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TRIPS | South Central MIRECC

Professionals being introduced

The Training Residents in Psychiatry Scholarship (TRIPS) program aims to increase the number of psychiatry residents entering postresidency research training fellowships in VISNs 16 and 17. It also increases the visibility of the SC MIRECC, improves resident perception of VA and careers within VA, and recognizes residents with research interests and promise.

TRIPS awardees are psychiatry residents who are selected in their second year of training by department chairs or residency training directors. The awardees attend medical schools in VISN 16 or 17. Drs. Mark Kunik and Ali Abbas Asghar-Ali co-lead the program. Awardees are assigned a career mentor who keeps them up-to-date on research opportunities relevant to their interests, attend a national scientific meeting, and receive a stipend for books or tuition. For more information, email or

2017 TRIPS Awardees

Dr. Sabrina Correa da CostaDr. Sabrina Correa da Costa

Dr. Correa da Costa is a third-year psychiatry resident at the University of Texas Health Science Center. She has a keen interest in research, particularly in the intersection between psychiatry and neuroscience. She is committed to excellence with a drive to accomplish her career goals, including furthering her knowledge in biological and translational psychiatry and carrying out translational research that leads to novel treatments and better outcomes in clinical practice. The TRIPS program will give her the means to expand her knowledge base, share experiences and learn from other investigators, and create opportunities to develop future collaborations that are essential in translational research.


Dr. Vicki FlynnDr. Vicki Flynn

Dr. Fynn is a third-year psychiatry resident at Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, and Arkansas State Hospital. Dr. Flynn is developing clinical and research experience in healthcare provider burnout. TRIPS leaders emphasized the value of mentorship in research, clinical, and educational growth at the 2017 conference, which influenced her current mentoring relationships and she is excited about the launch of a project regarding medical student and resident burnout with her TRIPS mentor!


Dr. Kalyan KandraDr. Kalyan Kandra

Dr. Kandra is a third-year general psychiatry resident at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. He is interested in psychosis and substance use disorders with additional focus on psychiatric polypharmacy. He has learned a lot from his patients, peers and teachers over the years and believes that research and continuing education are very important for all at any stage of their career. After his residency, he wants to pursue a career in academic psychiatry as he strongly believes in “Docendo discimus–By teaching we learn.” TRIPS gives him a chance to learn more about research, fellowship and academic opportunities.


Dr. Marguerite PatelDr. Marguerite Patel

Dr. Patel is a third-year psychiatry resident at Baylor College of Medicine. Her involvement in research writing and analyses has been the perfect compliment to her clinical work caring for patients. Her goal in the TRIPS program is to further develop and expand her knowledge and ability to conduct high-quality, meaningful research, a skill set that she hopes will be well-utilized for the rest of her career.


Dr. Bo "Liz" PengDr. Bo "Liz" Peng

Dr. Peng is a third-year psychiatry resident at Tulane. She is interested in multidisciplinary and integrative treatment models for mental health, with a particular interest in addiction treatment in underserved communities. The TRIPS award has increased her exposure to complementary and integrative health models of care for mental health at the VA, along with cutting-edge research in the therapeutic potential of complementary and alternative medicine for the treatment of a wide range of mental disorders and addiction.


Dr. Veronica PerezDr. Veronica Perez

Dr. Perez is a third-year psychiatry resident at UT Southwestern. She decided to pursue a career in medicine during a humanitarian mission in South Texas while in the US Air Force, which was an important catalyst for her chosen field of psychiatry, due to it highlighting a critical demand for public awareness and education on mental health disparities. TRIPS has heightened her interest in research, particularly addiction psychiatry.


Last updated: October 17, 2017