Award will support physician-scientist training at Stanford

Stanford has been selected as one of five universities to receive a Physician Scientist Institutional Award from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund. The grant provides the School of Medicine with $2.5 million over five years to support novel programs that enhance career development for medical students who wish to strengthen their research skills.

PJ Utz
PJ Utz, associate dean of medical student research.

Physician-scientists are essential bridges between clinics and labs, and are defined as physicians who spend a majority of their time conducting research. Most physician-scientists hold both an MD and a PhD. The grant is designed to encourage research among the group of nearly 20,000 MD-only physicians who graduate annually from medical schools in the United States.

Medical students at Stanford are required to complete a scholarly concentration to graduate and many want to pursue longer-term research projects by spending an extra year on campus.

With funding from the award, Stanford will take this five-year curriculum a step further, allowing students to add a sixth year of full-time research as a Burroughs Wellcome Fund Scholar, said PJ UTZ, professor of medicine and associate dean of medical student research, who is also one of the three principal investigators for the grant.

Utz said he is stepping down as director of Stanford’s MD-PhD program to direct the new Burroughs Wellcome Fund Scholars Program. His fellow principal investigators for the grant are Nobel laureates PAUL BERG, professor emeritus of biochemistry, and BRIAN KOBILKA, professor of molecular and cellular physiology.

Read more on the Stanford Medicine website.