The goal of the UCI Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) is to train students as biomedical research scientists who will make advances to improve the diagnosis, understanding and treatment of human diseases. Training is offered in a diverse number of medically related fields. This is accomplished by means of a flexible, independently designed curriculum. MSTP students can complete their PhD studies in any graduate program at UCI. These include interdisciplinary programs such as the graduate program in Cellular & Molecular Biosciences, the Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program, Medicinal Chemistry & Pharmacology, and the Biomedical Engineering graduate program, as well as individual graduate programs throughout the campus. Students have pursued their graduate research in the Schools of Medicine, Biological Sciences, Engineering, Social Ecology, Physical Sciences and Information & Computer Sciences, as well as the Program in Public Health. Opportunities for research also include numerous collaborative facilities on campus that combine both basic and clinical research, such as the Beckman Laser Institute and Medical Clinic, the Research Imaging Center, the NCI Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Institute for Clinical and Translational Science and the Sue & Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center. Established in 1987, the MSTP has enrolled 172 students and has graduated 93. There are currently 45 students in 13 departments across 6 schools or programs. Of the alumni who graduated since 2001, 67% are in faculty positions and 7% are in government or industry. The program enrolls 6 new students each year based on: 1) academic performance as reflected by grades and MCAT scores, 2) clinical and/or research experience, and 3) personal characteristics and experiences, including non-cognitive qualitative variables, and factors contributing to educational diversity. Students have been quite productive, with an average of 6.8 papers per student and 2.9 first author papers per student for graduates during the past 10 years. They study with faculty who have strong training records and grant support that averages ~$1.2 million annually. All students are fully supported. Primary facilities for the MSTP include abundant teaching and research space on the UCI campus, the UCI Medical Center, the Long Beach Veterans Administration Hospital, the Children's Hospital of Orange County, and multiple affiliated clinical sites.

Public Health Relevance

The goal of the UCI Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) is to train students as biomedical research scientists who will make advances to improve the diagnosis, understanding and treatment of human disease. Students obtain research training and complete their Ph.D. degree in any of the graduate programs at UCI, and they obtain clinical training and obtain their M.D. degree in the UCI School of Medicine. The program utilizes a flexible, independently designed curriculum for the students and provides additional activities to bridge the research and clinical fields.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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NIGMS Initial Review Group (TWD)
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Maas, Stefan
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University of California Irvine
Schools of Medicine
United States
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