Current KL2 Scholars

Kelly Bijanki, PhD

Emory University

  • Assistant Professor, Department of Neurological Surgery, School of Medicine
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, School of Medicine

Lead Mentor: Daniel L. Drane, PhD

Dr. Bijanki is an Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery and Psychiatry in the Emory University School of Medicine. Her research interests are focused on developing a research platform in the epilepsy surgery domain embracing the recent advances in the field toward stereotactic electroencephalography (sEEG) with extensive coverage of deep structures and white matter fibers. This research platform in epilepsy sEEG enables in-vivo studies of the electrophysiological and neural correlates to affective function in awake and behaving human subjects in a manner not previously possible. Her long-term goal is to become a leader in brain stimulation research, dedicated to elucidating the neural and electrophysiological substrates of affective function. The title of her KL2 research project is ”Can stimulation-induced affective bias predict long-term adverse neuropsychiatric outcomes to epilepsy surgery?”

Complete list of Dr. Bijanki’s published work

Carmen M. Dickinson-Copeland, PhD, MSCR

Morehouse School of Medicine

  • Instructor, Department of Microbiology, Biochemistry and Immunology

Lead Mentor: Priscilla E. Igho-Pemu, MBBS, MSCR, FACP

Dr. Dickinson-Copeland is an Instructor in the Department of Microbiology, Biochemistry and Immunology at Morehouse School of Medicine. Her KL2 research is entitled "Progenitor cell response to lead exposure in children from rural versus urban counties in Georgia,” which focuses on the identification of molecular biomarkers, socioeconomic and environmental risk factors associated with lead exposure and toxicity among children living in both rural and urban settings. Dr. Dickinson-Copeland's research combines her biomedical translational experience with her training in health policy leadership. Her doctoral thesis included the identification and assessment of the functional roles of biomarkers for microvascular dysfunction in pediatric cerebral malaria. As a fellow of the Satcher Health Policy Leadership Institute, she received training in leadership development, health policy, and health equity. Dr. Dickinson-Copeland’s long-term goal is to advance health equity through the collaborative development of evidence-based health policy.

Complete list of Dr. Dickinson-Copeland’s published work

David Goldsmith, MD

Emory University

  • Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, School of Medicine

Lead Mentor: Andrew H. Miller, MD

David Goldsmith is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Emory University School of Medicine. His research interests are on the treatment of psychotic disorders and studies of the role of the immune system in persistent symptoms of schizophrenia. More specifically, he is interested in how inflammation targets the brain, leading to motivational deficits and negative symptoms of schizophrenia. He is the co-director of the PSTAR (Persistent Symptoms: Treatment, Assessment, and Recovery) Clinic at Grady Memorial Hospital, which focuses on the treatment of individuals with psychosis, with a specific emphasis on using clozapine and other pharmacologic/psychosocial interventions for persistent symptoms. His KL2 research project is entitled “Impact of Inflammation on Reward Circuits, Motivational Deficits and Negative Symptoms in Schizophrenia”.

Complete list of Dr. Goldsmith’s published work

Muna Qayed, MD, MSCR

Emory University

  • Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics, Divison of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology/BMT, School of Medicine

Lead Mentor: Edmund K. Waller, MD, PhD, FACP

Dr. Qayed is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Emory University School of Medicine and the Medical Director of the Cellular Therapies Laboratory at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. The focus of her research is on graft versus host disease (GVHD). She has participated in the design and conduct of clinical trials using novel therapeutics to prevent and treat acute GVHD, and in using biomarker based predictive models for GVHD risk stratification. She is scientific director for Emory Personalized Immunotherapy Core, with a special focus on mesenchymal stromal cell applications in GVHD. The title of her KL2 research project is “Autologous Mesenchymal Stromal Cells for the Treatment of Graft Versus Host Disease”.

Complete list of Dr. Qayed’s published work

Bonney Reed-Knight, PhD

Emory University

  • Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, School of Medicine

Lead Mentor: Tanja Jovanovic, PhD

Dr. Reed-Knight is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Emory University School of Medicine with a research focus on psychosocial factors associated with pediatric inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The goal of her work is to use psychological research methods to address the difficulties faced by patients with pediatric IBD. Through the KL2 program, Dr. Reed-Knight’s research is focused on identifying biomarkers of anxiety and depression in youth diagnosed with IBD. To identify these biomarkers, she is analyzing the psychosocial, autonomic, and psychoneuroimmune functioning in youth diagnosed with IBD. The title of her KL2 research project is “Biomarkers of Anxiety and Depressive Symptoms in Youth with Inflammatory Bowel Disease.”

Complete list of Dr. Reed-Knight’s published work

Elisabeth Lilian Pia Sattler, PhD, BS Pharm

University of Georgia

  • Assistant Professor, Department of Clinical and Administrative Pharmacy, College of Pharmacy
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Foods and Nutrition, College of Family and Consumer Sciences

Lead Mentor: Sandra Dunbar, PhD, RN, FAAN, FAHA, FRCP

Dr. Sattler is an assistant professor with a dual appointment in clinical and administrative pharmacy and foods and nutrition at the University of Georgia. Her interdisciplinary academic training and research experience involves the areas of pharmacy, nutrition, public health, and aging, with specific expertise in mechanisms underlying socioeconomic disparities in chronic disease management, including food insecurity and cost-related medication non-adherence. Dr. Sattler’s research is focused on examining the clinical role of nutrition in the management of advanced heart failure, particularly in the context of evidence-based pharmacotherapy. Dr. Sattler’s clinical KL2 research project is entitled “Effect of Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension Eating Pattern of Hemodynamic Markers in Advanced Heart Failure Patients.”

Complete list of Dr. Sattler’s published work

Megha K. Shah, MD, MSc

Emory University

  • Assistant Professor, Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, School of Medicine

Lead Mentor: K.M. Venkat Narayan, MD, MSc, MBA

Dr. Shah is an Assistant Professor of Family and Preventive Medicine at Emory University.  Prior to her position at Emory, she was a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar at University of Michigan.  Her research interests are focused on community-partnered approaches to chronic disease management, specifically for diabetes.  A particular focus is on community-partnered translational research for diabetes prevention and self-management.  Dr. Shah’s KL2 project is entitled “Better Together: Leveraging primary care and social network resources to create a patient-centered approach to improve diabetes among South Asians”.

Complete list of Dr. Shah’s published work

Howa Yeung, MD

Emory University

  • Instructor, Department of Dermatology, School of Medicine

Lead Mentor: Suephy C. Chen, MD, MS

Dr. Yeung is an Instructor in Dermatology at Emory University School of Medicine. His research has revealed disparities in skin cancer risk factors – especially indoor tanning – among sexual minority men. As a KL2 scholar, Dr. Yeung’s research efforts focus on the epidemiology, prevention and treatment of skin cancers in older persons living with HIV. His research is focused on identifying the incidence and risk factors for skin cancers in a large, diverse cohort of veterans at the intersection of long-term HIV infection and aging. His KL2 research project is entitled “Incidence and Risk Factors for Skin Cancers in the HIV Atlanta Veterans Administration Cohort Study”.

Complete list of Dr. Yeung’s published work