Five UArizona Health Sciences researchers selected for Career Development Awards

The University of Arizona Health Sciences Career Development Awards program supports the development of new research by promising young investigators. Five junior faculty members beginning independent research projects are receiving funding through the University of Arizona Health Sciences Career Development Award program.


Five faculty members were recently selected to receive University of Arizona Health Sciences Career Development Awards, which foster academic careers in clinical and translational research by providing research training and funding for new research.

The UArizona Health Sciences Career Development Awards, established in 2014, provide scholars with approximately $220,000 in financial support for mentorship, research training and supplies, and salary over two years. The awards, which include financial support from the colleges, jump-start pilot research projects in diverse areas.

The following five junior faculty members were selected for the latest round of awards:

  • Lauren Benton, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics at the UArizona College of Medicine – Tucson, will study nasal microbiota and related immune response changes in children with febrile or nonfebrile lower respiratory tract infections and with atopic or no atopic sensitizations. Her mentors include Fernando Martinez, MD, director of the UArizona Health Sciences Asthma and Airway Disease Research Center and professor of pediatrics in the College of Medicine – Tucson; Katri Typpo, MD, MPH, division chief of Pediatric Critical Care and associate professor of pediatrics in College of Medicine – Tucson; Pawel R. Kiela, DVM, PhD, associate director for basic science research and PANDA Endowed professor in autoimmune disease research in the Steele Children’s Research Center, Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine – Tucson and Fayez K. Ghishan, MD, Department Head of Pediatrics in the College of Medicine – Tucson and Physician-In-Chief, Diamond Children’s Medical Center.
  • Kellen Chen, PhD, assistant research professor of surgery at the College of Medicine – Tucson, plans to investigate the role of mechanical signaling in adverse implant-tissue interactions. His mentor is Geoffrey Gurtner, MD, FACS, chair of the College of Medicine – Tucson’s Department of Surgery.
  • Hongxu Ding, PhD, assistant professor of translational pharmacogenomics in the R. Ken Coit College of Pharmacy, plans to study in vitro derivation of esophageal basal cells for epidermolysis bullosa cell replacement therapy. Dr. Ding’s mentors include Qin Chen, PhD, director of pharmacogenomics in the R. Ken Coit College of Pharmacy and Hao Helen Zhang, PhD, professor and chair of statistics and data science in the University of Arizona Department of Mathematics.
  • Tobias Jakobi, PhD, assistant professor of internal medicine at the UArizona College of Medicine – Phoenix, will study circular RNAs as novel biomarkers and therapeutic targets for heart disease. His mentor is Chris Glembotski, PhD, director of the Center for Translational Cardiovascular Research and professor of internal medicine at the College of Medicine – Phoenix.
  • Bridget S. Murphy, DBH, MEd, assistant research professor in the Center for Rural Health at the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, will study advancing health equity in rural health care with an emphasis on translational science in pain and addiction. Dr. Murphy’s mentors include Patricia Haynes, PhD, CBSM, DBSM, associate professor in health promotion sciences, Todd Vanderah, PhD, director of the UArizona Health Sciences Comprehensive Pain and Addiction Center and head of the Department of Pharmacology at the College of Medicine – Tucson and Scott C. Carvajal, PhD, MPH, Chair of the Department of Health Promotion Sciences and the co-director of the Arizona Prevention Research Center.


Posted in AZBio News.