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URMC / Clinical & Translational Science Institute / Stories / June 2023 / Robert Holloway Steps Down as KL2 Program Director, Succeeded by Thu Le

Robert Holloway Steps Down as KL2 Program Director, Succeeded by Thu Le

Robert Holloway, MD, MPH, who is the Edward A. and Alma Vollertsen Rykenboer Chair of the Department of Neurology, is stepping down as the director of the UR CTSI’s KL2 Career Development Program after serving 17 years in the role. Effective July 1, he will be succeeded by Thu Le, MD, who joined the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) as chief of Nephrology in October of 2018, pending approval from the National Center for Advancing Translational Science.

Robert G. Holloway, MD, MPHHolloway has served as director of the KL2 Career Development Program since the UR CTSI’s inception in 2006. Under his direction, the program has provided financial and career development support for 50 early-stage researchers, helping them establish independent research careers and become research leaders across URMC and beyond.

“The greatest accomplishment of the KL2 Program is seeing how successful our KL2 awardees have been and how they are now leading the strategic direction of the medical center,” said Holloway. “I have no doubt that our program will continue to provide the support and mentorship needed for our current and future KL2 awardees to do the same.”

At the inaugural KL2 Career Development Program Celebration and Social on June 7, Holloway was honored with a gift for his many years of service: a compass engraved with the quote, “You can’t always be right, but you can always be kind.” The program team also surprised Holloway at the event by announcing the establishment of the annual Robert G. Holloway CTSI KL2 Alumni Lectureship in Translational Science, an endowed lectureship named in his honor.

Though he has loved working with UR CTSI leadership and the KL2 program’s incredible staff, Holloway felt it was time for “fresh leadership” to keep the program thriving. He will continue to be involved in early-career support initiatives for researchers, like the UR CTSI’s Rochester Early-Stage Investigator Network (RESIN), and will ensure a warm handoff to Le as she takes up the program reigns in July.

“Dr. Holloway was on the ground floor of developing the KL2 program and has led the program through three grant renewals. We are tremendously grateful for his many years of exemplary leadership,” said UR CTSI Co-Director Martin Zand, MD, PhD. “As we bid farewell to one outstanding leader, we gain another. Dr. Le has a wonderful reputation as a mentor and leader. She is perfectly positioned to oversee the continued growth of the program and we are very fortunate to have her.”

Thu Le, MD,Le will also have the support of Karen Wilson, MD, MPH, who is stepping up to become co-director of the UR CTSI in July and stepping down from her role as KL2 Career Development Program co-director, which she has held for nearly two years.

With “big shoes to fill,” Le plans to fully leverage the knowledge and experience of her predecessors and program staff as well as previous and current KL2 awardees. She will kick off her tenure by meeting with all of these stakeholders to learn what aspects of the program have worked well and to discover any structural challenges across departments where the KL2 program might have a greater impact.

A highly accomplished translational researcher, Le has been involved in the education of clinician researchers for over a decade. Before joining URMC in 2018, she was the associate director of the T32 Nephrology Training Program, vice chief of Research in Nephrology, and director of the Nephrology Clinical Research Center at the University of Virginia. Over the years, she has mentored numerous postdoctoral fellows and early-stage faculty and counts a 2020 Distinguished Mentor Award from the American Society of Nephrology among her greatest achievements.

“Mentorship has always been a passion of mine,” Le said. “It is very rewarding watching trainees grow and become independent investigators and mentors in their own right. The KL2 program is integral to training the next generation of scientists at University of Rochester and I am committed to making sure that we have the most talented pipeline.”

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The KL2 Career Development Award Program is supported by the University of Rochester CTSA award number KL2 TR001999 from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences of the National Institutes of Health. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

Susanne Pritchard Pallo | 6/26/2023

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