Angela Tomlin, PhD joins Interdisciplinary Research Leaders (IN UCEDD/LEND)

October 3, 2016

As one of only 15 three-person teams selected, Angela Tomlin, PhD, Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at IUSM and Director of the Section of Child Development and the Indiana LEND program joins Interdisciplinary Research Leaders, a new program led by the University of Minnesota with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Dr. Tomlin is partnering with Shoshanna Spector, Executive Director of Indianapolis Congregation Action Network (IndyCAN!) and Karen Ruprecht, PhD, Director of Innovation in Early Education at Early Learning Indiana to form a team that will examine the effects of parental incarceration on young children. The Indianapolis team will join researchers and community leaders from across the country to collaborate and innovate to solve persistent challenges and advance a Culture of Health-one that places well-being at the center of every aspect of life.

The Indiana team is investigating how participation in a high quality pre-K program can help affected young children. Results of the research are seen as a way to change policy in Indiana related to incarceration.

Along the way team members will be developing high-level leadership skills through professional coaching, mentoring, networking and an advanced leadership curriculum. While participating in the program the team will continue working full-time while applying new knowledge and leadership in the community and field.

"This program gives our fellows the tools to make their work even more relevant and potent-and to bring new leadership skills and perspective back to their communities as well," says J. Michael Oakes, PhD, director of Interdisciplinary Research Leaders and professor at the University of Minnesota. "We were overwhelmed by the commitment, diverse perspectives and innovative ideas in our applicant pool and are very excited to work with this first group to put research into action and create a lasting, on-the-ground impact."

Additional partners providing training and coaching to fellows include: AcademyHealth, Allina Health, ISAIAH, Local Initiatives Support Corporation, and Minnesota Department of Health.

Interdisciplinary Research Leaders is one of four new leadership development programs launched this year by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and represent a four-year, multimillion dollar investment. The programs join five existing leadership programs in advancing RWJF's legacy of supporting the development and diversity of leaders impacting health. The 2017 application period for the new programs will open in January. Additional information is available at