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University of Iowa News Release

 

Oct. 25, 2007

Doris Duke Charitable Foundation renews UI clinical research fellowship program

The University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine has received $600,000 in renewed funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation for its fellowship program designed to give medical students the opportunity to conduct clinical research.

The Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellowship program is open to medical students from the UI and other schools across the country. The program began at the UI Carver College of Medicine in 2001 with a $625,000 grant from the DDCF, one of only 10 such awards given to top medical schools. The college received a three-year, $500,000 renewal for the program in 2004.

This year, the foundation expanded the program to include 12 schools, with grants totaling $9 million. The $600,000 awarded to the UI will support the program for the next three years.

The fellowship allows students to take a one-year break from their formal medical education to pursue a clinical research project with a UI faculty mentor who offers research experience and insight into life as an academic physician-scientist. Students can pursue the fellowships after completing at least two years of medical school, returning to their studies after the fellowship year. The competitive program accepts five to 10 students a year, awarding each student a stipend and funds to attend two academic conferences.

The program focuses on clinical research -- studies that enlist volunteers and patients to assess new treatments, chart the course of disease, identify health risk factors, or improve health care delivery. Since it involves human subjects, clinical research carries special ethical and regulatory considerations; therefore, teaching students about these issues is an important facet of the fellowship program.

"This is an excellent program designed to give medical students an opportunity to experience an in-depth, mentored clinical research project," said Peg Nopoulos, M.D., program director and UI professor of psychiatry. "Given the diminishing numbers of physician-scientists, the program's ultimate goal is to allow students to see what a great career academic medicine is and to assist them in pursuing a career as a physician-scientist."

In addition to the UI, medical schools participating in the Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellowship program include Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons; Harvard Medical School; Mount Sinai School of Medicine; University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine; University of North Carolina Medical School at Chapel Hill; University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine; University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center; Washington University School of Medicine; Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine; and Yale University School of Medicine.

Applications for the 2008-09 fellowship year are due in January. For more information about the UI Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellowship Program, visit http://www.healthcare.uiowa.edu/programs/dorisduke/. To learn more about the national program and other initiatives, visit the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation Web site at http://www.ddcf.org/.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Health Science Relations, 5139 Westlawn, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1178

MEDIA CONTACT: David Pedersen, 319-335-8032, david-pedersen@uiowa.edu; Writer: Brandy Huseman