Training grant addresses need for physician scientists

September 27, 2016

HERSHEY, Pa. — Zanuil Hasanali had many options for an MD/PhD program, but chose Penn State College of Medicine. He had good reasons to do so.

“I liked the student body, the easily traveled area and the atmosphere of collegiality that was missing from other schools where I had interviewed,” said the 29-year-old MD/PhD student who came to Penn State College of Medicine in 2009.

With an interest in leukemia research, he was particularly impressed by the medical school’s commitment to expanding and improving cancer care.

A new National Institutes of Health-sponsored training grant awarded to the MD/PhD program adds another good reason to choose Penn State College of Medicine.

The Medical Scientist Training Program award addresses the need to develop physician-scientists who are well trained in basic, translational and clinical research. The award will help train medical students interested in pursuing careers in biomedical research and academic medicine.

Backed by 51 years of investment by the NIH in students who are pursuing research careers in medicine, the award is very prestigious. Only 47 programs of the about 90 MD/PhD programs nationally have received it, with the College of Medicine being the first new program in four years.

“This award reflects on the institution as a whole,” said Dr. Leslie Parent, co-director of the MD/PhD program, vice dean for research and graduate studies and professor of medicine and microbiology and immunology. “It speaks to the value of the research that comes out of our institution; that the NIH feels it’s worthy to invest in the careers of students who will come from Penn State – students who are trained to see patients and do research. Learning to become a physician-scientist means combining two different skill sets, which makes our students’ training unique.”

Read more about the training grant and the MD/PhD program in this Penn State Medicine article.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated September 28, 2016