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Outstanding Early Career Scholars Program

Department of Medicine

In 2012, the Department of Medicine launched the Outstanding Early Career Scholars Program to invest in creative and talented faculty early in their career to help accelerate their career development.  The program was designed to enable these promising individuals to devote 75% of their effort to research or other scholarly activities.  Each recipient receives $75,000 annually for up to five years, to support their research or other forms of career development and expansion. 
Applicants are selected from an unbiased, NIH-style study section composed of senior faculty outside of the Department of Medicine. In the first year of the program, 17 well-qualified applicants competed for this award and two were selected; Larry Allen, MD and Mario Santiago, PhD.   
In 2013, the number of applicants increased significantly and three recipients were selected; Eric Schmidt, MD, Dan Matlock, MD and Rachel Zemans, MD.
This year, the Outstanding Early Scholars Program’s multidisciplinary selection committee has chosen Brian Graham, MD and Sachin Wani, MD to receive this honor. 

Brian Graham
Assistant Professor
Division of Pulmonary Sciences
and Critical Care Medicine

Sachin Wani
Assistant Professor
Division of Gastroenterology
and Hepatology
Brian Graham is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Pulmonary Sciences and Critical Care Medicine at the University of Colorado. He completed Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in electrical engineering at MIT, medical school at Harvard, and residency in internal medicine and pulmonary-critical care fellowship at the University of Colorado. His clinical work is primarily in the areas of pulmonary hypertension and hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia. His research studies the inflammatory pathogenesis of pulmonary hypertension, primarily using a model of schistosomiasis-induced disease, under the mentorship of Rubin Tuder. He is a recipient of a K08 from the NHLBI and has also been awarded grants from the Parker B. Francis Foundation, Gilead, Pfizer, ATS/Pulmonary Hypertension Association, and Novartis.
Sachin Wani is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at the University of Colorado and Veterans Affairs Medical Center. After obtaining his medical degree from the Dr. D. Y. Patil Medical College, Mumbai, he completed his Internal Medicine Residency training at Lincoln Medical Center, New York. He then completed his Gastroenterology and Hepatology Fellowship at the University of Kansas School Of Medicine. During this training period, he was supported by the NIH K-30 program and dedicated a year to clinical research, acquiring valuable skills in epidemiology, biostatistics, and cost-effectiveness research.  He also acquired skills in conducting large clinical trials, including randomized controlled trials.  This was followed by an Advanced Therapeutic Endoscopic Fellowship at Washington University in St. Louis. His research interests include evaluation of the epidemiology, diagnosis and treatment of patients with Barrett’s esophagus and esophageal cancer. He is the principal investigator of the study evaluating recurrence rates of intestinal metaplasia and dysplasia post ablation in Barrett’s esophagus and was recently awarded the American Gastroenterological Association Research Scholar Award in Barrett’s esophagus and GERD.  His other research interests include evaluating advanced imaging techniques such as Narrow Band Imaging and Confocal microscopy. He was awarded the American College of Gastroenterology Clinical Research Award that allowed him to complete a multicenter trial evaluating the role of an on-site cytopathologist during endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine needle aspiration of pancreatic masses.