Funds are requested to support two slots in years 1-3 and four slots in years 4-5 for a new Medical Scientist Training Program at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City, Kansas. Our MD-PhD program, which was founded in 1995, produced its first dual degree graduates in 2002. Our ongoing, overarching goal is to recruit, retain, and develop a diverse group of physician-scientists to become leaders in biomedical research and translational clinical practice. Short-term goals for MSTP-supported trainees mirror those for our other MD- PhD trainees and include development of clinical, research, and communication skills, publication of research results, submission of predoctoral fellowship proposals, and timely progression to degrees. Long-term goals for training include participation in the biomedical workforce and success in obtaining extramural funding. We matriculate ~3-5 students annually from a pool of ~80-90 nation-wide applicants. Recent successful applicants have had an average of 20.7 months of research experience prior to matriculation. Our students have been recruited from schools in 21 states across the country, and, historically, our recruitment of female students and students from underrepresented groups has exceeded the national average for MD-PhD programs. Our graduates have successfully competed for residencies at top academic medical schools. Among our alumni who have entered the workforce are those with successful careers in industry, academia, and government. Our success is based on strategic pairing of candidates with NIH funded basic and clinical science mentors, the strong support from the institution and state, and the integrated training environment that we provide. Students have training opportunities with faculty in 17 departments/programs and 31 different Centers and Institutes, including the Cancer Center, the University of Kansas Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSA), and Alzheimer's Disease Center, all three of which are NIH-funded, as well as with affiliated faculty at the renowned private research facility, the Stowers Institute for Medical Research. Our training program follows a traditional (2, 4, 2) training sequence. The first two years include training in an innovative medical curriculum based on active learning, application of critical thinking skills, and case-based clinical problem solving. This curriculum is supplemented with MD-PhD-specific courses in biostatistics, molecular medicine, and grant application preparation, as well as monthly student research and clinical skills presentations. The PhD phase takes 4 years on average and is followed by completion of two years of clinical clerkships. Students have supervised activities during PhD training to enhance clinical skills with clinical mentors, in our student-run free medical clinic, and our clinical skills and simulation labs. Other program activities designed for both education and development of group cohesion include training in the responsible conduct of research and scientific rigor and data reproducibility throughout the program, an annual service project, an annual retreat, and social activities. We are committed to providing training in an inclusive environment that promotes excellence.

Public Health Relevance

Our program seeks to train dual degree physician-scientists who will address important research questions related to disease and translate their research discoveries into strategies for disease prevention and therapy. Trainees supported by this award will lead the biomedical research work force, help elucidate the underlying pathogenesis of diseases, and serve patient populations suffering from complex diseases through development of innovative therapies.

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 Kansas
Schools of Medicine
Kansas City
United States
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