Research Training

Our fellowship program is aimed at preparing trainees for careers as independent investigators, thus fellows spend a minimum of two years in research activities, and often extend their research training to three years. This extension provides fellows with additional time for course work, and, more importantly, allows them to undertake more challenging research projects. It is our perspective that the acquisition of high quality research skills is fundamental to a viable long-term career in academic medicine. The core of the trainee research experience is the pursuit of a specific project under the direct supervision a member of the faculty. The Yale University School of Medicine is unique in having a large group of outstanding investigators who are nationally and internationally recognized leaders in a broad range of biomedical disciplines relevant to nephrology and hypertension. Specifically, the program includes faculty with expertise in developmental biology, molecular genetics, cell biology and experimental pathology, cellular and molecular physiology and encompasses state of the art technology and approaches. The overall emphasis of the program is clearly on basic science laboratory research.

It is the philosophy of the program that preceptors should be chosen by trainees rather than assigned. To this end, each fellow is provided with extensive help in the form of information, advice and time to make a careful and deliberate selection of preceptor and project. The faculty pages introduce members of the sections of Pediatric Nephrology and Internal Medicine/Nephrology, their backgrounds, clinical and research interests, and representative recent publications. During the first six months of fellowship, each trainee will have many opportunities to meet with the faculty whose research programs are of possible interest to them, and may spend 7-10 days in their laboratories, prior to choosing a preceptor. Finally, each fellow will choose a preceptor with the advice and approval of the program director. The research training begins during the second semester of the first fellowship year.

Fellows are encouraged to take at least four one-semester courses during the period of research experience. Rather than require a common curriculum for all trainees, the program director and the faculty will assist each trainee in selecting courses of greatest relevance to the trainee's chosen area of research. To ensure progress towards a successful career as a physician-scientist, a Scholarship Oversight Committee (SOC) is established for each fellow, as recommended by the American Board of Pediatrics.

All trainees will participate in a Nephrology Research Journal Club, a Developmental Nephrology Seminar series bi-monthly, and will give oral presentations at least yearly as part of a monthly Nephrology Research Conference. In addition, each fellow attends departmental Child Health Research Seminars weekly, and fellows are encouraged to attend research seminars relevant to nephrology in the Departments of Pediatrics, Internal Medicine, Cellular and Molecular Physiology, Cell Biology, Pathology, Molecular Immunology and Human Genetics.

Fellows seeking training in patient–based clinical research are encouraged to participate in the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program at Yale. This two–year curriculum provides instruction in the conduct and analysis of clinical studies. In addition, we encourage fellows to engage in clinical research projects under the supervision of the clinical faculty.