Peds faculty selected for NIH research mentorship

Elna Saah MD, Hurley Medical Center, 2014Saah to study research skills that focus on hemoglobin and red-blood-cell disorders

Elna Saah MD, a Hurley pediatric specialist in hematology and oncology and a faculty member for Hurley's Pediatric Residency Training Program, has been selected to participate in a prestigious two-year national research mentorship program as part of a project that focuses on disorders in hemoglobin and red blood cells.

The Programs to Increase Diversity Among Individuals Engaged (PRIDE) in Health-Related Research is a research career-advancing training opportunity paid for by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Seven unique PRIDE institutes were recently funded across the United States. These mentored research programs address the difficulties experienced by junior investigators in establishing independent research programs and climbing the academic ranks.

The PRIDE Functional and Translational Genomics of Blood Disorders program at Georgia Regents University (GRU-PRIDE) will focus on training young scientists in research related to hemoglobin and red-blood-cell diseases. Mentees are to learn grant-writing skills and hands-on bench research skills related to proteomics, molecular and cellular techniques.

The training includes summer institutes, a mid-year visit to the mentor's institution, an annual workshop in Bethesda, Md, and interdisciplinary training with other mentees from the other six PRIDE programs, as well as with staff from the National Institutes of Health. The interdisciplinary teaching faculty is to cover genomic, molecular, cell biology, and proteomic techniques, as well as bench skills that can be used to perform functional and translational genomics approaches related to blood disorders.

Roshni Kulkarni MD, professor in the MSU CHM Pediatrics and Human Development Department, congratulated Saah for admission into the PRIDE program. "She truly brings honor and recognition to our department and university," said Kulkarni. "I know (mentor) Betty Pace from my days at the CDC. She is very driven and an outstanding mentor ... (Dr. Saah) will enjoy working with her."

Saah completed her pediatric residency training at Hurley Medical Center before entering a hematology-oncology fellowship.