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The mission of the MW CTR-IN Program is to build clinical and translational research capacity and facilitate extramural funding success, among investigators with faculty appointments at the 13 MW university partners. Our thematic focus is to address health disparities in our regions. In the past five years, the MW CTR-IN Program has provided over $6M in pilot grant funding to over 80 investigators at our partner universities.



Key Dates (for both funding opportunities A and B):


Final day for Submission of Nominating Packets by Institution Partners
March 28, 2018*

Invitations to investigators to submit full applications will be issued by
March 30, 2018

Application Due Date
April 30, 2018

Announcement of Applications Selected for Intent to Fund June 27, 2018

Earliest Start Date Aug 1, 2018**

Project Period** Aug 1, 2018 – June 30, 2019

* The limited competition nomination process will be determined by each institution; earlier internal
deadlines may apply.
** Actual start date will be dependent upon funding approval by NIGMS.


A. Health disparities pilot grant (Single Principle Investigator (PI)):

The purpose of this funding opportunity is to provide promising early career investigators with support to capture the key preliminary data that will support and inform a competitive “R-level” grant application to NIH or otherextramural funding sources.

  • Research Emphasis: pilot projects focused on health disparities (or health inequalities). Health disparities can have different meanings and interpretations depending on the setting and population being studied. In general, health disparities are considered to be differences in the incidence, prevalence, mortality, access to care and burden of diseases and other adverse health conditions that exist among specific population groups.
  • PI Eligibility: The PI must 1) have a faculty-level appointment with a minimum of 0.5 FTE support at a participating CTR-IN Institution, and 2) must be eligible to submit extramural grant applications from their institution as a PI. The PI must devote at least 20% effort (2.4 person months) to the Pilot Grant project. Per IDeA program policy, an awardee may not concurrently receive funding for their research program through other IDeA mechanisms (e.g., CTR, CoBRE or INBRE).
  • Direct Cost: $60,000
  • Each partner institution may nominate up to four applicants.

B. Multi-site Pilot Projects (Multiple PI):

The purpose of this funding opportunity is to provide pilot project support for a multi-site CTR project with the expectation that this project will yield the key preliminary data to facilitate a large-scale multi-site extramural grant application.

  • Research Emphasis: Priority will be given to projects focused on health disparities.
  • Multi-site Pilot Projects must include at least two CTR-IN institutions, including the Lead PI. For example, the project will include the Lead Institution/Lead PI and one or more collaborating Site Institution(s)/Site PI(s). Participant recruitment must occur at all sites.
  • PI Eligibility: Eligibility requirements as indicated above for funding opportunity A apply for both Lead PI and Site PI(s). In addition, the Lead Investigator should have a track record of extramural funding for clinical research in the area of the proposed research project.
  • Direct Cost: $100,000. UNLV will administer separate subawards for each collaborating site.
  • Multi-site Pilot Projects are competitively renewable for a 2nd year of funding.
  • Each partner institution may nominate up to one application as Lead Institution, but institutions
  • can be collaborating sites on multiple proposals.



Limited competition nomination of applicants from eligible institutions:

For either pilot program (Health Disparities Pilots or Multi-site Pilots) applicants must be nominated by their institution and subsequently invited by CTR-IN to submit a full application. Potential applicants must contact their local CTR-IN Concierge for instructions on the internal nominating process.

These limited competition opportunities include the following institutional restrictions:

  • For Health Disparities Pilot Projects (funding opportunity A), each institution may nominate up to four (4) applicants.
  • For Multi-site Pilot Projects (funding opportunity B), each institution may only nominate one (1) application where their institute will serve as Lead Site. However, institutions can be a collaborating site on multiple applications.

Nominating Packets must include the following for each applicant:

  • An NIH format Biographical Sketch for the proposed PI.
  • An NIH format Other Support document for the proposed PI.
  • A summary of the proposed research of not more than one page with sufficient detail to establish that the research is clinical or translational. For the Multi-site nomination the narrative should include listing of collaborating partner site(s) and corresponding Site Lead(s).
  • A letter of support signed by an appropriate institutional official committing to provide support for half of the requested PI effort if the CTR-IN Pilot Grant is awarded.
Invitation to submit pilot grant application:

Nominating Packets will undergo administrative review by CTR-IN to ensure that they are responsive to the respective funding opportunity. OSP representatives will be notified of any nominations that are found to be non-responsive. A Nominating Packet that is determined to be non-responsive may be replaced with another while the Nomination phase is open. Thus early submission of Nominating Packets is encouraged in order to allow adequate time to prepare a replacement nominations where applicable. Applicants with approved Nominating Packets will be invited to submit a full application.

Full application:

Detailed application instructions will be provided to applicants that are invited to submit full applications. At that time, applicants will also be provided with further guidance on obtaining biostatistical, mentorship and other professional development support. With respect to preparing research strategy and budgets, the following requirements will apply:

  • Specific Aims – 1 page
  • Research Strategy – 4 pages (6 pages for Multi-site Pilot Projects)
    Note: in addition to Significance, Innovation and Approach sections, the Research Strategy should include the timeline, interim milestones and plans for developing and submitting a subsequent extramural grant application.
  • IRB approval must be included with the application.
  • Budget details
    • Facilities and Administration Costs are limited to the federal/NIH de minimus rate of 10%.
    • All expenses must be allowable under NIH guidelines.
    • Travel expenses are allowed, including expenses for conducting field work as part of the project, or accessing experts or other resources such as meeting with a formal mentor. Budgets must include costs for the PI and the mentor to attend the CTR-IN Annual Meeting in Las Vegas. Travel expenses may be requested for the PI to present this work at one national or regional meeting, providing the meeting date is within the project period and far enough into the project for data to be available.
    • Special requirements regarding PI support: The following applies to both PI for Health Disparities Pilot Projects and both the Lead PI and Site PI(s) for Multi site Pilot Projects. PIs must devote at least 20% effort to the proposed research (i.e., 2.4 calendar months); up to 50% effort may be proposed. While the budget narrative must reference the full amount of effort required to accomplish the proposed scope of work, the budget may request CTR-IN funds for not more than half of the PI effort. Per prior agreement with CTR-IN partner institutions the balance of PI effort is to be covered by institutional support in the form of release from teaching, direct salary support, assignment of time provided to pursue scholarly activity, or other mechanisms appropriate to the institution. This support is not a formal cost share, and no recording/reporting requirements exist. Budgets should list the full PI effort proposed as appropriate for their appointment in calendar months, or academic and summer months. Support requested may not exceed half of that value.
    • Subcontracts to institutions located in non-IDeA states – not allowable. However, services provided in non-IDeA states can be purchased on a fee-for service basis.



Eligible Mountain West Research Consortium Institutions:

Boise State University
Idaho State University
Montana State University
New Mexico State University
University of Alaska, Anchorage
University of Alaska, Fairbanks
University of Hawaii
University of Idaho

University of Montana
University of New Mexico
University of Nevada Las Vegas
University of Nevada Reno
University of Wyoming

The types of clinical or translation research we fund:

Pilot projects must be clinical or translational research (CTR). Clinical research, as defined by NIH, is research with human subjects that is:
  1. patient-oriented research;
  2. epidemiological or behavioral studies; or
  3. outcomes or health services research.

Translational research has been interpreted in a variety of ways in recent years, and CTR-IN characterizes translational research according to the recent review on this topic. Specifically, the four main areas of translational research are defined as follows:

T1: Translation of basic science to early testing in humans;
T2: Early phase clinical trial; efficacy; establishment of clinical guidelines;
T3: Implementation and dissemination research; and
T4: Outcomes and effectiveness research.


CTR-IN resources available to assist with application submissions, study design and career development:


Gwen Marchand Bio

Gwen Marchand, PhD, will serve as the Director for the new upcoming Tracking & Evaluation (T&E) Core in Years 6-10 of the MW CTR-IN Program. She is currently the Director of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Center for Research, Evaluation, and Assessment (CREA) and oversees the evaluation training and coursework of graduate students. She is also an Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Psychology and Higher Education. Dr. Marchand received her Masters and PhD degrees in Psychology from Portland State University, Portland, Oregon.

During her doctoral degree, she focused on rural and urban disparities in access to health care and youth risk behaviors in Oregon. More recently, she collaborated on a proposed project to investigate future thinking and health behaviors in minority youth and has conducted research and evaluation in diverse areas, including but not limited to team science in biomedical research fields, community health, drug court/treatment partnerships, built environments, statewide technology use, and STEM curriculum implementation. Dr. Marchand’s expertise is in assessment and evaluation methodologies that include methods for assisting with program development, formative assessment practices for program improvement, and summative assessment to demonstrate impact. Her evaluation work is grounded in a pragmatic approach that is theory-driven and emphasizes the generation of information that is useful to program stakeholders, funders, and policy-makers. As a trained systems scientist and psychologist, she has a strong quantitative tradition that has grown to include mixed-methods including expertise in measurement and assessment strategies and development, advanced statistics and the use of explanatory mixed-methods.

Robert Seville Bio

Robert “Scott” Seville, PhD, will serve as the Associate Director of the MW CTR-IN Pilot Projects Core. He is currently a Professor of Zoology and Physiology in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Wyoming. Currently, he serves as the Lead Concierge for MW CTR-IN Concierge Network. Previously, he served as the Associate Dean for the University of Wyoming Outreach School where he had oversight of UW facilities, staff and programs across Wyoming including managing UW Academic Regional Centers located on each Wyoming community college and the Wind River Indian Reservation. He received his Master’s and PhD degrees, and Postdoctoral training in Zoology/Physiology/Parasitology from the University of Wyoming, Laramie, in Wyoming followed by a NSF/NATO Fellowship in Parasitology.

Dr. Seville’s research has focused on the taxonomy, systematics, and parasite-host co-evolution using gastrointestinal protozoan parasites (coccidia) in wild hosts as a model system. Additionally, he brings experience in leading and managing NIH-funded activities as the Program Director/Principal Investigator, Outreach/Education Core Director, and previously Program Coordinator for the IDeA-funded Wyoming INBRE program. In these leadership roles, he has been responsible for working with the INBRE leadership team and the University of Wyoming Office of Research and Economic Development in managing ~$35M in support from NIGMS IDeA Programs with a number of research, education programs and projects focused on addressing health disparities in rural and American Indian communities in Wyoming.

Tony Ward Bio

Tony Ward, PhD, will serve as the Director for the new upcoming Community Engagement and Outreach (CEO) Core in Years 6-10 of the MW CTR-IN Program. In addition to teaching within University of Montana’s School of Public and Community Health Sciences, Dr. Ward’s research focuses on investigating the relationship between air pollution and respiratory health, working with rural and American Indian (AI) and Alaska Native (AN) populations throughout our region. Concurrently, he is the Co-PI on two NIEHS-funded R01s investigating the impact of residential wood burning on respiratory health in both children and elderly populations living in rural and tribal areas located in the southwest, northern Rocky Mountains, and rural Alaska Native communities. He is also the Co-PI on a NIH funded Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) project that educates rural and AI/AN students in schools throughout Montana, Idaho, and Alaska about air quality/respiratory health. Moreover, Dr. Ward is the Chair at the University of Montana, School of Public and Community Health Sciences in Missoula, Montana, and the State of Montana Director of the CEO Core for the AI/AN Clinical Translational Research Project (CTRP). Dr. Ward received his Masters degree in Environmental Science and Industrial Hygiene from the University of Houston, Clear Lake in Texas, and his PhD degree in Environmental Chemistry from the University of Montana, Missoula, in Montana along with a Postdoctoral.

Dr. Ward has experience conducting Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR) in rural and underserved communities, including AI/AN communities. His experience with the AI/AN CTRP will be a valuable asset for his role as the CEO Core Director for the CTR-IN, providing synergy for both of the IDeA Programs.

Fares Qeadan Bio

Fares Qeadan, PhD, is the Associate Director for the MW CTR-IN BERD Core. Dr. Qeadan is also an Assistant Professor of Biostatistics in the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of New Mexico (UNM) HSC. He also teaches the biostatistics courses for the Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program (BSGP) and participates in team science as a biostatistician with the UNM HSC Clinical & Translational Science Center (CTSC). He holds two Master’s degrees in Mathematics and Statistics from the University of Nevada, Reno in Nevada and Michigan State University, East-Lansing in Michigan.

Dr. Qeadan has over 10 years of experience in the field of Biostatistics and Computer Science including extensive experience in statistical design and analysis in the areas of public health/epidemiology and biostatistics centers. Moreover, he brings experience from his work at the Nevada State Health Division and work on projects for the Sandia National Labs. His research interests extend to the areas of linear models (mixed effect models), generalized linear models (logistic/Poisson regression), distribution theory (boundary cases), extreme value theory (peak over threshold), time-series with regressors, Bayesian methods for hierarchical models, and Big Data including EMR such as the Cerner Health Facts database, Medicaid, and HIS General Data Mart. Dr. Qeadan has authored a diverse body of work regarding health disparities in which he has examined wide array of topics including the Hispanic Epidemiological Paradox and health outcomes in dynamic populations. His work on health disparities involved and touched other relevant areas of research including the developing of statistical methods for neurology, immunology, microenvironment data with emphasis on cytokines and chemokines. These methods are applied on data to statistically demonstrate differentials in the immune response profiles between males and females, and different race and ethnicity groups which in turn contributes to implementing better measures and promising interventions to reduce health disparities.

Cristiana Iosef Bio

Cristiana Iosef, PhD, is the Associate Director of the Professional Development Core (PDC) for the MW CTR-IN Program. In this role, she coordinates the Advance to Funding (ATF) Program and the Grant Writing Workshops (GWW). She received her PhD degree in Immunology/Microbiology from the University of Timisoara / WUSTL School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri. She received her Postdoctoral training in Immunology/Virology from the Ohio State University, Wooster in Ohio, and additional Postdoctoral training in Medical Biochemistry from the University of Western Ontario in Ontario, Canada. Dr. Iosef is also an Associate Professor of Pharmacology at the University of Nevada Reno.

In this role for the ATF Program, she assists research investigators in the review of their grants prior to submission to the NIH to provide constructive feedback from our many expert reviewers to increase their probability of extramural funding. Hence, the ATF Program functions very much like a “study section”. She is also in charge of coordinating the GWWs, which assist research investigators in improving their knowledge and skills in the preparation of grants to make them more competitive for extramural grant funding. Additionally, she has extensive experience in medical research and education, including studies of health disparities associated with abnormal child development and perinatal pathologies governed by growth factor(s) deficiencies such as in a state of malnutrition.

Merle Kataoka-Yahiro Bio

Merle Kataoka-Yahiro, DrPH, MS, APRN is an Associate Director of the Professional Development Core of the MW CTR-IN Program since 2013. She coordinates the Education/Training for the PDC. She is a Professor in the School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Additionally, she has served as PI for the NIH Extramural Associates Research Development (EARDA) Awards, Office of Research Development in 2013, and served as the Section Leader and Co-Leader for the Research Centers in Minority Institutions (RCMI) Multidisciplinary and Translational Research Infrastructure Expansion Hawaii Grant (RMATRIX) from 2010 – 2014. Dr. Kataoka-Yahiro earned two Master’s degrees in Parent-Child Nursing (Rush University) and Public Health (Northwestern University) and a DrPH in Public Health from the University of Illinois, School of Public Health in Chicago, Illinois.

Dr. Kataoka-Yahiro’s research area has been in health disparities research focused on chronic disease management with vulnerable populations which include women, children, older adults, and minority populations. Currently, she is examining and analyzing population data sets of Asian Pacific Islander and Native Hawaiian groups and chronic diseases, specifically in prevention of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and associated cardiovascular risk factors (diabetes, hypertension, and obesity). Dr. Kataoka-Yahiro has mentored a cadre of diverse faculty and students through developing and providing scientific research training opportunities targeting towards health disparities research in clinical translational research.

Yiliang Zhu Bio

Yiliang Zhu, PhD, is the Director of the Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Research Design (BERD) core for the MW-CTR-IN Program. He is also a Professor in the Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics in the Department of Internal Medicine at the College of Medicine at the University of New Mexico HSC. He received his Masters and PhD degree in Statistics from Queen’s University, Kingston and University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.

Dr. Zhu’s expertise is in data analytics. His recent research has focused on health system and policy, health outcome evaluation, and data analytic methods. In the Loess Plateau Health Project (2013-2030) in northwestern rural China, he established a multidisciplinary, international team during his Fulbright Fellowship (2012-13) during which he and his team conducted observational and interventional studies on healthcare system development, policy assessment, health promotion, as well as health disparities within the content of the local environment and rural development. Additionally, he has actively conducted research in statistics methods, focusing on spatially and temporally clustered data and applications in health risk assessment. More recently, he has studied integrative system modeling as informed by biological mechanisms to seek ways to integrate data across heterogeneous systems. He has over 20 years of collaborative experiences in health and clinical and translational research, as well as experience in leading biostatistics research support in academic settings. He is committed to integrating biostatistics support into the fabric of MW CTR-IN clinical and translational research culture.

C. William Shuttleworth Bio

C. William “Bill” Shuttleworth, PhD, is the Core Director of the Professional Development Core (PDC) for the MW CTR-IN Program. He received dual B.Sc. degrees (with honors) in Pharmacology/Biochemistry and Anatomy from Adelaide University and Flinders University of South Australia and a PhD degree in Physiology from the University of Melbourne, Victoria in Australia. He also completed his Postdoctoral training in Physiology from the University of Nevada, Reno in Nevada.

Dr. Shuttleworth has been involved in leadership roles for the MW CTR-IN Program since its inception, having initially served as the Associate Director of the Pilot Projects Program In 2016, Dr. Shuttleworth transitioned to a leadership role for PDC [formally termed Clinical Research Education, Mentoring and Career Development (CREMCaD) in the initial funding phase]. In addition, Dr. Shuttleworth serves as the Associate Director of the University of New Mexico (UNM) Health Science Center’s (HSC) Clinical and Translational Research Center (CTSC), and has worked with a large number of UNM clinical and translational investigators to help develop new projects, programs and their careers in clinical and translational research. Moreover, he currently directs the CTSC’s Research Expertise and Methods, which includes training and career development activities that further supplements his leadership role of the CTR-IN PDC.

Dr. Shuttleworth’s research has a strong clinical and translational focus. He is the Principal Investigator of the Center for Brain Recovery and Repair, which is funded through a COBRE mechanism by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS). His research is developing clinical interventions for underserved patients in New Mexico who have experienced brain injuries.

Eric Prossnitz Bio

Eric Prossnitz, PhD, is the Associate Director of the Professional Development Core for the MW CTR-IN Program. As the Associate Director for the PDC, Dr. Prossnitz’s focus is on the Mentorship Program. Dr. Prossnitz is also currently the Co-Director of the Translational Cancer Biology and Signaling Program at the UNM HSC Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Team Science lead within the UNM HSC Clinical and Translational Science Center (CTSA), the UNM HSC institutional PI of the NM-INBRE, and the Associate Director for the UNM COBRE in Autophagy, Inflammation and Metabolism. Dr. Prossnitz received his B.Sc. degree (with honors) from the University of Victoria in Canada and a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of California, Berkeley in California. He received his postdoctoral in Immunology from Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation.
Additionally, Dr. Prossnitz developed a Biodesign program at UNM HSC that brings together faculty from the School of Engineering and the Health Sciences Center to innovate clinical technologies. He has mentored large numbers of research investigators to develop new projects and programs that has facilitated their careers in clinical and translational research. His mentoring experience over the last 20 years provides a strong basis for his leadership for the Mentorship Program within the CTR-IN PDC.

Curtis Noonan Bio

Curtis Noonan, MA, PhD, is the Director of the MW CTR-IN Pilot Projects Program. He has served in this role for the past five years and will continue to serve in this role for the next grant cycle. The Pilot Projects Program has successfully administered the single institution, single investigator and the multi-site pilot grants since the inception of the MW CTR-IN Program.

Dr. Noonan received his MA degree in International Health and Development from George Washington University and his PhD in Environmental Health, Epidemiology from Colorado State University. He is currently a Professor of Epidemiology in the College of Health Professions and Biomedical Sciences at the University of Montana. He has led NIH funded multi-site randomized trials focused on improving health outcomes and reducing exposures among vulnerable populations exposed to elevated levels of particulate matter from burning of biomass fuels for residential heating. Dr. Noon is a member of the Infectious, Reproductive, Asthma and Pulmonary Conditions (IRAP) Study Section.

Carl Reiber Bio

Carl Reiber, PhD, has served as the MW CTR-IN Program Deputy Director since 2013. He is also the Senior Vice Provost and a Professor in the School of Life Sciences at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in the College of Sciences. Additionally, he has been the Program Coordinator of the NV INBRE since 2008, and the Steering Committee Lead since 2017. Previously, he was the cluster leader in two statewide NSF EPSCoR grants ($6M) and functioned as the coordinator for an NIH Bridges grant. He also served as an ad hoc and permanent member of several NSF review panels including mentoring numerous undergraduate and graduate students (MS and PhD). Dr. Reiber received his Masters degree in Cell Biology from George Mason University, Fairfax in Virginia and PhD degree in Zoology-Physiology from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst Massachusetts followed by Postdoctoral training from the University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.

Richard Larson Bio

Richard Larson, MD, PhD, serves as the CTSC Liaison for the MW CTR-IN Program. He is the Executive Vice Chancellor for Research of Health Sciences at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center as well as a tenured Professor at the University of New Mexico. In addition, he is also the PI of the UNM Clinical and Translational Science Center. He also served on the Board of Directors for the National Center for Genome Research. In 2001, he co-founded Cancer Services of New Mexico, a non-profit organization which serves, free of charge, over 2000 New Mexicans suffering from cancer each year. Moreover, he is the President of the Cancer Services of New Mexico Foundation. In addition, Moreover, he also serves as the Chair of the Mountain West Research Consortium, which was critical in laying down the ground work for the eventual development of the MW CTR-IN Program. Dr. Larson received his MD and PhD degrees from Harvard University and performed his residency training at Washington University in St. Louis and fellowship training at Vanderbilt University in Pathology.

Parvesh Kumar Bio

Parvesh Kumar, MD, is the Principal Investigator (PI) of the MW CTR-IN Program. In addition, he also, serves as the Vice Dean of Research for the UNLV School of Medicine. Dr. Kumar received his B.Sc. degree (with honors) in Chemical Engineering from the University of Kansas in 1981 and his M.D. degree from the University of Kansas School of Medicine in 1986. He completed his residency training in Radiation Oncology at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in 1990, while also serving as Chief Resident and Fellow of the American Cancer Society during his senior year.

Dr. Kumar is an experienced clinical and translational researcher who has led several multi-institutional, multi-disciplinary national oncology clinical trials sponsored by the NCI [i.e., Cancer & Leukemia Group B (CALGB) Protocols 8935 and 9134 in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer and CALGB Protocol 9493 in Prostate Cancer, and Radiation Therapy Oncology Group Protocol Protocol 9615 in Head & Neck Cancer]. In addition, he has also conducted several other federal (i.e., Department of Defense) and pharma (i.e., Aventis Oncology) funded investigator initiated clinical trials. Moreover, his leadership experiences include building and managing research programs as Chair of the Departments of Radiation Oncology at 4 major medical schools and at several NCI-designated Cancer Centers. In his several research leadership roles, he has developed significant experience in health disparity research. For example, as Associate Director of Clinical Research for the University of Kansas Cancer Center, ensuring appropriate enrollment of under represented patient populations to therapeutic clinical trials was a critical requirement for the NCI and an important objective of his leadership role.

Xiaomeng (Mona) Xu

Dr. Xu is a 2015 MW CTR-IN Pilot Grant Awardee recipient. Her project was entitled, “Understanding the Role of Self-Expansion in Physical Activity”. Her research focuses on cardiovascular behavioral health including weight control, smoking and physical activity; close relationships, especially romantic; and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) neuroimaging. Dr. Xu is also interested in these research areas in the context of individual differences such as trait self-control, and development over time, such as aging or as a romantic relationship progresses.

Dr. Xu received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in psychology from New York University, and Master of Arts Degree in psychology from Stony Brook University, and a Ph.D. in social health psychology from Stony Brook University. She completed a postdoctoral research fellowship sponsored by the National Institutes of Health at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and The Miriam Hospital.

Dr. Xu is an Assistant Professor of Experimental Psychology at Idaho State University and was honored as a 2015 Rising Star from the Association for Psychological Science. As a result of her advanced work in the field, the Association for Psychological Science has recognized Dr. Xu as an outstanding psychological scientist. As facilitated by the Individualized Development Plan (IDP) which is a critical component of the CTR-IN PG award, Dr. Xu had a successful mentorship experience with her mentor, Claudio Nigg, PhD, from the University of Hawaii. The pilot grant’s IDP provides mentorship for career development. As a result of the mentoring facilitated by the IDP, Dr. Xu has collaborated with Dr. Nigg on various projects, which have led to a manuscript publication, poster presentations, future collaborations, etc. Moreover, based on her academic productivity which has been significantly facilitated by the MW CTR-IN PG award, she will be applying for tenure at Idaho State University.

Susan Tavernier

Education: BSN from Whitworth University in Spokane in Washington; MSN from Loyola University of Chicago; PhD in Nursing from the University of Utah; Postdoctoral fellowship from the College of Nursing at the University of Utah.

MW CTR-IN helped to provide education in grant management, post-award processes, timeline projections, and meaningful tools for grant tracking.

Dr. Tavernier was a Year 4 MW CTR-IN Pilot Grant Awardee in 2016. Her project was entitled, “The Patient Voice in Healthcare”. The MW CTR-IN pilot grant was also instrumental in helping her with the nuances of grant management including hiring personnel, budgets, quarterly and annual reports. As a nurse scientist, her research area focuses on cancer patients. She has gained expertise with large qualitative data sets and has conducted research in the clinical setting. Dr. Tavernier is currently an Assistant Professor at Idaho State University in the School of Nursing and was a recipient of a Presidential Scholarship for new health service researchers from Academy Health.
Additionally, she has authored a chapter on Symptom Distress in the textbook Cancer Symptom Management 4th Edition, and has served as a review panel member for the Oncology Nursing Foundation for research and awards. She is also an active member of the Oncology Nursing Society.

Blakely Brown

Education: PhD in Nutritional Biochemistry from the University of Minnesota; RD from the University of Minnesota

MW CTR-IN helped to expand collaborations for a nutrition and physical activity study with a direct impact on the health of community children.

Dr. Blakely Brown was a MW CTR-IN Pilot Grant (PG) Awardee and Visiting Scholar in 2014. Her project was entitled, “Developing and Pilot Testing Parent Education Activities within a Childhood Obesity Prevention After-School Program”. Dr. Brown built upon this PG research funding from the MW CTR-IN Program and secured 3 additional extramural grants also in the areas of childhood obesity totaling $278,167 in extramural grant funding as follows: (1) Partnerships to Prevent Childhood Obesity on the Flathead Indian Reservation; (2) Generations Health Project: An After-School and Home Based Childhood Obesity Prevention Program; (3) and USDA Strengthening Grant: Growing Strong Generations. These research studies have allowed Dr. Brown to successfully expand her research collaborations with rural and Native American communities that have resulted in longitudinal outcomes reporting risk factors for diabetes in native and non-native children, assessments of environmental and behavioral factors associated with risk for childhood obesity and diabetes in youth in rural communities.
Dr. Brown’s research, teaching and service focus on nutrition and chronic disease prevention, maternal-child health, childhood obesity and diabetes prevention, community-based participatory research methods, Native American health and diversity-related activities.

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