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 5 (2009)

Shari Bolen, M.D., M.P.H.
Dr. Bolen graduated cum laude with a BS in psychology from Ohio State University, where she also received her MD in 2000. She completed a residency and chief year in Internal Medicine at Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. She received a 3 year national research service award at Johns Hopkins University in Maryland, where she completed an MPH and research fellowship. Dr. Bolen moved to Cleveland in 2009 and is currently practicing internal medicine and conducting research at MetroHealth/Case Western Reserve University. Her research interests are health services research in diabetes and obesity, comparative effectiveness research, and systematic review methodology. Her current projects deal with quality improvement for diabetes care while optimizing other chronic disease management and relationship-centered care.

Donna Hansel, M.D., Ph.D.
Dr. Hansel is a physician-scientist who studies the molecular pathogenesis of bladder cancer. She received a BA degree from the Johns Hopkins University in Biology and subsequently received a Medical Scientist Training Program grant from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine to complete her MD/PhD training. She performed her PhD studies in the Department of Neuroscience, where she studied the role of amidated neuropeptides on olfactory neuronal growth and migration. Her successful completion of these studies won her the David I. Macht Award from the School of Medicine and resulted in several publications in Nature and Science. Upon completion of her MD/PhD training, she studied the role of OCT family members in peripheral nerve myelination at Erasmus University in Rotterdam, The Netherlands for one year, after which she joined the Pathology Department at the Johns Hopkins Hospital for residency and fellowship training in genitourinary pathology. Dr. Hansel joined the faculty at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine in 2006, where she held appointments in Anatomic Pathology, the Glickman Urological and Kidney Institute as well as the Taussig Cancer Institute. While at the Clinic, she co-directed the institutional bladder cancer working group and oversaw the pathology curriculum at the School of Medicine. Dr. Hansel's interest in growth-promoting factors led her to expand her studies from the nervous system to the field of cancer biology. Dr. Hansel's laboratory currently studies the function of EGFR and the mTOR pathway in bladder cancer. She relocated in 2013 to University of California, San Diego where she is Director of Anatomic Pathology.

Melissa D. Pinto, R.N., Ph.D.
Dr. Pinto received her BSN and MSN from the School of Nursing at the University of Louisville. She completed her dissertation, entitled School-based intervention to reduce stigma toward mental disorders and improve mental health literacy in female adolescents, in June 2009 and received her PhD in Nursing from the University of Louisville. Dr. Pinto has received numerous professional development awards and honors and authored 12 peer-reviewed publications. Her work has appeared in journals such as Social Science & Medicine, Archives of Women's Mental Health, School Mental Health, Archives of Psychiatric Nursing, Journal of Nursing Scholarship, and Issues in Mental Health Nursing. She has received intra and extramural grant funding to support her research that focuses on assisting adolescents and young adults in overcoming barriers to accessing mental health treatment and the self-management of mental illness. As an NIH K12/KL2 Scholar, Dr. Pinto worked with an interdisciplinary team to assess the feasibility, acceptability, and efficacy of a 3-D avatar intervention, eSMART, to improve self-management of mental illness among young adults. Dr. Pinto has relocated to Emory University where she is on tenure track as an Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing.

Allison Webel, R.N., Ph.D.
Dr. Webel received her BSN and BA with honors from The Ohio State University and her MSN and PhD from the University of California, San Francisco School of Nursing in 2009. During her graduate work, Dr Webel received numerous honors including a two-year National Research Service Award from the National Institute of Nursing Research to support her work on peer-based interventions. Her career goals are to become a leader in the field of HIV/AIDS research. Her post-doctoral work in the MCTRP will build on her previous work and will explore how to best promote self-management of chronic disease in women living with HIV/AIDS. She is excited to be joining the faculty at the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing and looks forward to further collaborative work within the University.

Claudia O. Zein, M.D., M.Sc.
Dr. Zein received her PreMedical Degree (Summa Cum Laude) and M.D. (Summa Cum Laude) from the Universidad Nacional Pedro Henriquez Urena in Dominican Republic. She completed her residency in Internal Medicine and her fellowship in Gastroenterology and Hepatology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. Dr. Zein received her M.Sc. in Clinical Research from the Mayo Graduate School. She is the recipient of several honors including an American College of Gastroenterology Research Foundation Junior Faculty Award in 2006. She is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University and is currently appointed as staff in Gastroenterology at the Cleveland Clinic. Dr. Zein's research focuses on nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and chronic cholestatic liver diseases. She has worked in the development of clinically useful tools to predict disease severity in chronic liver disease and is currently working on the development of instruments for non-invasive prediction of outcomes of interest in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.