Doctoral Student, Adaixa Padron, receives NIH Fellowship

Addie PadronAdaixa Padron, MS (Mentor: Deidre B. Pereira, PhD, ABPP) has received funding for an NIH F31 Kirschstein Individual Predoctoral Fellowship Diversity award for her project entitled Diurnal Variations in Salivary Concentrations of Pro-Tumorigenic Cytokines and Possible Effects of Psycho-Physiological Stress in Gynecologic Cancer Patients and Matched Healthy Controls.

Funded by the National Cancer Institute, the two-year dissertation study seeks to identify and compare the diurnal circadian pattern of salivary concentrations of pro-tumorigenic and inflammatory cytokines in gynecologic oncology patients and age and race/ethnicity matched non-cancer controls. Specifically, salivary interleukin-6 (IL-6) and interleukin-1beta (IL-1β) concentrations will be examined given empirical evidence for their (1) successful detection and quantification in saliva, (2) consistently increased salivary concentrations in response to acute stress, and (3) possible diagnostic utility within oropharyngeal oncology populations. The study further aims to examine the relationships between psycho-physiological stress (i.e., subjective [perceived stress] and objective [salivary cortisol] measures of stress) and diurnal salivary cytokine expression in these two groups.

Per NIH: “The overall goal of the NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) program is to help ensure that a diverse pool of highly trained scientists is available in appropriate scientific disciplines to address the Nation’s biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research needs. NRSA fellowships support the training of pre-and postdoctoral scientists, dual-degree investigators, and senior researchers.  More information about NRSA programs may be found at the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) website.

The purpose of the Kirschstein-NRSA Individual Predoctoral Fellowship to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research (F31) is to provide support for mentored research training leading to the PhD or equivalent research degree, the combined MD/PhD degree, or another formally combined health professional degree and research doctoral degree in the biomedical, behavioral, or clinical sciences for individuals from diverse backgrounds. This fellowship program will enhance the diversity of the biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research workforce in the United States by providing opportunities for academic institutions to identify and recruit students from diverse backgrounds, including those underrepresented on a national basis, to seek graduate degrees in health-related research and apply for this fellowship. The goal of this program is to enhance diversity of scientists who are well prepared for research careers in the biomedical, behavioral, and clinical sciences, including those from underrepresented backgrounds, such as underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, persons with disabilities and those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

This Kirschstein-NRSA predoctoral fellowship award will enable promising predoctoral students to obtain individualized, mentored research training from outstanding faculty sponsors while conducting well-defined research projects in scientific health-related fields relevant to the missions of the participating NIH Institutes and Centers.“ The award provides support for stipend, tuition and fees, health insurance, travel, and institutional training costs.