TL1 Program

Training Grants for PhD Students

Directors: Michael R. Blackburn, PhD, and Michelle C. Barton, PhD
Contact Person: Kelly Ann Moore, PhD Kelly.Ann.Moore@uth.tmc.edu 713-500-9874

The CCTS TL1 program provides stipends for PhD students whose dissertation research is clearly translational or addresses a problem that has direct clinical implications. The program also offers didactic courses, seminars, and other training activities. The goal of the program is to train truly interdisciplinary researchers by a meaningful blending of programs and disciplines that have been traditionally operated as stand-alone entities within UTHealth schools and M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.

Eligibility and Criteria

The program provides up to 3 years of support for stipends, tuition, benefits, and travel, with the following criteria:

  • The program is open to PhD students in The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center UTHealth Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (MD Anderson UTHealth Graduate School), UTHealth School of Public Health (SPH), School of Nursing (SON), and School of Biomedical Informatics (SBMI)
  • and to MD/PhD and DDS/PhD students during the time they are enrolled in MD Anderson UTHealth Graduate School for the PhD portion of their training.
  • Stipends are most often provided to students who have already selected a doctoral dissertation project, but under special circumstances stipend support will be considered for beginning doctoral students (i.e., those without a master’s degree) who wish to design an individualized, dual-degree curriculum in which they receive the MS from one UT Health school and the PhD from another (this option requires acceptance by both participating schools).
  • In addition to students pursuing a PhD via the traditional pathway in one of the schools noted above, applications are also welcomed from students pursuing the PhD who:
    • Have (or are about to complete) an MS degree in a biomedical or related discipline different from the one in which they will pursue the PhD
    • Already hold a professional degree (MPH, MD, DDS, MS in Nursing, etc.)
    • Already have a master's degree from a type of institution (e.g., a school of public health) different from the type of institution (e.g., graduate school of nursing) in which they are now pursuing the doctorate.
  • Stipends are only available to U.S. citizens or permanent residents, but all MD Anderson UTHealth Graduate School and UT Health students may participate in other TL1 program activities with permission. NIH regulations do not permit the provision of stipends for students pursuing a professional degree or for students in dual-degree programs (e.g., MD/PhD or DDS/PhD) while they are enrolled in the professional school portion of their training. 
  • One hundred percent professional effort must be devoted to this award; no other grant salary support or outside professional employment is allowed.

 For more information, see https://gsbs.uth.edu/ccts-tl1/index.htm

Applying to the TL1 Program

THE TL1 PROGRAM IS CURRENTLY NOT ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS.

Applications for TL1 stipend support are solicited once each year.

Appointments to the training grant are for a minimum of 12 months with an option of competitive renewals for a maximum of 3 years contingent upon annual reviews to evaluate performance and meeting program expectations.

All trainees receiving stipend support are expected to develop a curriculum/training plan that will enable them to obtain core competencies in clinical and translational research. These competencies are obtained by conducting dissertation research, completing clinical and translational courses offered by participating CCTS schools and institutions, and participating in seminars, internships, research retreats, and other activities that provide training in clinical and translational research. Trainees receiving stipend support also have access to the CCTS Core Laboratories and other CCTS services to support their dissertation research.

Courses and other activities are open to all UTHealth and M. D. Anderson Cancer Center trainees and are not limited to individuals receiving stipend support. Certain activities may also be open to part-time, non-degree, or other special students at UTHealth, M. D. Anderson Center, and other TMC institutions. Please note that an employee of any TMC institution may register in MD Anderson UTHealth Graduate School as a non-degree student for one course each semester with the permission of his or her supervisor and the approval of the course director and Deans of MD Anderson UTHealth Graduate School.    

For more information on eligibility for stipend support, application deadlines, or participating in other TL1 or CCTS-related courses or activities, please contact Dr. Kelly Ann Moore (Kelly.Ann.Moore@uth.tmc.edu) 713-500-9874.

For additional information about doctoral programs available in UTHealth schools, please see the following links

CCTS TL1 Trainees

Scholar/AffiliationTitle of Project/MentorsYears in Program

Andrew Davis
UT MDACC
Molecular & Cellular Oncology


Elucidating the Roles of TAp63 in DNA Damage Response and Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Elsa Flores, PhD

2014-

Megan Jacobsen
UT MDACC
Imaging Physics

Characterization of Low-Density Calcific and Hemorrhagic Lesions using T2-Star-Weighted Angiography
Dianna Cody, PhD

2014-

Charissa Kim
UT MDACC
Cancer Genomics

Chemoresistance Evolution and Clonal Diversity in Triple-Negative Breast Cancer
Nicholas Navin, PhD

2014-

Courtney Olsen
UTHealth Medical School Integrative Biology & Pharmacology

The Role of SHANK Proteins in Somatostatin Receptor Signaling
Agnes Schonbrunn, PhD

2014-

Sahily Reyes
UTHealth Medical School Neurobiology & Anatomy

Endosomal Trafficking of Amyloid Precursor Protein
Andrew Bean, PhD

2014-

Vita Chitsazzadeh
UT MDACC
Dermatology

Identification and Functional Analysis of Key Genetic Drivers of Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Kenneth Tsai, MD, PhD

2013-

Cihan Kadipasaoglu
UTHealth Medical School Neurobiology & Anatomy

Network Dynamics of the Ventral Temporal-Occipital Cortex during Semantic Processing
Nitin Tandon, MD, PhD

2013-

Samuel Fahrenholtz
UT MDACC
Imaging Physics

A Computational Paradigm to Infer Constitutive Values and Perform Predictive Simulation for Magnetic Resonance—Guided Laser-Induced Thermal Therapy
R. Jason Stafford, PhD

2012-

Amanda Hanks
UT MDACC
Experimental Radiation Oncology

Elucidating the Role of Estrogen Receptor-a—Binding Proteins During Antiestrogen Resistance in Breast Cancer
Khandan Keyomarsi, PhD

2012-

Christopher MacLellan
UT MDACC
Imaging Physics

Image-Based Modeling of Nanoparticle Mediated Laser Ablations for the Treatment of Head and Neck Cancer
R. Jason Stafford, PhD

2012-

Andrew Peters
UTHealth Medical School Internal Medicine

Biomechanical Induction of Ascending Aortic Aneurysms to Investigate Signal Transduction Though the AT1 Receptor: A Possible Mechanism for Preventative Therapy by Angiotensin-Receptor Blockers in Human Patients with Aortic Aneurysms and Dissections
Dianna Milewicz, MD, PhD

2012-

Meredith Rees Rodriguez UTHealth Medical School Internal Medicine

Metabolic Basis of Sunitinib-Induced Cardiac Toxicity
Heinrich Taegtmeyer, MD, PhD

2012-

Amanda Herrmann
UT MDACC Stem Cell Transplantation & Cellular Therapy

Developing a Bi-specific T Cell—Engaging Antibody that Targets the Leukemia-Associated Antigen PR1 and Testing its Therapeutic Potential in Hematological and Non-hematological Tumors
Jeffrey Molldrem, MD

2013-2014

Margie Sutton
UT MDACC
Experimental Therapeutics

Structural and Functional Role of DIRAS Family Members in the Regulation of Cell Growth, Autophagy, Motility, and Tumor Dormancy in Ovarian Cancer
Robert Bast, Jr, MD

2013-2014

Ryan Fortune
UTHealth
Integrative Biology & Pharmacology

Blood Testis Barrier Integrity in Spinal Cord Injury and the Protective Effect of Licofelone in a Sprague-Dawley Rat Model
Raymond Grill, PhD

2012-2014

Nicholas Parchim
UTHealth
Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

C-Reactive Protein Contributes to Pathophysiology of Preeclampsia via Neurokinin 3 Signaling
Yang Xia, MD, PhD

2012-2014

David Savage
UT MDACC
Surgery

Hyperthermic Cell Death with Targeted C60 Fullerene-Gemcitabine Complexes
Rita Serda, PhD
Steven Curley, MD

2012-2014

Adam Wolfe
UT MDACC
Radiation Oncology

Statins Inhibit the Tumor-Associated Macrophage Inflammatory Response, Making Tumor-Initiating Cells More Radiosensitive
Wendy Woodward, MD, PhD

2012-2013

Henry Wu
UTHealth Medical School
Internal Medicine

Metabolic Dysregulations and Modulations of a Genetic Model of Heart Failure
Heinrich Taegtmeyer, MD, PhD

2012-2013

David Calame
UT Health
Institute of Molecular Medicine

Stem Cell-Derived Type II Alveolar Cells as a Gene Therapy for Surfactant Protein Deficiency
Rick Wetsel, PhD

2010-2013

Natalie Jabbour
UT MDACC
Cancer Biology

Autophagy as a Therapeutic Target Against Triple Negative Breast Cancer
Khandan Keyomarsi, PhD

2010-2013

Jennifer Dulin
UTHealth
Medical School Neurobiology & Anatomy

Investigation of P-glycoprotein Modulation by Inflammation in Spinal Cord Injury
Raymond Grill, PhD

2010-2012

Callie Kwartler
UTHealth Medical School
Internal Medicine

Molecular Mechanisms Driving Aneurysm Formation in Patients with 16p13 Duplications
Dianna Milewicz, MD, PhD

2010-2012

Jonathan Martinez
UTHealth
Institute for Molecular Medicine

Universal Cell-Directed NanoTheranostics
Mauro Ferrari, PhD

2010-2012

Rachel Reith
UTHealth Medical School Pediatrics

Loss of Tuberin in the Purkinje Cell: A Possible Link Between Tuberous Sclerosis Complex and Autism Spectrum Disorders
Michael Gambello, MD, PhD

2010-2012

Coty Maypole
UTHealth
Public Health Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences

Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons and Intrauterine Growth Restriction in Texas
Elaine Symanski, PhD

2010-2011

David Reynoso
UT MDACC
Sarcoma Medical Oncology

The Role, Clinical-Relevance, and Therapeutic Potential of the Pro-Apoptotic Protein Bim in Mediating the Cytotoxic Effect of Imatinib Mesylate in GIST
John Trent, MD, PhD

2010-2011

Shiraj Sen
UTHealth Medical School
Internal Medicine

Metabolic Signals: Novel Regulators of Cardiac Growth Pathways
Heinrich Taegtmeyer, MD, PhD

2010-2011

Hillary Gibbons Caruso
UT MDACC
Immunology

Transiently Modified T Cells Redirected to Tumor Antigen for Treatment of Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma
Laurence J.N. Cooper, MD, PhD

2009-2012

Jillian Wise
UT MDACC
Lymphoma/Myeloma Medical Oncology

Deciphering the Underlying Mechanism of Anti-CD74 Antibody (hLL1)
Felipe Samaniego, MD, MPH

2009-2012

Richard. Wu
UT MDACC
Melanoma Medical Oncology

Functional Characterization of Novel Immunoregulatory CD8+CD27+CD28+CD57+ T Lymphocytes in Tumor-Infiltrating Lymphocytes in Human Cancers
Laszlo Radvanyi, PhD

2009-2012

Jessica Bowser
UT MDACC
Pathology

Targeting the Purinergic Pathway in Endometrial Cancer
Russell Broaddus MD, PhD

2009-2011

Rene Colorado
UTHealth Medical School Neurobiology & Anatomy

Combined fMRI and DTI to Demonstrate Structural Changes Associated with Cortical Reorganization in Multiple Sclerosis
Ponnada Narayana, PhD

2009-2011

Audrey Nath
UTHealth Medical School Neurobiology & Anatomy

Structural Equation Modeling and Multi-Voxel Pattern Analysis of fMRI Data as a Novel Measure of Multisensory Deficits in Dyslexic Readers
Michael Beauchamp, PhD

2009-2011

Katrina Salazar
UT MDACC
Cancer Biology

Targeting the TGF-beta-TAZ Pathway in Glioblastoma
Kenneth Aldape, MD

2009-2011

Sumaiyah Khaleel Rehman
UT MDACC
Molecular and Cellular Biology

14-3-3ζ-Induced microRNA Deregulation in Early Breast Lesions Promotes Cancer Progression
Dihua Yu, MD, PhD

2009-2010

Amy Reid
UTHealth
Internal Medicine

Dysfunctional Differentiation of the Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells in Patients with Genetic Cerebrovascular Disease
Dianna Milewicz, MD, PhD

2009-2010

Lisa Shiue
UT MDACC
Dermatology

Immunological Mechanisms of Extracorporeal Photopheresis in Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma versus Graft vs. Host Disease: Induction of Antigen-specific Cytotoxic T-cells or Regulatory T-cells?
Madeleine Duvic, MD

2009-2010

Hatice Duzkale
UT MDACC
Hematopathology

Identification of the Role of LDOC1 in the Pathogenesis of Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia
Lynne V. Abruzzo, MD, PhD

2008-2011

Lenka Hurton
UT MDACC
Immunology

Improving Persistence of Tumor-Specific T Cells by Augmenting Signaling in Concert with Immunoreceptor for Improved Therapeutic Efficacy
Laurence J.N. Cooper, MD, PhD

2008-2011

Cameron Jeter
UTHealth Medical School Neurobiology & Anatomy

Reflexive and Voluntary Eye Movements in Tourette Syndrome
Anne B. Sereno, PhD

2008-2010

Keri Schadler
UT MDACC
Cancer Biology

The Role of Delta-like Ligand 4 in Vasculogenesis in Ewing’s Sarcoma
Eugenie S. Kleinerman, MD

2008-2010

Daniel Schneider
UTHealth Medical School
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Role of Osteopontin and Adenosine Signaling in Chronic Pulmonary Disease
Michael R. Blackburn, PhD

2008-2010

Mary Ann Vincent
UTHealth
Nursing

Biomarker Circadian Rhythm Profiles in Critically Ill Mechanically Ventilated Patients
Sandra K. Hanneman, PhD, RN, FAAN

2008-2010

Kendra Baskin
UTHealth Medical School Internal Medicine

AMP-Activated Protein Kinase Regulates Ubiquitin Ligases in Cardiomyocytes
Heinrich Taegtmeyer, MD, PhD

2008-2009

Audrey Ester
UTHealth Medical School
Pediatrics

Defining the Role of Apoptotic and Hox Genes in the Development of Clubfoot
Jacqueline Hecht, PhD

2008-2009

Jennifer Hsing Choe
UT MDACC
Cancer Biology

The Role of Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress in Pancreatic Cancer
Craig Logsdon, PhD

2007-2009

Ashley Hood
UTHealth Medical School
Neurobiology & Anatomy

The Effect of Deep Brain Stimulation on Attention in Parkinson Disease
Anne B. Sereno, PhD

2007-2009

Pavil Levin
UT MDACC
Cancer Biology

Role of EphA Receptors in Pancreatic Cancer Progression and Metastasis
Craig Logsdon, PhD

2007-2009

Debra Smith
UT MDACC
Systems Biology

Characterization of Akt Feedback Signaling in Human Cancer Cell Lines
Gordon Mills, MD, PhD

2007-2009

Emily Jen
UT MDACC
Experimental Therapeutics

IL-2 Treatment Leads to Upregulation of IL-24 and Tumor Growth Suppression in Melanoma Patients
Elizabeth Grimm, PhD

2007-2008

Qian Liu
UT MDACC
Epidemiology

SEL1L as a Biomarker for Early Detection of Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma
Marsha Frazier, PhD

2007-2008

John McAuliffe
UT MDACC
Sarcoma Medical Oncology

Vascular Cytokines and Mechanisms of Imantinib in GIST
John Trent, MD, PhD

2007-2008

Hui Song
UT MDACC
Molecular & Cellular Oncology

VISA to Cancer Gene Therapy
Mien Chie Hung, PhD

2007-2008