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CTSI Poster Session 2014The Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) recognized 12 researchers for having outstanding posters and presentations at the third annual CTSI Poster Session & Reception held on September 15. More than 150 people attended the event, including a group of Shattuck-St. Mary's students who are working closely with the poster presenters on a class project.

Judges evaluated more than 50 posters, and selected winners from each CTSI career development program as well as from the Community Collaborative grants program. CTSI will provide as much as $17,500 total in travel expenses so awardees can present their CTSI-supported research at a national or international conference.

Please join us in congratulating the 2014 travel award recipients!

Undergraduate Research Program (URP)
Samantha Carlson, School of Public Health
Stephanie Duong, Macalester College

Advanced Research Program (ARP)
David Matson, Medical School
Benjamin Otopalik, Medical School
Kinjal Sanghavi, College of Pharmacy

Translational Research Development Program (TRDP)
Alexa Weingarden, Medical School

New Investigator Pre-K Career Development Program
Stephanie Misono, Department of Otolaryngology, Medical School

KL2 Scholars Career Development Program
Ann Parr, Neurosurgery Department, Medical School
Guisheng Song, Department of Medicine, Medical School

K to R01 Transition to Independence Program

Melena Bellin, Department of Pediatrics, Medical School

R to R Pilot Grant
Robert Jones, Department of Development and Surgical Sciences, School of Dentistry

Community Collaborative grants program
Patricia Shannon, School of Social Work, College of Education and Human Development

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This week, CTSI awarded 12 researchers with travel awards to present their research at national conferences.

Judges evaluated nearly 70 posters at the CTSI Poster Session & Reception on Oct. 1, selecting winners in several categories.

Please join us in congratulating this year's winners!

Undergraduate Research Program
Sudip Bhandari
Mnwabisi Mbbangata

Advanced Research Program
Malek Okour
Joyce Trost

Melendy Scholar
Jenny Xiong

F&T Career Development Program
Caroline Diep
David Knorr

New Investigator Pre-K Career Development Program
Rebecca Shlafer

KL2 Scholars Career Development Program
Veronika Bachanova
Tetyana Shippee

K to R01 Transition to Independence
Lynda Polgreen

R to R
Marnie Peterson

_UMN6166.jpgThe University of Minnesota is known for its brilliant researchers who make groundbreaking research discoveries all the time. But last night, the Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) celebrated a specific, very remarkable subset of researchers - those committed to bringing their discoveries into practice.

Showcasing Translational Research
Nearly 70 researchers showcased how they're moving their discoveries along the translational path and into real-world practice. Researchers ranged from an assistant professor of medicine who is formulating a potential therapy for the treatment of head and neck cancer to a PhD student creating mobile-based interventions for obesity control and prevention.

"These researchers aren't content with simply publishing their findings and moving on to the next thing," noted CTSI Director Bruce Blazar, during a speech celebrating translational researchers. "Rather, they're bringing their discoveries into practice and doing their part to improve health."

Judges evaluated the posters, awarding 12 researchers with travel awards to present their research at national conferences.

Recognizing Strong Mentors
Last night CTSI also named Carol Lange, PhD, as the 2013 Mentor of the Year, an award driven by the compassion of the mentees who nominate their research mentors. Dr. Lange serves as a professor of Medicine and Pharmacology at the University of Minnesota Masonic Cancer Center. She is also a director of the Masonic Cancer Center's Cell Signaling and Cancer Biology Training Program.

Dr. Lange received $2,500 for this honor. Letters nominating Dr. Lange's were full of praise and admiration for her commitment to mentorship, her dedication to knowing students on an individual level, her professional integrity and the success of her scientific career.

One letter read, "Dr. Lange has an amazing generosity of spirit. Her engaging energy and tremendous capacity for intellectual creativity has created a stimulating and productive scientific environment that I am excited to work in every day."

From the mentor award to the teams of translational researchers, collaboration was one of the evening's recurring themes. Dr. Blazar conveyed this as well, telling the crowd of students, faculty, staff and community members, "By working together, we can improve human health."

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CTSI honored Carol Lange, PhD, with the 2013 Mentor of the Year Award on Tuesday evening. Dr. Lange accepted the award from Dr. Tucker LeBien, PhD, (shown) in front of a crowd of students, faculty, staff and community members at the CTSI Poster Session and Reception.

Dr. Lange serves as a professor of Medicine and Pharmacology at the University of Minnesota Masonic Cancer Center. She is also a director of the Masonic Cancer Center's Cell Signaling and Cancer Biology Training Program.

The award is driven by the compassion of the mentees who nominate their research mentors. Letters nominating Dr. Lange's were full of praise and admiration for her commitment to mentorship, her dedication to knowing students on an individual level, her professional integrity and the success of her scientific career.

"Since joining the Lange lab, I have flourished under her mentorship. Dr. Lange is, and will be, my template on how to become an independent and productive female scientific investigator."

"Dr. Lange takes her role as a mentor very seriously and works with trainees to make sure they are developing the necessary skills to succeed in a career in research. She also makes a sincere effort to understand the individual goals of her trainees."

"Dr. Lange has an amazing generosity of spirit. Her engaging energy and tremendous capacity for intellectual creativity has created a stimulating and productive scientific environment that I am excited to work in every day."

Dr. Lange received $1,500 for this honor. Congratulations, Dr. Lange!

At the CTSI Research Conference on September 12, 2012, Dr. Betsy Seaquist was honored as the first recipient of the Clinical and Translational Science Institute Mentor of the Year.


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Dr. Seaquist is Professor of Medicine and holds the Pennock Family Chair in Diabetes Research. Her research focuses on the effect of diabetes on brain metabolism, structure and function. Dr. Seaquist directs the University of Minnesota site for the ACCORD (Action to Control Cardiovascular Risk in Diabetes) Trial and is Principal Investigator on an NIH training grant for fellows in endocrinology and diabetes. She was recently elected Vice President of the American Diabetes Association. Dr. Seaquist received her BA from Vassar College and completed her medical training, including residency and fellowship, at the University of Minnesota.

Dr. Seaquist has trained scores of students, residents, and fellows. She has been the primary mentor for two K23 scholars, both of whom remain in academic medicine. She is the primary mentor for two current KL2 scholars (Drs. Silvia Mangia and Amir Moheet), and serves on the committee supervising K23 recipient Dr. Melena Bellin.

Dr. Seaquist's nominations were full of praise and admiration for her work as a mentor.

"Thanks to her absolutely stunning appreciation of team-work, the atmosphere of her lab is in fact truly electrifying for everyone. She is a natural source of positive energy that encourages us to always welcome challenges as possibilities for improvement rather than limitations."

"I will always be grateful to Betsy for the time she spends with me (she never skipped any meeting with me during these moths), for her intelligence, for her willingness to share with others the benefit of her intelligence, for her humanity, overall for being simply who she is. In a world that desperately needs positive human figures, Betsy is a deep breath of fresh air."

"Dr. Seaquist is the epitome of a successful mentor. She is a world-class clinical/translational researcher and academic endocrinologist dedicated to the development of junior faculty. She accomplished the challenging task of providing guidance and allowing for freedom."

Join us in congratulating Dr. Seaquist!

About the CTSI Mentor of the Year Award

Mentor of the Year candidates are nominated by a CTSI mentee with supporting letters from a former mentee and a faculty colleague. Award selection criteria include assistance with guidance in research, interpersonal and motivational skills, promotion and career development, and mentor training record and NIH biosketch.