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UC Davis Clinical and Translational Science Center
Welcomes New TL1 Scholars

Improvement in the health of our patients and communities depends on developing the next generation of clinical and translational investigators, and this is a core mission of the UC Davis CTSC. We are thrilled to welcome new cohorts into the TL1 program. These early-career colleagues inspire us with their dedication and their willingness to acquire new skills and knowledge needed to advance the spectrum of clinical and translational research. These diverse scholars, predoctoral and postdoctoral, are the foundation of our community of scholars dedicated to team science and serving our communities. We are heartened the demand for these positions is increasingly competitive and pleased with the outstanding individuals joining the CTSC family.

Over the years, CTSC scholars have represented an array of disciplines from across the campus. They include clinical and translational researchers at multiple career stages – graduate, medical, and veterinary students, postdoctoral and clinical fellows, and junior faculty. These scholars join an active nationwide network of fellow clinical and translational investigators through parallel CTSA-funded programs. The diversity exemplified by their research interests, career stages, and skillsets of the scholars creates a natural environment for the genesis of novel research ideas, interdisciplinary collaborations, and unique approaches to advancing health.

New TL1 Scholars

Our TL1 scholars - early-career trainees - receive didactic instruction, participate in multidisciplinary "team research," and benefit from mentored research experience that prepares them to undertake innovative clinical research.

Justin James Fitzgerald headshot

Justin James Fitzgerald, B.S.
Graduate Student

Mr. Fitzgerald is a fourth year graduate student in biomedical engineering. His research project involves using sonomyography to study the sensorimotor abilities of children with trans-radial upper limb deficiencies to control muscles of their residuum. This knowledge will enable his research team to pursue development of a novel multi-dexterous pediatric upper limb prosthesis utilizing novel sonomyography control signals.

Valerie Alexandria Porter headshot

Valerie Alexandria Porter, B.S.
Graduate Student

Ms. Porter is a third year Ph.D. student in biomedical engineering. Her research focuses on improving post-processing pipelines for preclinical MRI and PET neuroimaging data. Her research project is to develop a single automated brain segmentation framework for different animal and neurological disease models by utilizing machine learning. Her goals are to develop pre-clinical and clinical imaging techniques to improve diagnostics and treatment care of patients with neuropathies.

Anna Awolope headshot

Anna Awolope, B.S.
Medical Student

Ms. Awolope is a third year medical student. Her research project involves the study of heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF). Within the UC Davis HF network, she aims to characterize the prevalence of coronary microvascular dysfunction in HFpEF patients as well as the most associate comorbidities and their progression. Characterization of the associated comorbidities and basic biological pathways will enable the identification of new patient biomarkers and select new treatment targets of HFpEF for future development.

Ernesto Javier Rivera headshot

Ernesto Javier Rivera, B.A.
Medical Student

Mr. Rivera is a fourth year medical student. His research project involves investigating the mechanisms regulating blood flow at the point at which surface pial arteries branch into arterioles that penetrate the brain parenchyma in mice. He will test a model suggesting that pial artery segments with a projecting parenchymal arteriole function as a circulatory unit that coordinates blood flow to multiple brain compartments and will investigate sex-specific regulation of the pial-parenchymal unit.

Yue Yu headshot

Yue Yu, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow, Clinical Psychology

Dr. Yu is a postdoctoral fellow at the MIND Institute. Her project aims to collaboratively adapt a low-intensity mobile health intervention using a family/friend network, to improve caregiver engagement in early intervention (EI) and to examine the effectiveness of this novel support program in improving caregiver engagement in caregiver-mediated autism EI in under-resourced families.

David Young headshot

David Young, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow, Kinesiology-Motor Behavior

Dr. Young is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. He is currently researching the utility of real-time biofeedback based on kinetics to induce retainable increases in ankle power during gait. His TL1 project will involve extending this research to older individuals and those with stroke.

In the News

Na'amah Razon imageStudy Shows Family Medicine Physicians Face Many Barriers to Providing Medical Abortions

Na'amah Razon assistant professor of family and community medicine, is lead author of the study that identified multiple barriers that family physicians must navigate to provide abortion services to their patients.

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Elisa Tong and Melanie DoveStudy Shows 1 in 5 Former Smokers May Be Overlooked for Cessation Counseling

Elisa Tong, professor of internal medicine, and Melanie Dove, assistant professor of public health sciences, co-authored a study that shows some people may be overlooked for tobacco cessation counseling, putting them at risk for lung cancer.

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Vietnamese mand and womanCTSC Sponsors Second Annual Vietnamese Mini-Medical School

The CTSC's Integrating Special Populations into Research (INSPIRE) program, co-sponsored the second annual Vietnamese Mini-Medical School a free half-day event focused on healthy aging for Sacramento's Vietnamese community.

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Forget Me Not posterCTSC Sponsors Community Event Around Healthy Aging and Dementia Care

The CTSC's Health Equity Resources and Outreach (HERO) program co-sponsored a community event and screening of a stage play depicting the experience of Alzheimer's disease and dementia care in the life of an African American family.

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Staff Spotlight

CCRC clinical staff


The CTSC Clinical Research Center nurses, managers and staff were honored during Nurses Week, May 6–12, for their tireless work in our clinic, ensuring all investigators, coordinators and research participants who pass through the doors receive the highest quality of care, collaboration, teamwork and treatment. The CTSC appreciates each of you and all that you contribute to our research services.

L-R: Josefina Wong, RN, B.S.N.; Christopher Kain, RN, M.S.N.; Joe Panelo, RN; Rogelio Almario, M.S.; Monica Wenceslao, LVN

Recent Events


research expo

The UC Davis Research Expo 2022 was a success! This year's event returned to an in-person format featuring several workshops and keynote speakers. The expo allowed several CTSC staff to engage with other departments and centers on the Davis campus and Sacramento health sciences campus. An afternoon of promoting collaboration, teamwork, and the work of our CTSC units resulted in several new connections made and an opportunity to visit with investigators, departments, and centers that utilize our biomedical research resources, tools, and services. We are proud to offer unparalleled support to clinical and translational investigators who continue to advance the bench-to-bedside method and positively affect human health and wellness.

L to R: Christine Hotz, DVM, M.S., DACVP, Program Development Officer CTSC; Jeffrey Fine, M.P.H., Jr. Statistician, Biostatistics; Daniel Moglen, Ph.D., Education and Training Specialist CTSC; Angela Griffiths, Ph.D., Deputy Administrative Director CTSC; Leslie Solis, M.S., CCRP, Assistant Director, UC Davis Biorepository Core Resource


CRC  Foundations Program Graduation

The first cohort of community college students has successfully graduated from the CTSC Clinical Trials Office CRC Foundations Training Program, just in time for Clinical Trials Day and the CRC Appreciation Event that was held on Friday, May 20, 2022. This group of five internal employees and five community college students participated in a 15-week long training program led by senior CTO CRC Olga Kishchenko, featuring multiple field trips and shadowing opportunities and culminating in an entry level knowledge assessment (successfully passed by all students) and potential job opportunities at UC Davis Health for our community college students. Congratulations to our graduates!

L to R: Daniel Neyshloss, Christine Gichigi, Jaime Rosas*, Emily Kostner, Camryn Sellers-Porter, Anna Arutyunova, Melissa Heys*, Elizabeth Ha*, Olga Kishchenko (CTSC CTO Sr CRC/Trainer), Kristina Teresinski* Not pictured: Luke Waymire*

*Community college student


On May 19th the CTSC celebrated the graduation of its newest cohort of scholars who conduct innovative applied health research. During the symposium, 35 researchers presented their work to mentors and colleagues. The event commenced with a welcome from Ted Wun, the director and principal investigator of the CTSC.

The event returned to an in-person format for the first time in two years. Presentations covered research on a wide range of diseases and conditions. The core themes included patient-centered care, women’s health, and cancer studies. Presenting scholars represented the CTSC TL1 and KL2 training programs, the Paul Calabresi K12 program, and the Mentored Clinical Research Training Program (MCRTP). The scholars presented many innovative approaches to a variety of health issues, such as new therapies and diagnoses for heart failure, stroke patients, and treatments for various cancers. They also addressed neurological diseases and disorders, including depression, epilepsy and autism, and the development of dynamic vascular diagnostics for dementia.

Scholar symposium