Five questions with physician-scientist and KL2 scholar Dr. Steven Hicks

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As a pediatrician, Dr. Steven Hicks understands how invasive testing like drawing blood can be traumatic for a child. And as a pediatrician, he also understands the importance of limiting subjectivity in diagnosing certain conditions.

As a researcher, Hicks decided to do something about both. He researches the use of spit to assist doctors in diagnosing conditions related to brain development, including concussions and autism. 

Hicks recently completed his involvement in Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute‘s Early-Stage Investigator Training Program. The program, also known as KL2, invests in researchers who are early in their careers and building their research programs. The program protects the researcher’s time to work on a specific project. Dr. Hicks’s project involved the use of saliva as an objective measure to diagnose autism.

A full interview with Dr. Hicks is available in episode 9 of Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute’s Engage Podcast. Each episode educates listeners about the research process and how Penn State is improving our neighbors’ and communities’ health.

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Goal 1: Train and Cultivate the Translational Science Workforce