Skip Over Navigation Links

Current Translational Scholars

Eric A. Benson, M.D., Ph.D.Eric A. Benson, M.D., Ph.D..
Indiana University School of Medicine
(View Abstract)

Eric A. Benson, M.D., Ph.D., is an assistant research professor and part-time assistant clinical professor at Indiana University School of Medicine. He received both his Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular biology in 2008 and M.D. in 2009 at Indiana University (IU). Afterward at IU, he completed his internal medicine residency and clinical pharmacology fellowship through the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Research Pathway. Through the ABIM, he became board certified in internal medicine in 2013, and through American Board of Clinical Pharmacology, he is board eligible in clinical pharmacology. His long term goal is to become an established independent translational researcher with a focus on the timing, rational use and the optimization of biomarkers for treatment response. He is using this K08 award to understand exosome kinetics in order to help optimize exosomal-biomarker validation study designs and to elucidate the mechanisms underlying biomarker associations. He is accomplishing these goals through the acquisition of a new and expanded set of molecular, bioinformatic, and computational modeling techniques. He aims to translate meaningful analysis of complex data to direct patient care. His novel approach to developing exosome kinetic models will be applicable to determining drug efficacy and toxicity.

Supported by: NIGMS.


Kelly A. Birdwell, M.D., M.S.C.I.Kelly A. Birdwell, M.D., M.S.C.I.
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
(View Abstract)

Kelly Birdwell is an assistant professor of medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. She received her M.D. from Emory University and her M.S. in clinical investigation from Vanderbilt University. Birdwell is a physician-scientist dedicated to improving long-term outcomes in kidney transplantation, with a focus on understanding and reducing the cardiovascular disease that is the primary cause of death with a functioning graft in this population. She conducts clinical research in kidney transplant recipients, with studies on tacrolimus pharmacogenomics and on metabolic complications of transplantation and immunosuppressive drugs. Through her Translational Scholar Career Award in Pharmacogenomics and Personalized Medicine, she is using a DNA biobank and the electronic medical record system to perform genetic association studies of the drug tacrolimus with new onset diabetes after transplant, with the ultimate goal of understanding an individual's risk of metabolic complications while taking certain immunosuppressants. Birdwell aims to become an expertly trained, independent physician scientist in transplant pharmacogenomics, using large patient-oriented research studies in kidney transplant recipients to bring personalized medicine to clinical practice.

Supported by: NCRR (prior to 2012)/NCATS.


Vidya Chidambaran, M.D., M.B.B.S.Vidya Chidambaran, M.D., M.B.B.S..
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
(View Abstract)

Vidya Chidambaran is an associate professor of anesthesia and pediatrics at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, Cincinnati. She received her medical degree from Bangalore Medical College, India and postgraduate training in anesthesiology from Kasturba Medical College, India. She then completed a residency in anesthesiology at Brookdale Hospital, Brooklyn, followed by a fellowship in pediatric anesthesia from the Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore. Her research interests center on translational research in pharmacogenomics for personalization of perioperative pediatric analgesia. She has been an investigator in clinical trials related to morphine pharmacogenomics and propofol pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamics in morbidly obese children. Chidambaran is using the Translational Scholar Career Award in Pharmacogenomics and Personalized Medicine award to identify and characterize genetic and phenotypic predictors of morphine induced respiratory depression in postsurgical children, as well as to study gene-gene and gene-environmental interactions affecting morphine pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. Her honors include numerous institutional pilot grants, multiple Young Investigator Awards from the Society of Pediatric Anesthesia, and being the first pediatric anesthesiologist to receive the Safety Scientist Career Development Award from the Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation.

Supported by: NICHD.


Julio D. Duarte, Pharm.D., Ph.D.Julio D. Duarte, Pharm.D., Ph.D..
University of Illinois at Chicago
(View abstract)

Julio D. Duarte is an assistant professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He received both his Pharm.D. and Ph.D. in clinical pharmaceutical sciences from the University of Florida. Duarte is a clinician-scientist whose translational research work includes the implementation of pharmacogenomic information into clinical practice, as well as using genomics to identify innovative drug therapies. He is using his Translational Scholar Career Award in Pharmacogenomics and Personalized Medicine to explore potential treatments for pulmonary hypertension associated with left heart failure, while using genomics to identify novel pathways that could lead to additional targets for future drug development.

Supported by: NIGMS.


Jerry Ingrande, M.D., M.S.Jerry Ingrande, M.D., M.S.
Stanford University School of Medicine
(View Abstract)

Jerry Ingrande is an instructor of anesthesia and department head of bariatric anesthesia at Stanford University. Ingrande completed a fellowship in clinical pharmacology, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, and has M.S. degrees in applied physiology and epidemiology. His research interests include studying the effects of obesity on anesthetic drug distribution, metabolism, elimination and drug response. He is using his Translational Scholar Career Award in Phamacogenomics and Personalized Medicine to examine the effect of insulin resistance and adipokine gene and protein expression on the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of anesthetic drugs in obese subjects.

Supported by: NCRR (prior to 2012)/NCATS.


Vivian Kawai, M.D., M.P.H. Vivian Kawai, M.D., M.P.H.
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
(View Abstract)

Vivian Kawai is a research assistant professor of medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. She is a physician with formal training in epidemiology and a fellowship in clinical pharmacology. Her main research interest is drug safety and efficacy. She is focused on understanding the genetic contribution to drug response variability, particularly cardio-metabolic responses, during physiological and pathological conditions. She plans to study the genetic architecture of glucocorticoid response using a reproducible, easily measured in vivo pharmacodynamic effect of glucocorticoids in a large clinical-based DNA biobank (BioVU) and through a clinical research study.

Supported by: NIGMS.


Joseph P. Kitzmiller, M.D., Ph.D., F.C.P. Joseph P. Kitzmiller, M.D., Ph.D., F.C.P.
The Ohio State University Medical Center
(View Abstract)

Joseph Kitzmiller is an assistant professor and co-director of the Clinical Pharmacology Fellowship Program at the Ohio State University Medical Center. He is a clinical supervisor and consultant at Ohio Clinical Trials and a primary-care physician with the Ohio Association of Free Clinics. Kitzmiller received an  M.D. degree and graduate degrees in biomedical engineering and pharmacology from Ohio State University. He completed postdoctoral training in both internal medicine and clinical pharmacology, and is a board-certified clinical pharmacologist (American Board of Clinical Pharmacology) and a certified physician investigator with the Association of Pharmaceutical Physician Investigators. His primary research effort involves investigating genetic influence on cardiovascular disease and on how patients metabolize and respond to statin pharmacotherapy. He is developing a multi-gene pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic model and aims to better predict statin response.

Supported by: NCRR (prior to 2012)/NCATS.


Sulggi A. Lee, M.D., Ph.D.Sulggi A. Lee, M.D., Ph.D.
University of California, San Francisco
(View Abstract)

Sulggi Lee is an assistant adjunct professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of HIV/AIDS, at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Lee received her M.D.-Ph.D. from the University of Southern California, focusing on genetic epidemiology. She completed her internal medicine residency training at Stanford University and her infectious diseases fellowship at UCSF. Lee's work focuses on translational research related to HIV immunology and host genetics. She is using herTranslational Scholar Career Award in Pharmacogenomics and Personalized Medicine to evaluate the association between host genetics and HIV persistence in the context of a potentially curative intervention: inhibition of the programmed cell death-1 (PD-1) pathway. The proposed work will leverage her involvement in the NIH-funded Martin Delaney Collaboratory on HIV cure research and a pending Phase I clinical trial of lambrolizumab, a potent anti-PD-1 antibody. Lee's honors include a career development award from the Center for AIDS Research and a Bristol-Myers Squibb Virology Fellowship award.

Supported by: NIGMS.


Joshua P. Lewis, Ph.D.Joshua P. Lewis, Ph.D.
University of Maryland
(View Abstract)

Joshua Lewis is an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Maryland. He received a Ph.D. in molecular genetics and genomics from Wake Forest University. The goal of his research is to identify and functionally characterize genes contributing to cardiovascular disease risk in order to ultimately translate genetic discoveries into individualized patient care through pharmacogenomics and/or other clinical approaches. He is using his Translational Scholar Career Award in Pharmacogenomics and Personalized Medicine to investigate the genetic underpinnings and mechanisms underlying aspirin and clopidogrel resistance as well as determining optimal antiplatelet dosing. Lewis' honors include an NIH Extramural Clinical Research LRP Award, a Trainee Research Award from the American Society of Human Genetics, and a Training Fellowship in Cardiovascular Cell Biology from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

Supported by: NIGMS.


Tracy L. McGregor, M.D., M.S.C.I.Tracy L. McGregor, M.D., M.S.C.I.
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
(View Abstract)

Tracy McGregor is an assistant professor of pediatrics at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. She earned her B.S. from the University of Notre Dame and her M.D. from Washington University in St. Louis. She has also completed the Master of Science in Clinical Investigation program at Vanderbilt. She is a board certified pediatrician and clinical geneticist who is conducting translational research in the area of pediatric pharmacogenetics. McGregor is using her Translational Scholar Career Award in Pharmacogenomics and Personalized Medicine award to investigate the role of MTRNR1 mutations in aminoglycoside induced neonatal hearing loss. In parallel, she studies the perceptions and attitudes of families regarding pharmacogenetics in the pediatric population.

Supported by: NICHD.


Andrew A. Monte, M.D.Andrew A. Monte, M.D.
University of Colorado School of Medicine & Rocky Mountain Poison & Drug Center
(View Abstract)

Andrew A. Monte is an assistant professor of emergency medicine and medical toxicology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. He received his M.D. from the University of Massachusetts in 2005. He completed his residency in emergency medicine at University of Massachusetts then completed a medical toxicology fellowship a the Rocky Mountain Poison & Drug Center. Monte is interested in human variability in drug metabolism and how this contributes to adverse drug events. He is using his Translational Scholar Award in Pharmacogenomics and Personalized Medicine to build predictive models of drug therapy with the goal to improve drug efficacy and safety. Monte's honors include numerous institutional pilot grants, a John A. Hartford Foundation award to study drug metabolism in aging patients, and an Emergency Medicine Foundation Research Training Grant to support his work toward a Ph.D. in clinical science.

Supported by: NIGMS.


Peter H. O'Donnell, M.D.Peter H. O'Donnell, M.D.
University of Chicago
(View Abstract)

Peter O'Donnell is a practicing oncologist and translational researcher with advanced training in pharmacology and pharmacogenomics. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Notre Dame, and his M.D. from the University of Chicago. His research interests center on the discovery and implementation of pharmacogenomic findings to better individualize care. He is using his Translational Scholar Career Award in Pharmacogenomics and Personalized Medicine to lead "The 1200 Patients Project," a clinical study exploring a preemptive medical system model for personalized care that makes relevant pharmacogenomic information instantaneously accessible at the time of prescribing. This project is examining how the availability of pharmacogenomic results may improve prescribing behaviors and thereby decrease the use of inappropriate or high risk medications. O'Donnell's honors include being a past recipient of an American Society of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics Presidential Training Award, and an American Association of Cancer Researchers Future Leaders in Translational Medicine Award.

Supported by: NIGMS.


Stuart A. Scott, Ph.D..Stuart A. Scott, Ph.D.
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
(View Abstract)

Stuart Scott is an assistant professor of genetics and genomic sciences at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. He is certified by the American Board of Medical Genetics as assistant director of the Mount Sinai Genetic Testing Laboratory. Scott was recently a KL2 Faculty Scholar through the Mount Sinai Institutes for Translational Sciences. His research focused on using genomic approaches to identify novel genetic variants involved in clopidogrel response variability. These studies are being expanded for his Translational Scholar Career Award in Phamacogenomics and Personalized Medicine, with the overall goal of increasing the utility of genetic testing for personalized antiplatelet therapy. His other honors include the 2011 William Bowes, Jr. Award in Medical Genetics, sponsored by the Center for Personalized Genetic Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and the 2012​ Dr. Harold and Golden Lamport Research Award, sponsored by the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

Supported by: NIGMS.


Manish R. Sharma, M.D.Manish R. Sharma, M.D.
University of Chicago

Manish Sharma is an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Chicago. He received an M.D. from the University of Michigan in 2004. Sharma is a medical oncologist and clinical pharmacologist who uses longitudinal data from completed oncology clinical trials to develop disease progression models of biomarkers and patient reported outcomes, with the broad objective of improving the development and use of oncology therapeutics. He is using his Translational Scholar Career Award to get additional training in genomics and statistical genetics, with the goal of testing the hypothesis that phenotypes estimated by disease progression models will lead to better genomic prediction tools than conventional phenotypes.

Supported by: NIGMS.


Sophie Sokolow, MPharm, R.Ph, Ph.D.Sophie Sokolow, MPharm, R.Ph, Ph.D.
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), School of Nursing
(View Abstract)

Sophie Sokolow is an assistant professor at the UCLA School of Nursing. She received a degree in pharmacy practice and a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences from the University of Brussels, Belgium. She is a neurobiologist and a board-certified pharmacist who combines Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) genetics, bioinformatics, biostatistics and population genomics to examine the influence of genetic variations on the response to AD medication in pre-clinical and clinical AD. Sokolow is using her Translational Scholar Career Award in Pharmacogenomics and Personalized Medicine to discover pharmacogenetic markers associated with response to donepezil in Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI). Her ultimate goal is to improve the management of cognitive symptoms in individuals with MCI and AD using pharmacogenetic-based approaches. Sokolow’s honors include numerous institutional pilot grants, a New Investigator Research Award from the Alzheimer’s Association and a Turken Award from the Mary Easton’s Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at the David Geffen UCLA School of Medicine.

Supported by: NIA.​​

This page last reviewed on November 08, 2016