GI Research Track Fellowship

The Gastroenterology Research-Track Fellowship Program offers comprehensive training to produce competent, independent, board-certified physician-investigators after a three-year tenure. Fellows in this track can pursue either clinical / translational research or basic science investigation. Areas of research strength include nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, liver fibrosis, portal hypertension, drug-induced liver injury, and chronic liver disease. Currently, we accept one fellow per year for this track.

Overall Training

Fellows in the Research Track can pursue either clinical research or laboratory-based (basic science) investigation. Overall training is tailored to the individual trainee to ensure that superior clinical and research training in GI / Liver is achieved. Research Fellows are required to spend at least 18 months on clinical rotations at MUSC and the RHJ VAMC to ensure that they are exposed to a variety of GI / Liver cases and achieve clinical competence in core training and skills. They will spend the remaining 18 months (or more, if appropriate to their training situation) on research, either clinical or laboratory-based.

All Research Fellows are required to attend didactic sessions (tailored towards GI training and board examinations) that are scheduled regularly throughout the academic year, monthly journal clubs, weekly GI Grand Rounds, and GI clinical research seminar series. Other educational / training activities include Histopathology, Radiology, Transplant, IBD, Pancreato-Biliary conferences.

Specific Training in Research

  1. Core methodological skills in the design and execution of research
  2. Structured, mentored research experience under the guidance of Senior GI Research and Associated Faculty

Goals / Expectations

  • Basic Science Fellows are expected to successfully execute a hypothesis-driven laboratory-based research project and are encouraged to enroll or attend relevant basic science training courses.
  • Clinical Research Fellows are expected to complete 3 related projects:
    • A meta-analysis (Year 1)
    • A secondary (retrospective) data set analysis (Year 2)
    • Design and execution of a prospective study (Years 1-3)
  • Clinical Research Fellows are also encouraged to obtain a master’s degree in clinical research.
  • Fellows are also expected to work with Mentors to prepare a career development award application (Year 3) and apply for research funding soon after completion of Fellowship and be appointed to a tenure-track Faculty position that is devoted primarily to research.

Timeline

Prospective trainees are required to identify a mentor and an area of research during their first 6 months of GI fellowship. Research track fellows will have up to a total of 18 months of protected research time during the standard 3-year fellowship time frame.

Basic Science: most of the research will be expected to be conducted in Years 2 and 3 of the standard 3-year fellowship time frame
Clinical Research: introduction to clinical research in Year 1 and execution of research in Year 2 and 3

*We would encourage additional research training for those interested in a career with a larger emphasis in research (e.g. academic investigator or academic clinician track)

Performance Reviews

In addition to attending regular meetings with Research Mentors, Fellows will undergo formal research evaluations every 3 months. This will involve presentations and submission of written reports to the Fellowship Research Committee.

Resources

MUSC-SCTR
P30 Digestive Disease Research Core Center (DDRCC)
P20 MUSC Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) in Digestive & Liver Disease (CDLD)

Faculty

Our multi-disciplinary faculty includes expert biostatisticians, epidemiologists, economists, and translational, clinical, and outcomes researchers from the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Medicine, the School of Public Health, and members of the Ralph H Johnson VA Charleston Health Equity and Rural Outreach Innovation Center (COIN).

How to Apply:

Our program participates in the ERAS Electronic Application. Applications to the program are accepted until August 31. Interviews are held in September and October and are through invitation only.

Application Requirements Via ERAS:

  • Completed ERAS Application
  • CV
  • Personal Statement
  • Three letters of recommendation