Training the Next Generation of Clinical and Translational Researchers

When YCCI was established in 2006, one of our key goals was to attract promising students, fellows, and junior faculty members to careers in clinical and translational research, and offer them the training necessary to work effectively in today’s complex research environment. While YCCI has grown and expanded in the intervening years, our focus on education has remained unwavering.

To help support YCCI’s efforts to provide a home for training the next generation of clinical and translational researchers, we are pleased to welcome Lloyd Cantley, M.D., who joins Eugene Shapiro, M.D., as co-director for education. Cantley is C.N.H. Long Professor of Medicine (Nephrology) and professor of cellular and molecular physiology; and vice chair for research in the Department of Internal Medicine. He is an outstanding basic scientist, whose research focuses on kidney epithelial cell development and repair; changes that occur during tubule formation; and the role of the innate immune response to kidney injury. He is also an exceptional mentor who has trained over 30 graduate students, medical students, and postdoctoral fellows in his laboratory as well as numerous undergraduate students.

“I believe that inspiring the next generation of physician-scientists, and providing them with the proper foundation to succeed in the current academic environment, is one of the most important responsibilities we face in academia today,” said Cantley. “YCCI provides a perfect platform to achieve these two missions, and I feel lucky to be named as the co-director for education and to be able to work with Doctors Shapiro and Sherwin to foster this environment at Yale.”

The education leadership team oversees training programs that YCCI has developed, enhanced, or expanded. These include: the YCCI Scholars Program; the Investigative Medicine Program; the TL1 Predoctoral Training Program; the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program; and training programs for research staff.

The Scholars Program is a YCCI initiative that has been particularly successful. To date, 88 Scholars from 18 programs and departments across the health campus have received salary and research support through the program, which also includes mentorship and training in the conduct of clinical research. YCCI Scholars have published over 1,000 papers and received $157 million in independent funding. Over 90 percent of Scholar alumni remain active in research.

The Investigative Medicine Program — one of a handful of such programs in the country — is a unique doctoral program for physicians who have completed their clinical training. YCCI support also allows about a dozen medical students each year to take a year off to work on a research project. These investments in the next generation of investigators are critical to the School of Medicine’s mission of sustaining research excellence.