Skip Navigation
Image of Stephani Stancil Image of Stephani Stancil

Spotlight on KL2 Scholar Stephani Stancil, Ph.D., APRN

Nov 08, 2022

As a kid, we’re often asked what we want to be when we grow up and sometimes the answer isn’t so simple. With a curious nature and knowing she wanted to treat people, Stephani Stancil couldn’t decide between physician, nurse practitioner or pharmacist. Under the idealist assumption that she would get to spend more time with patients, she became a nurse practitioner and chose adolescent medicine as her specialty. Quickly, she saw the need to identify better treatments for teens with mental health conditions and move past the trial-and-error approach. She completed a Ph.D. in pharmacology followed by a post-doctoral fellowship in pediatric clinical pharmacology with the goal of identifying individual level factors to tailor treatment and have the most meaningful impact, or precision therapeutics as it’s called - the key is getting the right drug at the right dose the first time to help teens feel better faster.

You could say Dr. Stancil, who works at Children’s Mercy Kansas City, found her own unique path to combine her love of treating patients with her quest to deeply understand how best to use medications.  

Stancil enjoys the balance offered by seeing patients in clinic while also focusing on research. She gains inspiration from her patients that then drives her research.

“Research often takes years to see a treatment or therapy make an impact on a patient’s life. I learn from my patients what matters to them and what potential research questions are important to answer,” she said.

And as part of her KL2 work, Stancil has been working on developing a tool that can determine if the brain responds to medication to treat eating disorders.  

“This study focuses on detecting medication response in the brain of teens with certain types of eating disorders” she said. “We use neuroimaging to look at the activity in the reward system when a participant is given the medication and then again when they are given a placebo. This approach helps us determine if neuroimaging can truly detect differences related to medication.”

The goal of the work is to develop a tool to objectively measure drug response at the site of action and use this to propel development of new or repurposed drugs forward. This is important because there are no medications with FDA approval yet to treat eating disorders in teens.

And as she works with teenagers, she knows it is important to ensure their experience in clinic or in research is a positive one. Stancil believes the teenage years are an important period of their life that set the stage for how they will interact with healthcare in the future and whether or not they view participating in research positively. Further, some teens today will become parents in the near future and will make decisions about whether or not they want their children to participate in research. Stancil and her team see each encounter with a teen as an opportunity to let them know their input is valued and their contribution is meaningful.

And for the KL2 program, formal and regular mentorship has been instrumental for Stancil, along with guidance on navigating the academic setting.

“Having access to Frontiers resources has been a big benefit as well,” she said. “Being able to use Hoglund Biomedical Imaging Center has been integral to my research. And it has led to other collaborations that will allow us to answer more questions.”

And for words of advice to future KL2 scholars.

“Identify a mentor who can help you leverage the available resources at Frontiers, but most importantly ask yourself ‘what do you really want to do and what do you need to get there?’”

“Identify a mentor who can help you leverage the available resources at Frontiers, but most importantly ask yourself ‘what do you really want to do and what do you need to get there?’”

No Photo Available

Kelly Hale

Communications Coordinator

Latest Articles

View All
News
Nov 28, 2022 Frontiers New Tagline
Image of Stephani Stancil KL2 Scholar  ·  Funded Projects  ·  News
Nov 08, 2022 Spotlight on KL2 Scholar Stephani Stancil, Ph.D., APRN
Image of Elly Leavens TL1 Trainee  ·  Funded Projects  ·  News
Nov 08, 2022 Spotlight on TL1 Post-Doctoral Trainee Elly Leavens, Ph.D.
Image of Erin Nichols News
Nov 04, 2022 Focus on Research Informatics with Erin Nichols, Director of Research Informatics -University of Kansas Health System
Frontiers logo News
Nov 03, 2022 Call for Abstracts and Case Reports
JUNTOS logo News  ·  In the Community
Nov 01, 2022 Spotlight on JUNTOS – Center for Advancing Latino Health
Image of Romina Barral KL2 Scholar  ·  Funded Projects
Oct 14, 2022 Meet KL2 Scholar Romina Barral, M.D.
Image of Amanda Emerson KL2 Scholar  ·  Funded Projects
Oct 10, 2022 Meet KL2 Scholar Amanda Emerson
Partner Institution representatives Events  ·  News
Sep 28, 2022 Frontiers Celebrates Award Renewal
Frontiers logo News
Sep 21, 2022 University of Kansas Medical Center announces nearly $27 million NIH grant to accelerate clinical and translational research in the region
Image of Ton Mieras News  ·  In the Community
Sep 09, 2022 Spotlight on Communities Organizing to Promote Equity (COPE)- Ton Miras Neira
Image of Jennifer Villwock KL2 Scholar  ·  Funded Projects
Aug 12, 2022 Spotlight on KL2 program recipient, Jennifer Villwock, M.D.
Image of two researchers News
Aug 04, 2022 Kansas IDeA Network Provides Another Round of Funding
Image of Heather Minchew Funded Projects
Jul 13, 2022 Spotlight on Heather Minchew
Image of Scott Weir
Jul 11, 2022 Fosociclopirox AUA Thought Leadership Series
Female researcher News
Jun 14, 2022 Women Making a Difference in Research
Image of Bertha De Los Santos TL1 Trainee
Jun 14, 2022 Spotlight on Bertha De Los Santos, KU PharmD Student
Frontiers logo
Apr 28, 2022 Frontiers Patient-Community Patient Partner Hakima Payne Receives DeVerne Lee Calloway Award
Frontiers logo Funded Projects
Apr 28, 2022 Trainees at ACTS conference
Image of Laura Mussulman
Oct 29, 2021 Laura Mussulman, MA, MPH, Named Director of Clinical and Translational Science Unit Fairway
Frontiers logo
Sep 17, 2021 Researchers at 3 CTSA Institutions Collaborate to Develop a Research Network Supporting Translational Science Across the Criminal Justice Continuum
Back to Top