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Welcome to the University of Illinois College of Medicine

Medical Scientist Training Program

The University of Illinois College of Medicine Medical Scientist Training Program educates exceptional students for careers as physician-scientists.  MD/PhD graduates are positioned to bridge the basic and clinical sciences, and to pursue interdisciplinary approaches to important biomedical problems. Graduates of the MSTP from the University of Illinois College of Medicine routinely gain admission to highly competitive residency programs at premier academic institutions across the country.  Our students typically pursue careers as physician scientists at academic health science centers.  Current students in the MSTP at the University of Illinois College of Medicine have a strong record of receiving individual fellowship support from the NIH and other foundations.  Our program has been supported by a training grant from the National Institute of Health – National Institute of General Medical Sciences since 2007.

About Our Program

In response to the need for accomplished academic medical scientists, the University of Illinois College of Medicine offers a combined training program that leads to both the MD and the PhD degrees. The objective of the MSTP is to train students for careers in academic medicine and research. The MSTP integrates the medical curriculum with graduate studies in the basic medical sciences, public health, bio-engineering and in the College of Pharmacy. Students pursue original research projects in the laboratories of the University’s graduate faculty along with medical studies in the College of Medicine. Students begin the Program without affiliation to a basic science department in order to be exposed to the widest possible opportunities for graduate study and are offered choices in developing their programs of study. During this time, they explore research opportunities in any academic department of the College of Medicine (COM) which organized under an umbrella program known as GEMS (Graduate Education in Bio-Medical Sciences)  and includes research concentrations in the following areas: Cancer Biology, Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Integrative and Translation Physiology, Microbiology, Immunity and Inflammation, Molecular and Structural Biology and Neurobiology, Graduate Program In Neuroscience or in a non-COM department such as Biological Sciences, Bio-Engineering, School of Public Health, and Pharmaceutical Sciences in the College of Pharmacy.

The University of Illinois College of Medicine (UI:COM) is located in the Illinois Medical District and is one of the largest medical schools in the United States.  It offers medical education at three distinct geographic sites:  Chicago, Peoria and Rockford.  The MSTP is located in Chicago.  The extensive clinical and research resources provide both extraordinary and exciting opportunities for the study of medical science.

The UI:COM at Chicago is located two miles from downtown. Housing is affordable in the immediate vicinity of campus. Many students live on campus or within walking distance, although some prefer the cultural opportunities of other neighborhoods. Excellent rail and bus public transportation service the campus from all parts of the city and suburbs.

The University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC)  is the largest institution of higher learning in the Chicago area and major center for international education and research. The 187-acre campus established in 1982 by a merger of the University’s Chicago Circle and Medical Center campuses, is located just one mile southwest of downtown Chicago. It is considered one of the largest and the finest comprehensive research universities in the nation. Research funding granted to UIC faculty, usually through competitive grant programs, has grown at an average annual rate of 15 percent over the past decade. UIC enrolls approximately 25,000 full-time students, and nearly 30 percent of the enrollment is at the graduate and professional levels.

Chicagois a city defined by its diversity of people and places, offers many cultural, educational, and recreational opportunities. Chicago is a hub for medical activities and educational opportunities and prestigious organizations such as the American Medical Association, the American Hospital Association, as well as, many professional societies and specialty boards are headquartered in the metropolitan area.  It is a cosmopolitan, world-class city of approximately seven million people with a rich architectural tradition and renowned cultural institutions such as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Lyric Opera, the Museum of Science and Industry, the Shedd Aquarium,the Field Museum of Natural History,the Adler Planetarium, and the Art Institute of Chicago.  Chicago is well known for its excellent restaurants and vibrant music scene.  In addition, the city offers the  abundant outdoor recreation opportunities in its many neighborhood parks and beaches along Lake Michigan shores. For sports lovers, the famous Chicago Bulls, Bears, White Sox, Cubs, and Blackhawks provide hometown excitement.

MD/PhD graduates from the MSTP at the University of Illinois College of Medicine are ideally trained to identify and pursue interdisciplinary approaches to important bio-medical problems, and to help bridge the basic and clinical sciences.  Compared to other physicians, MD/PhDs stand out for their scientific insights into bedside problems, as innovative champions of progress in medicine, and for their ability to educate succeeding generations of physicians.  Compared to other scientists, MD/PhDs have deeper perceptions of medical significance in biology, greater ability to transfer basic scientific advances toward patient care and a more comprehensive understanding of the limitations in current medical practice.


To address the special educational needs of MD/PhD students and the psychological-emotional problems that can results from particular stresses that occur at various stages of MD/PhD studies, the UIC MSTP has a multi-pronged effort to counsel students to prevent problems occurring in difficult situations of each educational stage and to remediate such problems as quickly as possible if they do occur. This multi-faceted approach relies on three methods of support for all students at all times: (1) The mutual experiences within cohorts bolstered by the strong feelings of camaraderie that are the special feature of our program community, (2) The vertical program integration in the House Advising system where all students have are assigned to an Advising House with a MSTP Program Director and (3) The use of the MSTP  Program Directors, who know the students best and are fully aware of their needs, as first counselors-advisors. To assure a comprehensive meeting of all students’ needs, three types of advising-counseling activities take place throughout each academic year.

  • Cohort-specific meetings to discuss educational issues relevant to that cohort.
  • House Advising which offers vertical integration in the program and opportunities to learn from peers and for social activities
  • Individual meetings with the Director, Dr. Mark Rosenblatt, and Associate Directors, Dr. Patricia Finn and Dr. Dawood Darbar

In addition to these organized, scheduled events, all students are welcome to meet with any or all of the directors at any time to discuss anything on their mind. Strict confidentiality will always be maintained and referrals to more knowledgeable authorities will be made when needed.

For Further Information Contact:

Julie Mann, Director of Program Administration,  Medical Scientist Training Program

By mail: COM Deans’ Office, 131 CMW, MC 784, 1853 W. Polk St. Chicago, Il 60612

In person: 308 Clinical Sciences North, 820 South Wood Street, in Suite 300 next to the yellow elevator

Phone: (312) 996-7473, FAX Number: (312) 413-8221, Email: [email protected]