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 4 (2008)

Rebecca Boxer, M.D.
Dr. Boxer received her B.A. at Barnard College, MS in Clinical Investigation from CWRU and M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. She completed an Internal Medicine Residency at the University of California, San Francisco. After time in private practice, she completed a Geriatric Medicine Fellowship at the University of Connecticut followed by Heart Failure Fellowship at Case Western Reserve University. Dr. Boxer was appointed to the Case Western Reserve University Medical School faculty in November 2006 on both the Divisions of Geriatrics and Cardiology. Dr. Boxer has clinical responsibilities at The Harrington Heart and Vascular Institute at University Hospitals/Cleveland Medical Center. She is Adjunct Professor of Pharmacy at Ohio Northern University. Dr. Boxer is a recipient of the Young Investigators Award from the American Society of Bone and Mineral Research, and has published papers in many journals including the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, Journal of the American College of Cardiology - Heart Failure, Journal of the American Directors Association, and The American Heart Journal. Dr. Boxer's research focuses on improving the quality of life for older adults with heart failure. Dr. Boxer recently received an R01 from NHLBI which provides 5 years of funding to study heart failure disease management in skilled nursing facilities. In addition, she is currently collaborating with another NIHK12/KL2 Scholar, Kurt Lu, M.D. on a U01 grant Supported by the CounterACT Program, National Institutes of Health Office of the Director and the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Grant.

Ruth Farrell, M.D.
Dr. Farrell received a B.A. in Philosophy from University of Chicago, M.A. in Bioethics from Case Western Reserve University, and a M.D. from Case Western Reserve University. She completed her residency in obstetrics and gynecology at University Hospitals of Cleveland. Following her clinical training, Dr. Farrell was accepted as a Greenwall Fellow of Health Policy and Bioethics at the Berman Bioethics Institute of Johns Hopkins University and the Kennedy Institute of Ethics at Georgetown University. During her postdoctoral training, she also served as a Reproductive Policy Fellow at the Genetics and Public Policy Center and a J. Benjamin Younger Fellow of Public Policy at the Office of Public Affairs for the American Society for Reproductive Medicine in Washington DC. She has served on several local and national committees, including the Committee on Ethics for the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Ethics Committee for the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.

Dr. Farrell is currently at the Cleveland Clinic with appointments in Obstetrics and Gynecology and women's Health Institute, Professional Staff Affairs and the Lerner Research Institute and is an Associate Professor of Surgery at Case Western Reserve University. Dr. Farrell's research is dedicated to facilitating the translation of new reproductive technology to the clinical arena by developing mechanisms for patient decision-making and informed consent. Her work during the NIH K12/KL2 included an examination of patient decision-making for first trimester aneuploidy screening, a genetic screening test offered to women during pregnancy. This work will serve as a model for the translation of future genetic technologies as they are developed and transitioned for patient care.

Ronald Hickman , M.S.N., Ph.D.
Dr. Hickman received his BA in Biology, his MSN in Acute and Critical Care Nursing, and his PhD in Nursing from Case Western Reserve University. Since 2002, Dr Hickman's clinical practice as a registered nurse has focused on the management of critically ill patients who are dependent on life-sustaining technology. In 2006, Dr Hickman expanded his scope of nursing practice and received board-certification as an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (ACNP). He completed his PhD in 2008 and has centered his research on the consequences of treatment decisions, self-management, and health services utilization in technology dependent adults. He was appointed the 2008 Eleanor Lambertsen Scholar from the American Nurses Foundation for his study entitled "DECIDE: DEcisional Consequences in Recipients of Impantable Cardioverter DEfibrillators" that explores the perceptions and health status of patients living with implantable cardioverter defibrillators. He has conducted an investigation entitled "EXPECT: EXploring the Perceptions and Consequences of Complex Treatment Decisions," which examined the consequences of tracheostomy and feeding tube decisions made by relatives of cognitively impaired patients. Dr. Hickman accepted a one month fellowship at NIH as he transitioned off of the NIH K12/KL2; he focused on molecular genetics, which he used to identify endophenotypes of decision making behaviors and responsiveness to decision support interventions. Dr. Hickman remains at CWRU as an Assistant Professor (tenure-track) and the principal investigator for a research project titled "Avatar-Based Decision Support for Surrogate Decision Makers from the NIH, National Institute Nursing Research (NINR; 1R15NR013569).

Kurt Lu, M.D.
Dr. Lu received his B.S. in Microbiology and Immunology and M.D., both with Distinction in Research at the University of Rochester in 1997 and 2002. After completing an intern year in Internal Medicine at Columbia University-St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital, he pursued combined residency/post-doctoral fellowship training at Case Western/University Hospitals in the Department of Dermatology. Dr. Lu worked as a post-doctoral fellow on an NIH-T32 Training Grant in Molecular and Investigative Dermatology under Dr. Kevin Cooper. He has received awards from the Dermatology Foundation and the 2008 Young Investigator Award from the Academy of Dermatology. Dr. Lu is an assistant professor in the Department of Dermatology at Case Western Reserve University. His research interests include molecular and cellular processes involved in wound healing, specifically the role of macrophages and inflammation. Dr. Lu is currently collaborating with another NIHK12/KL2 Scholar, Rebecca Boxer, M.D. on a U01 grant Supported by the CounterACT Program, National Institutes of Health Office of the Director and the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Grant.

Milton Ntragatakis, D.D.S.
Dr. Ntragatakis received his BS with honors in Biochemistry from Youngstown State University and then continued to get his DDS from Case Western Reserve University. Upon graduation, he entered the University Hospitals Health System where he completed his residency in Pediatric Dentistry. While a resident, Dr. Ntragatakis focused his research endeavors in Health Disparities and the effect of Oral Health Education in the East Cleveland School District. As an NIH K12/KL2 Scholar, he worked to identify effective interventions in order to manage the unique oral health issues of Very Low Birth Weight Infants. Dr. Ntragatakis is currently in private practice.

Florian Rader, M.D.
Dr. Florian Rader graduated from the Medical University of Vienna, Austria in 2002. As a research fellow in the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine at the Vienna General Hospital, he conducted a series of clinical research projects in the field of adult degenerative heart valve disorders. After relocating to the US, Dr. Rader was accepted in the Physician Scientist Pathway at Case-MetroHealth Medical Center to receive his clinical training in Internal Medicine and Cardiology. Dr. Rader served as clinical research fellow in an interdepartmental collaborative project between MetroHealth Heart and Vascular Center and the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Cleveland Clinic. He earned a Master's Degree in Clinical Research at Case Western Reserve University. As an NIH K12/KL2 Scholar, Dr. Rader's research focused on arrhythmic complications after cardiac surgery, including their prediction from machine learning with quantitative electrocardiographic measurements, statins and RAAS blockade for the prevention and the influence of race in the development of postoperative atrial fibrillation. He also conducted a prospective study of novel biomarkers for the prediction of postoperative atrial fibrillation. In 2012 he relocated to Los Angeles to become junior faculty at Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute. At Cedars, he is a key member in the non-invasive laboratory and a hypertension specialist in the Hypertension Center of Excellence. His research focuses on interventional health services research to overcome physician inertia in the treatment of hypertension. In addition he studies blood flow abnormalities in muscular dystrophy utilizing contrast enhanced ultrasound. In 2013, he received a UCLA CTSI pilot grant and is currently applying for a second K-grant.