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Niranjan Karnik joins CCTS leadership team

Niranjan Karnik, MD, PhD

CCTS is excited to announce the expansion of our leadership team with the addition of Niranjan Karnik, MD, PhD. Dr. Karnik will join Dr. Robin Mermelstein and Dr. Richard Novak as multi-PIs (MPIs) for the center.

Dr. Karnik is a child psychiatrist and sociologist deeply committed to advancing health equity, promoting the career development of junior investigators, and integrating clinical translational research into community settings and trials. His research has focused on the assessment, prevention, and treatment of substance misuse and mental health disorders, as well as developing community-based and technology-mediated interventions.

In recent years, Dr. Karnik’s work has increasingly moved into data science and machine learning, along with clinical trials. Currently, he serves as PI and Director of the Great Lakes Node of the National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network. He also serves as the Director of the Institute for Juvenile Research and Interim Director of AI:Health4All: Center for Health Equity using ML/AI within the UIC College of Medicine.

His experience will help promote greater integration of informatics and AI tools into all aspects of CCTS and foster integration with other campus elements.

“Dr. Karnik brings tremendous strengths in multiple areas critical for successful clinical translational science and research and will be a huge asset to us in accelerating our impact as we move forward,” said Robin Mermelstein.

Over the last two years, Dr. Karnik has worked seamlessly and collaboratively with Drs. Mermelstein and Novak to enhance data science connections across campus, drive health equity initiatives, and improve junior faculty training. Together, the three co-directors bring substantial experience and depth across the full clinical translational spectrum, a solid history of leading multidisciplinary scientific research and administrative teams, and a dedication to CCTS’s mission of improving the health, well-being, and vitality of individuals and their communities.