Scott A Berceli MD, PhD
The Biomedical, Translational, and Clinical Research Track is one of the seven tracks that comprise the Discovery Pathways Program that is part of the University of Florida College of Medicine curriculum. This pathway is designed to help students investigate and answer the following types of important medical questions:
- What important basic science questions need to be answered to better understand disease processes?
- How can new basic science knowledge be translated into novel and innovative new therapies?
- Is the clinical outcome for patients better when a selected therapy or protocol is used?
Overall Goals and Objectives
Students who enroll in and complete this track will develop firsthand knowledge and training in basic, translational or clinical research and discovery processes.
Specific pathway objectives include demonstrating a foundational understanding of:
- How to find and evaluate existing published literature on specific medical topics
- Identify the gaps in the knowledge base for the area
- Generate specific hypotheses about the gaps in the knowledge base
- Design experimental protocols that will allow rigorous testing of the hypotheses
- Conduct controlled experiments and activities and record the data
- Analyze data including appropriate statistical tests
- Critically interpret results of experiments and activities
- Speculate on the strengths and weaknesses of the overall conclusions
- Present the results to medical peers and faculty in various formats including poster presentations and publications
- Make recommendations on implementing changes to improve patient outcomes based on objective evidence
- Learn how to incorporate the principles of “evidence based medicine” into clinical practice
Identify a R&D question/area and develop a written R&D project proposal in collaboration with a Faculty Mentor and track Director that includes background, project objectives, research plan with timeline, outcomes, and assessment criteria. Students may perform their R&D project with faculty members in the College of Medicine or with faculty members in other Colleges at the University of Florida or at other universities with the approval of the Director for the Biomedical, Translational, and Clinical Research Track.
Participate in the 9-week summer research program between the end of the first year courses and the start of the second year courses. Alternatively, students may complete a research project that is essentially equivalent to the 9-week summer research program during any time during medical school.
Participate in the activities requested by their faculty mentor in Years 2, 3, and 4
Generate a final Capstone Product that is appropriate and relevant to the goals of the R&D project in consultation with their faculty mentor and the track Director.
Timeline for Biomedical, Translational, and Clinical Research Track
MS-1 Fall Semester: Research and Discovery Foundations in Medicine course – Part of the core curriculum for all medical students and includes key topics of:
- Techniques for searching large data bases to identify relevant published literature
- Methods to critically appraise published medical literature and identify gaps in knowledge base
- Discussions of different experimental approaches and designs
- Examples of data analysis and statistical tests
- Implementation of evidence-based medicine into clinical practice
- Responsible conduct of research and ethical principles of medical research
MS-1 Spring Term
- Identify a R&D project and a faculty mentor
- Prepare and submit a written R&D proposal for the 10-week summer research program
- Complete Ethical Conduct of Research on line training
- Complete UF IRB-01 Training and/or IACUC training
MS-1 Summer Term – 9-week period between MS1 and MS2 Years
- Conduct R&D project
- Prepare and submit a report of data and accomplishments
MS-2 Fall Term
- Complete any unfinished R&D specific aims
- Attend relevant seminars or R&D group meeting as requested by faculty mentor
MS-2 Spring Term
- Prepare and present poster summarizing the results of the summer R&D project during the Annual Medical Student Research Day
MS-3 Fall and Spring Terms
- Meet with faculty mentor as requested by faculty mentor
- Attend relevant seminars or presentations as requested by faculty mentor
MS-4 Fall and Spring Terms
- Enroll in at least one Research Elective course
- Complete Capstone Product on R&D project
Outcomes and Assessment
Students will develop additional skills and knowledge of how to apply the principles of the “scientific method” to a medically related topic of their choosing. They will gain firsthand experience by directly participating in the R&D process. Students will generate and present a poster of their R&D work during the Annual Medical Student Research Day, and optimally, will participate in writing and coauthoring a publication in a peer reviewed scientific/clinical journal.