Donna Korzick, professor of physiology and kinesiology, recently assumed a new role as director of graduate training initiatives in the Huck Institutes for the Life Sciences. In this role, Korzick is dedicating half of her time to support the application for and execution of training grants from organizations like the National Institutes of Health.
Korzick will guide faculty during the initiation, development and submission of new training grant proposals and program renewals that are affiliated in some way with the Huck Institute. Additionally, she will work with faculty who have Huck-affiliated T32s to assist training faculty mentors in implementing program features and best mentoring practices.
Korzick explained why she is eager to take on this new role.
“Having developed and successfully implemented a T32 program, having successfully navigated a renewal, and serving as a permanent member of NIH study section focused on workforce development, I bring a comprehensive lens to assist faculty with the development and implementation of their training programs,” Korzick said. “Also, I will provide a variety of career-development and mentoring trainings that will be available to all life-sciences students and faculty at Penn State.”
About T32 programs
T32 grants support the training of predoctoral and postdoctoral researchers who are preparing for careers in health-related research. These grants help create the next generation of researchers in areas vital to the health of people everywhere. Many Penn State students, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty receive support and training through a wide variety of T32 grants.
T32 programs also provide training opportunities for students and faculty beyond those selected as fellows of the grants. For instance, a capstone course may be developed for students in a T32, but it is open to any student. Other important training opportunities on topics including individual development planning, diversity and inclusion, and rigor and reproducibility may be required for fellows of the training program, but any graduate student or postdoctoral fellow is welcome to participate.
Training programs affiliated with Huck
There are currently five National Institutes of Health (NIH) training programs supported by the Huck Institutes' Graduate Education office: Biomedical Big Data to Knowledge (B2D2K), Computation, Bioinformatics, and Statistics (CBIOS), Eukaryotic Gene Regulation (EGR), Physiological Adaptations to Stress, and Integrative Analysis of Metabolic Phenotypes (IAMP). Several new training programs are in review and development. The programs support dozens of Penn State graduate researchers through funding, mentorship, and networking.
Troy Ott, Associate Director for Graduate Education at the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences and professor of reproductive physiology, said, “These programs represent the best of interdisciplinary life science graduate training, raise our recruiting profile nationally, and are an external validation of excellence in graduate training at Penn State.”
Korzick believes that these programs improve the careers and lives of everyone involved.
"Training the next biomedical workforce and being able to impact a student’s career trajectory is very important to me,” Korzick said. “Implementing training programs allows Penn State to be forward thinking and on the cutting edge of the best training and mentoring practices.
“T32 programs are an acknowledgement of faculty and student excellence. It is very motivating to learn from—and form new partnerships with—such an extraordinary group of people.”