Center for Tropical Diseases (CTD)

NIH T32 Training Program"Training Physician-scientists in Emerging Infectious Diseases Research"

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Goal of the training program: To train physicians to be successful independent investigators and national and international leaders to address the emergence of new infectious diseases.

Description of the program: A NIH-funded 2-year collaborative and cross-disciplinary research training program that spans clinical medicine, global health, epidemiology, and laboratory science.

  • 2 years of translational research training under the mentorship of accomplished program faculty members (MD and PhD)
  • Trainees choose their area of research and primary mentor from >25 program faculty
  • Instruction and mentorship in:
    • Team science
    • Research design and methods
    • Data analysis and biostatistics
    • Field epidemiology and outbreak investigation
    • Clinical and research biocontainment and biosafety
    • Responsible conduct of research
    • Scientific writing
  • Intensive scientific and career mentorship through a novel team science framework
  • Opportunities for an international component in the research program
  • Mentorship for managing a dual clinical-research career
  • Mentorship in preparing and submitting application for a NIH Physician-Scientist Career Development Award
  • Mentorship in securing a full-time independent faculty position at the completion of the program

Applicant eligibility and selection:

  • Trainees must be physicians who are completing or have completed their clinical specialty or sub-specialty training.
  • Trainees must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
  • One trainee per year will be selected to enter the 2-year training program
  • Application initiated by sending CV and a 1-page cover letter describing experience, interest in a career as an academic physician-scientist, and interest in emerging infectious diseases to Dr. Melby at the email address below.

Position: 2-year appointment as Instructor at UTMB; Protected research time with limited clinical responsibility (80% research, 20% clinical)

Program Summary: The University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) Institutional Training Grant (T32) will provide multidisciplinary and interprofessional research training for physician-scientists in emerging infectious diseases (EIDs). The ongoing risk and likelihood of facing outbreaks and epidemics caused by EIDs highlights a critical need for developing physician-scientists with trans-disciplinary skills in clinical medicine, epidemiology, field investigation, laboratory science, and biocontainment. The program capitalizes on world-class faculty expertise, longstanding institutional commitments, and unique research resources. It includes targeted recruitment of candidates at local, regional and national levels. Candidates will be physicians who are completing or have completed, an ACGME-certified residency or fellowship. One trainee per year will enter and complete 2-3 years of training during the 5-year program. Training includes instruction and mentorship in 1) team science; 2) research design, epidemiological methods, and biostatistics (MSc in Clinical Science); 3) EIDs and outbreak Org Chart for T32 program investigation; 4) clinical and research biocontainment/biosafety; 5) responsible conduct of research; 6) field epidemiology; and 7) scientific writing. Each of the trainees will apply their training by conducting translational research while receiving intensive scientific and career mentorship through a novel Team Science framework called individualized Multidisciplinary, Interprofessional Mentorship Team (iMIMT). Each iMIMT will include the trainee, a primary and secondary mentor (a PhD scientist and a MD scientist), and 2 or 3 peer or specialized knowledge mentors. iMIMTs will receive regular Team Science training and coaching. Instruction in grant writing will culminate in submission of an NIH career development application in the last year of training. Regular, but limited clinical responsibility will enable trainees to maintain clinical skills and learn how to manage a dual clinical-research career. Our 29 program faculty have productive translational research programs in EIDs and a record of successful mentoring. They are complemented by collaborating investigators from Peru, Colombia, Mexico, Dominican Republic, and Brazil. Additional program support faculty have specialized expertise for programmatic/operational support. The trainees’ individualized development plan includes well-defined training activities, expected competencies, indicators of success, and a timeline for completion. Co-Program Directors and 3 Associate Program Directors will lead the program under Steering Committee governance. Sub-committees will oversee trainees’ recruitment and selection, mentorship, and scientific progress. An External Advisory Committee will evaluate the program’s progress annually. At completion, our trainees will have strong trans-disciplinary understanding of EIDs, will be grounded in research methods and outbreak investigation, will have tools for collaborative problem-solving, and critical skills in manuscript and grant writing. All of these will facilitate their transition to an independent physician-scientist.

Application submission or contact for questions:
Peter C. Melby, MD
Director, Division of Infectious Diseases Director, Center for Tropical Diseases
Paul R. Stalnaker Distinguished Professor in Medicine University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB)
Galveston, Texas 77555-0435
Phone: (409) 747-0242