Staff: Katrina Serrano, Ph.D., M.S.

Katrina Serrano

Katrina Serrano, Ph.D., M.S.

Former Fellow, Transitioned Outside of the Program

Fellow - Cancer Research Training Award Fellow
Former Organization:

Katrina Serrano, Ph.D., M.S., was a Cancer Research Training Award Fellow in the Office of the Associate Director (OAD) within the Behavioral Research Program (BRP) from August 2014 to January 2017.

Dr. Serrano earned her master's and doctoral degrees in health education from Texas A&M University, and her bachelor's degree in biological sciences from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Prior to her fellowship, Dr. Serrano worked as a research manager and nutrition science writer in the private sector.

Dr. Serrano's interest in behavioral research lies within the context of health promotion and chronic disease prevention, with an emphasis on the role of energy balance and obesity on cancer risk, prevention, and disparities. She is particularly interested in expanding evidence for the mechanisms of interaction between environmental, social, and individual factors that lead to differences in dietary and physical activity patterns. This includes using and analyzing data from novel tools and technologies.

"Where are they now?": Following up with past BRP fellows
Updated October 2019

Current Title
Program Director
Office of Minority Health Research Coordination, NIDDK

How has your BRP fellowship influenced your career?
The fellowship allowed me the opportunity to experience public sector work. It helped me to realize that I wanted a career in the government, specifically the NIH, to advance biomedical and behavioral research to improve public health.

Describe a favorite memory or two from your fellowship experience.
The best part about being a fellow is meeting other fellows with different backgrounds and experiences. I remember attending my first BRP all-hands meeting where new employees and fellows introduced themselves. I remember thinking how all the incoming fellows were from all over the US and everyone had a different background. It was exciting, and all the fellows brought in so much energy.

Describe your current position, your current organization, and what you do.
As a program director in the Office of Minority Health Research Coordination, I oversee a portfolio of grants related to promoting diversity in health-related research, promoting organ and tissue donation among diverse populations, and partnering with professional societies to enhance scientific workforce diversity. I also oversee a training/travel awards program for early career investigators who are underrepresented in biomedical research and academic medicine/

Awards, Honors, and Recognitions

  • 2019 NIH Office of the Director Honor Award for leadership in the development of the 2019-2023 Trans-NIH Strategic Plan for Women's Health
  • Scientific and Administrative Contribution Award, Office of Research on Women's Health, National Institutes of Health, 2018
  • Scientific and Administrative Contribution Award, Office of Research on Women's Health, National Institutes of Health, 2017

Publications from Fellowship Work

Current and/or past BRP mentors include Richard Moser.

To request edits to this profile, please contact us at