June 10, 2011

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State University Medical Center has been awarded highly coveted funding from The National Institutes of Health (NIH) to propel education of medical students in both clinical medicine and basic science research.

The new Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP), a designation given only to combined MD-PhD programs receiving NIH support, offers an integrated curriculum and provides rigorous training in both biomedical research and clinical medicine necessary for achievement of both the MD and PhD degrees. The Ohio State University College of Medicine is a member of an NIH consortium that expedites the translation of scientific discovery into higher quality patient care.

“This exclusive award will enable expansion of existing opportunities and programming for our medical students,” says Dr. Larry Schlesinger, director of the MSTP at Ohio State’s College of Medicine. “As a result of this prestigious award, we expect our applicant pool to grow in both number and quality.” In addition to intense training in both clinical and basic science research, the MSTP program offers a flexible and customized graduate curriculum, centered on the goals and interests of the individual student; independent study pathways for medical school curriculum; strong student community; generous stipends and tuition waivers; and research and mentoring opportunities with Ohio State physician scientists.

According to Schlesinger, who is also chair of the College’s Department of Microbial Infection and Immunity and director of its Center for Microbial Interface Biology in the Office of Research, the receipt of supplemental support from the NIH will assist with recruitment efforts, help increase funding for medical students for travel to national and international meetings to showcase their work, and increase the quality and number of trainees.

The unique science and medical education program at Ohio State was created by faculty from various research disciplines as part of the Integrated Biomedical Science Graduate Program, Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Graduate Program and Biomedical Engineering Graduate Program, along with the Independent Study Program of the medical school. Other faculty and staff involved in the new MSTP are Dr. Lawrence Kirschner, an associate director in Ohio State’s Department of Internal Medicine’s Division of Endocrinology and member of The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute, and Ashley Bertran.

“We are very proud to receive this award from the NIH and excited about the impact this enhanced program will have on the training of tomorrow’s doctors and scientists,” Schlesinger adds.

Schlesinger says the additional funding from the NIH will also help Ohio State’s College of Medicine launch a new summer undergraduate research program. The Summer Undergraduate Course Creating Excellence in Scientific Study (SUCCESS), set to commence in 2012, will focus on diverse student populations. The nationally competitive program will help Ohio State recruit and attract the best and brightest graduate and medical students to SUCCESS, as well as to the MSTP.

Nationally, there are 44 NIH-funded Medical Scientist Training Programs and each of the top 20 medical schools and research institutions, as ranked by U.S. News & World Report, have such a program. Schlesinger notes that the MSTP designation is a benchmark and, in many cases, a requirement for many medical students when applying to medical school.


Contact: Sherri Kirk, College of Medicine Strategic Communications & Marketing, 614-366- 3277, or Sherri.Kirk@osumc.edu

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