This application is for the Competing Renewal of an Institutional NRSA for combined MD and PhD training in the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) at Harvard Medical School (HMS) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The purpose of this training program is to meet an overwhelming need for physician scientists who will lead the translation of new research discoveries into improvements in human health. The program offers an integrated course of study combining medical education at HMS with graduate study at Harvard or MIT. For medical education, HMS offers a choice of two different programs leading to the MD degree: a problem-solving, case-based approach to learning that incorporates patient exposure and case scenarios from the onset of medical school (New Pathway), or a curriculum that emphasizes quantitative analysis and technology taught jointly with MIT (Health Sciences and Technology). For graduate study, the scope of scientific training in the program ranges from the basic sciences to translational research and bioengineering to the social sciences. The medical and scientific training components are integrated throughout the program, beginning with a course in the Molecular Biology of Human Disease and a laboratory research rotation that are taken by all MSTP students during the summer before the first academic year. The resources available to meet this mission are outstanding, including facilities and faculty from 10 pre-clinical departments at HMS, HMS-appointed faculty in both preclinical and clinical departments at seven different Harvard-affiliated teaching hospitals and institutes, and the many academic departments in the basic and social sciences at the main campuses of Harvard University and MIT in Cambridge. Students are provided guidance from before matriculation through to the end of their training by advisors with specific expertise in their area of research interest. Multiple MD-PhD-specific curricular activities foster strong relationships among each cohort and across multiple cohorts of students. 169 faculty members participate directly in the program through service on program committees and/or participation as MD-PhD student thesis advisors. The trainees are exceptionally qualified and diverse. Although not all MD-PhD students are awarded funding at the time of matriculation, the program is designed to include all students at Harvard Medical School who choose to simultaneously pursue the MD and PhD degrees, offering all program activities and mentoring support to 155 current MD-PhD students whether MSTP-funded or not. MSTP funds leverage considerable support from other training grants, individual NIH investigator awards, individual student fellowships, departmental funds, hospital funds and unrestricted institutional funds.

Public Health Relevance

The purpose of this training program is to meet an overwhelming need for physician scientists who will lead the translation of new research discoveries into improvements in human health. The program offers students the largest collection of academic laboratories in the world for research training, complemented by teaching hospitals in position to rapidly translate basic discoveries into new clinical applications. Upon completion of the training program, graduates will be poised to become future leaders in biomedical discovery, in the development of next generation diagnostic tools and therapeutics, and in shaping strategies for maximizing the clinical impact of these new discoveries.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
National Institute of General Medical Sciences Initial Review Group (BRT)
Program Officer
Preusch, Peter C
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Harvard University
Schools of Medicine
United States
Zip Code
Walker, S R; Liu, S; Xiang, M et al. (2015) The transcriptional modulator BCL6 as a molecular target for breast cancer therapy. Oncogene 34:1073-82
Xiang, Michael; Birkbak, Nicolai J; Vafaizadeh, Vida et al. (2014) STAT3 induction of miR-146b forms a feedback loop to inhibit the NF-?B to IL-6 signaling axis and STAT3-driven cancer phenotypes. Sci Signal 7:ra11
Reiff, Rachel E; Ali, Bassam R; Baron, Byron et al. (2014) METTL23, a transcriptional partner of GABPA, is essential for human cognition. Hum Mol Genet 23:3456-66
Hill, Sarah J; Rolland, Thomas; Adelmant, Guillaume et al. (2014) Systematic screening reveals a role for BRCA1 in the response to transcription-associated DNA damage. Genes Dev 28:1957-75
Lundby, Alicia; Rossin, Elizabeth J; Steffensen, Annette B et al. (2014) Annotation of loci from genome-wide association studies using tissue-specific quantitative interaction proteomics. Nat Methods 11:868-74
Pallasch, Christian P; Leskov, Ilya; Braun, Christian J et al. (2014) Sensitizing protective tumor microenvironments to antibody-mediated therapy. Cell 156:590-602
Cai, Xuyu; Evrony, Gilad D; Lehmann, Hillel S et al. (2014) Single-cell, genome-wide sequencing identifies clonal somatic copy-number variation in the human brain. Cell Rep 8:1280-9
Malik, Athar N; Bi, Wenya Linda; McCray, Brett et al. (2014) Isolated cerebral mucormycosis of the basal ganglia. Clin Neurol Neurosurg 124:102-5
Bandopadhayay, Pratiti; Bergthold, Guillaume; Nguyen, Brian et al. (2014) BET bromodomain inhibition of MYC-amplified medulloblastoma. Clin Cancer Res 20:912-25
Prandi, Davide; Baca, Sylvan C; Romanel, Alessandro et al. (2014) Unraveling the clonal hierarchy of somatic genomic aberrations. Genome Biol 15:439

Showing the most recent 10 out of 283 publications