Message from the Director

Gyongyi Szabo, MD, PhD

July 2013 marks a milestone in the history of the UMMS MD/PhD Program as we received NIH support for our Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) placing UMMS to become the second MSTP program in Massachusetts. As of July 2013, we welcome eight outstanding students to the MD/PhD program.  The prestigious NIH Medical Scientist Training Grant was awarded to the MD/PhD Program at UMass in July 2013. This training grant will help support the exceptional students enrolled in the program here in addition to the institutional funding that covers the rest of the cost of tuition, fees and insurance.

This fall we are welcoming eight outstanding students to the MD/PhD Program at UMass. During their time here they will be excited and challenged by the academic curriculum, research, faculty, thesis advisors and many others who will interact with them as they move forward in their goal to become a physician-scientist. They welcome these challenges and look forward to engaging others in their pursuit. They chose UMass based on our national and international reputation in research, state-of-the-art facilities, and flexible curriculum which offers them greater academic and research opportunities. UMass recruits their applicants from nationally recognized institutions with the most talented students. We combine the depth of the medical school curriculum along with the rigorous scientific training in nine graduate school programs. We are a young, and growing program, with flexibility tailored to the individual needs of each student. Our graduates have moved on to outstanding residency and fellowship programs, and are beginning to advance into faculty positions at respected academic health centers.

The UMass Program offers flexibility in the curriculum, specialized MD/PhD courses, a supportive advising program.  In addition to the traditional biomedical sciences research training, our MSTP offers clinical/population and a clinical/population based PhD degree for students interested in clinical research. The Clinical and Population Health Research Program offers our students an opportunity to become leaders in clinical and translational research by training them in areas including epidemiology, outcomes research, determinants of disease and biostatistics. It also addresses the national need for health research to move from the laboratory to the individual patient and healthcare systems.

The University of Massachusetts Medical School enters a new era of biomedical research, medical education and campus collaboration with the opening of the $400 million, state-of-the-art Albert Sherman Center. Home to Nobel Prize-winning research and the cornerstone of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Act, the Sherman Center was unveiled to the public on January 30, 2013 a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by Gov. Deval Patrick. Completion of the Sherman Center nearly doubles the research capacity of the Worcester campus with 512,000 square feet of interdisciplinary research and education space designed to maximize collaboration among scientists, educators and students across multiple fields. It is the new home of the Advanced Therapeutics Cluster, comprising the RNA Therapeutics Institute, the Center for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine and the Gene Therapy Center, and contains wet research space for more than 90 investigators. These translational scientists pursue novel bench-to-bedside research in emerging scientific fields with the goal of developing new innovative therapies for diseases ranging from cancer to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, and cystic fibrosis.

The Medical School includes a brand new Simulation Center which consists of 1,500 square feet of space designed to support state-of- the-art simulation technology including task trainers, screen-based simulation, and full body mannequins. Diabetes, RNA Biology, Neuroscience, Cell Biology, Cancer Biology and Translational Science reflects some of the excellent research and programs in the Graduate School. UMass Memorial Health Care, the clinical partner of UMass Medical School, is the region's leading health care provider. It includes a 780 bed hospital group serving a one million+ person regional population, a major trauma center, a new state-of-the-art Emergency Room and a Life Flight.

UMass is located in Worcester, Massachusetts, an urban area due west of the state capital, Boston. It is rural, yet metropolitan and has many cultural activities including the brand new Hanover Theater, which brings Broadway directly to Worcester! In addition, there are many restaurants and cafés, ten colleges, a convention center and a local ski area, Wachusett Mountain offering a vibrant local environment with diverse recreational opportunities.

We welcome you to browse our website and learn more about the quality of the MSTP (MD/PhD)” Program and depth of the clinical and basic research science programs at UMass.

Sincerely,
Gyongyi Szabo, MD, PhD
Professor and Associate Dean
MSTP Director