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Keywords:

  • translational training;
  • medical education;
  • graduate students

Abstract

There is a need for successful models of how to recruit, train, and retain bench scientists at the earliest stages of their careers into translational research. One recent, promising model is the University of California Davis Howard Hughes Medical Institute Integrating Medicine into Basic Science (HHMI-IMBS) program, part of the HHMI Med into Grad initiative. This paper outlines the HHMI-IMBS program's logic, design, and curriculum that guide the goal of research that moves from bedside to bench. That is, a curriculum that provides graduate students with guided translational training, clinical exposure, team science competencies, and mentors from diverse disciplines that will advance the students careers in clinical translational research and re-focusing of research to answer clinical dilemmas. The authors have collected data on 55 HHMI-IMBS students to date. Many of these students are still completing their graduate work. In the current study the authors compare the initial two cohorts (15 students) with a group of 29 control students to examine the program success and outcomes. The data indicate that this training program provides an effective, adaptable model for training future translational researchers. HHMI-IMBS students showed improved confidence in conducting translational research, greater interest in a future translational career, and higher levels of research productivity and collaborations than a comparable group of predoctoral students.