The Indiana University School of Medicine (IUSM) has a longstanding commitment to the training of medical students in academic medicine and has supported the Student Research Program in Academic Medicine (SRPAM) for 28 years. This application is a competitive renewal of the T35 training grant (Short-Term Training in Biomedical Sciences) awarded to IUSM in 2011 and that greatly contributed to the consolidation and expansion of the program. The purpose of the SPRAM is to provide a structured research environment that engages medical students' interest in biomedical research, creating opportunities for basic and translational research experience, and education in research ethics. The main objective of the program is to serve as a portal to train and recruit physician-scientists. Every year ~40 medical students with strong academic credentials are selected for the SPRAM from a pool of 80-100 applicants, and are paired with highly qualified faculty mentors for 12-week summer research internships with accompanying lecture series focused on research communication, ethics, translational research and career development. The current application seeks support to enroll 32 students/year in the SPRAM (including 8 additional positions) to conduct basic and translational research within the basic and clinical departments and centers at IUSM. The combined support of the T35, Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute, IU Simon Cancer Center and Center of Excellence in Molecular Hematology will allow the enrollment of a higher number of students from the pool of meritorious applicants. The program is designed to: a) increase student awareness to the value of doing biomedical research, challenging them to take on independent projects, and; b) strongly support students interested in careers in academic medicine by providing access to opportunities in the MD/PhD program, and assistance with research fellowship applications to HHMI and NIH. Trainees engage in mentored research experience in areas that reflect the school's strength and international reputation in hematopoiesis, immunity, pulmonary and cardiovascular biology, cancer, diabetes and medical informatics. The strengths of our program are: i) a cadre of >100 selected, successful mentors including physician-scientists, with extramural funding, outstanding training records and solid experience with short-term trainees; ii) an outstanding scientific environment with intense interdisciplinary spirit and access to cutting-edge technologies and excellent resources; iii) a supportive community providing students with opportunities for leadership and mentoring; iv) integration with the medical school curriculum, and; v) an unequivocal commitment from the IUSM leadership. The long term goal of the program is to increase the number of physician-scientists nationally by exposing students in their early years of medical education to hypothesis-driven research focused on the molecular and cellular basis of disease and their potential for clinical translation.
The Student Research Program in Academic Medicine (SRPAM) at the Indiana University School of Medicine, has established a pipeline for students to enter in the MD/PhD or HMI programs and more broadly to encourage them to embrace the career of physician-scientists. The purpose of this T35 renewal program is to continue to sustain this program and to support intensive research training (3 months) for 32 medical students in basic and translational research in the areas of hematopoiesis, immunology and cardiovascular research with highly trained investigators/mentors and in a stimulating environment.
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