Eric W. Klee, Ph.D.
Eric W. Klee, Ph.D., of Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., decided to pursue the KL2 Mentored Career Development Program because it offered him "the opportunity to develop a translational research career that linked cutting-edge basic science with pressing clinical needs."
"I find the intersection of basic science and clinical practice extremely engaging," he adds.
Dr. Klee's previous training is in bioinformatics, a discipline that he says emerged at the friction point between many basic science fields and promoted highly collaborative science. The KL2 Program naturally extends this collaborative science approach into the clinical research field.
Dr. Klee says he values the dedicated research time, as well as the resources provided to foster his research. He also finds highly notable the commitment of program leadership to scholar success and the mentoring and collaborative relationships they encourage.
Although still early in his research program, his goal is to better understand the physiological reprogramming that occurs during nicotine addiction. His research uses zebrafish to study the molecular changes that occur in response to nicotine exposure.
"We hope to identify new treatment methods for improving the long-term success of patients recovering from nicotine dependence," says Dr. Klee.
Because of the strong addiction science research community at Mayo Clinic, Dr. Klee has found interest and support for other collaborations and complementary research.
He has also had the opportunity to work with a research group at the Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology in India on a wild-type zebrafish genome-sequencing project. This collaboration is leading toward a better understanding of the zebrafish genome, which will directly impact how Dr. Klee interprets his nicotine research results.
See Dr. Klee's publications on PubMed.