Rachel Stewart, DO, PhD, a KL2 scholar from the University of Kentucky Center for Clinical and Translational Science (UKY CCTS) spent a couple days in Indianapolis in October, sharing her expertise with scientists at IU School of Medicine and seeking out advice from other researchers. Stewart traveled to Indiana in the past, but only for brief visits, so she says the ability to stay longer made for a wonderful trip.
“The campus is beautiful and October was a great time to visit,” said Stewart.
Stewart is one of only a handful of scholars selected each year to be part of the KL2 Scholar exchange program, made possible through the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI) Education, Training and Workforce Development Program and the UKY Center for Clinical and Translational Science.
“Each institution hosts or exchanges two KL2 Scholars per year, usually one in the spring and one in fall,” said Patty McGuire, the Indiana CTSI’s education program manager. “In the past, when it was just UKY and Indiana CTSI collaborating, there were four exchanges total per year. Now that the University of Cincinnati Center for Clinical and Translational Science and Training has joined, we will have six exchanges per year.”
Stewart’s expertise is in breast pathology and molecular diagnostics. She talked about her research regarding triple negative breast cancer during her presentation on the second day of her visit, in front of an audience of faculty, postdocs and others at Joseph Walther Hall. She also met with several researchers from diverse fields during her two-day stay.
“I wanted to participate in the KL2 exchange program in order to meet with cancer researchers and to learn more about biospecimen banking at the IU Simon Cancer Center,” said Stewart. “I enjoyed touring the IU Simon Cancer Center’s Tissue Procurement and Distribution core and meeting with Dr. Oscar Cummings and Mary Cox. I also enjoyed having the opportunity to meet with Dr. Anna Maria Storniolo, where I learned more about the Komen Tissue Bank, a unique biorepository of healthy breast tissue. I also enjoyed learning about precision medicine initiatives and clinical trials at the IU Simon Cancer Center.”
In order to participate in the program, KL2s must submit a request and identify faculty experts in their research focus area they would like to meet. There are many benefits to being a visiting scholar, including opportunities to network, explore potential collaborations and getting feedback about career planning and research. Read more about opportunities for education, training and workforce development here.