Scholar News

June 8, 2023

The CTSC Hosts Nineteenth Annual Scholar Symposium

The CTSC recently hosted its Annual Scholar Symposium, where 41 researchers presented their work to mentors and colleagues. The event commenced with a welcome from Nick Kenyon, associate director of the CTSC. Presentations covered research on a wide range of diseases and conditions. The core themes included neurology, oncology, cardiology, women’s health, and pediatrics. Presenting scholars represented the CTSC TL1 and KL2 training programs, the Paul Calabresi K12 program, the BIRCWH program, the Mentored Clinical Research Training Program, and the Clinical Research Master’s Program.

The scholars presented many innovative approaches to a variety of health issues, such as high-risk pregnancy outcomes, transportation structures and access to healthcare, the effects of the environment and socioeconomic stressors on disease outcomes, and provider bias. They also addressed neurological diseases and disorders, including autism, particularly in children and adolescents as well as targeted treatments for brain cancers like neuroblastoma and glioblastoma.

Immediately following the presentations, the event concluded with a reception to celebrate the 2023 cohort of graduating scholars.

May 1, 2023

CTSC Scholars and Staff Represented the CTSC and UC Davis Health at Translational Science 2023

Several CTSC scholars and staff attended the Association for Clinical and Translational Science (ACTS) Translational Science 2023 event in Washington, DC, last month. The meeting attracted approximately 1,200 attendees.

CTSC TL1 Scholar, Anna Awolope, B.S., received a Top Poster Presenter Award for her poster entitled, "Electronic Health Record Data and Topological Data Analysis to Predict Clinical Outcomes Post Myocardial Infarction".

Other CTSC scholars who presented their work included:

  • TL1 Scholar, Pablo Juarez, B.S.
  • TL1 Scholar, Dagoberto Pina, Jr., B.S.
  • KL2 Scholar, Melanie Dove, Sc.D., M.P.H.

CTSC Biostatistics Program Manager and Principal Biostatistician, Sandra Taylor Ph.D., presented her work on a new investigative tool used to assess the quality of data prior to statistical analysis, Data Loofah.

September 27, 2022

CTSC TL1 Program Receives NIH Supplement to Support Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA) in the Biomedical Sciences

Valentina Medici, principal investigator and director of the CTSC TL1 Clinical and Translational Research Training Program, applied for and was awarded an NIH supplement to the existing TL1 award, which enhances diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) in the biomedical sciences and supports excellent mentorship and superior training. The award allows for enhanced curricular offerings and, in particular, a new coaching program that provides personalized career development tools to improve academic retention and support individualized pathways to success for those from diverse and disadvantaged backgrounds. This is critical to the development of exceptional future scientists and leaders in the scientific research enterprise. With this award, we are also able to grow our current TL1 scholar cohort by three additional scholars (listed below).

Victor Rivas is a second-year Ph.D. student in Integrative Pathobiology with an ultimate goal of becoming a veterinary clinician scientist. His area of translational research focuses on genetic studies aimed to identify pathologic mutations responsible for invariably fatal diseases in veterinary patients. His research involves identification of the genetic etiology of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) in a naturally occurring rhesus macaque model. The results of his study hold promise in establishing the first-ever non-human primate model of HCM for subsequent novel therapeutic studies to treat the disease in veterinary and human patients alike.

Casiana Gonzalez is a second-year Ph.D. student in Molecular, Cellular and Integrative Physiology. Her research project is focused on the development of epigenetic therapeutics for the X-linked disorder, CASK-related intellectual disability. Her project utilizes CRISPR/dCas9 paired with epigenetic modifiers to reactivate the healthy CASK allele on the silenced X chromosome. This approach, assessed in patient-relevant cell models, will allow for analysis of a functional rescue of CASK and insight towards the application of a platform therapeutic for many X-linked intellectual disabilities.

Dagoberto Piña, Jr., is  a fourth-year medical student working with Hai Van Le in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. His research focuses predominantly on spinal cord injuries in the setting of trauma and spondylitic changes. Together they are assessing the relationships between sociodemographic characteristics and their influence on surgical outcomes. His TL1 project involves working to change the paradigm of osteoporosis management and assessing the feasibility of transitioning care to orthopaedic specialists to lessen the burden on primary care providers.

May 26, 2022

CTSC 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.

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, B.S., Graduate Student
Justin 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, B.S., Graduate Student
Valerie 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, B.S., Medical Student
Anna 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, B.A., Medical Student
Ernesto 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, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow, Clinical Psychology
Yue 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, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow, Kinesiology-Motor Behavior
David 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.

July 24, 2021

CTSC Welcomes New TL1 Scholars

Vanessa Hull, B.S./B.A., M.S., Graduate Student, Neuroscience
Vanessa Hull is currently studying potential therapies for Canavan disease, an inherited and devastating pediatric leukodystrophy. Canavan disease is characterized by extremely elevated levels of the abundant brain amino acid N-acetyl-L-aspartate (NAA) in the brain due to the loss of aspartoacylase, an oligodendroglial-enriched enzyme responsible for the break down of NAA.

Pablo Juarez, B.S., Graduate Student, Integrative Pathobiology
Pablo Juarez’s long-term career goal is to become a translational researcher that focuses on designing and implementing effective therapeutic approaches to improve the health and quality of life in autistic individuals. As a TL1 student, he seeks the knowledge and mentorship to ensure the success of his research and growth as a translational research scientist.

Morgan Kumro, B.S., Medical Student
Morgan Kumro’s research interests are in the field of neuroscience and intricacies of the central nervous system and studied patient morbidity and mortality regarding surgical treatment modalities for traumatic brain injury (TBI) in geriatric patients. As a TL1 student, she seeks to develop skills, knowledge, and breadth of experience working as a research investigator with the guidance of mentors who have significant experience conducting translational research.

Niraj Punjya, B.S., Medical Student
Niraj Punjya’s research interests include using gene therapies to treat genetic disorders. At UC Davis, he works with Dr. David Segal and Dr. Kyle Fink to study 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (DiGeorge syndrome) using CRISPR activation technologies to upregulate the deleted genes characterizing the disorder. His previous research experiences involved developing gene-­editing technologies to study myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1) in the Porteus lab at Stanford University.

June 8, 2023

Elysia Alvarez, CTSC KL2 Scholar, Receives Cancer Award

UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center has selected pediatric oncologist and clinical researcher Elysia Alvarez as the 2023 Christine and Helen Landgraf Memorial Research Award recipient.

Alvarez’s research focuses on improving the care of adolescents and young adults who have cancer by identifying barriers to accessing treatment. She also studies interventions to overcome these barriers to improve survival outcomes. Read More

January 25, 2023

The CTSC Welcomes New KL2 Scholars

Geoanna M. Bautista, assistant professor of pediatrics, has been selected to receive a 2022 Individual Biomedical Research Award from The Hartwell Foundation for her research on intestinal inflammation and dysmotility in babies with gastroschisis. In her research, Bautista will use human specimens, rodent models, and a fetal gastroschisis lamb model uniquely available at UC Davis. She aims to build the foundation to develop a novel therapeutic target modulating gastroschisis-related intestinal inflammation and dysmotility (GRIID). Read more

January 25, 2023

The CTSC Welcomes New KL2 Scholars

Derek Bays, M.D., Research Fellow - Infectious Diseases
Derek Bays' research interests include the study of immunocompromised hosts and fungal infections, particularly invasive candidiasis. This interest led him to the lab of Andreas Bäumler, who has specialized in the interactions of enteric organisms and the microbiota. His long-term scientific career goal is to develop a successful translational research program in mycology.

Geoanna Marie Bautista, M.D., Assistant Professor - Neonatology, Pediatrics, Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine
Geoanna Bautista’s research is focused on impaired gut motility and intestinal adaptation in the setting of prematurity and surgical diseases affecting the small and large intestine. She is particularly interested in the role of the mechanosensitive cation channel, Piezo1, in gut maturation and regulation of intestinal processes in specific gastrointestinal pathologies affecting the neonate.

September 1, 2022

Sheela Toprani Receives a Mentored Early Career Mental Health Award

Sheela Toprani, assistant professor in Neurology and Neurosurgery, and a KL2 scholar, was awarded a Mentored Early Career Mental Health Award. Toprani will study how neurosurgery for refractory epilepsy of the nondominant hemisphere impacts neuropsychological functions that are not well measured by current methods, such as executive function or emotional perception. Read More

April 6, 2022

Na'amah Razon, KL2 Scholar, Published in Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine

Na'amah Razon is an assistant professor of family and community medicine. In the following Q&A, Razon shares her findings from her recent study published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine. Read More

March 16, 2022

Julie Bidwell, KL2 Scholar, Transitions to K01 Award

Julie Bidwell, assistant professor with the Family Caregiving Institute at Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing, describes how the CTSC KL2 Career Development Program assisted her in obtaining a K01 award. Read more.

January 25, 2022

Melanie Dove, KL2 Scholar, Selected to Present at ACTS Annual Conference

Melanie Dove, assistant professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences at UC Davis Health, has been invited to present a poster at the Association for Clinical and Translational Science (ACTS) annual conference in April of this year.

Dove conducts research on the impact tobacco control policies have on health behavior. At the ACTS conference, she plans to present findings from a research project looking at the impact local flavored tobacco sales restrictions in California have on youth e-cigarette use. Results suggest that these policies were not associated with a decrease in e-cigarette use one year post policy. She also found that students reported an easier time accessing e-cigarettes and an increase in youth using marijuana in an e-cigarette, which may explain why we did not find a decrease in use. The UC Davis CTSC KL2 Mentored Career Development Program provided support to conduct this research.

January 21, 2022

Elysia Alvarez, KL2 Scholar, Published in Lancet Oncology

KL2 scholar Elysia Alvarez is the first author of a study published on Dec. 3 in Lancet Oncology. The manuscript presents an analysis of results from the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study (GBD) 2019. With a focus on the outcome of disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs), the study informs global cancer control measures in adolescents and young adults (aged 15-39 years). Alvarez, assistant professor of clinical pediatrics with UC Davis Health, is dedicated to improving survival outcomes in adolescents and young adults with cancer. Studies focusing on incidence and mortality, while important, do not always capture the entire impact of a disease on a population. This study, focused on disability-adjusted life year burden, allows for a comprehensive analysis of the impact of cancer in the young population as students or starting their careers and families. In addition to this work, Alvarez is exploring the experience of adolescents and young adults with cancer in Latin America and the barriers they face to care in hopes of improving outcomes in this unique population.

July 24, 2021

CTSC Welcomes New KL2 Scholars

Temitayo O. Oyegbile-Chidi, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Clinical Professor, Department of Neurology
Temitayo Oyegbile-Chidi has a special interest in understanding sleep disorders in relation to co-existent neurologic and psychiatric conditions in both adults and children. She conducts clinical research in the field of epilepsy with a focus on understanding the mechanisms underlying cognitive impairment in children with epilepsy by evaluating sleep abnormalities and functional neuroimaging.

Meagan Talbott, Ph.D., Assistant Professional Researcher, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Meagan Talbott's research focuses on gesture and language development, early identification and treatment of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and telehealth approaches to evaluating infant development and treatment efficacy. She is currently studying the utility of a telehealth-based assessment for identifying infants at high likelihood of ASD, and the developmental trajectories and clinical outcomes of infants with very early symptoms.

June 1, 2021

UC Davis Distinction Awarded to Heather Siefkes, CTSC KL2 Scholar

Heather Siefkes, assistant professor in the UC Davis Department of Pediatrics, has received the 2021 Eli Gold Prize. Siefkes works in the Pediatric and Cardiac Intensive Care Unit at UC Davis Children’s Hospital and serves as medical director of Project ADAM Sacramento, which helps schools prepare for a sudden cardiac emergency through AED and CPR training.

The prize was named for Eli Gold, former professor and chair of the UC Davis Department of Pediatrics, who supported and encouraged many young aspiring pediatricians. The annual award of $3,000 supports winners’ research and career development.

“In her relatively short time in our department, through a unique combination of focus, persistence and vision, Dr. Siefkes has established herself as a leader in clinical research,” said Jennifer Plant, division chief of pediatric critical care medicine at UC Davis Children’s Hospital, who nominated her for the award. “Dr. Siefkes has also made considerable contributions to the Department of Pediatrics, related to service, education and clinical work. She is a thorough and thoughtful clinician worthy of recognition for the quality of her work.” Read more.

October 27, 2020

The CTSC Paves the Way for Promising Medical Researchers Through KL2 Awards

The Clinical and Translational Science Center (CTSC) serves as UC Davis’ powerhouse for translational biomedical research. Its wide range of services and resources provides essential training and infrastructure for medical researchers to develop their studies and boost their careers. One great way the CTSC supports researchers is through the KL2 Mentored Career Development program.

“The KL2 Mentored Career Development program is an excellent opportunity for our junior faculty who conduct multidisciplinary, patient-centered clinical research,” said Allison Brashear, dean of the School of Medicine. “The program helps accelerate the career development of promising scholars and puts them on track to become independent clinical investigators.”

Under the KL2 program, qualified junior faculty are mentored by senior researchers and receive two years of financial support, with a possible one-year extension through a fund from the School of Medicine. Read more.

October 2, 2020

UC Davis CTSC KL2 Scholar Stephanie Crossen Transitions to K23 Award

Stephanie Crossen, a pediatric endocrinologist and assistant professor of clinical pediatrics at UC Davis Health, will begin a four  year K23 training award funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK).

Crossen will study several ways to leverage telehealth and connected health technology to improve care delivery and outcomes for children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is a chronic condition with onset in childhood and requires close self-monitoring as well as frequent contact with a specialized medical team.

Pediatric endocrinologists are sparsely distributed, and patients often live several hours away from their diabetes providers. The use of telehealth and connected health technology to improve data-sharing and remote delivery of care has the potential to improve patient experiences as well as health outcomes for the growing population of youth living with type 1 diabetes.

“I see how hard they work to take care of themselves and their family, and how many hurdles they face in trying to achieve their goal. My role is to empower them with knowledge, support them with empathy and encouragement, and work hard to improve the way healthcare is delivered so that it is more accessible, equitable and effective,” said Crossen, who also shared that her clinical work and personal connections with patients and their families motivates her.

Crossen was selected to participate in the CTSC KL2 program in 2017. Her research, particularly timely amid the COVID-19 pandemic, will complement state and national efforts to develop innovative telehealth programs.

In 2006, the UC Davis CTSC was one of the inaugural 12 centers established across the United States in the Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) program supported by the NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Science (NCATS). Currently, in its third 5-year award period, the CTSC is one of approximately 60 NIH-supported centers funded to facilitate and accelerate the study of human health and disease to bring new treatments to patients and communities through biomedical research.

The project described was supported by the NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences through grant number UL1 TR001860 and linked award KL2 TR001859. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH.

October 2, 2020

UC Davis CTSC KL2 Scholar Jennifer Rosenthal Transitions to K23 Award

Jennifer Rosenthal, assistant professor of clinical pediatrics, will begin a four-year K23 Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) to study pediatric interfacility transfers.

Pediatric interfacility transfers are frequent but poorly studied events. Dr. Rosenthal's project, “Telemedicine Consultations to Improve Care Quality of Pediatric Hospital-to-Hospital Transfers” seeks to validate an instrument to measure family-centeredness for children in need of transfer from an Emergency Department to a higher level of care. The project will evaluate the feasibility and potential impact of telemedicine versus telephone communication with these transfers.

Rosenthal began her formal research career with the CTSC as a KL2 Scholar in 2017. She continued to build her research program and skills in the areas of telehealth and pediatric transition of care. Rosenthal credits the KL2 for helping her establish incredible professional relationships with other researchers at Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) hubs across the nation.

Currently, she serves as the CTSC KL2 scholar representative. She is one of the first to serve as a representative on the national leadership team and positioned to collaborate further on activities such as the 2020 Association for Clinical and Translational Science (ACTS) Conference Workforce Development Collaborative Planning Committee.

In addition, she is on the working group to establish a "CTSA Visiting Professorship" for KL2 Scholars to receive mentorship and training at other CTSA hubs and create new opportunities for them by fostering exchange of ideas and collaborations.

The K23 award will further support her career goal to become an independent investigator using technology to improve care quality during pediatric transfers and other care transitions. Dr. Rosenthal noted that the novel coronavirus pandemic drastically changed the adoption of telehealth. She considers this is an exciting time to be part of the team that is creating, adapting, and implementing innovative methods to provide quality care to patients.

In 2006, the UC Davis CTSC was one of the inaugural 12 centers established across the United States in the Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) program supported by the NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Science (NCATS). Currently, in its third 5-year award period, the CTSC is one of approximately 60 NIH-supported centers funded to facilitate and accelerate the study of human health and disease to bring new treatments to patients and communities through biomedical research.

The project described was supported by the NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences through grant number UL1 TR001860 and linked award KL2 TR001859. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH.

November 19, 2019 

CTSC KL2 Scholar Lisa Brown —  Lung Cancer Awareness, Importance of Screening

As part of Lung Cancer Awareness Month, a Facebook Live conversation was held on November 19 with thoracic surgeon, Lisa Brown, of the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center. Lisa Brown is assistant professor in the department of surgery. View the recording to learn about lung cancer screening and more.

October 2, 2019

CTSC KL2 Scholar, Heather Siefkes, Receives NIH Grant to Establish Blood Flow Threshold

Heather Siefkes, assistant professor of pediatric critical care at UC Davis Children's Hospital, was awarded a Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) grant last month. She is working on improving critical congenital heart disease (CCHD) detection in newborns by measuring their blood flow levels in addition to the blood oxygen levels.

With the NICHD grant, Siefkes and her team will enroll 700 newborn babies at five hospitals, including UC Davis Children’s Hospital. Based on the blood flow screening of the babies, the researchers will develop a machine learning/artificial intelligence model to identify the perfusion (blood flow) value that can predict CCHD.

November 27, 2018

CTSC KL2 Scholar, Stephanie Crossen, Receives Judges' Award for Home-Based Telemedicine Project for Children with Diabetes at National Conference

Stephanie Crossen, an assistant professor of pediatrics, received the Judges’ Award for her exceptional presentation to improve care delivery for pediatric patients with poorly controlled Type 1 diabetes. She was recognized at the Society for Education and the Advancement of Research in Connected Health‘s Telehealth Research Symposium in San Diego on October 24, 2018.

June 1, 2023

Hui (Amy) Chen Named Dean's Scholar in Women's Health Research for BIRCWH K12 Program

Hui Amy Chen joins the Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health (BIRCWH K12) program as the newest Dean’s Scholar in Women’s Health Research (DSWHR) as of June 1, 2023. A recent graduate of the UC Davis Mentored Clinical Research Training Program (MCRTP), Chen's project focus will be on a Feasibility Pilot Study of a Standardized Extract of Cultured Lentinula edodes Mycelia (AHCC) on Quality of Life for Ovarian Cancer Patients on Adjuvant Chemotherapy. Among gynecologic cancers, ovarian cancer has the highest mortality rate and quality of life is affected by both the disease and its treatment. Active Hexose Correlated Compound (AHCC), a shiitake mushroom extract, has early data showing improved chemotherapy side effects and quality of life. The aim of the study is to examine the feasibility of conducting a randomized controlled trial to evaluate the effects of AHCC on health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in ovarian cancer patients undergoing adjuvant chemotherapy.

July 7, 2022

Angela Jarman, BIRCWH K12 Program Scholar, Published in JAMA Network Open

A new study entitled “Experiences of Transgender and Gender Expansive Physicians” was published on June 29, 2022, in the Journal of the American Medical Association’s JAMA Network Open. Angela Jarman, an emergency department physician at UC Davis Health, served as senior author on the study, collaborating with colleagues at several institutions across the country. Read More

June 15, 2022

Alicia Agnoli is Contributing Author on a Recently Published Study on Opioid Dose Reduction

Alicia Agnoli, assistant professor of family and community medicine, contributed to a study that suggests the increased rates of overdose and mental health crisis observed during the first year after opioid dose tapering persist through the second year. The study was published June 13 in JAMA Network Open. Read More

June 10, 2022

Victoria Lyo Named Women's Health Research Scholar for BIRCWH K12 Program

Victoria Lyo, assistant professor in the Foregut, Metabolic, and General Surgery division was appointed the Dean’s Scholar in Women’s Health Research by the UC Davis School of Medicine’s Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health (BIRCWH) program. Lyo joined the faculty three years ago after finishing a fellowship in Advanced GI Minimally Invasive and Bariatric Surgery at Oregon Health & Sciences University. She is a San Francisco native, and after undergraduate school at Wellesley College, she completed medical school and general surgery training at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF). As a medical student, she built her research foundation as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Medical scholar. As a resident, she received a Master of Translational Medicine investigating the use of silver microparticles with fibrin sealant to prevent hernia formation.

This five-year mentored K-type research award allows Lyo to further her research in Sex Differences in Response to Bariatric Surgery. She is studying how microbiome and metabolomic differences may contribute to sex-specific outcomes of surgery with the help of her mentor team Mohamed Ali, Sean Adams, Bethany Cummings, and Anne Schafer. This award builds upon her research grant from the Society of Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons and allows her to develop her other interests in obesity-related fatty liver disease and its response to bariatric surgery. Personally, she enjoys spending time with her family and indulging her young son’s obsession with cars.

September 16, 2021

Angela Jarman Named Women's Health Research Scholar for BIRCWH K12 Program

Angela Jarman, an assistant professor and the director of sex  and gender in emergency medicine, was selected as an Interdisciplinary Women’s Health Research (IWHR) scholar in the Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health (BIRCWH) K12 program. She joined the faculty after completing a two-year fellowship in Sex and Gender in Emergency Medicine at Brown University, where she also earned a Master of Public Health degree. Angela is a North Carolina native and majored in Gender Studies at Duke University before attending medical school at the University of Kentucky. She trained in emergency medicine at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. Her research interests include sex differences in venous thromboembolism, health disparities, and gender bias in medicine and leadership. Personally, Angela enjoys spending time in the mountains with her family and good books.

August 3, 2021

BIRCWH Scholar, Alicia Agnoli's Study on Opioid Dose Tapering Published in August Issue of JAMA

Alicia Agnoli is an assistant professor of Family and Community Medicine at UC Davis School of Medicine. She is first author of a study published Aug. 3 in JAMA, in which a team of UC Davis Health researchers examined the potential risks of opioid dose tapering. Their study found that patients on stable opioid therapy who had their doses tapered had significantly higher rates of overdose and mental health crisis, compared to patients without dose reductions. Read More

August 27, 2020

BIRCWH K12 Program Scholars, Laura Kair and Candice Price, Collaborate to Promote Black Breastfeeding Week

Laura Kair, a UC Davis Children’s Hospital pediatrician and clinical researcher, and Candice Price, a UC Davis  School of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Molecular Biosciences clinical researcher, recently collaborated with several colleagues and community partners about the importance of black breastfeeding the week of August 25 - 31, 2020.

July 8, 2019

Laura Kair Named Women's Health Research Scholar for BIRCWH K12 Program

Laura Kair, a UC Davis Children’s Hospital pediatrician and clinical researcher focused on breastfeeding and maternal-child health, was selected as an Interdisciplinary Women’s Health Research (IWHR) scholar in the Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health (BIRCWH) K12 program.

Kair’s mentors on the project are Caroline Chantry, Eleanor Bimla Schwarz, Jim Marcin and Dan Tancredi. This two-year award will fund Kair’s ongoing research career development and a clinical trial. 

The clinical trial, registered at, will evaluate the effect of at home-based telemedicine lactation support visits on breastfeeding duration among women who deliver late preterm (four to six weeks early). The trial begins enrollment this summer and will follow participants for one year after delivery.

September 1, 2022

Orwa Aboud Presents at 2022 Annual Conference on CNS Clinical Trials and Brain Metastases

Orwa Aboud, assistant professor of neurology and PC K12 scholar, presented on, "Incidence of intracranial hemorrhage in glioma patients with venous thromboembolism converted from LMWH to Apixaban", at the CNS Clinical Trials & Brain Metastases Conference in Canada. The goal of this annual conference is to provide a deeper dive into the area of neuro-oncology clinical trials, to understand how to make more significant improvements in survival and quality of life of patients with primary and metastatic cancers of the central nervous system.

September 7, 2021

Chengfei Liu Receives R37 National Cancer Institute (NCI) Award

Chengfei Liu has received a $2 million R37 National Cancer Institute (NCI) award for prostate cancer research. Dr. Liu is the first early-stage cancer investigator at UC Davis to receive an R37 award. Dr. Liu was a dean’s scholar in the UC Davis Paul Calabresi Career Development K12 program, which was of immense importance in his trajectory toward the R37. K12 program director and Comprehensive Cancer Center Director, Dr. Primo Lara said, “This award will help him further develop his career and his research, while making important contributions to our understanding of what’s driving resistant prostate cancer.”

November 7, 2019

Paul Calabresi K12 Scholar - Guobao Wang, Awarded "Trailblazer" Grant for Hybrid Imaging Research

Guobao Wang, associate professor in the Department of Radiology, has received a "Trailblazer R21" grant ($628,000 over three years) from the National Institutes of Health and National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIH/NIBIB).

With this grant, Wang will develop the algorithms and test the feasibility of a new method combining positron emission tomography (PET) and X-ray computed tomography (CT) scanning. The proposed method provides new applications for human molecular imaging and adds spectral CT imaging as a dimension of information to clinical PET/CT.