Research Training

One of the most significant assets available to trainees at UT Southwestern Medical Center is the extraordinary breadth and richness of opportunities and resources for basic and clinical research.

UT Southwestern is internationally regarded as one of the world’s foremost research institutions and boasts a number of distinguished faculty, including four Nobel laureates, 25 members of the National Academy of Sciences, and 16 members of the National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine). Funding from federal agencies, foundations, companies, and private donors exceeds $240 million per year, which is a testimony to the rigorous scientific discovery and excellence fostered by a highly collaborative, “no-fence” multidisciplinary research environment.

The Infectious Diseases and Geographic Medicine division boasts research strength in diverse areas of scientific inquiry including pathogenesis and treatment of HIV and its complications, TB, hepatitis C, and multi-drug resistant bacterial pathogens. Translational and clinical patient-outcomes research expertise is offered in the areas of healthcare epidemiology, infection prevention and control, antimicrobial stewardship, correctional health, transplant ID, musculoskeletal infections and diagnostic microbiology.

A close collaborative network with the nationally renowned basic science Departments of Microbiology and Immunology provide further research opportunities along with specialized research cores such as the Center for the Genetics of Host Defense.

Research Training Structure

All fellows are strongly encouraged to pursue scholarly activity during their training. A dedicated faculty member will be identified in discussion with the program leadership and trainee who will provide structured mentorship in career development and research activities. For those completing a two-year clinical ID fellowship, those research activities will be primarily conducted during the research elective months during the second year of training (an average of seven to eight months).

Carolina De La Flor, Sheena Knights, Josephine Thinwa and Julie Alexander attending the 2019 Seldin Research Symposium
Infectious Disease Fellows at the 2019 Seldin Research Symposium.

Additionally, following the completion of the required clinical ID training, the program offers an additional one to three years of research training and investigation for interested and qualified trainees. One can pursue basic, translational, or clinical research under the guidance of a research mentor who is identified during the clinical training year. The additional research years may be supported through a T32 NIH Institutional Training Grant. However, additional research support is available through fellow’s application for intra- or extramural support with the help of the faculty mentor or the faculty mentor’s grants for interested and highly committed individuals.

A robust infrastructure is in place to support the training program’s research endeavors. This includes institutional programs such as the Center for Translational Medicine. In addition to the T32 training grant for basic science research, those interested in clinical or translational research are encouraged to consider enrolling in the Masters of Clinical Science. In this curriculum, trainees have an opportunity to learn principles of clinical epidemiology and research trial design while earning a Master’s Degree.

For those interested in transitioning to junior faculty from fellowship, UT Southwestern offers several competitive awards that provide start-up funds for those with demonstrated productivity in clinical or basic research including the Disease-Oriented Clinical Scholars (DOCS) program, the THR Clinical Scholars program, and the Endowed Scholars in Medical Science program.