Overview of Research Opportunities
Yale Nephrology has provided a deep pipeline of training nephrology fellows to become preeminent physician scientists around the globe, regardless of previous background research experience. Yale is a collaborative institution that fosters independent and critical thinking, while faculty members are passionate and dedicated to guide trainees for a successful research career. Research opportunities for fellows are available in both basic and translational research programs.
Yale Nephrology offers a research track that is comprised of one full clinical year, followed by two years of guaranteed research time. In addition, fellows who originally enter Yale’s two-year clinical track have the option of applying to switch to the research track during the spring of their first or second clinical year.
Fellows in the research track choose a primary research mentor during the spring of their clinical year, and then work with that mentor to establish a mentoring committee as well as their research project. That primary mentor is typically a faculty member in the Section of Nephrology, but can be outside the section when appropriate. Research fellows have full access to Yale core research facilities including the George M. O'Brien Kidney Center at Yale, the Center for Polycystic Kidney Disease Research, the Program of Applied Translational Research, the Yale Center for Clinical Investigation, the Yale Transgenic Facility, and the Yale Center for Genome Analysis. Research fellows who wish to include specific areas of didactic training during their research time can choose to participate in one of several advanced degree granting programs as outlined below.
Components of Research Training
Two years of guaranteed salary support with mentoring for obtaining additional support through extramural funding, such as the American Society of Nephrology, American Heart Association, and NIH T and K awards.
- Presentations by research faculty that provide an overview of the research opportunities available to trainees.
- Establishment of a Research Oversight Committee for each research fellow to ensure progress towards a successful career as a physician-scientist
- Ability to pursue research in disciplines outside of the nephrology section, such as physiology, vascular biology, immunobiology, and human genetics
- Ability to pursue a PhD degree through the Investigative Medicine Program offered by the Department of Internal Medicine
- Ability to pursue training in chronic disease epidemiology via obtaining a Master of Science degree in Epidemiology and Public Health
- Ability to pursue training in Health Services through the National Clinical Scholars Program
- Tuition support for approved formal class work
Basic Science Training in Nephrology
Basic science research training in nephrology spans the spectrum from tubule transport physiology to genetic diseases of the kidney and pathophysiology of glomerular, tubular, and vascular disorders. During their clinical year, trainees have the opportunity to hear both fellows and faculty present their research, and to meet individually with all research faculty, and thus identify the lab/mentor in which they are interested. They then work with that mentor to design their research project and with the senior faculty in the section to establish a Research Oversight Committee to ensure their overall success in meeting goals for their research training.
Research mentors in adult and pediatric nephrology include:
- Peter Aronson
- Lloyd Cantley
- Julie Goodwin
- Shuta Ishibe
- Gary Desir
- William Chang
- Robert Saferstein
- Stefan Somlo
- Alda Tufro
To enhance basic science training for our fellows, Yale has multiple core research facilities that provide expert training in basic science techniques, support for data acquisition and analysis, and pilot grant opportunities, including the George M. O'Brien Kidney Center at Yale, the Center for Polycystic Kidney Disease Research, the Program of Applied Translational Research, the Yale Center for Clinical Research, the Yale Transgenic Facility, and the Yale Center for Genome Analysis.
Translational Research Pathway
The Program of Applied Translational Research (PATR) is dedicated to the process of applying discoveries generated in the laboratory and in preclinical experiments, to the development of clinical studies, and to the design of clinical trials. As a critical component of this mission, the Program also seeks to conduct translational research to advance the mechanistic understanding of novel biomarkers to enhance their clinical utility in complex diseases. Our multidisciplinary team is comprised of talented physicians and scientists committed to patient-oriented research and developing solutions in clinical medicine and disease management in the community. The Program aims to combine the creativity, commitment, experience, and skills of our physician-scientists to improve the care of our patients.
Fellows involved in our program frequently pursue additional degrees as part of their training. We have had fellows earn PhD programs through the Investigative Medicine Program, or pursue training in epidemiology by obtaining a Master of Science degree through the Yale School of Public Health.