Surgical residents in the UF Department of Surgery have the unique opportunity to take time away from their clinical responsibilities after the completion of their PGY2 year to gain experience and training in the basic sciences. Typically, the residents have a choice to matriculate onto either of two NIH National Research Service Award T32 Postdoctoral Training Grants that are dedicated to training surgeon scientists in the basic sciences.
The first T32 Training grant, “Molecular Biology and Gene Therapy in Burns and Trauma,” (T32 GM08431) is currently held by Lyle L. Moldawer, Ph.D. while the second training grant, “Surgical Oncology Training,” (T32 CA106493) is currently held by Kevin E. Behrns, M.D. In addition to the stipend, travel, training expenses, education and financial support they provide, the T32 Training Grants also provide an unparalleled opportunity to develop a basic science skill set during this prodigious experience. The research experience surgical residents gain at the University of Florida provides a solid foundation for fellowships, professorships and funding opportunities at the highest national levels.
Furthermore, residents who choose to enter the laboratory may also elect to enroll in a doctoral degree program through the Interdisciplinary Program in the Biomedical Sciences, in the UF College of Medicine. This option is only attainable after approval by the chair, program director, and vice chair of research in the Department of Surgery one year prior to entering the laboratory setting. Residents who choose this option are required to complete three years of research in the laboratory compared to the standard two-year commitment. To date, three individuals have earned doctoral degrees over the last five years with one individual currently enrolled in the program.
As part of their overall training, all residents, even those who do not train in a laboratory for two years, are required to be involved in a research project and present and publish at least one paper.