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Tringale Receives ACTRI Fourth-Year Medical Student Award

June 26, 2018

Jona Hattangadi-Gluth, MD (left) and Kathryn Tringale, MD

Kathryn Tringale, MD, whose primary research interest in the field of radiation oncology is the use of advanced imaging techniques to predict neurocognitive performance after radiation therapy, has received the UC San Diego Altman Clinical and Translational Research Institute (ACTRI) Fourth-Year Medical Student Award. Dr. Tringale received the ACTRI award on June 2 during the Graduating Class Award Luncheon at the School of Medicine. The award recognizes students with outstanding potential for future contribution to translational research and is typically given to one fourth-year medical student per year.

Dr. Tringale received a medical degree from UC San Diego on June 3 and is currently in her preliminary internal medicine internship at Kaiser Permanente in Los Angeles. She will start her radiation oncology residency at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York in 2019. Dr. Tringale received her biomedical engineering degree (BS) from Brown University in 2012, after which she conducted clinical research in brain computer interfaces at Massachusetts General Hospital. Throughout medical school at UC San Diego, Kathryn was involved in a variety of research endeavors including outcomes research, clinical trials, and medical ethics, receiving a Master’s in Clinical Research (MAS) in 2017. She primarily researched under the mentorship of Jona Hattangadi-Gluth, MD, investigating both radiation oncology and policy questions, and also worked with Quyen Nguyen, MD, PhD, to conduct basic science research on fluorescently labeled biological probes to help surgeons during surgery.

“Dr. Tringale is one of the strongest and most prolific medical students I have worked with in my entire career as a radiation oncologist and researcher, and exemplifies many of the traits this award embodies. Kathryn is a brilliant and energetic student, an outstanding and diligent scientist, and a wonderful, kind and compassionate person,” said Dr. Hattangadi-Gluth, who nominated Dr. Tringale for the award. “Kathryn’s main project was modeling data from a longitudinal clinical trial of brain tumor patients, correlating advanced quantitative neuroimaging data with cognitive outcomes after brain radiotherapy. Her work is truly translational: she worked with complex imaging data and developed new models to study the microstructural brain changes which lead to neurocognitive changes in brain tumor patients.”

Dr. Tringale’s other research interests have included conflicts of interests introduced by industry payments to physicians, cost-effectiveness of immunotherapy, nature of malpractice claims in radiation oncology, and marijuana and opioid use in cancer patients. From her collection of work, Dr. Tringale has presented at several conferences, including three oral presentations at the annual American Society for Radiation Oncology conference. She has written or co-authored a dozen publications (three in process and nine published) in peer-reviewed journals, including JAMA and JAMA Internal Medicine, with coverage of her findings in press outlets like Newsweek. She was first author on most of these publications.

“It was such an honor to receive recognition for my work supported by ACTRI throughout my career at UC San Diego, both during medical school and my Master's in Clinical Research (MAS) program,” said Dr. Tringale, who was also supported by ACTRI through the TL1 grant program in 2016-17. “I have been so fortunate to work with such outstanding mentors, like Dr. Hattangadi-Gluth, who have supported my broad range of interests and encouraged me to ask challenging questions. I was honored to receive my award in the presence of Dr. Hattangadi-Gluth as well as my two other biggest supporters, my parents. I look forward to using the skillsets I have developed at UC San Diego in my future as I continue to ask challenging questions to provide better care to my patients as an academic physician.”

About UC San Diego Altman Clinical and Translational Research Institute:

UC San Diego Altman Clinical and Translational Research Institute (ACTRI) is part of a national Clinical and Translational Science Award consortium, led by the National Institutes of Health National Center for Advancing Translational Science. Established in 2010, ACTRI provides infrastructure and support for basic, translational and clinical research throughout the San Diego region to bring discoveries from the laboratory to the bedside, and facilitates training and education of the next generation of researchers. ACTRI carries out its activities in collaboration with institutional and corporate partners and currently has more than 1,500 members.