With continuous NIH funding since 1980, the Short Term Research Training Program (STRTP) at the University of California, and San Diego (UCSD) offers medical students intense exposure to sophisticated biomedical research during the summer after their first year in medical school. The purpose of the program is to increase the trainee's understanding of biomedical research and its role in both science and medicine and to recruit strong candidates into investigative careers as physician-scientists. UCSD medical students are prepared for advanced research as exhibited by their exceptional academic credentials from reputable undergraduate institutions. Trainees are selected on the scientific merit, clarity, and feasibility of their research proposals and on the support and productivity of their chosen preceptors. Although students may choose any UCSD faculty member as a preceptor, preference is given to those who select Program Faculty, who are recruited to participate each year by the Executive Committee. Perhaps UCSD's greatest strength is the richness of its research faculty. Program Faculty include leaders in the fields of cellular and molecular biology, immunology, genetics, epidemiology, bioengineering and biophysics, physiology, pharmacology, and neuroscience. In addition to full-time UCSD faculty, students may choose to work with select scientists who have UCSD appointments and work at neighboring organizations such as the Scripps Research Institute, Salk Institute for Biological Studies, and Burnham Institute, which offer additional opportunities. Because of the students'preclinical orientation, most choose laboratory research in the basic sciences. After the research period is complete, the students summarize their research in writing, participate in a poster presentation to share their projects with faculty and students, and are evaluated by their preceptors and members of the Executive Committee. In addition, a portion of the trainees attend a research conference or submit their work to School of Medicine award competitions. Over half of the students who participate in the Short Term Research Training Program publish or present their work in a national forum, continue research during their remaining years in medical school or pursue additional research for at least one year. Well integrated into the UCSD educational landscape, other training programs at UCSD have joined or modified their offerings after the STRTP, also a testament to the program's success and the regard in which it is held.

Public Health Relevance

UC San Diego has a strong track record as a leader in translational research, with an emphasis on the full continuum leading from laboratory discovery to the delivery of new treatments and technologies that benefit society at large, often in partnership with science and industry colleagues in the private sector. In this environment, STRTG projects that discover new information, translate that information into treatments for patients and test whether new treatments are beneficial will be solicited and supported, in addition to studies of populations that answer questions important to public health. This experience hopes to attract students to continue to do research as part of their medical careers, to generate new knowledge that will improve public health, and to provide future physicians the skills necessary to understand science and better apply it to caring for patients.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
NRSA Short -Term Research Training (T35)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZHL1-CSR-J (O1))
Program Officer
Meadows, Tawanna
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of California San Diego
Internal Medicine/Medicine
Schools of Medicine
La Jolla
United States
Zip Code
Hall, E T; Sa, R C; Holverda, S et al. (2014) The effect of supine exercise on the distribution of regional pulmonary blood flow measured using proton MRI. J Appl Physiol (1985) 116:451-61
Miller, M; Chukoskie, L; Zinni, M et al. (2014) Dyspraxia, motor function and visual-motor integration in autism. Behav Brain Res 269:95-102
Chang, Yung-Chi; Olson, Joshua; Beasley, Federico C et al. (2014) Group B Streptococcus engages an inhibitory Siglec through sialic acid mimicry to blunt innate immune and inflammatory responses in vivo. PLoS Pathog 10:e1003846
Hunt, Raegan D; Feldstein, Stephanie I; Krakowski, Andrew C (2014) Itching to learn: school chair allergic contact dermatitis on the posterior thighs. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol 7:48-9
Swan, Malcolm A; Sato, Eugene; Galatz, Leesa M et al. (2014) The effect of age on rat rotator cuff muscle architecture. J Shoulder Elbow Surg 23:1786-91
Coe, Taylor M; Rose, John A; Chang, David C (2014) Expanding our understanding of patient outcomes: the unique role of health services research in the continuing evolution of surgical science. Vasc Endovascular Surg 48:356-8
Chen, Heather; Hyatt, Thomas; Afshari, Natalie (2014) Visual and refractive outcomes of laser cataract surgery. Curr Opin Ophthalmol 25:49-53
Lin, Jonathan; Jain, Sonia; Sun, Xiaoying et al. (2014) Lipoprotein particle concentrations in children and adults following Kawasaki disease. J Pediatr 165:727-31
Stadeli, Kathryn M; Richman, Douglas D (2013) Rates of emergence of HIV drug resistance in resource-limited settings: a systematic review. Antivir Ther 18:115-23
Mukhopadhyay, Anandaroop; Krishnaswami, Suguna Rani; Cowing-Zitron, Christopher et al. (2013) Negative regulation of Shh levels by Kras and Fgfr2 during hair follicle development. Dev Biol 373:373-82

Showing the most recent 10 out of 55 publications