Campus News

Cobb named 2021 Georgia CTSA KL2 Scholar

Ryon Cobb (Submitted photo)

Ryon Cobb, an assistant professor in Franklin College of Arts and Sciences’ sociology department, is the first Franklin College faculty member named a Georgia Clinical & Translational Science Alliance KL2 scholar.

The Georgia CTSA KL2-Mentored Clinical and Translational Research Scholars program is designed to support and enhance career development for junior faculty from a wide variety of disciplines at Emory University, Morehouse School of Medicine, Georgia Institute of Technology and the University of Georgia. The Georgia CTSA KL2 Core is committed to assisting junior faculty at partner institutions to become independent, established and ethical clinical and/or translational research investigators.

With guidance from his interinstitutional and interdisciplinary KL2 mentorship team, Cobb will receive the requisite training to accelerate efforts to integrate findings of translational health disparities research into practice.

“To date, most research on topic focuses on the behavioral determinants of renal health and aging among older adults,” Cobb said. “My KL2 project aspires to improve renal health and aging among individuals by assessing how experiences in one’s social environment combine with genetic signatures to shape kidney function among older white and Black adults. The mentored training will contribute to ongoing efforts to increase the global translation of research on genetic and environmental interactions into clinical and public health applications relevant for all older populations.”

As a KL2 scholar, Cobb will receive salary support to spend 75% of his professional time on research over two years. He will also receive a $25,000 per year technical budget for research-related expenses and complete 16 credits of formal training through the Emory University Certificate Program in Translational Research (CPTR).

“A portion of my early training took place in an interprofessional and translational setting, and I am excited to return to that environment to gain advanced mentorship from some of the nation’s leading scientists to harness the power of ‘big data’ to improve the renal health of older adults,” Cobb said.

“I am looking forward to the opportunity of mentoring Dr. Cobb on this important work that will make meaningful contributions in the nephrology and gerontology communities,” said Roland J. Thorpe Jr., professor of public health and co-director of the Alzheimer’s Disease Resource Center for Minority Aging Research at the Johns Hopkins University.

“Dr. Cobb is, without question, a rising star in his field,” said Robert Taylor, Sheila Feld Collegiate Professor of Social Work at the University of Michigan and principal investigator for the National Institute on Aging-funded Michigan Center for African American Aging Research, which funds Cobb’s pilot research. “He stands out among early-career scholars in sociology and public health as someone who is making tremendous advances in both theory and research.”

The Georgia Clinical & Translational Science Alliance is an inter-institutional magnet that concentrates on basic, translational, clinical research investigators, community clinicians, professional societies and industry collaborators in dynamic clinical and translational research projects. This strategic inter-institutional partnership offers compelling, unique and synergistic advantages to research and patients statewide.