Professional Development Core

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Professional Development Core

The MCCTR's Professional Development Core provides extensive training and resources to foster the growth of Mississippi's next generation of clinical and translational researchers and to increase their number, diversity, and success. The Professional Development Core oversees three programs: the Clinical and Translational Research Scholars Program, Mentoring Academy, and Seminar Series. These programs aim to create a rich intellectual environment, promote investigator interactions, and provide targeted research investments to increase research collaboration among MCCTR investigators from diverse backgrounds and academic disciplines and to foster the development of young investigators with sustained, independent extramural funding.

  • Clinical and Translational Research Scholars Program: The Clinical and Translational Research Scholars (CTRS) Program is designed to provide structured mentorship, training, protected research time, and substantial research support to promising early-stage research faculty from all MCCTR partner institutions. In addition, the CTRS Program works to enhance the research skills of junior faculty members through courses in the UMMC Master of Science in Clinical Investigation degree program as well as to increase the number and diversity of junior faculty members pursuing clinical, translational, and population research in all major diseases that impact Mississippians. For more information, visit the funding opportunities page or contact
  • Mentoring Academy: The Mentoring Academy is designed to train junior investigators to become effective research and career mentors. Candidates will be selected by the MCCTR Mentor Academy leadership and Steering Committee. Faculty from all in-state MCCTR partners will be eligible to apply to the Mentor Academy, which will be held on the UMMC campus. For more information or to submit an application to join the Mentor Academy, contact
  • Joint Seminar Series: The MCCTR Seminar Series offers monthly seminars as a forum for the presentation of high-impact research and as an opportunity for junior investigators to present their research and receive feedback. The MCCTR works closely with the Mississippi Center for Obesity Research and the Cardiorenal and Metabolic Diseases Research Center to promote the series and to accommodate campus visits by accomplished scientists. Visit our homepage to see the latest seminar information or our news page to view past seminar flyers.

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The figures above show steady increases in publications and extramural funding by MCCTR IDP investigators and Pilot Grant investigators during the first 5 years of MCCTR funding.

  • MCCTR Faculty Exchange and Training Program (FETP): “Mini-Sabbaticals” and Visiting Research Scholars. Extended exchange visits between MCCTR investigators and researchers at other leading research institutions will facilitate development of common protocols and multicenter studies that include larger and more diverse populations, enhance the quality and scope of clinical and translational research in Mississippi, and strengthen extramural funding applications.

    Mini-Sabbaticals. The FETP will provide funding for “mini-sabbaticals” of MCCTR investigators to visit other institutions and learn new methods and skills, or to develop collaborations and grant proposals. To apply for this funding, please complete a 1-page proposal that describes the specific goals and justification of the visit to another institution, along with a letter from the department chair indicating approval. These proposals will be reviewed by the Professional Development Core and approved by the Steering Committee. There is no specific time limit on these visits, but they are generally expected to last for 1-2 weeks. If the expected cost of the visit exceeds $5,000, the department chair of the faculty member must agree to pay the additional cost.

    Visiting Scholars. A second component of the FETP is the opportunity for MCCTR investigators to invite visiting scholars from other institutions to Mississippi to learn new research methods/skills and develop synergistic collaborations. Requests and approvals will follow the same procedures as requests for a “mini sabbatical”. Travel costs and a consultant fees for the invited investigator will be paid by the MCCTR up to a total cost of $5,000 with any additional costs paid by the investigator’s department.For more information, visit the funding opportunities page or contact

Core faculty

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John E. Hall, PhD, Clinical and Translational Research Scholars Core Leader 

Dr. Hall is the Arthur C. Guyton Professor and Chair of the Department of Physiology and Biophysics at UMMC and the Director of the Mississippi Center for Obesity Research.


Javed Butler, MBBS, MPH, MBA, Clinical and Translational Research Scholars Co-Core Leader

Dr. Butler is the Patrick H. Lehan Chair of Medicine and Professor in the Department of Medicine at UMMC.