Two new BTC Scholars welcomed

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David Jacobs, PharmD (left), and Hilliard Kutscher, PhD

Published February 20, 2018

This month UB’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) welcomed two new scholars to the ranks of the Buffalo Translational Consortium (BTC) Mentored Career Development Award (MCDA) program.

The program offers translational research mentoring, professional development and funding to outstanding junior faculty and senior fellows transitioning to independent faculty positions. The BTC Award is run in conjunction with the Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA)-linked KL2 MCDA program such that all of the goals, application materials, requirements, funding, and career and professional development strategies are identical, according to Margarita L. Dubocovich, PhD, SUNY Distinguished Professor, Senior Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion, principal investigator and lead of the KL2 MCDA, and director of the CTSI Workforce Development core.

David Jacobs, PharmD, a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice, School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, received his PharmD from UB in 2011. He is also currently working toward a PhD in epidemiology in the UB School of Public Health and Health Professions. His proposed study will evaluate objective assessment tools to improve medication management in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), with the goal of understanding clinical responses to inhaled COPD medications. Jacobs’s expertise in clinical pharmacy, epidemiology and quantitative methods, in addition to a strong mentoring team, will support him in implementing the proposed study. Jacobs’s primary mentor is Sanjay Sethi, MD, professor in the Department of Medicine, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

Hilliard Kutscher, PhD, is a research assistant professor in the Institute for Lasers Photonics and Biophotonics, Department of Anesthesiology, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University at Buffalo. The institute is a collaboration between UB’s College of Arts and Sciences, School of Engineering and the Jacobs School. Kutscher’s research proposal focuses on development of a strain-independent, prophylactic and therapeutic treatment for influenza A virus (IAV) using a dual action nanoplex. The ultimate goal of this research is to conduct phase I clinical trials with an anti-IAV nanoplex therapeutic which has been assessed following FDA guidelines for antiviral drugs. Kutscher’s primary mentors are Paul R. Knight, MD, PhD, professor in the Department of Anesthesiology, Jacobs School, and Paras N. Prasad, PhD, professor in the departments of Chemistry, Physics, Electrical Engineering and Medicine in UB’s schools of engineering and medicine.

The two BTC Scholar awards are provided by Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center as part of its commitment to advancing research and institutional cost-sharing to the CTSA (funded through the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under award number UL1TR001412 to the University at Buffalo).