News Release

Friday, November 7, 2008

Forum for Students Focuses on Clinical Research Advances, Opportunities

Nearly 350 medical and dental students from 78 U.S. academic medical centers visited the National Institutes of Health Nov. 6-7 for the sixth annual Clinical Investigator Student Trainee Forum in Bethesda, Md.

"This forum offers the next generation of clinician-scientists an intensive educational experience that will help prepare them for careers in clinical and translational research that will lead to medical discoveries," said John I. Gallin, M.D., director of the NIH Clinical Center and host of the forum. "Experts from across NIH and the nation will cover biomedical advances and address practical aspects of career development in clinical research, including the importance of mentoring." Attendees will also get an in-depth look at the NIH Clinical Center, the clinical research hospital at NIH.

The keynote speaker was Ralph Snyderman, M.D., chancellor emeritus at Duke University and James B. Duke professor of medicine. Dr. Snyderman was dean of the medical school at Duke from 1989-1998 and oversaw the development of the Duke University Health System, serving as its first president and chief executive officer.

Illustrating the importance of mentoring in students' training in clinical research, one session referenced a multi-year clinical research study on tuberculosis conducted in South Africa. Gerald H. Friedland, M.D., professor of medicine, epidemiology, and public health at Yale University School of Medicine, is the lead investigator and was a member of a panel that included four of his protégées at various stages in their training. "The work done by members of the Friedland team is an excellent example of how senior clinicians nurture and enrich their students' educational experiences," noted Frederick P. Ognibene, M.D., director of the Office of Clinical Research Training and Medical Education at the Clinical Center.

Student participants included Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)-NIH research scholars and HHMI medical fellows; Doris Duke Charitable Foundation clinical research fellows; students sponsored by National Center for Research Resources /Clinical and Translational Science Awards programs; NIH Clinical Research Training Program fellows; Sarnoff Cardiovascular Research Foundation fellows; Applied Epidemiology Fellowship participants at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Fogarty International Clinical Research Scholars; and the NIH M.D./Ph.D. Partnership Training Program fellows.

The NIH Clinical Center (CC) is the clinical research hospital for the National Institutes of Health. Through clinical research, physician-investigators translate laboratory discoveries into better treatments, therapies and interventions to improve the nation's health. For more information, visit

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit

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