Master of Science in Clinical Investigation

The need to advance healthcare through innovative practice and therapy, to address the myriad of diseases and health-related issues, is a never-ending quest of the healthcare profession. Implementation of a bench-to-bedside-to-community approach, or referred to as clinical and translational research, is a mechanism for bench science to inform clinical and community practice and where the bedside and community can inspire future scientific inquiry. However, there is an insufficient number of physician-scientists, clinical educators, and biomedical scientists able to apply this approach. Vanderbilt University School of Medicine (VUSM) developed the Master of Science in Clinical Investigation (MSCI) with the purpose of educating and equipping burgeoning physician-scientists, clinical educators, and research scientists with an array of clinical and translational research skills applicable to a variety of biomedical specialties. The MSCI program furthers the education of those who aspire to benefit the health of human society through a career in academic medicine.

Outcomes in clinical and translational research, such as peer-reviewed publications and acquired grant funding, are used to evaluate MSCI program efficacy in educating and equipping future physician-scientists, clinical educators, and research scientists. Academic year 2016-17 outcomes are highlighted below:

  • The mean average of post-matriculation publications for 2016-2017 candidates was 3.6 (M= 3.6) prior to graduation. Further, two candidates secured federal grant funding prior to graduation—Maame Yiadom (NIH K23) and Katherine Bachmann (VA CDA).
  • At the conclusion of the 2016-17 academic year, the MSCI program celebrated T. Alp Ikizler’s 11-year tenure as the Program Director. During Dr. Ikizler’s leadership, the MSCI program established a mentored research apprenticeship for each candidate and created the MSCI Diversity Scholarship to encourage under-represented minorities in medicine to pursue careers in patient-oriented research.
  • Other activities within the MSCI program included succession planning for the next MSCI Program Director. Eric D. Austin, a 2008 graduate of MSCI, assumed the leadership role of Program Director on July 1, 2017. 

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