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National Institutes of Health (NIH)-Sponsored Track

If you are interested in a career with an even greater emphasis on medical research, a 3.5-year track is offered. The National Institutes of Health (NIH)-Sponsored Track prepares you for independent investigation careers in academic gastroenterology.

Through the ongoing Digestive Diseases, Multidisciplinary Training grant at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, the NIH funds two-year projects in clinical and bench research. This allows you to pursue a focused research experience within digestive diseases, broadly encompassing projects relative to cell biology, molecular biology, physiology, or human investigations.

The overall objective of the NIH-Sponsored Track is to train highly qualified individuals for independent academic careers in research in the enteric and hepatic sciences. Mayo Clinic uses a multidisciplinary integrated approach involving faculty representatives from clinical and basic disciplines.

This track, therefore, combines 24 months of dedicated research experience with 18 months of clinical training. Within this track, you may participate in patient-oriented research projects and obtain a clinical research master's degree or perform disease-oriented, laboratory-based investigation. Opportunities exist to work with faculty investigators from the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology or from other areas of Mayo Clinic.

Research training

The primary objective of this NIH-Sponsored Track is to better prepare you to function as an independent research investigator. Since the awarding of the initial training grant in enteric sciences to Mayo Clinic in 1966, the objective of this track has been to provide in-depth research training to qualified individuals to prepare them for independent academic careers.

You are introduced to a large number of investigative techniques, which you are expected to understand, master and apply to your particular project under the close supervision of an established investigator and in conjunction with experienced research technicians and other research fellows supported by other sources. Independence is encouraged, creativity fostered and emphasis given to a total research experience.

Although there have been modifications in faculty and facilities during the 40 years in which this training program has existed, the objective and general approach articulated above have remained unchanged.

Indeed, the soundness of this approach is supported by these general points:

  • Nearly 100 percent of individuals who completed training in this track in the past 5 years hold full-time faculty positions at universities or medical schools.
  • Many of these individuals have gone on to achieve prominence in academic gastroenterology, as evidenced by memberships on national or international committees, election to prestigious societies, and positions as directors of academic divisions or departments.