NIH Awards Prestigious "Pathway to Independence Award"

Prabhakara R Nagareddy, a scientist with the Saha Cardiovascular Research Institute at the University of Kentucky, has received a prestigious K99/R00 award from the National Institutes of Health.

Also known as the Pathway to Independence (PI) Award, this grant provides two years of mentored postdoctoral support followed by three years of independent support. It is designed to fast-track promising young scientists to a more permanent research position with independent NIH or other research support.

PI candidates have an impressive record of research productivity and publications, and have identified a unique research direction to pursue after the mentored phase of the award.

"This award is highly competitive and positions the awardee for a faculty appointment in two years," said Dr. Susan Smyth, director of the Gill Heart Institute, and Nagareddy's mentor. "We are extremely pleased for Prabhakara. His recent publication in Cell Metabolism reports a breakthrough in the field that may have significant ramifications for preventing heart disease associated with obesity."

Nagareddy's grant, from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the NIH, totals approximately $925,000 over five years. The grant will underwrite research on the molecular mechanisms of monocyte production (monocytosis) in cardiovascular disease with a focus on diabetes and obesity.

Originally from Canada, Nagareddy moved to UK two years ago after a productive post-doctoral fellowship at Columbia University to be with his wife, Beatriz Hanaoka, an assistant professor in the Division of Rheumatology.