Research in Academic Pediatrics Initiative on Diversity (RAPID)

Program Overview

RAPID targets applicants who are members of an underrepresented minority group (URM), disabled, or from a socially, culturally, economically, or educationally disadvantaged background.

The program, which includes both a research project and career and leadership development activities, consists of:

  1. Small research grants in NIDDK mission areas: pediatric obesity, nutrition, and/or sickle cell disease
  2. Pairing of the RAPID scholar with a national mentor who is an accomplished senior investigator and seasoned mentor
  3. In-person mentoring and networking at a breakfast during the annual PAS meeting
  4. An educational symposium on career and leadership development and academic success
  5. RAPID scholar telephone conference calls every 2 months to provide peer support, peer mentoring, networking, a venue for presenting research progress, and opportunities for potential research collaborations

RAPID is funded by a 5-year award (R25DK096944) from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). The program awards up to $15,000 per selected research project.

RAPID Qualifications

The principal investigator of any submitted LOI must be members of the APA or have submitted an application for membership. Applicants must also be members of an URM, disabled, or from a socially, culturally, economically, or educationally disadvantaged background.

  1. Faculty members who are no more than 5 years out from completion of all training
  2. Fellows who will be in their final year of fellowship during their RAPID cycle.

Submitted proposals must address the following NIDDK mission areas:

  • Pediatric obesity
  • Nutrition
  • Sickle cell disease


APA RAPID Holds Fifth Annual Mentoring and Career Development Conference

RAPID held its fifth annual Mentoring and Career Development Conference at Stanford University on January 29-30, 2018. This exciting conference included a leadership preconference led by Dr. Fernando Mendoza (RAPID Co-Director), panel discussion on keys to success for young investigators, a speed-mentoring session, research presentations by the 2017 RAPID Scholars, an inspiring keynote speech by Dr. Elena Fuentes-Afflick, one-on-one mentoring sessions, a hot-topic presentation and discussion (led by the young investigators), and a reception and dinner. In addition to the two 2017 RAPID Scholars, conference attendees included nine additional talented and accomplished young investigators (including three residents, three fellows, and several faculty) from across the country chosen by the RAPID NAC from a strong application pool of candidates. Conference attendees included:

  • Jolene Collins, Children's Hospital of Los Angeles/USC Keck School of Medicine
  • Victor Cueto, Stanford University School of Medicine (2017 RAPID Scholar)
  • Tamara Gayle, Children's National Health System
  • Oriaku Kas-Osoka, University of Nevada Las Vegas School of Medicine
  • Christian Lawrence, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine
  • Camila Mateo, Boston Children's Hospital/Harvard
  • Sonia Morales, Harbor-UCLA County Medical Center
  • Priscilla Mpasi, National Clinician Scholars Program, University of Pennsylvania
  • Jennifer Peralta, Children's Hospital at Montefiore
  • Camille Robinson, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
  • Lahia Yemane, Stanford University School of Medicine

Photo: 2018 RAPID Conference attendees, including young investigators, 2017 RAPID Scholars, RAPID NAC members, Senior Mentors, and the RAPID Director and Co-Director

Photo: 2018 RAPID Conference attendees enjoying the conference proceedings.

Photo: Superb, inspirational keynote speech at 2018 RAPID Conference being delivered by Dr. Elena Fuentes-Afflick, APS President, Chief of Pediatrics at the Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, and Professor, Vice Chair of Pediatrics, and Vice Dean for Academic Affairs at the UCSF School of Medicine.


Congratulations to Jennifer Woo Baidal, a 2014 RAPID Scholar, on receiving a K23 Award from NIDDK, entitled "Improving Diagnosis and Prevention of Pediatric Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease."


Kudos to Thao-Ly Phan, a 2014 RAPID Scholar, who just had a manuscript accepted to the Journal of Pediatrics which describes the main findings from her RAPID project on psychosocial risk, adherence, and outcomes in pediatric obesity treatment.

  • Jennifer Woo Baidal, a 2014 RAPID Scholar, also has an article in press in the Journal of Pediatrics related to her RAPID project entitled, "Associations of Early to MidChildhood Adiposity with Elevated Mid-Childhood Alanine Aminotransferase Levels in the Project Viva Cohort."


Glenn Flores, MD
APA RAPID Director

Fernando Mendoza, MD, MPH
APA RAPID Co-Director




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