All trainees should complete at least 10 months of a research experience. This can be in any of a number of areas, including:
- Hospital epidemiology and infection control
- Clinical research in HIV – therapeutics trials, adherence interventions, and translational research such as ex vivo apoptosis and immune reconstitution with HAART.
- Clinical trials in Transplantation
- Epithelial cell biology
Fellows are introduced to faculty research early in the course of their training. Even before beginning the fellowship, new fellows are given a list of faculty publications that demonstrate the research activities of the sections at each of the training sites. Faculty research presentations are incorporated into the conference schedule. Fellows listen to short research program summaries by each faculty member interested in mentoring a fellow at an annual Research Fair. After that fair, the fellows are expected to select a mentor or group of potential mentors for their research program. In some cases the faculty may recommend that the trainee, because of individual interests, may be better suited for training with a mentor outside of the section. Once a mentor is selected, the fellow must write a short proposal for review by the Fellowship Committee. The committee will assess whether or not the proposal is likely to result in generation of significant new information in the period of time allotted for research for each fellow. Fellows will present their research at least once during the second year of fellowship at a special Thursday PM Conference: Fellow Research Presentation. It is the goal of the program to have all fellows submit an abstract to a national or international meeting, present that data at the meeting, and subsequently prepare a manuscript for publication.
Clinical Research Training
The trainees are expected to perform clinical research under the guidance of faculty, attend relevant research meetings, present their results at a scientific meeting, and author or co-author at least one paper resulting from their research. Trainees receive written evaluations of their progress and research skills from their preceptors. The fellows will have a number of different lectures and experiences that will assure success in their research efforts, including the sessions on study design and biostatistics during journal club, faculty research presentations, and the lectures on research given by the Department of Medicine. The responsibility for training in research is also held by the Program Director, Fellowship Committee, and the research mentor.