Eight Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI) KL2 scholars presented their research in front of senior faculty scientists, mentors and KL2 alumni as part of the “Building an Intentional Career” event and networking reception last week. This was the first time organizers extended invitations to other K awardees on campus, as well as Independent Investigator Incubator (I3) investigators. After each of their presentations, the KL2 scholars were able to ask for guidance and advice from the experienced researchers in the audience.
“My experience with asking questions during the event was very helpful,” said Heba Ismail, MD, who presented about her research in the field of diabetes. “The answers I received were concise and to the point, and provided the guidance and a better sense of direction that I needed.”
Ismail’s presentation was about evaluating the effect of prebiotics on the gut microbiome profile and β-cell function in youth with newly-diagnosed Type 1 diabetes. She says she was drawn to the KL2 program because it offered the opportunity for her to do research that she’s passionate about, by providing salary support so she could dedicate more time to research and less on clinical work. She says it also provides a nurturing environment for young investigators through mentoring and workshops.
“Just by saying I was awarded a K award and that I’m part of the KL2 program when I introduce myself, I believe I’m viewed differently,” said Ismail. “That’s because it’s such a great program and all graduates of this program are known to be successful researchers.”
Other K awardees and I3 investigators were not invited to present (because of time constraints and the event’s focus on developing the KL2s), but organizers felt that group could benefit from listening to the dialogue as they continue their own research and career development. Patricia McGuire, who is the Indiana CTSI’s education program manager, says there were many benefits for those in attendance.
“I think the KL2 event provided a venue for the scholars to present on their developing program of research, while also gaining opportune insights from the audience,” said McGuire. “It also gave them the opportunity to carry on conversations and make deeper connections in the less-formal setting of the networking reception that immediately followed the formal presentations.”
Other KL2 scholars who presented research included:
- April Savoy, PhD – Closing the cross-institutional referral loop: Applying human factors to improve consultation notes
- Andrea Cohee, PhD, RN – Theory and scale development for cancer-related self-efficacy in partners of breast cancer survivors
- Lauren Nephew, MD – Understanding racial disparities in hepatocellular carcinoma outcomes
- Chen Chen, PhD, RN – Heterogeneity in dysmenorrhea
- Carolyn McCormick, PhD – Visual experience in young children with autism
- Sarah Honacker, PhD – Evidence-based detention of pediatric obstructive sleep apnea
- Joy Lee, PhD – Automated analysis of text messages to improve error detection in intensive care