Dr. Avery Holton (PhD, University of Texas) has been selected to the University of Utah’s Vice President’s Clinical and Translational Scholars Program (VPCAT), a competitive initiative designed to enhance faculty efforts in grant building in the areas of health sciences. Dr. Holton will join the sixth class of VPCAT scholars and is the first faculty member from the College of Humanities to be selected to the program.
As a VPCAT Research Scholar, Dr. Holton will research the ways in which news and information about genetics and genetic screening are spread through digital and social media. His work will be supported in part by the University Utah Center for Excellence in Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications Research (UCEER).
Dr. Holton’s research, which includes emphases on digital, mobile, and social media as well as disabilities studies and health communication, includes more than 50 peer-reviewed works in journals such as Health Communication, Information, Communication, and Society, and Communication Theory. His previous work in genetic communication is part of a UCEER collaborative supported through a $3.8 million National Institutes of Health and National Human Genome Research Institute grant.
VPCAT Research Scholars are selected through a competitive application process each fall and traditionally are located in the University of Utah Health Sciences. Accepted scholars participate in a two-year program designed to provide leadership competencies and develop the essential research knowledge and practical skills to be an effective clinical or translational researcher.
The two-year competitive program incorporates formal and informal mentoring, a structured curriculum focused on leadership competencies and essential knowledge and practical skills to be an effective clinical or translational researcher, and access to resources to facilitate appropriate study design, collection of pilot data and preparation and submission of competitive grant applications.
A mentoring team consisting of a scientific mentor, a VPCAT Senior mentor, peer mentors and staff mentors support each VPCAT Scholar. Scholars have access to biostatisticians in the Center for Clinical & Translational Science (CCTS) and grant submission specialists. These resources facilitate appropriate study design, collection of pilot data and the preparation and submission of competitive grant applications.