History and Highlights

The MD/PhD Program at the UA College of Medicine–Tucson was established in 1990 to provide dual training in medicine and research to talented individuals interested in careers as physician-scientists working in the public and private sectors.  The primary goal is to build on the tradition of research excellence at the University of Arizona by establishing an outstanding program that provides seamless navigation through the medical and graduate curriculum, enhances opportunities for student/faculty interactions, and promotes strategic institutional investments to ensure growth and sustainability of the program.

The Program was housed in the Department of Pathology and was overseen by one of the UArizona COM Founding Fathers, John Palmer, MD-PhD, Pharmacology/Medicine, as well as Ray Nagle MD-PhD, Pathology/Cancer Center and Phil Malan MD-PhD, Anesthesiology/Pharmacology.

Comparing the success of our MD-PhD trainees to national trends, our trainees remain engaged in pursuit of the physician scientist goals, utilizing clinical experiences in developing biomedical research careers. Of the 27 completed trainees (time to degree 7.3 yrs on avg.) supported by the MD-PhD Program, our alumni have various professorships at prestigious Institutions such as Stanford, Harvard, Yale, Vanderbilt, Baylor, OHSU, Scripps, St. Jude Children’s Hospital and the UofA, as well as, private practice and industry positions.

Currently, the program is led by Drs. Todd Vanderah Ph.D. and George Fantry M.D. as well as a dedicated team of student leaders in our various program committees. The program is fully supported by the College of Medicine and the Office of the Dean in the College of Medicine