CTSI Awards Translational Research Scholars Grants, Announces Next Round of Funding

The Miami Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) has awarded funding to two junior investigators at the Miller School through the Mentored Translational Research Scholars Program (K12), and is now accepting applications for the next round of K12 grants.

Selected from 12 applicants, John M. Goldberg, M.D., Director of the Pediatric Oncology Early Phase Clinical Trials Program and assistant professor of pediatrics, and Ivan Gonzalez, M.D., assistant professor of clinical pediatrics, will each receive up to $100,000 per year for three years to fund their studies.

The K12 program, part of the Miami CTSI Research Education and Career Development component, which is directed by Gwendolyn Scott, M.D., professor of pediatrics and Director of the Division of Pediatric Infectious Disease and Immunology, develops independent researchers by providing a structured research training program under the guidance of individualized mentorship.

“We expect great things from these young investigators,” Scott said.

Goldberg will use the funds to study a unique method of vaccination for patients with brain tumors. His research seeks to demonstrate the safety and feasibility of dendritic cell vaccination for children and adults with high-grade glioma.

“Being named a K12 scholar at the University of Miami will help support the bench-to-bedside clinical protocols we are developing at the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center,” Goldberg said. “The extra support, both financial and logistical, allows me to focus more on the science behind the treatments. I have been working on tumor vaccine protocols since arriving at UM five years ago, and with the CTSI support we are now poised to become an active dendritic cell immunotherapy center.”

Gonzalez will study the long-term use of HIV medication in children infected with the virus. He will focus on investigating the increased aging of B and T cells in patients who have had chronic HIV infection for at least a decade and try to correlate these markers with intrinsic defects.

“The opportunity provided by the K12 award will fit well in the continuing track I have established toward a career in academic medicine,” Gonzalez said. “This award will aid my development as an academic physician seeking independent support as a scientist while maintaining high-quality experiences in clinical pediatric infectious disease.”

Funding was awarded to the best applicants whose proposals had the highest potential for success and aligned with Miami CTSI themes of improving the health of a diverse community and advancing innovative and transdisciplinary clinical translational research.

The next round of K12 applicants is being sought now for funding to be awarded June 1, 2013. Please contact research navigator Patricia Avissar at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) for more information.

The Research Education and Career Development component is supported by grant No. 1UL1TR000460, the University of Miami CTSI, from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences and the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities.

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