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A Message from the Director

We are pleased with your interest into the MD/PhD Program at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. We are seeking applicants who are committed to becoming physician-scientists and who wish to conduct rigorous, hypothesis-driven laboratory or population-based research into some of the most vexing biomedical problems we face, including: cancer, cardiovascular disease, aging, infectious diseases, obesity and diabetes, neurological/psychiatric disorders and neurodegenerative diseases, and others. The MD/PhD Program is producing outstanding physician-scientists by providing an integrated, cohesive educational experience in which both the MD and PhD degrees are earned in a single continuous and integrated enrollment. It is expected that graduates of this program will have the rigorous research and clinical training necessary to ensure successful and productive careers as physician-scientists in leadership positions in academic medicine, in public and private research institutions, and/or in the pharmaceutical/biotechnology industries.

We want applicants who have a passion for biomedical investigation and inquiry, and who wish to translate biomedical discoveries into medical advances. Our institution has graduated clinician scientists with dual MD and PhD degrees since 1980, and we now have a vibrant MD/PhD program with 35-40 students enrolling 5 students per year. We benefit from the rich environment fostered by the NIH sponsored Clinical Translational Science Award (CTSA), one of 60 in the country, demonstrating the intensive nature of the biomedical research environment at our University.

Our institution strongly believes in the mentoring values expressed in the AAMC compact between Biomedical Graduate Students and their Research Advisors (2008). We ensure that students who complete our program "are well-trained and possess the foundational skills and values that will allow them to mature into independent scientific professionals of integrity." Our MD/PhD Advisory Committee provides for oversight of "the length of study, program integrity, stipend levels, benefits, grievance procedures, and other matters relevant to the education" for students. We also acknowledge and reward excellence in mentoring by our MD/PhD training faculty, and our MD/PhD program instructs "students with the skills necessary to function independently in a scientific setting by the time they graduate." We strive to offer scientifically relevant courses and research opportunities with clear parameters for outcomes assessment, while closely monitoring the progress of MD/PhD students during their course of study.

On behalf of the MD/PhD Advisory Committee, faculty and students, I invite you to consider training in our MD/PhD program at the University of Texas Health Science Center. Please feel free to contact me if you have additional questions about our training program.

José E. Cavazos, M.D., Ph.D
Professor and Assistant Dean for the MD/PhD Program
School of Medicine and Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio