Case Western Reserve Researchers Receive NIH Grant to Support Research Training for Medical Students

Two Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine researchers have received a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award Short-Term Institutional Research Training Grant (T35) grant from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases of the National Institutes of Health to support research training for medical students at the school.

Under project leaders Fabio Cominelli, MD, PhD, professor of medicine, and Theresa Pizarro, PhD, professor of pathology, the goal of the program is to promote the career development of physician scientists who will choose biomedical investigation as an essential component of their long-term professional development, with a particular focus on digestive and liver diseases; diabetes; metabolism and nutrition; kidney diseases; and digestive, liver, and kidney imaging technologies.

The program will educate medical students using a mentor-based research approach over an eight-week summer training period between the first and second years of medical school. “The foundation of the program is based on the strategic planning, consolidated efforts, and close academic integration of CWRU School of Medicine, University Hospitals, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, MetroHealth, and the Louis Stokes VA Medical Center, which provide a superb infrastructure for the program,” said Cominelli. “We have recruited faculty mentors from these institutions with a reputation of excellence based on superior clinical and basic research.” In total, 42 mentors from 14 departments, representing a wide range of research expertise, will offer a multiplicity of research opportunities that will be tailored to the scientific interest of each trainee.

The program at CWRU will select medical student participants through a formal application and evaluation process that identifies a research project and mentor from investigators working in the noted research areas.

“A unique aspect of the program is the multiple principal investigator approach,” said Pizarro. “This will allow research to span departmental boundaries, using mentors with a history of highly-productive collaboration and who have previously trained a large number of young investigators.


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Founded in 1843, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine is the largest medical research institution in Ohio and is among the nation's top medical schools for research funding from the National Institutes of Health. The School of Medicine is recognized throughout the international medical community for outstanding achievements in teaching. The School's innovative and pioneering Western Reserve2 curriculum interweaves four themes--research and scholarship, clinical mastery, leadership, and civic professionalism--to prepare students for the practice of evidence-based medicine in the rapidly changing health care environment of the 21st century. Nine Nobel Laureates have been affiliated with the School of Medicine.

Annually, the School of Medicine trains more than 800 MD and MD/PhD students and ranks in the top 25 among U.S. research-oriented medical schools as designated by U.S. News & World Report's "Guide to Graduate Education."

The School of Medicine is affiliated with University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, MetroHealth Medical Center, the Louis Stokes Cleveland Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and the Cleveland Clinic, with which it established the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University in 2002.

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