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Three Pediatrics residents selected for new NHLBI and NIAID R38 grant funding

Friday, January 25, 2019
Derek Zachman, Anna Williams, Meredith Sooy

Three Duke Pediatrics residents have been selected for the Duke Stimulating Access to Research in Residency Program (StARR), a new program that is funded by two R38 grants from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

The awards reflect a collaborative effort among multiple PI investigators and departments, including Scott Palmer, MD, MHS, professor of medicine and immunology; Sallie Permar, MD, PhD, professor of pediatrics, immunology, and molecular genetics and microbiology; and David Harpole, MD, professor of surgery and pathology.

Pediatrics residents Derek Zachman, MD, PL-1 (Mentor: Matthew Hirschey, PhD); Anna Williams, MD, PL-2 (Mentors: Clarissa Diamantidis, MD and Rasheed Gbadegesin, MD, MBBS); and Meredith, Sooy, MD, PL-2 (Mentor: Jennifer Li, MD); will begin the R38 StARR research training pathway in July 2019.

The purpose of this program is to recruit and retain outstanding, postdoctoral-level health professionals who have demonstrated potential and interest in pursuing careers as clinician-investigators. To address the growing need for this critical component of the research workforce, this funding opportunity seeks applications from institutional programs that can provide outstanding mentored research opportunities for resident-investigators and foster their ability to transition to individual career development research awards. The program will support institutions to provide support for up to two years of research conducted by resident-investigators in structured programs for clinician-investigators with defined program milestones.

Zachman will study the mitochondrial regulation of muscle stem cell regeneration and maintenance; Williams’ research will focus on patient-centered care in pediatric acute kidney injury; and Sooy will evaluate disparities in congenital heart disease using novel measures of social vulnerability, racial isolation and educational isolation.