Research Funding

Visiting Scholars Program

A goal of the LA CaTS Center is to provide support to develop researchers who have a high likelihood of subsequently competing successfully for independent funding from the NIH or a comparable agency in clinical or translational research. Therefore, the LA CaTS Visiting Scholar Program supports junior investigators in clinical or translational research, and to helps to link them with mentors to assist their development in the field. It is specifically intended for investigators to learn new techniques and to acquire different skills and expertise by interacting with experts in the field outside of the LA CaTS Center institutions. This opportunity is open to investigators at all LA CaTS Center member institutions. The timeframe for accepting applications varies at this time. Please subscribe to our email list to receive future announcements regarding this training opportunity.

2015 Round 1:

Organize & plan the best design for testing selective glucocorticoid agonists in mouse models of T1DM, in addition to learning the nuances of a recently reported human B-cell line
Jason Collier, PhD Pennington Biomedical Research Center

The purpose of this Visiting Scholar Award is to discuss the design and use of the non-obese diabetic mouse model for delivery of selective glucocorticoid receptor modulating compounds. Researchers at the University of Florida Department of Pathology are world-renowned for their work in Type 1 diabetes using rodent models and human patients. The ultimate goal is to collect pre-clinical data on the effectiveness of new compounds with the potential to treat diseases with inflammatory components, which includes Type 1 diabetes.

Establish a 3D spheriod model for culturing adipocytes
Carrie Elks, PhD Pennington Biomedical Research Center

At the visiting lab, Dr. Elks will be learning to grow fat cells in 3D sphere formations using specially designed plates. This method is better than regular cell culture methods because it allows the cells to grow in a way that most closely resembles the structure of tissues in the body. She plans to bring this technique back to Pennington Biomedical and eventually apply it to cells isolated from human fat during Pennington Biomedical clinical trials. Using this new technique in Dr. Elks’ lab will allow her to obtain novel data for use in future grant applications and will provide opportunities for future collaborations between basic and clinical sciences at Pennington Biomedical.

Circadian disruption, premature aging and age related bone loss
Muralidharan Anbalagan, PhD Tulane University

Dr. Anbalagan will be visiting Alexander G. Robling, Professor Department of Anatomy & Cell Biology, Indiana University Medical Center to gain more knowledge in bone biology in which he plans to pursue in his research career. In laboratory, will learn techniques of bone-related endpoints, including undecalcified histology, histomorphometry, plate assays for bone formation and resorption markers, CT scanning, radiographic imaging using planar (2D) and 3D techniques, and also next generation sequencing of the bone cell transcriptome. This will make Dr. Anbalagan’s project go smoothly, write grants, and make collaboration with pioneer in the field of bone biology.

Career Development in Palliative Cancer Care Research
Michael Hoerger, PhD Tulane University

As a clinical psychologist focused on conducting research to improve quality of life in advanced cancer, Dr. Hoerger will train for two months with a world-leading palliative care research team at Harvard / Massachusetts General Health. The training will increase Dr. Hoerger’s knowledge and skills in this domain, expand his collaborative network, and guide an empirical manuscript and several research grant submissions aimed at improving patients’ quality of life.

Domestic Violence Community Based Participatory Research
Ashley Wennerstrom, PhD Tulane University

Dr. Wennerstrom specializes in conducting community-academic partnered research. She will visit the UCLA Center for Health Services and Society to gain additional training from community and academic mentors in developing and executing partnered research. With this support, she anticipates collaborating with a community organization to submit an application for NIH funding.

Cost Effectiveness of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction
Sandra Sulzer, PhD Xavier University

Dr. Sulzer is researching whether mindfulness training is cost-effective. Do persons who take an eight-week course in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction subsequently use healthcare resources more efficiently? She will be examining healthcare records at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and plans to use her findings to design a prospective research study funded by NIH.