The academic environment within the Weill Cornell Medical College of Cornell University combines the high clinical volume of its tertiary health care facility with focused basic science research. The tri-institutional setting of Weill Cornell, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and The Rockefeller University has created an environment open to scientific collaborations and spirited debate. The three institutions are located within one block from one another and have historically integrated their research efforts. As part of the multidisciplinary, collaborative approach undertaken at the Weill Cornell Medical College of Cornell University, several research conferences have been established to promote career development plans and research efforts, particularly among the young faculty.
The division includes Dr. Fernando J. Martinez and Dr. Augustine M.K. Choi who are world leaders in pulmonary research. Dr. Martinez is a leader in interstitial lung diseases and COPD translational research. Dr. Choi is a leader in acute lung injury and COPD. These two individuals bring an extensive collaborative work to define the biological underpinnings of progressive disease and how to target novel therapeutic approaches. The overall philosophy of the training program is that extensive training of postdoctoral trainees in basic science laboratories and/or in translational/clinical research will ensure the necessary skills for these individuals to become competitive investigators in the academic pulmonary medicine community.
The division maintains active NIH-funded laboratory research programs and provides research opportunities in basic science research, translational projects, and clinical research, including participation in national trials. All fellows participate in at least 18 months of dedicated research. All fellows will attend our weekly Research in Progress conference to expose them to the investigative pursuits of our own faculty and fellows and to mentors both within and outside of our division. This provides first-year fellows a keen and exciting opportunity to explore different investigative opportunities. During the first year of fellowship, we regularly meet with fellows to explore potential research interests and engage with mentors that best match the fellow’s research interests. Trainees provide a research proposal describing their project and career plan. The primary mentor will guide the trainee in the initial selection of a research project and the development of a written research proposal to begin in the second year of fellowship. It is anticipated that the primary mentor will discuss ongoing work with the trainee on a daily basis and meet formally with the trainee at least once per week to assess progress and provide direction.
As their projects mature, fellows discuss their work at a biweekly research conference and attend local and national meetings to present their work. Fellows also have the option to enroll in a Master’s or Certificate Program in clinical research or epidemiology. Our research program provides fellows with the resources, skills, and support necessary to pursue mentored funding opportunities after fellowship. The division also has a dedicated clinical trials administrator, research coordinators, as well as reserved statistical support from the Division of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, allowing fellows to take their projects from beginning to end. An optional fourth year is available for fellows who are committed to a career in academic medicine and research.