SC CTSI K Scholar Receives NIH Award To Support Diabetes Research

SC CTSI training opportunities help clinician develop the skills she needs to pursue her research goals.

February 21, 2012

Note: USC researcher Kathleen Page, MD, is an SC CTSI KL2 ScholarAs part of the program, she recieved support and acquired skills needed to secure subsequent funding to continue this research.

Kathleen Page, MD, a clinician and assistant professor of clinical medicine at the USC Keck School of Medicine, has received a five-year, $774,575 K23 grant from the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) to help her continue research on increased diabetes and obesity rates for Hispanic children exposed to maternal diabetes in utero.

Kathleen Page

“We know from studies done with Pima Indian populations (which have a very high risk of diabetes) that exposure to a mother’s diabetes in utero increases the child’s diabetes risk about 10 fold,” Page explained, noting that risks are also heightened for obesity incidence. Page hopes to study the changes that occur in utero in a Hispanic population, also known to have a high risk of maternal diabetes.

“Has the way the children store fat changed? Are their bodies not producing insulin or responding to insulin the way they should be? There’s something going on in utero,” she said.

An NIH K23 grant, or Mentored Patient-Oriented Research (POR) Career Development Award, is given to help support the career development of investigators who have made a commitment to focus their efforts on patient-oriented research. Applicants must justify their need for experience in this type of mentored research and convince the NIH that the experience will enhance their careers as independent investigators.

“K23 grants are really important for people like me,” said Page.“I’m a physician, and I’ve trained for many years as a clinician. These grants give me protected time, allowing me to devote my time to the research and to building the skills I need to develop my research.”

Page’s mentor for the grant proposal and ongoing research is Thomas Buchanan, MD, director of SC CTSI, associate dean for clinical research, and a professor of medicine and obstetrics and gynecology at the Keck School.

“Katie did a great job putting together a research program and plan that allowed her to compete for this K23 award,” said Buchanan, who is also chief of the division of endocrinology, metabolism and diabetes at the Keck School. “She received a perfect score of 10 on the peer review of her application to NIH. She is clearly on a path to success in clinical and translational research.”

The original article was published in The Weekly

Learn more about the SC CTSI KL2 Scholar program

NIH Funding Acknowledgment: Important - All publications resulting from the utilization of SC CTSI resources are required to credit the SC CTSI grant by including the NIH funding acknowledgment and must comply with the NIH Public Access Policy.