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ITHS Investigators Receive NIH Supplements for Career Development

ITHS Investigators Receive NIH Supplements for Career Development

Congratulations to the three ITHS researchers who received career development supplement awards from the National Institutes for Health (NIH) this year! Representing Fred Hutch, MultiCare Institute, and the University of Washington, all three of these investigators and their projects are dynamic and deserving of this funding.

Each year the NIH offers various supplements to support the career development of a named individual. Two of these scientists received funding from different NIH ICOs (Institutes, Centers and Offices) to support their work as KL2 scholars in specific areas of study. Dr. Blake Langely works in complementary medicine, while Dr. Hannah Rea studies Down syndrome.

Dr. Deana Williams received a diversity supplement to work on a mentored translational science project linked to the ITHS UL1 grant. Diversity supplements are a critical initiative aimed at enhancing diversity and inclusion in health research, and they are a part of NIH’s broader commitment to fostering a more inclusive research community and increasing the representation of individuals from historically underrepresented backgrounds in the biomedical and behavioral sciences workforce.

ITHS’s Director of Research Development, Melissa Vaught, hopes to talk to ITHS-associated researchers about their projects to determine how ITHS can support them. Contact her (ithsnav at uw dot org) to learn about how you can get connected with these supplements.

2023 Recipients

Hannah Rea, PhD

Hannah Rea, PhD, and a Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Postdoctoral Fellow, UW Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Research in Autism and the Brain Lab (RAB Lab)

Administrative Supplements to NCATS CTSA Program KL2 Institutional Career Development Awards as part of the INCLUDE (Investigation of Co-occurring Conditions across the Lifespan to Understand Down syndrome) Project

Dr. Rea’s award allowed her to join the 2023 cohort of ITHS KL2 Scholars.

Examining risk factors for challenging behaviors for children with Down syndrome

Challenging behaviors, such as aggression or noncompliance, occur in almost all children with Down syndrome and negatively impact quality of life for the individual and family. The proposed study will be the first to comprehensively investigate cognitive and neuropsychological factors that impact the development of challenging behaviors in children with Down syndrome. Findings from this research will inform future interventions targeting challenging behaviors in this population.


  • Sara Webb, PhD – Prof. Dept. of Psychiatry & Behavior Sciences, Neuroscience Program, Psychology Dept, UW | Center on Child Health, Behavior, and Development, Seattle Children’s Research Institute | Assoc. Director & Clinical Translational Core Director, Intellectual and Developmental Disability Research Center, UW
  • Michael Guralnick, PhD – Director of Center on Human Development and Disability, Professor of Psychology and Pediatrics
  • Kathleen Angkustsiri, MD, MAS, Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics, UC Davis
  • Angela John Thurman, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, UC Davis

Blake Langley, ND, MS, BS

Blake Langley, ND, MS, BS, and a licensed Acupuncturist (
Staff Scientist, Cancer Prevention Program, Department of Public Health Sciences, Research Acupuncturist, Integrative Medicine, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) Administrative Supplements to NCATS CTSA Programs for Scholars Pursuing Complementary Health Research Career Development

This award allowed Dr. Langley to join our 2023 cohort of ITHS KL2 scholars.

Pilot of Acupressure as a Complementary Therapy (ACT) for Anorexia in Cancer

Anorexia (abnormal loss of appetite for food) and cachexia (weight loss >5% of total body weight) pose significant risks to quality of life and survival of patients with cancer and other chronic conditions; few existing interventions are both effective and have high provider utilization. This career development award will train an emerging early career clinician-scholar in the development, conduct, and analysis of a novel pilot and feasibility trial assessing the feasibility and acceptability of an auricular acupressure intervention—an acupuncture technique without needles—to decrease weight loss in patients with cancer who are at risk for significant weight loss. Results of this trial will inform future studies seeking to use auricular acupressure to prevent anorexia and cachexia in patients with cancer and other chronic conditions.


  • Heather Greenlee, ND, PhD, Assoc. Prof. cancer Prevention Program, Public Health Sciences and Clinical Research Division, Fred Hutch | Assoc. Prof. Division of Medical Oncology, UW | Affiliate Associate Professor, Department of Epidemiology, University of Washington School of Public Health | Medical Director, Integrative Medicine, Fred Hutch
  • Veena Shankaran, MD, MS, Professor, Division of Medical Oncology, UW | Professor, Public Health Sciences and Clinical Research Divisions at Fred Hutch | Co-Director Hutchinson Institute for Cancer Outcomes Research
  • Ted Gooley, PhD, Professor, Public Health and Clinical Research Divisions, Director of Clinical Biostatistics, Fred Hutch

Deana Williams, PhD, MPH

Deana Williams, PhD, MPH
Research Investigator, MultiCare Institute for Research and Innovation

Research Supplements to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research (NIH/Dept of Health & Human Services)

Dr. Williams began her work on this mentored translational science project linked to the ITHS UL1 award on June 1, 2023.

A Qualitative Study of Bisexual Women of Color’s Perinatal Health Care Experiences

Women of color (WOC) in the United States, and sexual minority women (SMW), experience striking inequities in maternal health and healthcare—yet no maternal health studies have examined bisexual WOC’s perinatal healthcare experiences. It is urgent to engage bisexual WOC in translational health research to understand their perinatal healthcare needs and identify gaps in care. Ultimately, this research will help develop effective maternal health interventions and care delivery models to improve maternal and birth outcomes in the long term, thus advancing maternal health equity for bisexual WOC and other historically disadvantaged populations.


  • Allison Cole, MD, MPH, Associate Professor, Family Medicine, UW, Co-Director of ITHS Community Engagement
  • Kemi Doll, MD, MSCR, Assoc. Professor Dept. of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Adjunct Professor, Department of Health Services, Director of Underrepresented Minority Faculty Development, UW Medicine
  • Erin Blakeney, PhD, RN, Research Assistant Professor, Department of Biobehavioral Nursing and Health Informatics, School of Nursing, UW
  • Ian Bennett, MD, PhD, Professor Dept. of family medicine and Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Adjunct professor, Dept of Global Health, UW

These supplemental grants are additional funding for projects that are an extension of the aims of the parent grant.  ITHS has been working to grow its supplemental support with strategies including:

  • Monitoring NIH Notices of Special Interest (NOSIs) for relevant opportunities
  • Strategizing with ITHS leadership to determine approach for specific opportunities
  • Discussions with NCATS program officer about the supplements
  • Offering investigators support in project management, proposal development, administrative management (finance/budget/UW grant mechanisms), and Just-In-Time information gathering