Jamie Felton, MD, has received a $194,076 National NIH K12 Career Development Award called “Diab-Docs: Physician-Scientist Career Development Program.” This is a one-year grant to support diabetes research, with an option to renew for two additional years. Felton was an Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI) KL2 Scholar awardee in 2021.
“Being a KL2 scholar awarded me with the protected time and career development support that was pivotal in successfully competing for this national award,” said Felton, who is an assistant professor of pediatrics at IU School of Medicine. “One of the unique aspects of the KL2 funding mechanism is the opportunity to develop relationships with other members of your KL2 cohort. I have learned so much with and from my peers, who are all working in different content areas, but in the translational research space, and are at similar points in their career development. Navigating early career stages can be overwhelming, and having my KL2 cohort, and the directors of the KL2 program, to come alongside with me with wisdom, encouragement, and insight has been so, so valuable.”
Felton is also a physician scientist in the IU Center for Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases and the Herman B Wells Center for Pediatric Research.
With her new grant, “Type I Interferons and B Cell Metabolism as Drivers of Type 1 Diabetes,” Felton will work to understand what happens to circulating B lymphocytes, which are a type of white blood cell that makes antibodies, leading up to a type 1 diabetes diagnosis. Type 1 diabetes is believed to be caused by an autoimmune reaction which destroys the cells that make insulin in the pancreas, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Felton hopes to be able to generate preliminary data with this funding to earn an independent career development award (K08) afterward. Her long-term goals include becoming an independent and influential diabetes researcher and learning how to delay and prevent diabetes based on her research outcomes.