Massachusetts General Hospital was awarded an R25 grant through the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in Fall 2019. Residents started the inaugural year in the Mass General Next-Gen PSTP program in July 2020. The program is led by Program Director Jay Vyas, MD, PhD (Medicine) in tandem with Program Manager Rebecca Ward, PhD (Medicine) and an Internal Steering Committee including Stephen Calderwood, MD (Medicine; chair), Marcia Goldberg, MD (Medicine), Deborah Hung, MD, PhD (Broad Institute), Joren Madsen, MD, DPhil (Surgery), and Bruce Walker, MD (Ragon Institute).
The Mass General Next-Gen PSTP’s mission is to train residents to be physician-scientist who can advance medical science in infectious diseases and immunology from basic science to clinical investigation. The program brings together the Departments of Medicine and Surgery to provide a research mechanism for up to 3 interested residents per year.
Mass General has been at the forefront of medical and scientific innovation. The research budget at Mass General exceeded $1B in 2019, making Mass General home to the largest hospital-based research program in the United States. While this alone affords one a wide array of options, a key feature of the Mass General Next-Gen PSTP program enables those who have not previously had expansive research opportunities previously or would like to learn new techniques/enter a different field to have protected research time. This NIH-funded program will provide protected time for individuals interested in pursuing medical research who may not have had an opportunity to gain necessary skills in the past or are moving into a new area of research. Infectious diseases and immunology continue to be areas of pivotal importance in health care research. This program focuses primarily in 4 research areas:  Viral Pathogenesis,  Host-Pathogen Interactions,  Decision Science/Cost Effectiveness and  Transplant Immunology. Participants may elect to conduct research in one lab or rotate through 2-3 labs to learn about different scientific questions in infectious diseases and immunology.
Mass General Next-Gen PSTP Structure
Mass General Next-Gen PSTP is designed to attract, train and retain physicians in biomedical investigation at one of the most critical juncture of their career—residency training. To accomplish this, we provide the opportunity to devote 12 months to research during residency to provide the necessary mentorship and professional development critical to succeed as a physician-scientist.
Residents are expected to put 90% effort towards closely mentored, independent research projects in an NIAID-funded lab, with 10% effort towards ambulatory clinic for internal medicine residents. At the beginning of the program, each participant will develop an individual development plan for their time in the program and beyond. Residents will meet weekly with their faculty mentor to discuss their research progress and professional development. In addition, Dr. Vyas and the Internal Steering Committee will meet twice annually with each resident.
Residents can tailor the program to develop research skills and professional development skills. All participants are required to complete Mass General Brigham Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) curriculum and at least one course in biostatistics, grant writing and scientific communication each. Participants will have the opportunity to take courses offered through the Harvard Catalyst, Mass General Office of Research Career Development and Harvard Medical School. Participation in scientific meetings is highly encouraged at the institutional level (e.g. Joint Harvard-Wide Infectious Disease Research Seminar series or Mass General Annual Resident-Research Day) and international level.
Participants will receive a stipend according to the Mass General Brigham PGY scale for the research year. Additionally, selected residents will have $10,000 to use towards supplies, courses and travel expenses. The program will start on July 1st and last a year, with the option to re-apply for a second year.
The Departments of Medicine and Surgery's Next-Gen PSTP at Massachusetts General Hospital recruits residents from both departments to dedicate a year to research.
Participating Residents 2021-2022
Claire de Crescenzo, MD (Department of Surgery)Project title: Prevention and Eradication of Graft Infection and Ischemic Wounds in a Murine Model
Mentor: Laurence Rahme, PhD (Department of Surgery at MGH)
Education: BS in Anthropology, University of California, Los Angeles (2011); MD, University of California, Davis (2016)
Clinical and Research Interests: Vascular surgery, quality and safety in surgery, equity
Future Plans: Vascular Surgery Fellowship
David Lee, MD, MPH (Department of Medicine)Project title: Understanding the Immunological, Genomic, and Epidemiological Links Between Race, Obesity, and Multiple Myeloma and its Precursor States
Mentor: Irene Ghobrial, MD (Medical Oncology at DFCI/HMS)
Education: BA, University of California, Berkeley (2010); MD, Harvard Medical School (2019); MPH, Harvard Medical School (2017); MMSc, Harvard Medical School (2019
Clinical and Research Interests: Hematologic malignancies, molecular biomarkers, cancer prevention, and global health
Future Plans: Hematology/Oncology Fellowship
Cynthia Miller, MD (Department of Surgery)
Project title: Induction of Long-Term Heart and Lung Allograft Tolerance in Non-Human Primates
Mentor: Joren Madsen, MD, DPhil (Transplant Surgery at Mass General)
Education: BS in Biology, Boston College (2010); MD, Harvard Medical School (2017)
Clinical and Research Interests: Mechanisms of immune tolerance, cardiothoracic transplantation, thoracic oncology
Future Plans: Cardiothoracic Surgery Fellowship
Rachel Wolfson, MD, PhD (Department of Medicine)
Project title: Defining the Sensory Innervation of the Gastrointestinal Tract
Mentor: David Ginty, PhD (Department of Neuroscience at Harvard Medical School)
Education: BS, Stanford University (2011); PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2017); MD, Harvard Medical School (2019)
Clinical and Research Interests: GI, sensation, neuroscience
Future Plans: GI Fellowship
Taylor Coe, MD (Department of Surgery, 2020-2021)
Project title: Liver Xenotransplantation Using Genetically Modified Pigs
Mentor: James Markmann, MD, PhD (Department of Transplant Surgery at Mass General)
Education: BS in Neuroscience, University of California, San Diego (2011); MD, University of California, San Diego (2016)
Clinical and Research Interests: Organ Transplantation
Future Plans: Abdominal Transplantation Fellowship
Accomplishments of MGH Next-Gen StARR Recipients
- Haque O, Raigani S, Rosales I, Carroll C, Coe TM, Baptista S, Yeh H, Uygun K, Delmonico FL, Markmann JF. Thrombolytic therapy during ex-vivo normothermic machine perfusion of human livers reduces peribiliary vascular plexus injury. Front Surg. 2021 Jun 17; 8:644859. PMID: 34222314.
- Miller CL, Madsen JC. IL-6 directed therapy in transplantation. Curr Transplant Rep. 2021 Jun 3:1-14. PMID: 34099967.
- Yuan Q, Haque O, Coe TM, Markmann JF. The heterogeneous effect of COVID-19 on liver transplantation activity and waitlist mortality in the United States. Front Surg. 2021 May 18; 8:669129. PMID: 34095209.
- Serifis N, Matheson R, Cloonan D, Rickert CG, Markmann JF, Coe TM. Machine perfusion of the liver: a review of clinical trials. Front Surg. 2021, 8:625394. PMID: 33842530.
- Coe TM, Tanaka M, Bethea ED, D’Alessandro DA, Kimura S, Yeh H, Markmann JF. Liver transplantation with suprahepatic caval anastomosis including inferior vena cava stent. Transplant Rep. 2020; 5(4):100062. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tpr.2020.100062
- Coe TM, Markmann JF, Rickert CG. Current status of porcine islet xenotransplantation. Curr Opin Organ Transplant. 2020 Oct; 25(5):449-456. PMID: 32773503.
- Choi S, Hachisuka J, Brett MA, Magee AR, Omori Y, Iqbal NU, Zhang D, DeLisle MM, Wolfson RL, Bai L, Santiago C, Gong S, Goulding M, Heintz N, Koerber HR, Ross SE, Ginty DD. Parallel ascending spinal pathways for affective touch and pain. Nature. 2020 Nov;587(7833):258-263. PMID: 33116307.
Miller CL, Ahrens KJ, O JM, Patel PM, Morrissette JA, Becerra D, Costa T, Dehnadi A, Hanekamp IM, Benichou G, Madsen JC. Effects of IL-2 and/ or anti-IL6R therapy on long-term cardiac allograft survival in non-human primates (NHPs). Poster presentation at American Transplant Congress; June 2021.
Wolfson RL, Abdelaziz A, Qi L, Choi S, Ginty DD. CGRP-expressing peptidergic nociceptors innervate the colon and mediate responses to distension. MGH Resident Research Day; Boston, MA; May 2021.
Coe TM. Virtual student-transplant patient interactions empower patients and enhance student transplantation knowledge. Oral presentation at the Association for Surgical Education Annual Meeting, Virtual; April 2021.
Miller CL. Women in cardiothoracic surgery: dismantling the old boys’ club. Oral presentation at MGH Cardiothoracic Surgery Journal Club; March 2021.
Coe TM. Survival of genetically modified pig livers during machine perfusion with human blood. Oral presentation at the 28th International Congress of The Transplantation Society, Virtual; September 2020.
Applications are due December 9th. Selected residents will be notified by February 1st. Per NIH requirements, applicants must be a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident. Residents in the Department of Surgery are eligible to engage in this program after their clinical PGY3 year. Residents in the Department of Medicine are eligible for the program between their PGY1 and PGY2 years or PGY2 and PGY3 year. We will consider proposals from applicants who wish to do this at the end of their PGY3 year.
- Name and department
- Please answer the following (250-word limit each)
- What motivates you to engage in research?
- How will you use your time in the Mass General Next-Gen PSTP program?
- What do you want to get out of the Mass General Next-Gen PSTP program?
- If you know, with whom are you interested in working during your time in the program?
- Applicant CV
For more information, please see our FAQ below or contact Dr. Rebecca Ward via email.
Mass General Next-Gen PSTP Frequently Asked Questions
Who should consider this pathway?
The Mass General Next-Gen PSTP is designed for surgery and internal medicine residents who are interested in pursuing research during residency in infectious diseases and immunology.
What type of research can be supported?
The program spans the biomedical continuum to support residents pursuing basic science, pre-clinical research, pharmacokinetics, clinical or outcomes research.
I am interested in research, but do not know if I want to make it the focus of my future career. Is Mass General Next-Gen PSTP right for me?
One of the goals of this program is to provide the opportunity for residents interested in research to assess whether a career in academic medicine is right for them. Candidates should have interest to devote a full year to research-related activities.
What if I am interested in researching diseases outside of immunology and infectious disease?
This R25 program is funded through the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID). Thus, Mass General Next-Gen PSTP residents must identify at least one research project during their research year relevant to their mission (e.g. infectious, immunologic and allergic diseases). It should be noted that this program is not restricted to residents planning on becoming infectious diseases or allergy and immunology subspecialists.
What is the time commitment?
The program allows for 12 months of dedicated research time, during which time you will still be considered a resident. Starting July 1st, resident-investigators from the Department of Medicine will commit 90% effort towards their research project with the remaining 10% towards continuity clinic to preserve clinical skills. Surgical residents will commit 100% effort towards their research. This program extends the overall time in residency by one year.
Will my salary change during the program?
No, the R25 salary is based on the Mass General Brigham PGY scale.
How do I apply?
Look for a formal call for applications in October. Applications will be available through REDCap. The deadline for applications will be in early December.
I am a Mass General resident from another department. Can I apply to be a resident-investigator through the Mass General Next-Gen PSTP program?
While residents from other departments may be considered, we will need to ensure the resident’s programs/departments can provide the required support.
I am interested in obtaining an MPH or other master’s degree relevant to medical research? Can I use this program to pursue this?
Per NIH guidelines, R25 funds cannot be used towards tuition for degree programs. However, R25 funds may be used to pursue structured training programs that provide a strong foundation to conduct research (e.g. courses in grant writing, methodologies, scientific communication, leadership workshops, etc.).
Am I eligible for extra shifts in the clinic?
Participating residents are still part of the residency program, and thus are eligible to work extra shifts if desired.
Who should I contact if I still have questions?
Please send any additional questions regarding the Mass General Next-Gen PSTP pathway to the Program Manager, Rebecca Ward, PhD.
Our Faculty and Staff
Jay Vyas, Program Director
Rebecca Ward, Program Manager
We have 58 mentors (PDF) who have agreed to participate in the Mass General Next-Gen PSTP program. Our mentors span the Mass General Departments of Medicine and Surgery, the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard, and the Broad Institute. If there is a faculty research mentor with relevant research interests who is not listed, you may propose the individual to program leadership.