The goal of our Medical Scientist Training Program is to train individuals who will be both outstanding biomedical scientists and data-driven physicians, pioneering major advances in medical practice through research. This goal is intimately aligned with a central mission of The University of Virginia SOM: To conduct outstanding biomedical research and to pioneer developments in the practice of medicine. Importantly, and in keeping with the broader career training vision of the NIH for trainees, our long-term goals for our graduates include training not only future academic researchers, educators, and administrators but also leaders in other non-traditional careers in the private or public sector that advance our understanding of human disease, help develop more effective medical therapies, or affect policy in these areas. The impressive successes and wide-ranging professional avenues that our alumni have pursued is testimony to the positive outcomes of this philosophy. We have developed the physical facilities and infra-structural support necessary to allow our faculty to achieve international prominence and to make discoveries that advance our understanding of key cellular processes and mechanisms of disease. In this proposal, we enumerate our successes and detail our plans to further improve our training of the next generation of physician-scientists.
Bridging the gap between biomedical discoveries and clinical practice in the United States and elsewhere is challenging. Scientists and doctors often have surprisingly distinct types of professional training in how to think and communicate about their work. We are proposing in this application to continue to train physician-scientists in both rigorous experimental science and clinical medicine, allowing them to interact with both worlds, imbue their own research programs with medically relevant themes, and push new discoveries forward to benefit public health.
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