News Release

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

NIH launches Medical Research Scholars Program

A new Medical Research Scholars Program for medical and dental students will begin in September 2012 in Bethesda, Md., the National Institutes of Health has announced. The program will offer research experiences with intramural investigators from across NIH in basic science laboratories, and in clinical and translational research conducted at the NIH Clinical Center, the world's largest hospital dedicated to patient-oriented research.

The program is made possible through a partnership with the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health supported by a grant from Pfizer Inc and contributions from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

“Medical discoveries of tomorrow depend on the students we train today,” said NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D. “This program will help ensure that there is a steady pipeline of scientists conducting the full range of biomedical research. The program will offer a broad range of exceptional research opportunities, exposure to cutting edge technology, and critical policy issues for promising students.”

The Medical Research Scholars Program builds upon the long history that the NIH intramural program has had in preparing clinician-scientists for leadership roles in biomedical research and incorporates the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)-NIH Research Scholars Program and the NIH Clinical Research Training Program (CRTP). The HHMI-NIH Research Scholars Program has historically focused on research in the basic sciences. CRTP participants engage in clinical and translational research. Basic, clinical, and translational research will be part of the Medical Research Scholars Program.

“Pfizer has a long tradition of supporting medical education and is proud to support the NIH Clinical Center, one of the most important teaching and research hospitals in the world,” said Freda Lewis-Hall, M.D., executive vice president and chief medical officer of Pfizer Inc. “Those who benefit from the Medical Research Scholars Program will gain special insight into many conditions where further research and greater medical understanding are urgently needed.”

Program applications will be accepted Oct. 1, 2011 through mid-January 2012. About 40 students are expected to be admitted during the program’s first year. The goal is to accept up to 70 students as the program grows.

Support for students selected for the program includes a stipend and resources for education enrichment, such as travel to scientific meetings. There will be a curriculum in clinical protocol development and the conduct of human subjects research, along with seminars focusing on basic and laboratory studies and their translation into clinical protocols.

“HHMI is pleased to have an ongoing role in this important NIH initiative,” said Robert Tjian, president of the Institute. “Our support will enable NIH to continue a long-running seminar series that brings these clinician-scientists into contact with leading researchers from around the nation. These opportunities—coupled with the experience of working in an NIH lab—can inspire a lifelong commitment to research.”

About the Howard Hughes Medical Institute: The Howard Hughes Medical Institute plays a powerful role in advancing scientific research and education in the United States. Its scientists, located across the United States and around the world, have made important discoveries that advance both human health and our fundamental understanding of biology. The Institute also aims to transform science education into a creative, interdisciplinary endeavor that reflects the excitement of real research.

Pfizer Inc: Working together for a healthier world™: At Pfizer, we apply science and our global resources to improve health and well-being at every stage of life. We strive to set the standard for quality, safety and value in the discovery, development and manufacturing of medicines for people and animals. Our diversified global health care portfolio includes human and animal biologic and small molecule medicines and vaccines, as well as nutritional products and many of the world’s best-known consumer products. Every day, Pfizer colleagues work across developed and emerging markets to advance wellness, prevention, treatments and cures that challenge the most feared diseases of our time. Consistent with our responsibility as the world’s leading biopharmaceutical company, we also collaborate with healthcare professionals, governments and local communities to support and expand access to reliable, affordable health care around the world. For more than 150 years, Pfizer has worked to make a difference for all who rely on us. To learn more about our commitments, please visit us at

About the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health: The Foundation for the National Institutes of Health was established by the United States Congress to support the mission of the National Institutes of Health—improving health through scientific discovery. The Foundation identifies and develops opportunities for innovative public-private partnerships involving industry, academia, and the philanthropic community. A non-profit, 501(c) (3) corporation, the Foundation raises private-sector funds for a broad portfolio of unique programs that complement and enhance NIH priorities and activities. The Foundation’s Web site address is

About the NIH Clinical Center: The NIH Clinical Center is the 240 bed clinical research hospital for the National Institutes of Health. Through clinical research, clinician-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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