Prestigious Fellowship, Grant for UConn Health Postdoc

Leslie Caromile is a senior postdoctoral fellow in UConn Health’s Center for Vascular Biology. (Chris DeFrancesco/UConn Health Photo)
Leslie Caromile is a senior postdoctoral fellow in UConn Health’s Center for Vascular Biology. (Chris DeFrancesco/UConn Health Photo)

UConn Health postdoctoral fellow Leslie Caromile is celebrating two major accomplishments.

Caromile, who studies prostate cancer in the Center for Vascular Biology, is one of six members of the Keystone Symposia Fellows Class of 2015-2016. Additionally, she has received a grant from the National Institutes of Health for her research.

The Keystone Symposia on Molecular and Cellular Biology offers this fellowship program for postdocs as it seeks to draw researchers from underrepresented populations to study life sciences. Fellows must demonstrate a commitment to inclusiveness in the life sciences and mentor young scientists from underrepresented populations.

“I have been passionate about science for as long as I can remember,” Caromile says. “I spent my childhood at natural history museums and science fairs, on camping trips and nature hikes, in vegetable gardens and green houses, and with telescopes and microscopes.”

Caromile’s research on the transmembrane peptidase prostate specific membrane antigen (PSMA) and its function in prostate cancer tumor behavior is supported by the NIH/National Cancer Institutue K01 Mentored Research Scientist Award to Promote Diversity, amounting to more than $500,000 over five years.

“I am tremendously honored to receive both these awards and to be included in these groups of highly motivated researchers,” Caromile says. “I am looking forward to not only an active role as a scientist here at UConn Health but also as an active mentor and mentee.”

Caromile is of Eastern Cherokee heritage. She works in the laboratory of Linda Shapiro, director of the Center for Vascular Biology.

“Leslie Caromile is a gifted and innovative researcher who has independently developed an observation into a fascinating story unraveling critical mechanisms driving prostate tumor progression,” Shapiro says. “The award of the mentored training grant from the National Cancer Institute and her selection as a Keystone Fellow exemplify the caliber of her research and her dedication to promoting science education.”

New Travel Fellowship Named for Dr. Cato T. Laurencin

Dr. Cato T. Laurencin
Dr. Cato T. Laurencin (Peter Morenus/UConn Health)

The Connecticut Institute for Clinical and Translational Science (CICATS) announces the Cato T. Laurencin, M.D., Ph.D. Travel Fellowship.

Created by the Society For Biomaterials, this fellowship will support underrepresented minorities in the field of biomaterials, by providing an undergraduate student the resources needed to attend the annual meeting of the Society For Biomaterials and to become a member of the Society. The goal of this initiative is to stimulate/encourage recipients to pursue a career in biomaterials.

The Cato T. Laurencin, M.D., Ph.D. Travel Fellowship includes registration, airfare, hotels, transfers, and meals. Awardees also will receive complimentary membership in the Society For Biomaterials and assigned a graduate student mentor to guide them through the annual meeting and to help them pursue their advanced degree and career goals.

The fellowship is named for Dr. Cato T. Laurencin, founding director of the Institute for Regenerative Engineering; founding director of the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Center for Biomedical, Biological, Physical, and Engineering Sciences; and CICATS director. He is also the Albert and Wilda Van Dusen Distinguished Endowed Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery; professor of chemical engineering, materials science and engineering, and biomedical engineering; and the eighth designated University Professor in UConn’s History.

Laurencin is well known for his commitment to mentoring. He is the recipient of the American Association for the Advancement of Science Mentor Award, the Beckman Award for Mentoring, the Alvin F. Crawford Award for Mentoring, and received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Engineering and Math Mentoring from President Barack Obama in ceremonies at the White House.

An elected member of the National Academy of Medicine and the National Academy of Engineering, Laurencin is the recipient of the NIH Director’s Pioneer Award. In the Society For Biomaterials,  Laurencin has served as a meeting opening keynote speaker, chair of the Special Interest Group Committee, and has received both the Clemson Award for Contributions to the Literature and the Technology Innovation and Development Award from the Society. He is an International Fellow in Biomaterials Science and Engineering.

Additional information about the Cato T. Laurencin, M.D., Ph.D. Travel Fellowship and the application is available at http://bit.ly/CTLtf.