GHUCCTS Announces 2017 KL2 Recipients

June 21, 2017

The Georgetown-Howard Universities Center for Clinical & Translational Science Mentored Career Development Core


2017 KL2 Scholars

After our 7th highly competitive application cycle, the Georgetown-Howard Universities Center for Clinical and Translational Science (GHUCCTS) announces the appointment of Alejandra Hurtado de Mendoza and Matthew Edwardson as KL2 Scholars. These new awardees, their research projects, and training plans are emblematic of our program objectives in that they pair highly-promising scholar-trainees with mentor teams that include members from outside their own disciplines, departments, or institutions to pursue research that depends on collaborations and methods from outside the scholars’ disciplines, departments, or past experiences.

The GHUCCTS KL2 program is analogous both to the original National Institutes of Health (NIH) “roadmap” K12 Clinical and Translational Research Scholars (CTRS) program and to individual K-series awards, providing up to three years of protected time and research support, focused on developing early-career faculty investigators through a multidisciplinary-mentored research experience so that they can become independent, extramurally funded investigators, preferably in programs of multidisciplinary, collaborative team science.

Alejandra Hurtado de Mendoza, PhD, Research Instructor of Oncology at Georgetown University, who is “Testing a Culturally Adapted Telephone Genetic Counseling Intervention to Enhance Genetic Risk Assessment in Underserved Latinas at Risk of Hereditary Breast Cancer.” She is adapting an evidence-based Telephone Counseling intervention to reduce disparities by broadening the reach and accessibility to genetic counseling while enhancing the quality of the service for underserved at-risk Latinas. She is mentored by Drs. Kristi Graves and Marc Schwartz from the Cancer Prevention and Control Program at Georgetown University and by Dr. Heidi Hamilton from the Department of Linguistics at Georgetown University.

Matthew A. Edwardson, MD, Assistant Professor of Neurology, and Rehabilitation Medicine at Georgetown University will study “Plasma and exosomal markers of neural repair following stroke.”  He seeks to identify changes in the concentration of central nervous system lipids that make their way into the bloodstream and can signal the process of brain repair with a goal of identifying new targets for neurotherapeutics. Dr. Edwardson is mentored by Dr. Alexander Dromerick, of MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital and Georgetown University Medical Center, and by Dr. Amrita Cheema, from the Departments of Oncology and Biochemistry at Georgetown University.
Drs. Hurtado de Mendoza and Edwardson will join our three continuing KL2 Scholars: 

Evgenia Gourgari, MD, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Georgetown University, whose research is focused on “The impact of insulin resistance and its treatment on cardiovascular risk in youth with type 1 diabetes.” With co-mentorship by Drs. Alan Remaley of NHLBI, Kristina Rother of NIDDK, and Joseph Verbalis of Georgetown University, she is assessing the relationship of insulin resistance, and its treatment with metformin, with novel molecular and functional CVD risk markers in youth with T1DM. 

Anna Greenwald, PhD, Research Assistant Professor of Neurology at Georgetown University and at MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital studies the “Impact of right-hemisphere (RH) stroke on functional performance and brain organization.” Her discipline-spanning research, with co-mentorship by Drs. Alexander Dromerick of MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital and Elissa Newport of the Center for Brain Plasticity and Recovery at Georgetown University, is defining the functional reorganization that occurs after RH stroke, develop and validate new assessment tools, improving the detection of specific deficits, and informing the development of targeted rehabilitation interventions. 

Seble G. Kassaye, MD, MS, Assistant Professor of Medicine at Georgetown University, whose research is focused on “HIV Transmission Dynamics in Washington DC,” is applying viral sequencing and advanced informatics to identify HIV transmission clusters and transmitted antiretroviral resistance. Her research, now in its third year, is mentored by Drs. David Katzenstein of Stanford University and Frank Maldarelli, at the NIH.

Together, research by our current KL2 scholars spans areas including neurology, pharmacology, rehabilitation medicine, infectious disease, virology, health services, health disparities, cancer prevention, clinical communication, primary care, functional imaging, biomarker discovery, bioinformatics, and clinical trials. In every case, these scholars draw on committed mentorship from multiple disciplines and institutions and on the broad clinical and translational research infrastructure facilitated by the GHUCCTS.

Please join us in congratulating our new scholars.

Jason G. Umans, MD, PhD
Associate Professor and KL2 Program Director

Dexter L. Lee, PhD
FAHA Associate Professor and Associate Program Director

Kathryn Sandberg, PhD
Professor and Associate Program Director