHCNS, BC, professor and Gladys E. Sorensen Endowed Professor for Diabetes Research and Education, UA College of Nursing; and Terry A. Badger, PhD, RN, PMHCNS-BC, professor of nursing and psychiatry and director of the Community and Systems Health Science Division, UA College of Nursing.

Wei-Hsuan Jenny Lo-Ciganic, PhD, MS, assistant professor, UA College of Pharmacy, “Using Machine Learning to Predict Problematic Opioid Use,” mentored by C. Kent Kwoh, MD, professor of medicine and medical imaging, The Charles A. L. and Suzanne M. Stephens Chair of Rheumatology, chief of the UA Division of Rheumatology and director of the UA Arthritis Center; and Daniel Malone, RPh, PhD, professor, UA College of Pharmacy and associate professor, UA Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health.

Jarrod Mosier, MD, assistant professor, UA College of Medicine – Tucson, Departments of Medicine and Emergency Medicine, “Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) Rescue Therapies and Oxidative Stress,” mentored by Charles Cairns, MD, FACEP, FAHA, interim dean of the UA College of Medicine – Tucson and assistant vice president for clinical research and clinical trials at the UAHS.

Eyal Oren, PhD, MS, assistant professor, UA Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health and member of the Arizona Respiratory Center, “Assessing the relationship between childhood stress and asthma,” mentored by Lynn Gerald, PhD, MSPH, professor and Canyon Ranch Endowed Chair, UA Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, and a member of the Arizona Respiratory Center.

Olga Rafikova, MD, PhD, research assistant director, Department of Medicine, UA College of Medicine – Tucson, “HMGB1 and Gender Difference in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension,” mentored by Steve Black, PhD, professor and director of the Center for Lung Vascular Pathobiology, and Ankit Desai, MD, assistant professor, Department of Medicine, UA College of Medicine – Tucson, and a member of the UA Sarver Heart Center.

Megan Smithey, PhD, research assistant professor, UA Department of Immunobiology, UA College of Medicine – Tucson, “Defining Immune Control of Human Cytomegalovirus over the Lifespan,” mentored by Janko Nikolich- Žugich, MD, PhD, professor and chair of the UA Department of Immunobiology, co-director of the Arizona Center on Aging and a member of the UA BIO5 Institute and the UA Cancer Center.

To learn more about the UAHS Career Development Awards, please visit: http://uahs.arizona.edu/research/overview-ahsc-career-development-award