Skip to Main Content


New Surgeon Scientist Training Program Puts Budding Stars on ‘Fast Track’ to Success

December 21, 2022
by Cecelia Smith

A new research program established by the Department of Surgery aims to combat attrition of the surgeon-scientist pipeline and tee up budding research superstars for early career success.

“The goal of the Surgeon Scientist Training Program (SSTP) is to optimally prepare surgical residents with a laser focus on research for a career in academic medicine, providing a runaway for a smooth landing from residency to faculty,” said Vice Chair of Research, Dr. Peter Gruber.

The SSTP experience provides formal research tutelage, supplies, and protected time to participants from initial their initial intern year through graduation; the structure is unique to traditional training, which allows for concentrated research exposure during a dedicated year of residency.

“Advancing research so that it is ready and relevant for grant funding takes significant time. SSTP ‘fast-tracks’ some of this, so graduates can continue to build momentum around their research and be highly competitive for faculty recruitment and funding opportunities as early as fellowship,” said Department of Surgery Chair, Dr. Nita Ahuja.

Support from the program includes engagement in the YSM physician-scientist network, reduction of clinical call, funding for laboratory supplies, and structured mentorship.

General Surgery resident and PhD student, Holly Blackburn MD, and Cardiothoracic I6 resident Makoto Mori MD, PhD, have been selected as inaugural scholars in the program.

Submitted by Stevi Kramer on December 22, 2022