Program builds a sound foundation for future endeavors
In 1999, during his General Surgery Residency at Mayo Clinic, Patrick G. Dean, M.D., began the Clinician-Investigator Program with a two-year stint in the transplant immunology laboratory with Mark D. Stegall, M.D.
Today, Dr. Dean is a consultant in the Division of Transplantation Surgery and an assistant professor of surgery. His clinical practice focuses on kidney and pancreas transplantation. His research centers on studying the effects of anti-HLA antibodies on transplanted organs through the use of mouse models and kidney biopsies. Dr. Dean also mentors residents in the Clinician-Investigator Program.
A graduate of the University of Alabama School of Medicine, Dr. Dean says that Mayo Clinic was always on his radar. There is a long-standing connection between the University of Alabama School of Medicine and Mayo Clinic, dating back to when John W. Kirklin, M.D., who developed the first commercial heart-lung bypass machine, chaired the Mayo Clinic Department of Surgery. Dr. Kirklin later moved to a similar position in Birmingham, Ala.
"I always thought Mayo Clinic would be a good place to continue my education," says Dr. Dean. "At Mayo, the General Surgery Residency and Clinician-Investigator Program are complementary. The Clinician-Investigator Program isn't mandatory. I chose to become a clinician-investigator because I knew the program would provide a solid basic science experience that would provide a foundation for my future endeavors."
The Mayo experience
The Mayo Clinic Clinician-Investigator Program is unique in that it provides a concentrated research experience under the direction of a mentor who is very involved in monitoring the investigator's research and education.
"The two-year program, and especially Dr. Stegall's mentoring, provided a solid foundation on which to build the research endeavors of my career," says Dr. Dean. "In addition, completion of the program set me apart from other applicants for transplantation surgery fellowships."
"What our team is trying to do in the laboratory today — the reason we get up and do the research every day — is make our kidney transplants last longer. Survival rates haven't really improved over the last two decades. So our overarching theme is to make transplanted kidneys last over time."
Dr. Dean looks forward to mentoring Clinician-Investigator Program participants in his laboratory.
Oct. 26, 2016