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NIH-Sponsored Track

Photo of William A. Faubion, M.D.

NIH-Sponsored Track Associate Program Director William A. Faubion, M.D.

If you are interested in a career with an even greater emphasis on medical research, a 3 1/2-year track is offered. The National Institutes of Health (NIH)-Sponsored Track prepares fellows for independent investigation careers in academic gastroenterology. Through the ongoing Digestive Diseases, Multidisciplinary Training grant at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., the NIH funds two-year projects in clinical and bench research.

This allows fellows to pursue a focused research experience within digestive diseases, broadly encompassing projects relative to cell biology, molecular biology, physiology or human investigations.

The overall objective of the NIH-Sponsored Track is to train highly qualified individuals for independent academic careers in research in the enteric and hepatic sciences. Mayo Clinic uses a multidisciplinary integrated approach involving faculty representatives from clinical and basic disciplines.

This track, therefore, combines 24 months of dedicated research experience with 18 months of clinical training. Within this track, you may participate in patient-oriented research projects and obtain a clinical research master's degree or perform disease-oriented, laboratory-based investigation. Opportunities exist to work with faculty investigators from the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology or from other areas of Mayo Clinic.

Sample curriculum

Area Length
Colonoscopy 2 months
Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) 1 month
Liver transplant service 1 month
Bleeding team 1.5 months
Complex endoscopy 1.5-2 months
Nutrition 2 weeks
Hepatobiliary clinic 2 months
Pancreas clinic 1 week
Esophageal clinic 1 week
Colorectal neoplasia clinic 1 week
Motility clinic 2 weeks
Miscellaneous GI testing 2 weeks
Inflammatory bowel disease clinic 1 month
GI clinic 1 month
Hospital consults 2 months
Hospital primary service 2 months
Elective 2 weeks
Research 24 months
Total 42 months

The actual curriculum may vary slightly among fellows and often changes from year to year based on feedback from faculty and fellows.

Research training

The primary objective of this NIH-Sponsored Track is to better prepare fellows to function as independent research investigators. Since the awarding of the initial training grant in enteric sciences to Mayo Clinic in 1966, the objective of this track has been to provide in-depth research training to qualified individuals to prepare them for independent academic careers.

Trainees are introduced to a large number of investigative techniques, which they are expected to understand, master and apply to their particular project under the close supervision of an established investigator and in conjunction with experienced research technicians and other research fellows supported by other sources. Independence is encouraged, creativity fostered and emphasis given to a total research experience.

Although there have been modifications in faculty and facilities during the 40 years in which this training program has existed, the objective and general approach articulated above have remained unchanged.

Indeed, the soundness of this approach is supported by these general points:

  • Nearly 75 percent of individuals who completed training in this track in the past 10 years hold full-time faculty positions at universities or medical schools.
  • Many of these individuals have gone on to achieve prominence in academic gastroenterology, as evidenced by memberships on national or international committees, election to prestigious societies, and positions as directors of academic divisions or departments.
  • May 5, 2014
  • ART037890