The Transverse Myelitis Association’s Board of Directors has approved funding for two TMA James T. Lubin Clinician-Scientist Fellowship Awards to Dr. Kyle Blackburn at The University of Texas Southwestern in Dallas and Dr. Jonathan Galli at The University of Utah in Salt Lake City. Dr. Kyle Blackburn will receive clinical and research training under the mentorship of Dr. Benjamin Greenberg and Dr. Jonathan Galli will be mentored by Dr. Stacey Clardy. The Fellowships will be focused on multi-disciplinary clinical training in neuro-immunology with a focus on rare neuro-immune disorders.
Dr. Blackburn received his medical degree from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine in Lexington, KY, and is completing his neurology residency at The University of Texas Southwestern in Dallas, TX, where he also worked with Dr. Greenberg. During his fellowship, he plans to launch a study that will collect patient reported outcomes measures on adult and pediatric patients with transverse myelitis. The study aims to assess current outcomes in transverse myelitis, and to inform the development of outcomes measures for future clinical trials.
“The James T. Lubin Fellowship will provide me the resources to develop into a sound clinician and researcher. Under the guidance of Dr. Greenberg, I will not only see patients with immune-mediated neurological disease, but also have the time and resources to learn the logistics of conducting clinical research in rare diseases. These skills are essential to my success as an academic physician, and I am grateful to the TMA for this opportunity.” – Dr. Kyle Blackburn
Dr. Galli received his medical degree from the University of Vermont College of Medicine in Burlington, VT, and is completing his neurology residency at The University of Utah in Salt Lake City, UT, where he also worked with Dr. Clardy. As part of his fellowship training, he plans to conduct research to look for biomarkers in individuals with NMOSD. He intends to see whether individuals have aquaporin4 (AQP4) autoantibodies prior to their symptom onset of NMOSD, and also look for other inflammatory biomarkers. He hopes the study will help us understand how biomarkers occur over the course of the disorder, which will hopefully help identify predictors of disease development, and ultimately therapeutic targets.
“I look forward to a career full of discovery, and with our understanding of autoimmune neurology only just beginning, I cannot think of a more fulfilling area to contribute to, both as a physician, researcher and educator.” – Dr. Jonathan Galli
These are the sixth and seventh grants to be awarded since the launch of the James T. Lubin Clinician-Scientist Fellowship program.
Over the last five years, the TMA has committed over $780,000 to the training of clinicians and researchers dedicated to careers focused on rare neuro-immune disorders. Institutions currently participating in the Fellowship training are The University of Texas Southwestern, The University of Pennsylvania, The Johns Hopkins University, and The University of Utah.