The ITS supports three degree programs through the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.
- Graduate education for health care professionals is offered through the Clinical Science Program (PhD or MS)
- For the aspiring translational scientists, the Human Pathophysiology and Translational Medicine Program (PhD)
- For clinicians wishing to perform biomedical research, the Master in Medical Science Program (MMS)
The Human Pathophysiology and Translational Medicine (HPTM) Ph.D. program at The University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) is a new graduate program housed at the Institute for Translational Sciences (ITS), which includes a new NIH-funded Institutional Clinical and Translational Science Award (ICTSA). The program is designed to train highly skilled biomedical translational researchers who possess an integrated understanding of the mechanistic pathophysiology of human diseases, and the methodological and teamwork skills necessary to translate basic scientific knowledge into improvements in health care. These objectives are achieved by engaging HPTM students in an innovative educational curriculum driven by the development and evaluation of defined competencies. The pedagogic methodology of the program involves students in experiences and situations that are those of the professional practice of translational scientists, while promoting the development of skills necessary for autonomous learning. Mentoring is provided by members of the research organizational units of the ITS [Multidisciplinary Translational Teams (MTTs)] which are composed of basic science and clinical faculty.
In the HPTM Program, you will:
- Learn about human disease in collaboration with medical students in selected medical school courses.
- Work in small groups that foster creative problem solving and team-building as part of a rigorous education in human physiology and pathology.
- Observe patients with diseases in your area of research interest through a clinical encounters program.
- Work as part of a multidisciplinary translational team for laboratory rotations and dissertation research, co-mentored by basic scientist and clinical faculty.
- Develop skills needed for autonomous, life-long learning.
- Focus on developing practical skills for a successful translational science career.
- Obtain qualities needed to become a leader in the expanding field of translational research.
Is the HPTM program for you? Look at the following information:
Graduate Program Director: Mark Hellmich, Ph.D.
Curriculum development: Gustavo Valbuena, M.D., Ph.D. and Judy Aronson, M.D.
Application and Admission:
Interested students should complete the standard UTMB Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS) application form, and check the box for the HPTM program. Qualified students will be directly admitted into HPTM program and will engage in the unique HPTM curriculum immediately upon matriculation.
Students selected for graduate assistantships receive an initial stipend of $27,000 plus paid tuition and fees and health insurance coverage. Graduate assistantships are only available to US citizens and permanent residents (green card holders). Dental insurance is also available for a small charge. For more information, click here or contact the HPTM program director at firstname.lastname@example.org .
The Graduate Program in Clinical Science provides advanced education for health care professionals who wish to conduct research in human subjects and populations. A growing national emphasis on translational research has increased the need for researchers with this career goal. Scientific investigations in humans are essential for understanding human biology and for advancing medicine and human health. This multi-disciplinary graduate program leads to the Ph.D. or M.S. degree. It has enrolled 66 students since 2000, and has 57 graduates and 6 current students. Introductory courses in biostatistics, epidemiology, public health, and research design and methods are required, as well as a seminar course. Additional course work and original research experience is provided within four specialized tracks, two of which are new. A Course Advisory Committee for each student guides the choice of other prescribed courses and electives.
The Clinical Investigation Track (3 current students, 36 graduates) )emphasizes patient-oriented research, including understanding and application of basic biological sciences, laboratory methods used in clinical research, biostatistics, epidemiology, ethics in clinical investigation, design of clinical studies, and new drug development. Graduates will be equipped to translate basic science knowledge to the development of new therapeutic and preventive approaches. This includes research into basic mechanisms of disease and clinical trials of new therapies.
The Health Services Research Track (2 students, 21 graduates) emphasizes methods for assessing and improving the delivery of effective and cost efficient health care, with the aim of enhancing disease prevention, diagnosis and treatment. Advanced education leads to proficiency in biostatistics, clinical epidemiology and survey research, health policy and management, design of observational and evaluative studies, and health care economics. Graduates learn how the organization, delivery and financing of health services influence factors such as costs, health outcomes, access to care, and patient satisfaction.
The Biostatistics Track (1 student) emphasizes statistical and mathematical analysis of biomedical data. Graduates will be able to design and analyze observational and experimental studies. Doctoral level biostatisticians are expected to have knowledge of a wide variety of analytic methods, a deep understanding of the rationale for the use of the methods, and the ability to either employ or develop new methods. Through a sequence of courses, students learn the theory and methods of biostatistics, epidemiology, environmental health, health services and social and behavioral science.
The Health Informatics Track (1 graduate) emphasizes the opportunities posed by the dramatic increase in health care information and its associated technologies. It reflects the increase in large informational databases such as electronic medical records, and their great potential for analyzing stored information for research on improving human health and delivery of cost-effective medical care. Several courses in health information technology are taught through an educational initiative with UT Houston's School of Biomedical Informatics.
The Clinical Science Program may interest a variety of individuals who wish to pursue advanced training in clinical translational research, including junior faculty, senior research fellows, clinical fellows and medical students in the dual degree MD-MS Program or the combined degree M.D.-Ph.D. Program. Graduates are positioned to become future leaders in academic medicine and clinical research. Detailed information is found at the Program website.
Clinical Science Program Administration:
The Program is offered and administered by the Department of Preventive Medicine and Community Health (PMCH) with partial support from the ITS and the CTSA. For further information, contact the ITS Education Office or PMCH.
The Masters of Medical Science (MMS) Program is a flexible and cost-effective academic opportunity to validate, recognize, and enhance the research experience of clinicians wishing to perform biomedical research. The category of clinicians encompasses dentists, veterinarians, and physicians, including residents, fellows, and faculty of UTMB clinical departments. The program is only open to applicants from within the UTMB community.