Mark Kunik, M.D., M.P.H.
Mark Kunik, M.D., M.P.H., is the first recipient of the HSR&D Daniel Deykin Award for Outstanding Mentor, which will be presented each year to a VA/HSR&D researcher who exhibits outstanding dedication and skill in mentoring the next generation of researchers, particularly in guiding them toward a thorough understanding of the positive impact research can have on the health and care of Veterans.
Associate Director of HSR&D's Center for Innovations, Quality, Effectiveness and Safety (IQuESt) and Director of the South Central Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical Center (MIRECC), Dr. Kunik began his research career 15 years ago with an HSR&D Career Development Award (CDA). Since then, his numerous mentees have succeeded in garnering VA and NIH (National Institutes of Health) career development awards, and are now serving as research mentors, leaders, and successful clinician-researchers. For example, three of his primary faculty mentees have been appointed to Associate Professor in the past three years, and each has had significant publishing success, as well as been awarded multiple grants as principal investigators.
Dr. Kunik has mentored and affected the careers of more than 75 mentees – including residents, clinical fellows, research fellows, and medical students. His impact on their careers exemplifies the "human capital pipeline" that Dr. Deykin and other visionaries created, incorporating a strong mentoring component to ensure that HSR&D and, thus, VA would always have an infusion of talented young researchers dedicated to improving the care of Veterans.