This application requests the competing renewal of UNC's MSTP award. Our primary goal is to train an
outstanding group of men and women committed to become physician-scientists, fully capable of bridging the
gap between science and clinical medicine. We achieve this goal by recruiting to UNC candidates from diverse
backgrounds who bring with them a variety of academic and research interests. Over the past ten years, our
program has grown from 64 to 78 students, drawn to UNC from many of the best colleges and universities all
across the USA. Their academic credentials are stellar: this year's incoming class, for example, had a mean
GPA of 3.8 and a mean MCAT of 515 (93rd percentile), with all students having substantial research experience.
Our students are pursuing their graduate training in 18 individual departments and 3 curricula representing the
Schools of Medicine, Public Health, Pharmacy, and the College of Arts and Sciences. They are receiving a high
percentage of honors, publishing very well (average of 8 manuscripts per student), successfully competing for a
variety of awards and independent funding (e.g., 20 of our students hold F30 awards from the NIH), and
completing the dual degree program with the average time of 8 years. Importantly, 91% of our graduates are
either in training or in research intensive positions with 87% in academic medicine at excellent institutions.
Our leadership team includes Dr. Toni Darville and Dr. Mohanish Deshmukh, who serve as Co-Directors and
Alison Regan, who is the Assistant Director. Our program emphasizes strong education in clinical medicine that
is well integrated with superb research opportunities not only in biomedical sciences but also in other important
areas of public health. Throughout their training, we promote a framework that compels students to define clinical
implications of their research, and how research affects clinical care. Our program leverages resources from the
UNC Clinical Translational Science Award (CTSA), the Biological and Biomedical Sciences Program (BBSP),
links students with Clinician Scientist role models, and structurally integrates research and clinical work in the
thesis process, and in research-in-progress and clinical case conferences. These mechanisms help ensure that
our students learn essential skills including oral presentation, manuscript writing and rigorous data analysis.
Critical grant writing skills are taught through a rigorous F30 bootcamp and mock review sessions. Additionally,
we meet extensively with each student throughout their training to ensure that they have a complete support
system for research, clinical, and career mentorship via peer colleagues and faculty. Finally, we expose them
to leadership and career development opportunities to prepare them for careers as Clinician Scientist leaders.