Program Overview

Current Training Activities and Resources at the Penn State College of Medicine

The Program is designed primarily for surgical residents willing to commit two, and preferably three, years to receive the extensive training necessary to become a competent new investigator. Trainees will be supervised primarily by their research co-mentors, who are successful NIH-funded clinician- and basic-science investigators with experience in post-doctoral training. An interdisciplinary Executive Committee will advise, evaluate and oversee the training program as a whole, and report to the Program Director. Training of the fellow occurs through immersion in the research environment, including full participation in laboratory meetings, departmental seminars and, most importantly, hands-on research experience. Trainees will receive didactic training in research ethics. There exists an outstanding interdisciplinary group of committed faculty within the College of Medicine with interest in trauma and organ injury, and with extensive experience in pre- and post-doctoral training, to support and foster the proposed training program.

Outline of Training Program

Laboratory training is intended to provide experience fundamental to the understanding of injury and trauma biology, resulting in mastery of state-of-the-art methods which will provide the foundation for their future research efforts. Because all mentors and co-mentors supervise active research efforts, the trainees will become an integral part of a much larger research group, which includes junior faculty, other fellows, graduate students, and technicians. Trainees are expected to spend at least 95% of their time within the research environment performing “hands-on” research. Other educational activities will include seminars, journal clubs, and possibly taking course work to correct knowledge deficiencies.

It is expected that each trainee will have sufficient data necessary for either oral or poster presentations at two national meetings per year. Prior to the formal presentation of data at any meeting, trainees are required to present their research to their co-mentors and laboratory group to obtain constructive feedback. Past trainees have presented their research at sessions of Experimental Biology, Surgical Infection Society, Shock Society, American College of Surgery, Association of Academic Surgeons, the Society of University Surgeons, and the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma. Furthermore, it is expected trainees will publish their data in first-line peer-reviewed scientific journals.