KL2 Scholars Program

Mood Disorders Research

Junior Clinical and Translational Science KL2 Faculty Investigators

This two-year program is designed for junior faculty who show great promise toward becoming successful, independently funded clinical and translational science investigators. KL2 Scholar salary is partially supported by the KL2 grant.  

We expect that our KL2 Scholars will complete the program equipped with the skillset and passion to become successful, independent investigators who make contributions across the entire spectrum of clinical and translational research. 

Protected time

  • Two years with significant protected time to focus on research, publications, and grant submissions. 

Emphasis on mentoring

  • Scholars will develop a productive relation with a mentoring team that includes the primary research mentor(s), near-peer mentors, career mentors, and Program Directors. 

Customized Individual Career Development Plan

  • We will work with each Scholar and their mentors to develop a training portfolio uniquely tailored to meet the Scholar’s short and long-term goals. 

Building Future Leaders.

We expect that our KL2 Scholars will complete the program equipped with the skillset and passion to become successful, independent investigators who make contributions across the entire spectrum of clinical and translational research.

    1. Develop clinical and translational research competencies through completion of required practica and core courses. 

    2. Develop an individualized educational development plan created to address each Scholar’s unique educational needs and chosen career path. Required and additional potential course. 

    3. Develop critical thinking skills through small group discussions, interactive scientific presentations, and by completing written practica, manuscripts, and grant proposals. 

    4. Receive formalized coaching on scientific communication. 

    5. Develop leadership skills that are critically important for navigating clinical research process and leading multidisciplinary teams. 

    6. Use a stepwise approach to development of NIH K award applications via practical coursework and writing workshops within the CTSA. 

    7. Get intensive training and career development for transitioning from K-type to R-type awards after program completion to become independent investigators and drive the clinical research transformation as envisioned by the Office of the Provost and Dean. 

    The KL2 Scholars Program is open to applicants from broad academic clinical and translational science disciplines. Qualified applicants from all different backgrounds are encouraged to apply. 

    To be considered, the applicant must: 

    • Have a doctorate degree (e.g., M.D., Ph.D., D.O., among others) 

    • Be a U.S. citizens or permanent resident as per NIH funding guidelines 

    • Have a full faculty position at UT Southwestern, or our CTSA Program Partner Institutions: 

      • Children’s Health 
      • Parkland Health 
      • Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children 
      • Southern Methodist University 
      • Texas A&M University 
      • Texas Health 
      • Texas Tech University 
      • UNT Health Science Center Ft. Worth 
      • University of Texas at Arlington 
      • University of Texas at Dallas 
      • UT School of Health Professionals 
    • Be committed to actively participate in the Program with 75% protected time for research for two consecutive years. (Note: Individuals in certain surgical specialties may request permission for reduced research time to 50% pending NIH approval.) 

    • Have commitment from his/her sponsoring Department Chair or Center Director 

    • Have prior clinical and translational research experience 

    • Have a proposed research plan and identified mentors 

    • Not be, nor have ever been, a principal investigator on an R01, R29, or subproject of a Program Project (P01), Center (P50, P60, U54) or mentored career development (K-series) grants or equivalent. R03 and R21 grants are permitted 

    UT Southwestern KL2 Scholars will receive 75% of their institutional base salary, up to the NIH KL2 specific salary cap ($160,000).  This translates to up to $120,000 plus fringes for each Scholar per year. 

    Additionally, KL2 Scholars will receive a budget for associated coursework, research funds including pilot awards, and access to biostatistics and epidemiological support from the UT Southwestern CTSA Program Cores. 

    Scholars will be supported for two years; renewal of the second year of support will depend on a year-end review of the Scholar’s progress and adherence to deliverable milestones. 

    Regular frequent meetings with the primary research mentor(s).

    • Includes meetings with the larger mentoring team at least three times a year in Scholar Year 1 and twice in Scholar Year 2.   

    Tailored didactic course work.

    • The KL2 program is not a degree nor certificate program. It has limited required courses and workshops and will require a few elective courses. 

    Three interrelated research practica   

    1. Clinical and Translational Research Project (chosen by the scholar and mentors).   

    2. Publishable research manuscript (selected among several).   

    3. Capstone extramural research grant application such as those in the NIH K- or R-series or equivalent by the second year.  

    Interactive seminars/small group meetings   

    • Present a works-in-progress seminar once a year at the weekly Translational Science Forum attended by CTSA Program mentors, faculty, Scholars, Chairs and Division Chiefs.   

    • Participate in Scholar Round Table Group Meetings every two months, to network, to update progress, and/or to discuss professional development topics such as career development, team science, and mentor/mentee relations.   

    • Attend the Annual KL2 Scholar Retreat   

    Dr. Cherise Chin Fatt

    Cherise R. Chin Fatt, Ph.D.

    Dr. Cherise R. Chin Fatt is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry’s Center for Depression Research and Clinical Care (CDRC). She obtained a Ph.D. in cognition and neuroscience (2017) from the University of Texas at Dallas and did her postdoctoral work with Dr. Madukhar Trivedi, M.D. She is now a functional neuroimaging researcher with substantial expertise in advanced statistics. She has applied computational approaches to generate new insights into precision medicine approaches for currently available antidepressant treatments and to identify new targets for mechanistically-targeted drug discovery for neuropsychiatric disorders.

    Dr. Chin Fatt will apply novel computational approaches to existing clinical and neuroimaging data to characterize the immune cell mechanisms underlying suicidal thoughts. Successful completion of her KL2 program will help identify immune factors that may be potential targets for drug discovery (and subsequent R level grants) and enable her transition as a federally funded independent investigator. Drs. Madhukar TrivediDavid Farrar, and Elizabeth Ballard are her KL2 research mentors.

    Engaging Community

    To better understand the areas of greatest impact, we have identified and partnered with schools, community organizations, and healthcare systems on initiatives to improve the diagnosis and treatment of mood disorders and enhance suicide prevention efforts.

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    Improving Treatment for Substance Abuse

    Substance use, particularly the use of stimulants and opioids in the fourth wave of the opioid epidemic, are a major public health problem. Research is needed to develop new substance use disorder treatments and to determine how to best broadly disseminate the treatments that are currently available and effective.

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    Leading the Discussion

    For more than two decades, Dr. Madhukar Trivedi and his colleagues at UT Southwestern Medical Center have conducted cutting-edge research to improve the treatment of depression, including the largest study-to-date examining appropriate treatment sequences for depression.

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    Real People. Real Research.

    Be part of the great impact we're having on science and medical care across the globe.

    For more than two decades, Dr. Madhukar Trivedi and his colleagues at UT Southwestern Medical Center have conducted cutting-edge research to improve the treatment of depression, including the largest study-to-date examining appropriate treatment sequences for depression. In addition to our extensive Clinical faculty, the CDRC has faculty members with expertise in neuroimaging, cognitive and behavioral phenotyping, biospecimens, exercise, biostatistics, genetics, adolescent behaviors, research, novel treatments and addiction.