Carolyn Bramante, MD, MPH, an assistant professor in the Departments of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at the University of Minnesota Medical School, has been awarded the 2021 Outstanding Trainee: Early (Faculty) Career Development Award from the Association for Clinical and Translational Science (ACTS). This award is in recognition of Dr. Bramante’s early dedication to research and her potential to change health policy. 

Dr. Bramante earned her medical degree at the U of M Medical School in 2012. After completing her residency and fellowship at John Hopkins University, she returned to Minnesota where she has focused much of her career on obesity in children and adults. She is currently a faculty member in the Center for Pediatric Obesity Medicine (CPOM) and the Program in Health Disparities Research.

Christopher Lindsell, PhD, President of ACTS, shared, “These awards reflect the outstanding contributions of our community of clinical and translational scientists and their enduring contributions to healing and the health of the world.”

Translational science is the idea of utilizing research to create an impact on global health. This past year, Dr. Bramante has become the principal investigator of a new clinical trial testing the use of the drug metformin, commonly used for type 2 diabetes, and its effectiveness as a treatment against COVID-19. 

“The award is really a testament to all the incredible work that has been done at the University, only some of which has been done by me,” Dr. Bramante said. “I give credit to the biophysical modeling of SARS-CoV-2 by David Odde and his team; natural language processing by Chris Tignanelli; observational analyses and complicated clinical trial design guided by Michelle Biros, David Boulware, Mike Puskarich, Nancy Sherwood, Tom Murray, Jared Huling, Jennifer Proper, and Lianne Siegel; microbiome assessment guided by Nikki Klatt; lab testing through Amy Karger and ARDL; and research support from CPOM, the CTSI, DOM and Fairview Research Administration.”

“We are also grateful for co-I’s from the six participating sites who have contributed to the trial design and for their participation in this trial: Northwestern University in Chicago, UCLA Olive View, University of Colorado Denver, Hennepin Health Care and New West Physicians and American Health Network of the Optum clinic network,” she said. 

Dr. Bramante shared that this award has helped fuel her drive. “We will continue working hard to enroll participants in this outpatient COVID-19 treatment trial so that I can live up to the expectations conveyed with this award,” she said. “Whether we find a benefit from metformin or not, our trial results will hopefully be an important contribution to the science around COVID-19.”

To learn more about becoming a participant in her study, visit