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Medical Research Scholars Program

The Medical Research Scholars Program (MRSP) bridges barriers between traditional predoctoral and medical training by providing you with both medically oriented coursework and a mentored clinical experience. The coursework provides a grounding in biomedicine, and the clinical experience enables you to interact with patients to learn firsthand about disease symptoms, treatment options, and the limitations of current therapies. This combination of medical knowledge and face-to-face interaction with patients and their doctors provides a new perspective and enhances the rigorous training you will receive in the BBS Program.

Upon completing the MRSP curriculum, you will be able to work much more closely with physicians and physician-scientists and will be able to perform clinically relevant basic research.

A grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute initially helped to launch the MRSP, and a Molecular Medicine Training Grant (T32GM100884) funded by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences now supports the program.

Program Eligibility

Third year MRSP Class
From left to right: George Lister, M.D., MRSP co-Director, Shannon Silva, Nardos Cheru, Kyrillos Abdallah, Jhah Cook, Chris Dunlock, Amos Espinosa receive their white coats.
Only incoming BBS students are eligible to apply, and we admit 5 - 7 students per year into MRSP. We will invite you to apply after you accept Yale's offer of admission. If admitted, you will still remain in your BBS Track but will participate in the additional MRSP curriculum.

The Curriculum

MRSP Certificates
Garrett Allen, Edel Aron, Carrie Ann Davis, and Andrew Takeda receive certificates upon completing the MRSP curriculum.

The MRSP curriculum (see table below) consists of four full semester courses that focus first on normal human physiology and organ-based cell biology, followed by human pathobiology and then an introduction to drug discovery, validation and clinical trials. You also take an intensive summer course in biostatistics. Some of these MRSP courses are open to all BBS students, at the discretion of the course directors.

The centerpiece of the MRSP is an additional two-year Mentored Clinical Experience course during years two and three of the program. This course integrates basic and clinical research while additionally granting you access to patients and patient settings. Exposure to patients and to the practice of medicine will enable you to work more confidently at the interface of research and medicine and facilitate future collaborations with clinical researchers. The Mentored Clinical Experience is open only to students formally enrolled as Medical Research Scholars.

Year 1

Term Course Directors
Fall Physiological Systems (C&MP 550/MCDB 550/PHAR 550) M. Saltzman, S. Campbell
Spring Organ Systems (CBIO 604) A. Vignery
Summer Intro to Biostatistics in Clinical Investigation (IMED 645) E. Shapiro, V. Shabanova

Year 2

Term Course Directors

Pathobiology-choice of #1 or #2 below:
Fall 1) Molecular Mechanisms of Human Disease (PATH 690)

D. Braddock,
C. Fernandez-Hernando

Fall & Spring 2) Medical Physiology Case Conference (C&MP 600) E. Boulpaep
Spring Topics in Human Investigation (B&BS 680/IMED 680) J. Craft, K. Anderson
Fall & Spring Mentored Clinical Experience (C&MP 610) L. Konnikova, R. Pierce

Year 3

Term Course Directors
Fall & Spring Mentored Clinical Experience (C&MP 610) L. Konnikova, R. Pierce

Student Selection Process

FIfth Year MRSP Class

From Left to Right:

Michael Nitabach, Ph.D., J.D., former MRSP Program Director, Erick Salvador Rocha, Jeremy Gygi, Ana Berthel, Madeline Mayday, Jenna Andrews, Madison Rackear, Carissa Chan, Fred Gorelick, M.D., Ph.D., Member of MRSP Core Leadership (missing from picture is Madeleine Mankowski)

The application deadline each year will be in mid-May. The MRP core leadership team will review your MRSP application, along with your original Application for Admission to the Yale Graduate School. They will make final selections based largely on your responses on the MRSP application as well as on your potential for managing the demands of the MRSP curriculum on top of your regular BBS requirements. If necessary, the selection committee may conduct interviews of applicants.

MRSP Application

Application deadline

The next application deadline will be in May of 2024, and we will invite incoming BBS students to apply after April 15. Please direct questions related to the application process to Bonnie Ellis.

For questions related to the program and the curriculum, please contact John Alvaro.

Program Leadership

  • Co-Director

    Associate Professor of Cell Biology and of Molecular, Cellular and Development Biology; Co-Leader, Radiobiology and Genome Integrity, Yale Cancer Center; Associate Cancer Center Director, Basic Science

  • Associate Dean for the Biological and Biomedical Sciences; Director of Postdoctoral Affairs; Administrative Director of Biological & Biomedical Sciences Program; BBS Administrative Director

  • Professor of Pharmacology and of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry; Co-Leader, Developmental Therapeutics, Yale Cancer Center; Co-Director Therapeutics/Chemotherapy Program

  • Paul B. Beeson Professor of Medicine (Rheumatology) and Professor of Immunobiology; Paul B. Beeson Professor of Medicine, Internal Medicine: Rheumatology; Program Director, Investigative Medicine, Internal Medicine: Rheumatology

  • Henry J. and Joan W. Binder Professor of Medicine (Digestive Diseases) and of Cell Biology; Director Investigated Gastroenterology NIH T32, Internal Medicine; Deputy Director, MD-PhD Program

  • Assistant Professor of Pediatrics (Critical Care); Associate Program Director for Pediatric Critical Care Medicine Fellowship, Pediatrics; Co-Director of the Mentored Clinical Experience, Medical Research Training Program

  • Waldemar Von Zedtwitz Professor of Microbial Pathogenesis and of Immunobiology and Director of Biological and Biomedical Sciences (BBS); Vice-Chair, Department of Microbial Pathogenesis