The University of Arizona Health Sciences Career Development Awards (CDA) program recently selected Salma Patel, MD, MPH, assistant professor of medicine, College of Medicine – Tucson, as one of four recipients in its latest round of awards.
Dr. Patel investigates obstructive sleep apnea, which affects up to 30% of Americans and is a risk factor for cardiac arrhythmias and death. Finding reliable biomarkers in sleep medicine is a research priority for the National Institutes of Health, and Dr. Patel will aid that effort in evaluating whether a high genetic QT score is a biomarker for increased mortality in obstructive sleep apnea.
“Dr. Patel is a very motivated and hardworking candidate who is worth every bit of support. She holds great promise in academia,” said Dr. Patel’s primary mentor, Sairam Parthasarathy, MD, director of the UA Health Sciences Center for Sleep and Circadian Sciences, director of the Center for Sleep Disorders at Banner – University Medical Center Tucson and UA professor of medicine and clinical translational sciences. “Dr. Patel will no doubt be successful to transitioning to an independently funded investigator if she continues to work as hard as she has all these years. Her strength is her background, determination, maturity and excellent ability to communicate.”
The CDA program was established by the Office of the Senior Vice President for Health Sciences in 2014 to provide research training and funding for junior faculty members, and foster academic careers in clinical and translational research. Selected scholars are provided with mentorship, research training and salary support, plus funding for travel and research supplies.
The CDA scholars must complete an independent research project, which is expected to generate sufficient pilot findings to enable the submission of an NIH K-series or R01 grant (or equivalent) by the second year of the program. Each scholar also must choose a lead mentor, or mentors if the project is multidisciplinary.
Watch this space to learn about the other junior faculty members who were selected for this latest round of awards:
- Darren Cusanovich, PhD, research assistant professor of cellular and molecular medicine, College of Medicine – Tucson;
- Lindsay Kohler, PhD, MPH, assistant professor of practice in health promotion sciences, Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health;
- Nahla Zaghloul, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics, College of Medicine – Tucson.