TRACTS: the Training and Research Academy for Clinical and Translational Science. Ron Shorr, MD and Cyndi Garvan, PhD, designed TRACTS to introduce clinicians to the wide world of UF Health research opportunities, and to help them learn the statistical and research design principals crucial to translational science. Dr. Terrie Vasilopoulos, a biostatistician focused on the efficacy of such teaching techniques, joins the TRACTS leadership team this year. TRACTS training sessions are held monthly on weekend mornings, to minimize their impact on clinical schedules.

Meet the Directors

PROFESSOR, Epidemiology

Ron Shorr, MD

Dr. Shorr specializes in the well-being of older adults in clinical settings. He practices at the Malcolm Randall VA, and his research at UF is sponsored by the NIH.

Ron Shorr


Cyndi Garvan, PhD

Dr. Garvan is the Statistics Director of the Office of Educational Research in UF’s College of Education. She conducts statistical research for many projects, in addition to her teaching commitments.

Dr. Cyndi Garvan

Program Overview

In addition to the monthly meetings held during the Fall and Spring semesters, TRACTS participants must enroll in the Introduction to Clinical and Translational Research (ICTR) course, for 2 credit hours. TRACTS participants must select a faculty mentor, a process that the directors will facilitate. TRACTS participants must be eligible, by virtue of citizenship or permanent residency, for US career development grants by the time of the program’s completion.

Meet the Administrator

TRACTS Program Administrator

Mary Gipson

Mary Gipson manages TRACTS participants' registration, meeting attendance, and ICTR course requirements.

Testimonials from TRACTS Alumni

To see a complete listing of all TRACTS participants, please visit our CTSI Scholars page.


TRACTS provided several opportunities to advance my career as an assistant professor including identifying and establishing a mentoring team, improving my statistical analysis skills, improving my publication record, and providing guidance and feedback on grant submissions.


Faheem Guirgis, MD, FACEP

I see clinical research as part of quality health care, and I believe that patients need access to both. I didn’t realize it but I probably wanted to be a researcher all along.


Amy Vittor, MD, PhD, MHS

TRACTS was instrumental in solidifying mentorship, facilitating collaborations, and enhancing my research skills.

Kristin Dayton, MD

I wanted to learn more about research methods and statistical analysis for large population-based studies on tools to improve the diagnosis and management of obesity-related diseases.

Scott A. Heller, MD

I became involved with TRACTS because I saw it as a program that can provide the guidance, resources, and skills to help a research novice like me someday develop into a polished, clinical and translational investigator.

Laura M. Jacobsen, MD

TRACTS offers additional mentorship outside my division with classes and small group discussion tailored to physicians’ research needs. Advancing our statistical knowledge and ability, in addition to having a strong grant support system, are invaluable for young clinician researchers on the road to independence.

Naykky Singh Ospina, MD

As a junior faculty in a new university identifying the opportunities that were a good fit for me was a daunting and challenging process. I joined TRACTS in order to facilitate this process.

Jennifer Schoch, MD

I joined the TRACTS program to provide me with the skills and resources needed to conduct prospective clinical studies. I am currently collaborating with several departments at UF while establishing my research in the neonatal cutaneous microbiome.