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Meet Our 2016 KL2 Awardees



UCLA CTSI News Archive

From left: Elizabeth Barnert (UCLA); John K. Lee (UCLA); Ali Zarrinpar (UCLA)

By Jessica Castillo

Three junior faculty trainees have received CTSI KL2 Awards for their projects in clinical and translational research. The annual awards go to exemplary researchers whose projects emphasize systems biology, clinical pharmacology and translational, community-partnered interventions. Diseases that disproportionately affect minority populations are a particular focus.

The awardees will receive training in interdisciplinary team science in all populations, across the life cycle. In addition, they receive salary support plus fringe benefits to pursue interdisciplinary, mentored research with training. The award also provides funds for statistical support. It is renewable for three years. Continued fellowship support in years 2 and 3 are contingent on performance during the prior year(s). 


  • Elizabeth Barnert, MD, MPH, MS
    Assistant Professor-in-Residence, Department of Pediatrics, UCLA
    Project title: Promoting access to behavioral health services for youth transitioning home after incarceration 
    Mentors: Paul Chung (UCLA), Laura Abrams (UCLA), Bonnie Zima (UCLA)
    Multidisciplinary expertise: juvenile justice, general pediatrics, behavioral health, community-partnered research

  • John K. Lee, MD, PhD
    Health Sciences Clinical Instructor, Hematology/Oncology, UCLA
    Project title: Dissecting the function of Myc paralogs in human prostate cancer
    Mentors: Owen Witte (UCLA)
    Collaborators: James Wohlschlegel (UCLA), Justin Drake (Rutgers), Josh Stuart (UC Santa Cruz)
    Multidisciplinary Expertise: cancer biology, proteomics, genomics/transcriptomics, functional genetic screening

  • Ali Zarrinpar, MD, PhD
    Assistant Professor, Division of Liver and Pancreas Transplantation, UCLA
    Project title: The role of neutophil activation in hepatic ischemia-reperfusion injury 
    Mentors: Jerzy Kupiec-Weglinski, MD, PhD (UCLA), Steven Bensinger (UCLA),  
    Multidisciplinary expertise: liver transplantation, liver disease, inflammation, neutrophils, cytokines, cell and molecular biology, signal transduction, ischemia-reperfusion injury

To see all detailed project descriptions, see past awardees and learn more about the K program, visit the CTSI Junior Faculty Programs page.