Year 3: THRIV Welcomes 7 Faculty to Scholars Program

August 14, 2019 by School of Medicine Webmaster

Year 3 iTHRIV Scholars: (l-r) Jeffrey Sturek, MD, PhD; Kelly Shaffer, PhD; Ben Horton, MD; Amanda Nguyen, PhD; Silas Culver, MD; Tanya Evans, PhD; and Daniel Levin, MD.

Since 2017, the Translational Health Research Institute of Virginia (THRIVScholars Program, supported by the School of Medicine and now the recently awarded CTSA, has provided innovative training for highly motivated, talented junior faculty representing the next generation of clinical and translational researchers across Grounds at UVA.

Upon selection, Scholars are prepared to excel in a clinical translational research environment in which digital data drives healthcare hypotheses, interventions, and health quality evaluation.

Please join us in welcoming the third cohort of Scholars. The awardees, projects, and mentors in the 2019-2021 cohort include:

Silas Culver, MD – School of Medicine, Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism
Research Project: The (Pro)renin Receptor Promotes Renal Injury in the Aging Kidney through Increased Cellular Senensence
Primary Mentor: Helmy Siragy, MD


Tanya Evans, PhD – Curry School of Education and Human Development, Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning, Education Leadership, Foundations and Policy Department
Research Project: Parent-Child Brain Synchrony in Autism Spectrum Disorders
Primary Mentor: Kevin Pelphrey, PhD


William (Ben) Horton, MD – School of Medicine, Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism
Research Project: Examining the effect of glycemic excursions on cardiac function and myocardial perfusion in type 1 diabetes
Primary Mentor: Eugene Barrett, MD, PhD


Daniel Levin, MD – School of Medicine, Department of Surgery, Division of Pediatric Surgery
Research Project: Role of Enteric Neuronal Glucagon Like Peptide 2 Receptor Agonist Augmentation of Tissue Engineered Intestine for the Treatment of Short Bowel Syndrome
Primary Mentor: Sean Moore, MD

Amanda Nguyen, PhD – Curry School of Education and Human Development, YouthNex – The UVA Center to Promote Effective Youth Development, Department of Human Services
Research Project: Development of Decision and Implementation Supports for a Rural School-Based Prevention Program
Context: Adaptation and Implementation of Early Adolescent Coping Power for Rural Schools
Primary Mentor: Catherine Bradshaw, PhD

Kelly Shaffer, PhD – School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences and Center for Behavioral Health Technology
Research Project: Improving the Understanding of Depression among Cancer Caregivers Using Ecological Momentary Assessment
Primary Mentor: Lee Ritterband, PhD


Jeffrey Sturek, MD, PhD – School of Medicine, Department of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine
Research Project: The Role of B-1 Cells and Natural IgM in Lung Inflammation and Fibrosis
Primary Mentor: Coleen McNamara, MD


Earlier this year, THRIV and its statewide partners received an NIH/NCATS-funded Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA), which now allows us to expand our efforts and collaborate more effectively across the state of Virginia. iTHRIV, or the integratedTranslational Health Research Institute of Virginia, includes the University of Virginia, Virginia Tech, Carilion Clinic, the Inova Health System, UVA Licensing and Ventures Group, and the Center for Open Science. This award affords us another source of funding to support additional Scholars within the iTHRIV program, thus increasing our ability to expand our reach across the state in promoting collaboration through team science and data science.

iTHRIV team members and Scholars from the Years 1-3 cohorts.

The inaugural cohort completed the two-year curriculum in June 2019, and our second cohort has entered their second year of the program. I am grateful to the many instructors who have shared their expertise. Thank you to the mentors for participating in the growth and development of their research colleagues and to the department chairs for providing protected time for the Scholars to pursue research projects and goals.

Any questions regarding the Scholars program can be directed to Jennifer Kirkham at

Please join us in congratulating the newest iTHRIV Scholars!

Margaret A. Shupnik, PhD
Gerald D. Aurbach Professor of Endocrinology
Senior Associate Dean for Research

Filed Under: Education, Faculty, Research