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March 16, 2010

CICATS Awards for Mentored Research

I am pleased to announce that Biree Andemariam, M.D.,and Katie Martin, Ph.D., are the first recipients of the Connecticut Institute for Clinical and Translational Science (CICATS) 12 Awards for Mentored Research.

The purpose of the program is to support the career development of investigators who have made a commitment to focus their research endeavors on clinical and translational research. It will help to develop the infrastructure necessary to implement an NIH initiative – the CTSA K12 program – in the future. At the same time, it will develop a pipeline of qualified candidates for future awards through the CTSA.

Dr. Andemariam is a hematologist-oncologist with the Lea’s Foundation for Hematologic Disorders, part of the Carole and Ray Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center. Her research interests include new advances in care for patients with sickle cell disease and she currently receives research support from Lea’s Foundation for Leukemia Research. For this project, she will focus on the pathogenesis of severe asthma in transgenic sickle cell mice and later, in humans with sickle cell disease. Her mentors are Drs. Roger Thrall and Pramod Srivastava.

Dr. Martin is with the Department of Allied Health Sciences and the Center for Public Health and Health Policy at UConn-Storrs. Her research expertise is in food security, food assistance programs, obesity and social capital among low-income populations. For the past two years Dr. Martin has partnered with the Hartford Food System to evaluate their Healthy Food Retailer Initiative among small markets in Hartford. For this project, she will evaluate an intervention called Freshplace, which is based on the Social Cognitive Theory with motivational interviewing to develop food security and self-sufficiency among Hartford residents.  Her mentors are Drs. Judith Fifield and Victor Hesselbrock.

CICATS was created in partnership with regional hospitals, state agencies, and community health care organizations to transform the way biomedical science is conceived, conducted and disseminated in Connecticut. The mission of CICATS is to educate and nurture new scientists and increase the number of clinical and translational research projects conducted throughout the greater Hartford area, and to work collaboratively with regional stakeholders to improve healthcare disparities in the region and the nation.

Cato T. Laurencin, M.D., Ph.D.
Vice President for Health Affairs
Dean, School of Medicine