KL2 Training Program

Current & Past Scholars

The following are brief biographies of the scholars selected for each award year. As you can see, they represent broad disciplinary diversity and bring impressive and relevant training and experience to the CASE/Cleveland Clinic CTSC KL2.

Cohort 1 (2005) | Cohort 2 (2006) | Cohort 3 (2007) | Cohort 4 (2008) | Cohort 5 (2009)
| Cohort 6 (2010) | Cohort 7 (2011) | Cohort 8 (2012) | Cohort 9 (2013) | Cohort 10 (2014) | Cohort 11 (2015) | Cohort 12 (2016)

Cohort 3 (2007)

Vikas Gulani, M.D., Ph.D.
Dr. Gulani received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering at UCLA in 1991. He then moved to the University of Illinois at Urban-Champaign, completing his M.S. and Ph.D. (1998) in Physiology under Prof. Paul C. Lauterbur, the winner of the 2003 Nobel Prize for Medicine or Physiology. He was enrolled in the Medical Scholars Program in Illinois, and completed his M.D. in 2000. After completing an intern year in Internal Medicine also at the University of Illinois, he joined the Diagnostic Radiology residency at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, completing this training and board examinations in 2005. During his third year of residency, he was at the University of Wurzburg in Germany, working as a research post-doctoral fellow under Drs. Andrew Webb, Peter Jakob, and Axel Haase. In 2006, he completed his clinical fellowship in Body MRI, also at the University of Michigan. Dr. Gulani's research interests include diffusion tensor imaging and diffusion anisotropy, MRI microscopy, body MRI, and functional MRI. Currently, he is an assistant professor in Radiology and Director of MRI in the Departments of Radiology, Biomedical Engineering and Urology at Case Western Reserve University.

Sonja Harris-Haywood, M.D.
In 1986, Dr. Harris-Haywood received her bachelor of science in chemistry from Seton Hall University, South Orange NJ. Her career in medical research began at Lederle Laboratories as a synthetic organic chemist where she was responsible for discovering active agents against cancer. During 1993, she completed a master's program in science education at New York University and entered University of Medicine and Dentistry, New Jersey (UMDNJ) Medical School. After graduating from medical school in 1997 she completed a family medicine residency at Mountainside Hospital Family Practice, a community-based program affiliated with UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School in 2000. Following a short tenure as a medical director for a federally qualified health center in rural North Carolina, Dr. Harris-Haywood pursued a career in clinical research. She was a faculty development fellow in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill from 2001 to 2002. She then completed her fellowship training as a National Research Service Award fellow at the UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Brunswick, NJ from 2002 to 2004. Her research interests in the use of cultural competency as an intervention to reduce health disparities developed during these fellowships. In 2004, she joined the CWRU School of Medicine Department of Family Medicine, Research Division as an Assistant Professor in the tenure track. She developed tools to measure cultural competency in primary care settings from both the patient and clinician perspective. The newly developed tools will be used to assess the effect of cultural and linguistic competency on patient trust, as well as adherence to cancer preventive recommendations and cardiac medications. Currently, Dr. Harris-Haywood is the Director of the Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED)-Cleveland State University (CSU) Partnership for Urban Health.

David Kemp, M.D.
Dr. Kemp earned both his Bachelor of Science and his Doctor of Medicine degrees in six years through an accelerated doctoral training program. Dr. Kemp's undergraduate studies were completed at Kent State University, where he majored in Integrated Life Sciences and graduated summa cum laude in 1998. He received a doctorate in medicine from Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine in 2002, graduating with honors in Psychiatry. From 2002-2006, Dr. Kemp pursued residency training at Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois where he served as the Chief Resident in Psychiatry. Dr. Kemp has received numerous honors, including the International Society for Bipolar Disorders Research Fellowship Award, a New Clinical Drug Evaluation Unit Young Investigator Award, and a NARSAD Young Investigator Award. Currently, Dr. Kemp is a faculty member at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center in the Bipolar Disorders Center for Intervention and Services Research. As an NIH K12/KL2 Scholar, Dr. Kemp completed his MS in Clinical Investigation. His primary scientific focus is on the conduct of randomized controlled efficacy and effectiveness trials in mood disorders, including the study of presentations of bipolar disorder co-morbid with metabolic syndrome or diabetes. Dr. Kemp is currently an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry.

Jill Kilanowski, Ph.D., M.S.N., R.N., C.P.N.P.
Dr. Kilanowski attended Columbia University in the City of New York for both her Bachelors and Master's Degree in Nursing. Her Master's degree has a specialization in Ambulatory Pediatric Nursing. Dr. Kilanowski's employment as a registered nurse has been centered in pediatrics and public health where she was employed at the former Babies Hospital of the Columbia University-Presbyterian Hospital Medical Center, followed by a role as a public health nurse (specialty in pediatrics) in Connecticut. With the attainment of her degree and certification as a pediatric nurse practitioner (CPNP), Dr. Kilanowski then worked for well-child clinics, a private pediatric practice, and a school-based health clinic in an inner city high school. Throughout Dr. Kilanowski's career she has also served in academia teaching nursing on various degree levels at Fairfield University, Otterbein College and The Ohio State University. While at Ohio State, Dr. Kilanowski received her PhD in 2006 and has centered her research on health disparities and vulnerable populations of children. Dr. Kilanowski's dissertation work, supported by an F-31 Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award, focused on the health status of carnival and migrant farmworker children. She is currently a pilot principal investigator to the P-30 NIH-NINR Center for Excellence called Self-Management Advancement through Research and Translation (SMART).

Dr. Kilanowski was appointed to the research committee of the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners and was nominated for a four year term on the DHHS HRS National Advisory Council on Migrant Health. She has also been selected to be inducted into the Fellowship of the American Academy of Nursing.

Emma Larkin, Ph.D.
After completing her Bachelor's degree in Biology from the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Larkin earned a Master's degree in Demography (Department of Population Dynamics) from the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health in 1996. Dr. Larkin received her PhD in spring 2007 in Genetic Epidemiology on an Analysis of the Genetic Determinants of Highly Correlated Traits: the Apnea Hypopnea Index and Body Mass Index. She has served as a data manager and study coordinator for the Johns Hopkins Colon Cancer Gene Testing Project, where she gained crucial skills in project management and the design and implementation of epidemiological surveys. She also worked in occupational epidemiology at the Boston Veteran's Affairs (VA) Hospital. Dr. Larkin performed data analyses for a number of other research projects including a study of lung function in people with spinal cord injury, a study of sleep disorders in Gulf War Veterans, and a study of lung cancer in railroad workers. Dr. Larkin has continued to develop her analytical skills while working on various sleep epidemiological studies including the Sleep Heart Health Cohort, the Cleveland Children's Health and Sleep Study, Honolulu Asia Aging Study of Sleep Apnea, and the Cleveland Family Study of Sleep Apnea. Dr. Larkin was an instructor in the Center for Clinical Investigation at Case Western Reserve University. In July 2009 she became a research assistant professor at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in the Pulmonary Division of the Department of Medicine.

Since joining the faculty at Vanderbilt University in the Division of Allergy, Pulmonary, and Critical Care in 2009, Dr. Larkin has focused her research on examining genetic risk factors for the severity of bronchiolitis in infants with viral infections. The ultimate goal is to understand which infants with respiratory syncytial viral infections develop childhood asthma. Pathways under consideration include the urea cycle, oxidative stress, inflammation, vitamin D metabolism, and adrenergic system.

Additionally, she is studying the dietary and enzymatic factors that predict incident adult onset asthma and allergy in the Shanghai Women's Asthma and Allergy Study. She also serves as a project manager for the Population-Based Effectiveness in Asthma and Lung Diseases (PEAL) Network, representing a collaboration with Kaiser Permanente and Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare to mine large databases for the refinement of asthma sub-phenotypes.