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Pediatric Physician-Scientist Training Program


Caitlyn Duffy

A core mission of the Pediatrics Residency Program is inspiring and training physician-scientists destined to improve the future of child health through biomedical discovery and application.

The Department of Pediatrics has a rich history of contributions and discovery in biomedical sciences. Faculty and alumni honors include the Howland Award, E. Mead Johnson Award, and Society for Pediatric Research Young Investigator Award recipients. Faculty mentors have been inducted into distinguished medical honor societies including the American Society for Clinical Investigation, American Pediatric Society, Association of American Physicians, and the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.

The department is also associated with several research centers and institutes including the Vanderbilt Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (VICTR), the Vanderbilt Vaccine Research Program and the Lamb Center for Pediatric Research.

Vanderbilt has more than 450 research laboratories supported by $238 million in extramural funds, as well as approximately 350 graduate students and 400 postdoctoral fellows involved in the research endeavor.

Sudeep Sunthankar

All pediatric housestaff complete a scholarly project during their residency. These take a variety of forms, from quality improvement projects based in the Pediatric Primary Care Clinic to advocacy to clinical and basic research. Many resident projects result in presentation at scholarly meetings or publication in peer-reviewed journals. See a list of recent publications by pediatric residents.

We strongly encourage residents to present original research at regional and national scholarly meetings. The residency program will work with the sponsoring division to provide funding for residents to attend any meeting where they are accepted to present research findings.

Residents complete a six-month individualized curriculum geared toward future career goals. Those interested in an academic research career will be able to incorporate additional protected research time during these blocks.

The Vanderbilt Residency Program is committed to fostering the career development of talented child health scholars in the residency program who utilize the American Board of Pediatrics Research Pathways (Accelerated Research Pathway and Integrated Research Pathway) to optimize and individualize general pediatric, subspecialty, and research training. 

Stimulating Access to Research in Residency (R38 StARR Program)

The Department of Pediatrics at Vanderbilt University is committed to training the next generation of leading pediatric investigators. While some residents will already have undertaken extensive research training prior to residency, we understand that others come to research later driven by a clinical problem or insight. As part of our residency, we have now developed a specialized program to enable residents with limited prior research training to undertake longitudinal training towards becoming physician-scientists. Our goal is to identify those applicants and residents with a passion for discovery in child health and provide them with the opportunities that activate and enhance their careers.

To achieve this goal, we have established at Vanderbilt a mentored training program (V-StARR) for residents possessing both the aptitude and passion to become a new generation of basic, clinical and translational clinician-scientists. The program will provide a nurturing mentored environment for Resident Investigators for 1-2 years of highly rigorous research training to facilitate transition to a research-focused fellowship with the ultimate goal of achieving independence as clinician-scientists. This program offers mentored training integrating with the proven and highly successful institutional clinician-scientist training programs at Vanderbilt. Each Resident Investigator will participate in workshops, courses, and our societies for clinician-scientist development and will complete a mentored research project. Investigation may be basic, translational, clinical, or in the area of population health. Each Resident Investigator will have a personalized Scholarly Oversight Committee to assist in achieving program goals, to provide independent evaluation of their progress, and to develop, advise on, and track their career development plan. All departments, hospitals, research laboratories and core facilities reside on a single campus offering an integrated research environment for early career physician-scientists.

If you are interested in improving child health through research, we encourage you to consider this amazing opportunity at Vanderbilt. We look forward to working with you to understand your goals and to help you connect them to the ideal mentoring and research training. If you would like more information about this program, please contact either Dr. Daniel Moore (Director of the Pediatric PSTP, or Dr. Rebecca Swan (Director of the Pediatric Residency Program,

Vanderbilt University School Of Medicine
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Monroe Carrell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt