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Internal Medicine Residency Training Program Research Pathway

The Research Pathway    

The American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Research Pathway is an integrated program that combines training in research with training in clinical internal medicine. This pathway is appropriate for physicians who intend to pursue a career substantially based in basic or clinical research. It is not appropriate for physicians interested in clinical, administrative, or teaching career tracks, even if research would be a part of those careers.

Our University-based residency training program sponsors residents in the ABIM Research Pathway. We strongly encourage individuals interested in either clinical or basic research careers to consider our program for their clinical and research experience. The core clinical program is described in detail in our website.

The Research Pathway allows trainees to accelerate their clinical training in return for a commitment to research time and productivity under supervision of a faculty mentor. Applicants who successfully complete the program become eligible for the Internal Medicine Board Certification in less time than they would if they completed clinical training and research separately. The track decreases the overall time commitment of a physician who is entirely committed to a research career. However, after entering the track, the trainee must complete the track to be eligible for board certification. If the trainee elected to move back into the clinical pathway from the research pathway, he or she would be required to complete clinical training of the standard duration.

The Research Pathway has 2 options.

Internal Medicine Option: All trainees must successfully complete 2 years of training in an accredited categorical Internal Medicine training program. The usual requirement outside of the Research Pathway is for 3 complete years. After completion of the two years of clinical training, the candidate enters the research commitment that lasts for 3 years. During this time, the candidate commits 80% of his or her time to research and 20% to clinical work.

Clinical Subspecialty Training: Via this track, the candidate is able to obtain board eligibility for General Internal Medicine as well as a subspecialty of medicine. The minimum requirement for full-time clinical subspecialty training for certification through the research pathway varies by discipline and would be 24 months in General Internal Medicine (rather than 36 months) followed by:

    • 12 months in Allergy & Immunology, Critical Care Medicine, Diabetes and Metabolism, Geriatric Medicine, Hematology, Infectious Disease, Nephrology, Medical Oncology, Pulmonary Disease, or Rheumatology
    • 18 months in Gastroenterology, Hematology/Oncology, Pulmonary/Critical Care, Rheumatology/Allergy & Immunology, or
    • 24 months in Cardiology

After completion of the appropriate clinical curriculum the trainee would enter the research period for 3 years.  80% of their time would be spent in research, 20 % in clinical activities.

The UCI Internal Medicine Residency Research Pathway Program

Intellectual inquiry and academic rigor form the core of our philosophy of residency training. Each element of the Program is designed with this core in mind, and all residents benefit from the academic environment fostered by that commitment. We believe that an understanding of research design and implementation iskey to an overall quality training experience in internal medicine. Beyond that core commitment, we endeavor to recruit a small number of residents with demonstrated interest in academic research careers to enter the Research Pathway. We believe that we can provide an outstanding clinical and research experience for these residents, and that their presence with us enhances the quality of the entire Program.

Although candidates for the Research Pathway need not commit to that pathway until they have begun their residency, we recruit individuals who have credentials and track records in research. Prospective candidates interview with faculty knowledgeable about the Research Pathway and about research opportunities. Our goal is to begin at the earliest possible time to prepare the trainees for their chosen careers. As soon as the house officer makes a commitment, we guide them in obtaining a research mentor, identifying projects, and planning their research. Our institution has long experience with MD/PhD training and a commitment to mentoring young investigators. We tailor their clinical experience to meet the core requirements for the ABIM and to complement their research agendas.

UCI’s research credentials and research-career mentoring credentials are well established. The UCI College of Medicine’s MD/PhD Program is an official Medical Scientist Training Program. We have built on this experience in constructing our own Research Pathway. You may visit the Medical Scientist Website for an overview of UCI’s research opportunities and strengths. In addition, a partial list of Research Pathway mentors and their areas of interest follows at the end of this section. Research Pathway trainees, however, need not limit themselves to College of Medicine or even UCI faculty mentors. Trainees can do their research at outside institutions if that would be the most productive pathway for their careers. Our Research Pathway Committee mentors trainees and helps them determine the best research pathways.

During their years in the research pathway, trainees are supported by grant funds with supplemental support from the Department of Medicine. The pathway pays salaries commensurate to those of other residents with the same years of training. Specific salary levels are listed in the core program materials.

Candidates must be qualified both clinically and academically to be considered for the Pathway. Evidence of commitment to an academic career is also required. Candidates should have already obtained a Ph.D. or other advanced degree.

All applicants apply to the Categorical Program via ERAS.  Applicants wishing to identify themselves as interested in the Research Pathway should contact Susan Altmayer at saltmaye@uci.edu or (714) 456-5691 so that we can include your interest in your file.

UCI Faculty Research Mentors Available to Research Pathway Trainees:

Faculty Member                        

Research Area

Nancy L. Allbritton, M.D., Ph.D.

Signal transduction by second messengers and protein kinases

Hoda Anton-Culver, Ph.D.

Cancer and genetic epidemiology, statistical genetics, medical informatics, environmental epidemiology

Dean Baker, M.D.

Occupational and environmental asthma, neurological and immunological effects of pesticides, cardiovascular effects of occupational stress, delivery of occupational health services

Tallie Z. Baram, M.D., Ph.D.

Mechanisms of vulnerability of the developing brain to non-genetic seizures

Alan G. Barbour, M.D.

Molecular pathogenesis and immunology of vector-borne infections

Peter J. Bryant , Ph.D.

Tumor-suppressor genes of Drosophila and humans

William Byerley, MD

Identification and characterization of genes underlying susceptibility to Manic- depression and schizophrenia

Michael Cahalan, Ph.D.

Molecular properties and modulation of ion channels in cell membranes. Cellular neurobiology and immunology. Physiological roles of  ion channels. Cell signaling mechanisms.

Anne L. Calof, Ph.D.

Molecular mechanisms of neurogenesis, neuronal differentiation, and cell death

George Chandy, M.D., Ph.D.

Structure and functional studies of potassium channels in T-lymphocytes: targets for the design of novel immunosuppressive agents

Olivier Civelli, Ph.D.

Molecular neurobiology, G protein-coupled receptors, peptide neurotransmitters

Carl Cotman, Ph.D.

Synaptic plasticity and functional stabilization after injury in the mature and aged central nervous system

Dennis D. Cunningham, Ph.D.

Proteases and protease nexins: regulation of neural cells

Sue Duckles, Ph.D.

Impact of age and gender on reactivity of blood vessels and nerves

Hung Fan, Ph.D.

Molecular biology and pathogenesis of mouse and human retroviruses

Ron Frostig, Ph.D.

Neurophysiology of sensory systems; functional organization of sensory cortex and its plasticity; imaging of activity patterns in the cortex

J. Jay Gargus, M.D., Ph.D.

Molecular analysis of membrane signaling proteins

Alan L. Goldin, Ph.D.

Molecular analysis of ion channel function

Sudhir Gupta, M.D., Ph.D.

Molecular mechanisms of apoptosis of lymphocytes in aging and neonates

George A. Gutman, Ph.D

Potassium channel and immunoglobulin super-family genes

Harry T. Haigler, Ph.D.

Growth factor signal transduction; annexin calcium-binding proteins

G. Wesley Hatfield, Ph.D.

Effects of DNA topology on transcription

Randall Holcombe, M.D.

Mechanism of action of levamisole; functional genomics; treatment and prevention of colon cancer and malignant melanoma

Allan Hubbell, M.D.

Cancer prevention and control; health services/health policy research

Anthony A. James, Ph.D.

Malaria parasite development; genetic manipulation of insect vectors

Murray Korc, M.D

Growth factor/receptor expression; signaling pathways in cancer

John J. Krolewski, M.D., Ph.D.

Intracellular signaling by a interferons

Arthur D. Lander, Ph.D.

Cell and axon guidance; extracellular matrix; growth factors; transgenic and knockout mice

Frances M. Leslie, Ph.D.

Pharmacology of drugs of abuse and developmental neuropharmacology

Ellis Levin, M.D

Vasoactive peptides in the central nervous system and vasculature

W. Ian Lipkin, M.D.

Borna disease and neurotropic viruses; CNS delivery systems

Haoping Liu, Ph.D.

MAP kinase mediated signal transduction; dimorphic regulation in yeast

John Longhurst, M.D., Ph.D.

Cardiovascular diseases, neuroreflex control of cardiovascular system, and alternative medicine

Mark Mandelkern, Ph.D.

Elementary Particle Physics and Medical Physics

Ronald L. Meyer, Ph.D

Development of nerve connections, nerve injury and regeneration

Frank Meyskens, M.D.

Effects of oxidative stress on gene expression; cancer chemoprevention

Stuart Nelson, M.D., Ph.D.

Biophysics of laser interaction with biological systems

Masayasu Nomura, Ph.D.

RNA polymerase I; nucleolus; nuclear transport and function

Daniele Piomelli, Ph.D.

Signaling by anandamide, an endogenous cannabinoid

Ralph Purdy, Ph.D.

Neurotransmission in blood vessels

J. Leslie Redpath, Ph.D.

X-rays induced cell death, cell mutation and malignant cell transformation; factors that regulate cellular radiosensitivity, including repair processes, intercellular communication, genetic regulation and chemical agents

Richard T. Robertson, Ph.D.

Mechanisms of axonal target selection in developing cerebral cortex

W. Edward Robinson, Ph.D. .

Humoral immune responses in pathogenesis of HIV and SIV infections

Hamid M. Said, Ph.D., Pharm.D.

Cellular and molecular aspects of intestinal transport of vitamins

Suzanne B. Sandmeyer, Ph.D.

Molecular genetics of a position-specific yeast retrovirus-like element

Michael E. Selsted, M.D., Ph.D.

Host defense systems in phagocytic leukocytes and mucosal epithelium

A.J. Shaka, Ph.D

New techniques in nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy

Lewis M. Slater, MD

Pharmacologic Induction of Tumor Immunity

Moyra Smith, Ph.D.

Genetics of human cancers

Ivan Soltesz, Ph.D.

Function and modulation of synaptic GABAA receptor

Eric J. Stanbridge, Ph.D.

Tumor suppressor genes and oncogenes in human cancer

Ming Tan, M.D.

Gene expression and pathogenesis in Chlamydia trachomatis

Andrzej Tarnawski, M.D.

Angiogenesis and repair of injured gastric mucosa; pathophysiology of portal hypertensive gastric mucosa; NSAID’s interference with wound healing

Bruce J. Tromberg, Ph.D.

Optical spectroscopy in cells and tissues

Luis P. Villarreal, Ph.D.

Tissue-specific viral and cellular gene expression; viral vectors

Ping Wang, M.D.

Role of IGF I and insulin in heart disease; clinical aspects of diabetes complications

Marian L. Waterman, Ph.D.

Regulation of gene expression by LEF/TCF transcription factors and the armadillo repeat protein beta-catenin

John H. Weiss, M.D., Ph.D.

Mechanisms of neurodegeneration - in vitro study

Quon-Yong Zhou, Ph.D.

Signaling of the dopamine system