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Notice of Special Interest (NOSI): Administrative Supplements to NCATS CTSA Program KL2 Institutional Career Development Awards

The National Institutes of Health’s (NIH’s) National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) is collaborating with the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) through its Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) Program to provide early career complementary and integrative health clinician-scientists with clinical and translational research training opportunities. This research experience enhances the scholar’s transition to an independent research career as principal investigator or subject matter expert with a collaborative team science approach.

In broader terms, the program helps expand the pipeline of clinician-scientist investigators with complementary and integrative health degrees and expertise conducting clinical or translational research on clinical interventions in NCCIH priority research topics.

Through supplemental funding to the CTSA Program’s Mentored Career Development Awards, NCCIH currently supports five investigators conducting research in complementary and integrative health research.

The five currently funded scholars and CTSA Program hubs are:

  • John Magel, P.T., Ph.D., D.Sc., at University of Utah, Utah Center for Clinical and Translational Science. Dr. Magel studies maladaptive pain beliefs, opioid use, and physical function in spinal surgery patients.
  • Dana McCarty, D.P.T., at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute, is developing a massage intervention program for extremely preterm infants and their parents.
  • Craig Schulz, D.C., at University of Minnesota, Center for Translational Science Institute (CTSI). Dr. Schulz is conducting secondary analyses of trials on spinal manipulation therapy for low-back pain to better understand behavioral and contextual elements of spinal manipulation.
  • Mark Sodders, D.A.O.M., at University of Washington, Institute of Translational Health Sciences, conducts feasibility work on acupuncture treatment in people with traumatic brain injury.
  • Kirsten Wright, N.D., at Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU), Oregon Clinical and Translational Research Institute. Dr. Wright examines dietary behavior, nutritional health, and related functional outcomes using a home-based digital assessment relative to Alzheimer’s disease clinical management.

The funded scholars represent a wide array of disciplines and research interests aligned with NCCIH funding priorities. “The CTSA KL2 Program offers a unique cohort training experience for clinician-scientists,” says Lanay Mudd, Ph.D., NCCIH’s training officer. “NCCIH’s supplements provide opportunities for individuals with complementary and integrative health clinical degrees to interact with other clinician-scientists as they develop research skills. We hope that this diversification of clinical backgrounds enriches the experience for everyone involved and leads to the formation of interdisciplinary research teams.”

Scholars supported through this program receive a wide range of training and mentorship from colleagues in their field of research. The scientific scope of projects for scholars supported by NCCIH supplements may range from basic, mechanistic, translational, and clinical research in natural products and mind and body approaches.

“Participation in the KL2 program at OHSU has given me access to invaluable training opportunities and support from an exceptional team of scientific and career development mentors,” says Kirsten Wright, N.D, assistant professor at OHSU. “It has enabled me to continue working in multidisciplinary biomedical research at a large academic institution and increased my credibility on funding applications, especially at institutes outside of NCCIH, where reviewers may be less familiar with my training as a naturopathic physician."

Dr. Craig Schulz, D.C., at the University of Minnesota states “The KL2 program has provided me the resources and mentorship to pursue what I need to advance my own research ideas and career independence in studying innovative ways to address nondrug pain management. The University of Minnesota’s CTSI provided a rich learning experience and robust resources.…This was complemented by additional and meaningful interactions with CTSI leadership and KL2 scholars from diverse disciplines, which provided me a broader perspective of my own research and greatly enhanced my skills in scientific communication, grant writing, and research leadership.”

The experience may also enhance the participants’ exposure to administrative aspects of their professional development through clinical research networks, didactics, research consultation, peer networking, grant writing and review, policy, evidenced-based practice, and guidelines, to name a few. NCCIH and NCATS hope the program will continue to expand and reflect a diverse range of clinician-scientist expertise.

Applications are due in April and October each year.

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