CTSI Research Day Features Scholars and Trainees, NIH Loan Repayment Official

Published: July 25th, 2018

Category: Feature, News


Trainees, scholars and pilot award recipients presented their work at CTSI Research Day recently and heard from an NIH official about how to alleviate a major barrier to research that’s never far from their thoughts: Student loans.

NIH Division of Loan Repayment Director Ericka Boone, PhD, wants early-career researchers to know that the agency has $68 million to distribute every year, and that more people should apply for it.

“That’s $68 million up for grabs,” she told the crowd at the June 19 event. “You can get your loans repaid if you do research that is considered to be mission-critical for the NIH.”

Dr. Thomas Pearson, director of the CTSI Translational Workforce Development Program, invited Dr. Ericka Boone, director of the NIH Loan Repayment Programs, to speak at the 2018 CTSI Research Day, to help identify opportunities for scholars, faculty and trainees to fund research careers. Pictured left to right with Omar McCrimmon, Communications Specialist for the NIH Loan Repayment Programs.

Dr. Thomas Pearson, director of the CTSI Translational Workforce Development Program, invited Dr. Ericka Boone, director of the NIH Division of Loan Repayment, to speak at the 2018 CTSI Research Day, to help identify opportunities for scholars, faculty and trainees to fund research careers. Pictured left to right with Omar McCrimmon, Communications Specialist for the NIH Loan Repayment Programs.

Boone met with Loan Repayment Program Ambassadors from UF, and had lunch with TL1 Trainees, predoctoral students interested in translational research careers, and KL2 Scholars, junior faculty, who presented at Research Day. CTSI Translational Workforce Development Program trainees and scholars presented 18 posters: five TL1 trainees, five TL1 teams, five KL2 scholars, one non-TL1 CTS PhD student, and two faculty members in the Training and Research Academy for Clinical and Translational Science (TRACTS) program. Thirteen additional posters illustrated research supported by CTSI pilot project awards.

As they start their careers, many of the trainees and scholars will face loan debt. It’s is the No. 1 barrier to starting and sustaining a research career, Boone said. Loan debt can stymie research, innovation and development of treatments for disease.

When the average graduate faces $160,000 in debt, it becomes difficult to justify a lower-paying research career over clinical work. The Loan Repayment Programs (LRPs), which have a 50 percent success rate, award up to $70,000 for a two-year research commitment. The money goes to a student’s loan servicer and can be used to pay off undergraduate loans as well.

“It’s life-changing,” Boone said. “You can go from having hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loan debt to having a sizable portion, if not all paid off.”

Trainees and scholars also face a changing landscape as they begin their careers, with greater emphasis on team science and collaborative, interdisciplinary work. To better prepare trainees and scholars, the TL1 Program shifted this year to a new TL1 Team format, supporting groups of PhD students from different programs and colleges who collaborate with other to complete team specific aims. This unique aspect of the program sets UF apart and has generated interest from other institutions. Carrying through the collaborative concept in the Research Day poster session, groups of trainees and faculty rotated through formal presentations and discussions of their posters.

The NIH Loan Repayment Programs helped awardees like KL2 Scholar Natalie Silver during a critical time as she’s starting out in her career, just as the programs helped CTSI Director David Nelson stay in research early in his career, two decades ago.

Presenter at CTSI Research Day

CTSI trainee Leanne Dumeny, MSM, presents her poster, “TL1 Team Approach to Social and Genetic Determinants of Blood Pressure”, along with fellow trainee, Chu Hsiao.

“I applied because I had excessive student debt,” said Silver, who received her award while a fellow at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and plans to reapply now that she is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery in the UF College of Medicine. “It helped me through my fellowship, when I incurred additional debt moving my family. This allowed me to pursue an extra year of research, which was instrumental in beginning my career as a surgeon scientist.”

At Research Day, Silver presented her research using personalized RNA nanoparticle vaccines to treat human papilloma virus-related throat cancer.

Nelson received his award in 1996 while a junior faculty member at UF.

“It allowed me to stay in research,” he said. “I was a poor kid, first in my family to go to medical school, the first doctor. It allowed me to make a choice that was not dependent on dollars.”

The program benefited not only Nelson, but also the NIH.

In the two decades following his loan repayment award, Nelson became an internationally recognized expert in liver research and clinical and translational science, with more than $40 million in funding. His liver research led to new treatments for hepatitis C, and he oversees more than a dozen clinical trials.

“The NIH is not just being altruistic,” Boone said. “We are getting something out of this.  The nation, if not the world, is getting the benefit of your research.”

Find more information about the NIH Loan Repayment program here, including tips on a successful Loan Repayment Program application here.

For additional assistance, call or e-mail the LRP Information Center at 866-849-4047 or lrp@nih.gov, Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST. You can also follow the NIH Division of Loan Repayment on Twitter and Facebook for more information and cycle updates.

The CTSI Translational Workforce Development Program also has a toolkit to guide applicants


The 2018 CTSI Research Day included the following presenters:

CTSI Trainees and Scholars

Poster Title

  • Emily Brown, PhD Candidate, TL1 Trainee, College of Medicine
Predicting Age-Related Macular Degeneration Diagnosis, Progression, Severity, and Potential AMD Therapies: A Machine Learning Approach
  • TL1 Trainee Team
  • Chu Hsiao, MD-PhD Candidate, College of Liberal Arts and Science
  • Leanne Dumeny, MSM, MD-PhD Candidate, College of Medicine
TL1 Team Approach to Social and Genetic Determinants of Blood Pressure
  • TL1 Trainee Team
  • Katherine Cisneros, PhD Candidate, College of Pharmacy
  • Marissa Valentine-King, MPH, BSN, PhD Candidate, College of Public Health and Health Professions
A TL1 Team Approach to Evaluating Novel Antimicrobial Compounds against Mycoplasmas and their Interaction with Drug Metabolizing Enzymes
  • Stephanie A. Lee, PhD Candidate, College of Public Health and Health Professions, Clinical and Translational Science (CTS) Interdisciplinary Concentration
Therapeutic Fasting to Treat Chronic Pain and Symptoms of Autoimmunity in Adults: a Scoping Review
  • Allison O’Kell, DVM, MS, DACVIM, KL2 Scholar, College of Veterinary Medicine
Untargeted Metabolomic Analysis in Non-fasted Diabetic Dogs
  • Laura Jacobsen, MD, TRACTS, College of Medicine
Characterization of Single Autoantibody Positive Non-Diabetic Organ Donors in the Network for Pancreatic Organ Donors with Diabetes (nPOD)
  • Henry William Young II, MD, KL2 Scholar, College of Medicine
Assessing the Willingness of Individuals with Acute Pain to Accept Alternatives to Opioids in the Emergency Department
  • Jennifer Fishe, MD, KL2 Scholar, College of Medicine-Jacksonville
What Happens After Calling 911: Understanding Prehospital Pediatric Asthma Treatment
  • Kristin Dayton, MD, TRACTS, College of Medicine
  • Nicole Nissim, PhD Candidate, TL1 Trainee, College of Medicine
Effects of Bilateral Frontal tDCS on the Working Memory Network: an fMRI-tDCS Study in Healthy Older Adults
  • TL1 Trainee Team
  • Robert Eisinger, MD-PhD Candidate, College of Medicine
  • Bonnie M. Scott, MS, PhD Candidate, College of Public Health and Health Professions
TL1 Team Approach to the Motivational Spectrum in Parkinson’s Disease
  • Dimitri Koutzoumis, PhD Candidate, TL1 Trainee, College of Medicine
Role of Gut Microbiota in Dopaminergic Neuron Vulnerability
  • Adam Grippin, MD-PhD Candidate, TL1 Trainee, College of Engineering
Magnetic Nanoparticles Facilitate Tracking of Dendritic Cells for Treatment of Malignant Brain Tumors
  • Natalie Silver, MD, MS, KL2 Scholar, College of Medicine
Remodeling Host Immunity in Human Papillomavirus Positive Oropharyngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma Using Personalized RNA Nanoparticle Vaccines
  • Kristianna Fredenberg, MD, PhD, KL2 Scholar, College of Medicine
Exploring Differential microRNAs Expression in Head and Neck Squamous Carcinomas from Black and White Patients

 

  • Carrie Lomelino, PhD Candidate, TL1 Trainee, College of Medicine
Structure-Guided Drug Design of Carbonic Anhydrase IX Selective Inhibitors as a Breast Cancer Treatment
  • TL1 Trainee Team
  • Matthew Sebastian, MD-PhD Candidate, College of Medicine
  • Tori Ellison, PhD Candidate, College of Engineering
TL1 Team Approach for Cancer Cell to Dendritic Cell Conversion
  • TL1 Trainee Team
  • Pablo Dopico, PhD Candidate, College of Engineering
  • Henrietta Fasanya, MD-PhD Candidate, College of Medicine
Cell Surface Markers for Immunoaffinity Osteosarcoma Circulating Tumor Cells Isolation

Pilot Awardees

Poster Title

  • Josephine Allen, PhD, College of Engineering
Bioactive ssDNA Polymers for Directed Stem Cell Differentiation
  • Linda Bartoshuk, PhD, IFAS
Volatile-Enhanced-Sweetness
  • Fernando Bril, MD, College of Medicine
Fructose Consumption Unmasks Mitochondrial Dysfunction in Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD)
  • Ashley N. Brown, PhD, College of Medicine
The Development and Use of a Murine Aerosol Challenge Model for Influenza Infection to Optimize Anti-Influenza Therapeutic Regimens
  • Shannon Brown, PhD Candidate, College of Engineering
Chondroprotective Nanoparticles for the Treatment of Osteoarthritis
  • Michelle Cardel, PhD, MS, RD, College of Medicine
The Effects of Experimentally Manipulated Social Status on Energy Balance in Youth: A Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Tana Carson, PhD, OTR/L, College of Public Health and Health Professions
A Multi-Disciplinary Exposure Therapy Approach to Treating Auditory Sensory Over-Responsiveness
  • Xinguang “Jim” Chen, MD, PhD, College of Public Health and Health Professions
Parental and Family and Neighborhood Factors and Secondhand Marijuana Exposure in Young Children
  • Krista Dulany, College of Engineering
Investigation of Free Radical Scavenging Nanocomposite Scaffolds for Bone Tissue Regeneration
  • Kathleen L. Egan, PhD, College of Public Health and Health Professions
Development of Text Messages to Facilitate Proper Disposal of Prescription Opioids to Prevent Diversion or Misuse
  • David Fedele, PhD, College of Public Health and Health Professions
Children’s Uptake of Tobacco-related Toxicants while Living in Vaping, Smoking, and Non-tobacco Using Homes
  • Natalie Fredette, PhD, College of Medicine
Utilization of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells to Develop a Novel Screening Method of Hypertension Therapeutics
  • Amanda Hicks, PhD, College of Medicine
Hypertension FACTS: Florida Annotated Corpus for Translational Science A Gold Standard Corpus of Case Reports for Hypertension