Congratulations to Ph.D. student Damea Pham for her recent selection as a T32 Fellow for the NIH National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Training Program. Pham studies under the supervision of Dr. Cherie Stabler.
Her doctoral research explores elevating the efficacy of clinical islet transplantation through the grafting of polymers to the surface of pancreatic insulin producing cells to prevent their rejection. Immunomodulatory agents can be tethered to the surface conjugated polymer to instruct immune cells towards acceptance of the foreign implant. Coupling polymer grafting tethered to immunomodulatory agents provides a targeted, long-lasting option to reduce the need for systemic immunosuppression and enhance cell engraftment and functional durability.
The National Institutes of Health will award NRSA Institutional Research Training Grants (T32) to eligible, domestic institutions to develop and/or enhance predoctoral and postdoctoral research training, including short-term research training, to help ensure that a diverse and highly trained workforce is available to meet the needs of the Nations biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research agenda. Research training programs are expected to incorporate engaging, didactic, research, and career development elements to prepare trainees for careers that will have a significant impact on the health-related research needs of the Nation.