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 started 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), Rochelle Walensky, MD, MPH (division chief, Infectious Diseases) 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:  HIV/AIDS,  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 Partners 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 Partners 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 2020-2021
Taylor Coe, MD (Department of Surgery)
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
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
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 December 1st.
I am a Mass General resident from another department. Can I apply to be a resident-investigator through the Mass General Next-Gen StARR 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, etc.).
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) that 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 that is not listed, you may propose the individual to program leadership.