The Indiana Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) has received $4.6 million in renewed grant funding from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to sustain and expand its efforts throughout the next five years. A joint venture between Indiana University School of Medicine and the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering at Purdue University, the program seeks to meet the growing need for more physician-scientists and physician-engineers in health care.
“There is a pressing need for highly skilled and diverse specialists who can bridge the gap between scientific discovery and clinical practice,” said Benjamin Gaston, MD, Billie Lou Wood Professor of Pediatrics at IU School of Medicine and co-director of the Indiana Medical Scientist Training Program. “We’re grateful for the NIH’s continued investment in the Indiana Medical Scientist Training Program which enables us to equip more trainees with the skills and knowledge needed to address important challenges in patient care.”
The Medical Scientist Training Program aims to recruit talented students, provide a comprehensive training curriculum, and produce graduates with dual MD/PhD degrees who are prepared for essential positions in academic medical centers.
“Renewed funding from the NIH not only reaffirms the program’s excellence but also reinforces IU School of Medicine’s commitment to welcoming more diverse students dedicated to advancing medicine and research,” said Brittney-Shea Herbert, PhD, assistant dean for physician scientist development at IU School of Medicine and co-director of the Indiana Medical Scientist Training Program. “We look forward to expanding the program’s impact.”
There are currently 70 students in the Medical Scientist Training Program pursuing a wide range of medical research studies at labs in Indianapolis and West Lafayette. These students work closely with 107 training faculty from IU School of Medicine and the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering who mentor trainees in eight areas of research excellence. The grant renewal supports the admission of up to 16 new students into the program each year-;the most since the program was established 15 years ago.