Sally Rigler, MD, MPH

OSARM: Mentoring Junior Faculty to Achieve Their Potential

Office of Scholarly, Academic and Research Mentoring

The Department of Internal Medicine supports the Office of Scholarly, Academic and Research Mentoring (OSARM) which assists junior faculty members in achieving overall career development goals and in pursuing their scholarly and research endeavors.   Faculty members are encouraged to tackle clinical research topics about which they are most passionate, allowing them to follow the advice to “Do What You Love.”

OSARM is directed by Sally Rigler, MD, MPH with additional support from faculty mentors Jonathan Mahnken, PhD (Department of Biostatistics), Susan Pingleton, MD (Department of Medicine) and Theresa Shireman, PhD (Department of Preventive Medicine). According to Internal Medicine Chair Steven W. Stites, MD, “Sally has done a remarkable job in building OSARM into a tremendous department resource for mentoring and helping young faculty advance along the clinical scholar track.” General career development mentoring is provided regularly for OSARM scholars, with the long-term goal of ‘mentoring toward promotion.’ Project design advice and biostatistical collaboration are top priorities for OSARM, along with assisting faculty scholars in improving their skills with manuscript preparation and grant writing. A seminar series introduces new faculty to important concepts regarding academic processes, scholarly project design, and scientific writing. 

The Research Career Award (RCA) is awarded to faculty members pursuing heavily research-focused career paths, allowing them a platform from which to pursue external grant awards. Current RCA Awardees include Omar Aljitawi, MD (Use of Hyperbaric Oxygen to Improve Engraftment of Cord Blood Stem Cells in Umbilical Cord Blood Transplantations), Brea Lipe, MD (Evaluation of Bone Metabolism in Monoclonal Gammopathy of Undetermined Significance), Priyanka Sharma, MD (Triple Negative Breast Cancer and BRCA Status Clinical and Biomarker Registry), and Aravind Sugumar, MD, MPH, (Personalized Treatment Strategies for Pancreatic Cancer). An additional funding program is the OSARM Seed Award that serves as a stepping-stone, supporting pilot projects that will generate preliminary data.  Finally, the OSARM Incubator Faculty Scholar group is targeted towards junior faculty members who are newly engaged in scholarly efforts upon first joining the faculty.  

This program has been very well received by the junior faculty members who find a unique benefit in having support, encouragement and guidance specifically targeted to the scholarly and academic elements of their careers.  Emily Diederich, MD, who joined the OSARM Incubator Faculty Scholars group upon taking a faculty position, says,“It seems too good to be true that I have a faculty position that not only allows me to gain experience with an awesome breadth of Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine, but also supports my development as an educator and researcher. Dr. Rigler, Dr. Pingleton, Dr. Manhken and Genny Gochenour in the OSARM office have provided such key guidance during my first year on faculty and I can’t wait to see what we can accomplish in the future.”