Med into Grad Initiative

Graduate students discover the realities of disease, patients, and treatments in a new doctoral program supported by a Howard Hughes Medical Institute award of $700,000 to the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry.

graphicThe program trains graduate students for biomedical research careers in cardiovascular sciences with an emphasis on translating laboratory discoveries into treatments and diagnostics.

We are one of 23 schools in the country selected by the Howard Hughes institute to receive a grant as part of its “Med into Grad Initiative,” which encourages schools to integrate medical knowledge and an understanding of clinical practice into biomedical Ph.D. programs.

The Rochester program will give students the knowledge and methodology necessary for basic research, and also will teach students about the clinical aspects of cardiovascular disease, the current limitations of its diagnosis and treatment, and the approaches to translate basic research. Graduate students, for example, will accompany clinical cardiologists as they examine, diagnose, and treat a variety of patients with acute and chronic cardiovascular diseases in outpatient clinics and critical care units in the hospital. The goal of this clerkship with cardiologists is to expose students to clinical issues and to inspire them to explore the scientific basis of medical problems.

The five-year program includes a new three-semester course in cardiovascular sciences that will cover scientific principles of cardiovascular molecules and cells, physiology, and pathophysiology. Students also will have courses and lab sessions in biomedical engineering. The plan calls for approximately 20 students in the program—four students for each of the five years. The Aab Cardiovascular Research Institute (CVRI), where the program will be based, and the Medical Center will fund some of the positions.