From ER physician to translational scientist: UF CTSI featured by NCATS, Post

Faheem Guirgs and Ricardo Ungaro
University of Florida Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine Faheem Guirgis and Scientific Research Manager Ricardo Ungaro work with samples in the UF Sepsis and Critical Illness Research Center.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) recently featured UF Health physician Faheem Guirgis and the UF CTSI’s Translational Workforce Development Program in its newsletter:

Both were also featured on the cover of the April edition of The Post, UF Health’s news magazine.

Many hospital clinicians are interested in pursuing research, but they often do not have sufficient training in this area or the time to devote to such endeavors. With NCATS’ Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) Program support, some talented clinicians interested in pursuing research opportunities are finding a way forward.

For example, Faheem Guirgis, M.D., an emergency department physician at UF Health-Jacksonville, became fascinated with sepsis — an illness resulting from bloodstream infections — during his residency. He was particularly interested in the science underlying the causes of the illness and its physiologic effects. But with little research training, limited time and mentors, and a lack of access to biomedical research facilities, it was difficult for him to make progress.

Enter Thomas A. Pearson, M.D., Ph.D., a cardiologist and cardiovascular epidemiologist, UF Health executive vice president for research and education, and the director of UF’s Mentored Career Development Award KL2 training grants. Pearson works from Gainesville at the university’s CTSA Program hub, which is funded by NCATS to cultivate the translational science workforce and speed discoveries to the patient bedside. KL2 awards provide support for early career development of multidisciplinary clinical and translational scientists.

Read more in the NCATS newsletter.

Read the Post cover story and see photos.