We request the competing renewal of UNC-CH's MSTP award. Our primary goal is to create the next generation of physician-scientists, bridging the gap between basic science and clinical medicine, and thereby making significant contributions and improvements to human health. We are seeking to achieve this goal by drawing our candidates from broadly diverse backgrounds and academic interests. We integrate strong education in clinical medicine with superb research opportunities. Since the last competing renewal, this integration has been greatly enhanced by a new curriculum for each of the four medical school years, one that teaches basic science concepts and then applies them to the clinical setting. We are also implementing a variety of novel graduate school initiatives specifically designed to foster integration between basic science and clinical medicine. For example, following selection of a research lab, we will work with each MD-PhD student and his/her PhD thesis advisor to identify an established clinician scientist whose interests complement the student's research project. This """"""""clinical"""""""" mentor will serve as a member of the thesis committee, help the student develop a section in their thesis proposal describing the clinical relevance of the proposed project, expose the student to topics related to human health, physiology, and disease, and oversee integration of these concepts throughout the course of the doctoral training. Finally, each student will include a chapter in his/her doctoral dissertation that describes the specific clinical relevance of the work. Although relatively young when compared with many of the existing MSTPs, our program is drawing each class of students from a broad-based national pool of highly qualified candidates. Since the current leadership was put in place, our MD-PhD Program has grown from 12 students in 1995 to the 64 exceptional students who are described in this application. In addition to the students, we have also experienced a substantial expansion in the size and strength of our training faculty, many of whom are now actively recruiting our students to their research laboratories. In this application, we describe 196 faculty members at all levels of seniority: (i.e., 41 Assistant Professors, 43 Associate Professors, and 112 Professors). Each of these investigators: a) holds peer-reviewed grant support;b) has a successful track record of mentoring young people;and c) has been nominated by his/her chair to become a mentor on this MSTP. We are delighted to share with you the progress this program has made and highlight the growth, development, and many exciting innovations that have been introduced since becoming an MSTP institution. We sincerely hope that this application conveys the high degree of enthusiasm we have for our institution as well as our pride in the students and faculty who together comprise the UNC MD-PhD Program.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZGM1-BRT-2 (MB))
Program Officer
Preusch, Peter C
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University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
Internal Medicine/Medicine
Schools of Medicine
Chapel Hill
United States
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