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Shaping the Future

UCLA-Caltech Medical Scientist Training Program

History of the MSTP at UCLA

The NIH funded MSTP at UCLA was established in 1983. Since that time, 119 students have graduated from the program and 91 students are currently enrolled. The vast majority of alumni who have completed their postgraduate training are actively involved in biomedical research as physician-scientists at outstanding research institutions across the country. Our students have received their PhD degrees in traditional biomedical research fields, in engineering and chemistry, in philosophy, and in health policy through the RAND Corporation graduate program.

In 1997, an affiliation was formed with the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) , which made it possible for an average of two students each year to perform their PhD thesis research at this world-renowned research institution. Founded in 1891, the mission of Caltech is to expand human knowledge and benefit society through research integrated with education. Located in Pasadena, 25 miles east of UCLA, Caltech has been home to 32 Nobel laureates, and has fostered fundamental discoveries including the discovery of the chemical bond by Linus Pauling in the 1930s, the discovery of the positron by Carl Anderson in 1934, and the discovery of quarks by Murray Gell-Man in the 1960s, along with central discoveries by Thomas Hunt Morgan, George Beadle and Max Delbruck from the 1930s through the 1960s that have formed the basis of much of modern molecular biology. Although the MSTP represented the first formal affiliation between UCLA and Caltech, the success of the combined UCLA-Caltech MSTP spearheaded and served as a model for several other joint efforts that benefit from the complementary strengths of the two institutions, including the Specialized Training and Advanced Research (STAR) fellowship program for physician-scientists, and the Institute for Molecular Medicine .

Directors of the MSTP

Kelsey Martin, MD, PhD and Stephen Smale, PhD currently direct the UCLA-Caltech MSTP. Drs. Martin and Smale run active research programs in molecular neurobiology and immunology , respectively. They became co-directors of the program in 2005 and are devoted to providing guidance and support to students throughout their MSTP training. Dr. Stanley G. Korenman, the founding director of the program, serves as associate director of the program. Dr. Paul Patterson serves as the associate director of the MSTP at Caltech. The MSTP benefits substantially from generous financial support from the National Institutes of Health, the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, and Caltech, and from the participation of its Executive and Admissions Committees.

UCLA-Caltech Medical Scientist Training Program website

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