Congratulations to the 2019 award recipients. The 2020 application cycle will open in late December. Please check back then.
These awards increase opportunities for underrepresented faculty who are committed to diversity, inclusion and equity, to advance to senior positions in academic medicine and leadership.
The two awards categories are the Physician/Scientist Development Award (PSDA) and the Clinician/Teacher Development Award (CTDA). Each award provides $120,000 over four years and is designed for Mass General-appointed faculty pursuing different career goals.
"The Clinician-Teacher Development Award was the foundation and opportunity I needed to start my research in health care disparities. I certainly would not be where I am today if it was not for this award and the support the CDI offered me and has continued to provide."– Marcela del Carmen, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Massachusetts General Physicians Organization (MGPO), 2005 CTDA Winner
The Clinician-Teacher Development Award (CTDA): The CTDA is funded by the Massachusetts General Physicians Organization and is designed for URM faculty pursuing a career as a clinician teacher, community leader or administrator. Please view the CTDA Call for Applications and the CTDA FAQs.
The Physician/Scientist Development Award (PSDA): The PSDA is funded by the Mass General Executive Committee on Research and is designed for URM fellows or faculty pursuing a career as a physician-scientist or scientist. Please view the PSDA Call for Applications and the PSDA FAQs.
CDI Faculty Development Award Consultation Service: This service is designed to help applicants develop a strong application for the Physician-Scientist and Clinician-Teacher Development Awards. Through this service, you can speak with a previous award winner for advice on your application, including your research plan, personal statement, and letters. To request a consultation, please complete this survey.
2019 Clinician-Teacher Development Award Recipients
Carlos Torres, MD
Associate Director of Diversity &Inclusion, MassGeneral Hospital for Children
Pediatrics, MGH Chelsea Health Center
Instructor in Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School
Dr. Torres is a pediatrician at MGH Chelsea HealthCare Center and Associate Director of Diversity & Equity at MassGeneral Hospital for Children. He was born and raised in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. He moved with his family to Milwaukee, Wisconsin during his teenage years, afterwards attending the University of Wisconsin-Madison and earning his bachelor of science in psychology. He received his Doctor of Medicine from Harvard Medical School, then attended pediatric residency at MassGeneral Hospital for Children and served as a chief resident. His clinical and research interests include immigrant health, disparity research, LGBT health, and resiliency. Outside of work, he enjoys spending time with his partner and dog, catching up with his nine siblings and many nephews back home, traveling, and gardening.
Abstract: Implementing and evaluating a longitudinal, interdepartmental cross-cultural care curriculum in pediatrics for residents, attendings, and nurses
Medical trainees must learn to competently care for patients from different cultures. However, a standardized curriculum that teaches cross-cultural care and which has been evaluated for efficacy does not exist in pediatrics at MassGeneral Hospital for Children (MGHfC). This project aims to develop, implement, and evaluate a cross-cultural care curriculum in pediatrics, adapting to our current needs. Through this curriculum, participants will be able to recognize that cross-cultural education is a vehicle for enhancing the quality of patient care and building effective healthcare teams, apply practical guidelines to communicate effectively across cultures, and use their own cultural identity as an asset to define the social and cultural issues that are most relevant in the care of diverse patient populations. This curriculum will enable all providers to change their approach to cross-cultural care through reflection on their current practice and active discussion and training of new language and attitudes. Ultimately, the intent is to create and distribute an evidence-based curriculum that can be delivered to the entire department at MGHfC, including attendings and nurses, so that it can increase clinicians’ preparedness and competency in caring for a diverse community of patients.
Soo Jeong Youn, PhD
Clinical Psychologist, Community Psychiatry Program for Research in Implementation and Dissemination of Evidence-based Treatments (PRIDE)
Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital
Instructor in Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School
Dr. Youn’s research and clinical experience include bridging the gap between research and practice by engaging in psychotherapy process and outcome research, community based participatory research, and implementation and dissemination of evidence-based treatments (EBTs). Through this research, she has translated evidence-based research into clinically applicable and sustainable treatments for diverse settings. Most recently, Dr. Youn has worked on assessing process and outcome variables in the implementation of EBTs for post-traumatic stress disorder in diverse communities, and developing and refining train-the-trainer models to enhance the dissemination and sustainability of EBTs in community health centers. In addition to the Center for Diversity and Inclusion Clinician-Teacher Development Award, she has received the Marty T. Murphy Award for Excellence from The Pennsylvania State University in 2013, and was selected as a Partners in Connected Health Innovation Fellow in 2017.
Abstract: Bridging the science-practice gap by creating a community participatory teaching program
One out of every five youth in the United States has a mental health disorder, yet more than 80% of youth in the United States do not receive any mental health care, with a higher unmet need among ethnically diverse youth. Evidence-based treatments, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), have been shown to effectively address mental health disorders among youth, and schools have become an important setting for these interventions. However, it takes at least 17 years for these treatments to reach settings like schools, often longer for those in underserved communities. In addition, schools often lack trained personnel that can adequately meet the mental health needs of students. As such, the aim of this proposal is to bridge this science-practice gap by creating a community participatory teaching program that will train teachers working in inner-city high schools to better utilize cognitive behavioral strategies to serve the mental health needs of their students. This will be accomplished by adapting a program for teachers in CBT interventions to include case conceptualization and group management and providing ongoing training and coaching to teachers to utilize their newly acquired skillset.
2019 Physician/Scientist Development Award Recipients
George Alba, MD
Division of Pulmonary & Critical Care
Department of Medicine
Instructor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School
Dr. Alba is a physician-investigator in the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care at Mass General. Dr. Alba received his bachelor’s degrees in English Literature and Biology from Washington University in St. Louis and earned his MD at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. He completed his Internal Medicine and Pulmonary and Critical Care training at Mass General before joining the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care as an Instructor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School in 2018. Dr. Alba pursued a postdoctoral research fellowship in the laboratory of Dr. Bradley Maron at Brigham and Women’s Hospital where he completed a National Research Service Award funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the NIH to study platelet-endothelial interactions in the pulmonary circulation. He is a recipient of the NIH Loan Repayment Program and the Harvard KL2/Catalyst Medical Research Investigator Training (CMeRIT) award and is a finalist for the American Heart Association (AHA) Cournand and Comroe Early Career Investigator Award.
Abstract: Targeting NEDD9 with a Novel Antibody to Inhibit Platelet-Endothelial Cell Adhesion Selectively in the Pulmonary Circulation
Thrombotic disorders of the pulmonary circulation, including pulmonary embolism (PE) and chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH), are estimated to affect over 1 million people in the United States every year, accounting for 1 in 8 deaths worldwide and costing over $1.5 billion U.S. dollars annually. The current standard of care treatment is anticoagulant or thrombolytic drugs; however, these therapies do not target molecular mechanisms underlying pulmonary thrombosis specifically and are associated with a high rate of major adverse clinical events due to off-target drug complications such as life-threatening hemorrhage in other vascular beds. Therefore, developing a therapy that is selective to the pulmonary circulation is anticipated to provide a superior therapeutic advantage compared to the current standard of care. We demonstrated that NEDD9 is a hypoxia-sensitive protein that is selectively upregulated on the luminal aspect of human pulmonary artery endothelial cells and binds directly to platelet-surface P-Selectin to promote pulmonary thrombosis. We developed a novel antibody that targets the NEDD9-P-Selectin binding region to prevent platelet-endothelial adhesion in vitro. We now aim to demonstrate if it can prevent pulmonary thrombosis and pulmonary hypertension in vivo with the goal of translating this into a novel therapeutic strategy for patients.
Sophia C. Kamran, MD
Department of Radiation Oncology, Genitourinary Service
Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center
Instructor in Radiation Oncology, Harvard Medical School
Dr. Kamran is a radiation oncologist at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center and Instructor at Harvard Medical School. In her clinic, she specializes in the treatment of genitourinary cancers. Her research interests focus on the application of computational genomic approaches to characterize tumor evolution to treatment and understand mechanisms of toxicity and resistance to radiation and chemoradiation. Her long-term goal is to use these approaches to guide the design of clinical trials of high-precision radiation therapy to enable personalized approaches to delivery of radiation therapy for patients with genitourinary cancers. Her research has received distinctions from the American Society for Radiation Oncology (Basic/Translational Science Research Award) as well as the Mass General Department of Radiation Oncology William Shipley Research Award. Dr. Kamran was recently nationally recognized as a “40 Under 40 in Cancer Rising Stars and Emerging Leaders” by the Lynx Group/McGivney Global Advisors. In addition to the CDI Physician and/or Scientist Development Award, she is also the recipient of the inaugural Loeffler Team Science Seed Grant for her translational work in immunoradiotherapy.
Dr. Kamran holds a bachelor’s degree in Biological Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which she attended as a Gates Millennium Scholar. She received her medical degree cum laude from Harvard Medical School. During her medical training, she completed a Howard Hughes Medical Student Research Fellowship. She completed a transitional year internship at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and residency training at the Harvard Radiation Oncology Program.
Abstract: Prospective Validation of Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms as Predictors of Toxicity Following Radiation Therapy for Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer (PC) is the most common malignancy among men in the United States. Prostate-directed radiation therapy is an effective treatment for localized PC but it can be associated with long-term bladder, bowel, and sexual toxicities that adversely impact quality of life (QOL) in PC survivors. Long-term QOL is key in this population given high cure rates and long natural history. There is a need for biomarkers that can accurately predict individualized radiation toxicity risk and thus enable tailoring of treatment. Emerging data suggest that inherited genetic differences may impact radiosensitivity. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) have been reported as predictors of toxicity after radiation but have not been independently validated in prospective, prostate-specific cohorts. The overarching hypothesis of this project is that individual genetic variations through SNPs mediate normal tissue toxicities induced by radiation. Using samples from patients prospectively enrolled on an ongoing multicenter national randomized phase III trial evaluating proton- versus photon-beam radiation therapy in early-stage PC, we seek to validate previously identified SNPs associated with radiation toxicities using high-quality, prospectively collected toxicity and patient-reported outcome data. Validated SNPs can serve as biomarkers for predictors of radiation-specific toxicity and patient-reported long-term QOL that can guide and personalize PC treatment.
Patricia Musolino, MD, PhD
Department of Neurology, Division of Child Neurology, Critical Care and Stroke
Co-director Pediatric Stroke and Cerebrovascular Service
Affiliated faculty, Center for Genomic Medicine
Assistant Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School
Dr. Musolino is a critical care and vascular neurologist with expertise in white matter disorders and cerebrovascular biology. She is assistant professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School and the co-director of the pediatric stroke and cerebrovascular service at Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Musolino's clinical and research expertise revolves around the translation of discoveries in human genetics to clinical application in white matter and cerebrovascular disorders. Following training in neurosciences, imaging and molecular biology, acquired during her MD and PhD in her native Argentina and post-doctoral training at Harvard, Dr. Musolino completed dual training in pediatric and adult neurology with specialization in critical care and stroke at Mass General. Dr. Musolino’s laboratory focuses on leveraging insights from neuroimaging in patients and in-vitro gene-editing tools to understand how single gene mutations alter blood-brain barrier and cerebrovascular function in order to find better therapies and improve the quality of life of patients with rare genetic disorders. This novel approach has led to multiple high-impact publications and the development of pre-clinical tools to develop gene targeted therapies for single gene disorders causing neuroinflammation and stroke at a young age, including ALD, ACTA2, SAMHD1, CADASIL and COL4A1. Working hand in hand with patients and advocacy groups, Dr. Musolino is also developing an international network and resources to maximize the life potential of children and young adults affected by these disorders. Dr. Musolino is the recipient of several awards from NINDS, the Hearst and Child Neurology Foundation, Mass General Executive Committee on Research and the 2017 Herbert Pardes Clinical Research Excellence Award from the National Clinical Research Forum for the first gene therapy trial in a cerebral demyelinating disorder.
Abstract: Brain Vessel Permeability in Cerebral Adrenoleukodystrophy
Cerebral Adrenoleukodystrophy is a devastating inherited disease that causes inflammatory cells to infiltrate the brain, leading to progressive degeneration, vegetative state and death in months to years. Unfortunately, current therapies either fail to prevent cerebral disease or carry high toxicity and mortality. In this project we will study how the gene defect changes the brain vessel permeability to allow access of inflammatory cells to the brain using laboratory tools at the bench. If validated by this study, our approach sets forth a successful strategy for identifying factors that contribute to the development of cerebral degeneration and a laboratory tool urgently needed to screen for new therapies that are more targeted and less toxic.
Erica T. Warner, ScD, MPH
Department of Medicine, Mongan Institute, Clinical Translational Epidemiology Unit
Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
Dr. Warner is an Assistant Professor in the Department Medicine at Harvard Medical School and an Assistant Investigator at Mass General, where she conducts epidemiological research on cancer in the Mongan Institute’s Clinical Translational Epidemiology Unit. Dr. Warner has a bachelor's degree from Duke University and a master's in public health (MPH) from the Yale School of Public Health. Dr. Warner completed her doctorate and the Alonzo Smythe Yerby Postdoctoral Fellowship, both in Epidemiology, at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Her research studies how lifestyle, behavioral, and genetic factors affect cancer screening and intermediate markers of cancer risk, cancer risk and survival, with a particular interest in molecular subtypes and racial/ethnic and socioeconomic health disparities. Dr. Warner is a member of the steering committee of the Boston Breast Cancer Equity Coalition, Research Director for the Boston Mammography Cohort Study, and Project Director for the National Consortium on Psychosocial Stress, Spirituality, and Health. She is a 2018 winner of the Dean's Community Service Award from the Office for Diversity Inclusion and Community Partnership at Harvard Medical School, and was recently named a Diversity Scholar by the Nutrition Obesity Research Center at Harvard. In addition to the Mass General Physician/Scientist Development Award, Dr. Warner’s research is funded by the National Cancer Institute.
Abstract: Impact of a Comprehensive Patient Navigation Intervention on Endocrine Therapy Adherence and Persistence among Vulnerable Women in Boston
Adherence to hormonal therapy (HT) among women with hormone receptor positive breast cancer (HR+) is suboptimal, contributing to preventable deaths and health disparities. American Society of Clinical Oncology practice guidelines recommend that women with HR+ breast cancer complete at least five, and up to 10, years of adjuvant tamoxifen and/or aromatase inhibitor therapy, depending on menopausal status. Data suggest that up to 50% of women do not complete five years of endocrine therapy, and this may be even worse among lower-income and minority women and may contribute to persistent racial and socioeconomic disparities in breast cancer survival. Previous interventions to address gaps in HT initiation, adherence and persistence have focused on education and cognitive behavioral training among patients, with limited success. However, a small but growing body of evidence demonstrates system-level interventions that may be effective. In this proposal, we build on a city-wide implementation trial to improve care to vulnerable women across Boston. Translating Research into Practice (TRIP) is a three-pronged city-wide patient navigation intervention targeted at breast cancer patients who are at risk for delays in care due to their race/ethnicity, language, or insurance status. We propose to:
- Determine the feasibility and validity of an online medication database compared to EMR data abstraction to measure HT adherence and persistence
- Evaluate the impact of TRIP on HT early discontinuation and adherence among 342 intervention patients and 263 historic controls with HR+ breast cancer
Oladapo O. Yeku, MD, PhD, FACP
Department of Medicine, Medical Gynecology Oncology
Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center
Instructor, Harvard Medical School
Dr. Yeku is an Instructor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and an Attending Physician in Medical Oncology at the Mass General Cancer Center. He is a member of the Termeer Phase 1 therapeutics group and the Mass General cellular therapy working group. He is a fellow of the American College of Physicians. Dr. Yeku completed his combined MD, PhD program at Stony Brook University School of Medicine and his Internal Medicine training at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. His Medical Oncology Fellowship training was at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Dr Yeku’s PhD is in molecular and cellular pharmacology and he received postdoctoral training in immunotherapy and adoptive cellular therapy. His training and expertise include standard systemic treatment options, immunotherapy, targeted-therapy and immunotherapeutic modalities for gynecologic cancers.
Abstract: MUC16 Antigen Immunotherapy for Ovarian Cancer
Despite initially effective chemotherapy for ovarian cancer, around two thirds of patients diagnosed will succumb to this disease. As such, novel efficacious treatments are critically needed. The presence of a unique cell surface molecule, MUC16 (CA125 antigen), provides an opportunity for immunotherapy-based approaches that target this antigen. This project aims to exploit the MUC16 antigen via the design and testing of bispecific engager T cell molecules that bind to the cancer cell and recruit the patient’s immune system to destroy the cancer. In addition, understanding the unfavorable elements of the tumor microenvironment will enable us to design and optimize better bispecific engagers. Just as importantly, we will be better able to rationally combine other treatment modalities with bispecific engagers to promote a comprehensive immune attack against the cancer.