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Advisory Structure

Basic Science Mentor – The trainee’s thesis or laboratory advisor also serves as the Basic Science Mentor for the Vanderbilt Program in Molecular Medicine. In addition to supervision of the trainee’s progress on his or her thesis project, the Basic Science Mentor assists with the integration of the trainee’s basic science and clinical research goals. The Basic Science Mentor also attends, whenever possible, program events, including the orientation sessions, monthly seminars and program retreat.

Clinical Mentor – The Clinical Mentor is selected based on complementary research interests between the trainee and the clinician. The Clinical Mentor meets regularly, either individually with the trainee, or jointly with the trainee and the Basic Science Mentor, to discuss ideas and strategies for incorporation of basic science and clinically relevant research within the trainee’s thesis project. The Clinical Mentor is also responsible for directing the trainee towards appropriate clinical conferences and seminars, as well as facilitating arrangement of clinical experiences. The Clinical Mentor also participates in program activities and frequently attends the trainee’s thesis or advisory committee meetings.

Both the Clinical and the Basic Science Mentor are required to review and approve any didactic units a trainee wishes to enroll in. Both mentors also review trainee reports on clinical experiences and conference attendance.

Program Committee – The Program Committee is comprised of the Program Director, the co-Directors and members of the Executive Committee. The Program Committee meets individually with participating trainees and communicates with their Basic Science and Clinical Mentors semi-annually to review progress and provide oversight.



A web-based program management software, developed specifically for the Vanderbilt Program in Molecular Medicine, allows students to submit experience summaries and reports, as well as their choices for program activities online. Mentors are automatically notified to review and approve these selections electronically. In addition to facilitating communication, this automated system permits students, postdocs, mentors and program leadership to stay informed of the current status of trainees’ progress.