Graduate Program in Clinical Investigation

allergy test image, graduate program in clinical investigationThe ICTR Graduate Program in Clinical Investigation includes a PhD program in Clinical Investigation (PhD CI),  an MS in Clinical Investigation, and a PhD minor in Clinical Investigations also known as a PhD with a Clinical and Translational Science focus (PhDCTS). All students share a common didactic foundation encompassing biostatistics, epidemiology, clinical study design, clinical trials conduct, and the ethical and responsible conduct of research.

The PhD CI is an applied degree in which trainees focus on the creation of novel methodologies and tools for translational science within the context of a specific biomedical discipline.

The PhDCTS leverages the core curriculum to give trainees in other degree programs the skills and tools necessary to move their biomedical research along the translational pathway.

Program Overview Brochure (PDF)

New: Online Application for MS and PhD in Clinical Investigation

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PhD in Clinical Investigation

Learning Objectives

Students earning a PhD in Clinical Investigation must demonstrate distinctive attainment in a specific field and ability for independent investigation, through defense of a research dissertation and through coursework.

While earning the degree, the PhD student works toward the following learning objectives:

  1. Determine when it is and is not appropriate to use a multidisciplinary patient-oriented research design to investigate a therapeutic problem.
  2. Conceptualize and design multidisciplinary patient-oriented research protocols.
  3. Execute multidisciplinary therapeutic intervention studies.
  4. Interpret and report research findings using the expertise of collaborators in multiple disciplines.
  5. Disseminate knowledge through teaching and mentoring students/trainees.
  6. Lead programs that integrate clinical and translational science across multiple departments, schools and colleges, clinical and research institutes, and healthcare delivery organizations.
  7. Translate research from the laboratory to the clinic through technological innovations, such as drug therapies, medical devices or biological materials (“bench to bedside”).

ICTR governs the PhD program jointly with representatives of its academic partners; faculty members from each academic partner serve as instructors, advisors, and leaders in the graduate program.

Reference Materials:

GPCI Minimum Admissions Requirements (PDF)
PhD Curriculum (PDF)
Funding (PDF)

Updated: 8/5/2016

MS in Clinical Investigation

Learning Objectives

Students in the Masters in Clinical Investigation program formulate a research question, investigate a problem or issue, report the results, and discuss the findings and implications of a study. Courses are complemented by research, culminating in defense of a master’s thesis.

Before applying to the program, the student meets with a potential faculty advisor to discuss research topics and project ideas that will be needed for the application. After admission, the student has further opportunities to refine the research strategy. During the final year of coursework, the student conducts the research project, and meets frequently with the major advisor, who will monitor progress and provide feedback. Near the end of the final year of coursework, the student completes the project and begins to prepare the thesis manuscript.

Through coursework and research, the MS student works toward the following learning objectives:

  1. Determine when it is and is not appropriate to use a multidisciplinary patient-oriented research design to investigate a therapeutic problem.
  2. Conceptualize and design multidisciplinary patient-oriented research protocols.
  3. Execute multidisciplinary therapeutic intervention studies.
  4. Interpret and report research findings using the expertise of collaborators in multiple disciplines.
  5. Contribute to the leadership of programs that integrate clinical and translational science across multiple departments, schools and colleges, clinical and research institutes, and healthcare delivery organizations.
  6. Translate research from the laboratory to the clinic through technological innovations, such as drug therapies, medical devices or biological materials (“bench to bedside”), as an active participant in a multidisciplinary clinical research team.

ICTR governs the MS program jointly with representatives of its academic partners; faculty members from each academic partner serve as instructors, advisors, and leaders in the graduate program.

Reference Materials:

GPCI Minimum Admissions Requirements (PDF)
MS Curriculum (PDF)
Funding (PDF)

Updated: 8/5/2016

PhD Minor in Clinical Investigation - Applications Accepted Year Round

Learning Objectives

Doctoral students in Engineering, Nursing, Veterinary Medicine, and other disciplines can declare a PhD minor with a focus in Clinical and Translation Science to learn about applications of research to clinical disciplines. This provides students with a general education in interdisciplinary clinical research, while emphasizing a scientific area of graduate study. The PhD Minor in Clinical Investigation is also known as the PhDCTS.

The minor requires 10 credits including three required courses and a fourth elective required course:

Biostatistics and Medical Informatics 541: Introduction to Biostatistics (3 credits, Fall)
Biostatistics and Medical Informatics 542: Introduction to Clinical Trials I (3 credits, Spring)
One lecture course in the Responsible Conduct of Research (1-2 credits) selected from an approved list
Elective courses to reach at least 10 credits total, selected from the following list of options:

Biostatistics and Medical Informatics 544: Introduction to Clinical Trials II (3 credits, Fall)
Family Medicine 701: Perspectives in Multidisciplinary Clinical and Translational Research (2 credits, Fall)
Nursing 705: Seminar in Interdisciplinary Clinical Research Evidence (2 credits, Summer)
Population Health 797: Introduction to Epidemiology (3 credits, Fall)

Reference Materials:
Form to declare CTS focus (PDF)
Program Requirements (PDF)

Updated: 1/23/2018

Program Faculty/Major Advisors

  • Sanjay Asthana, MD
    Title/Dept: Professor, Medicine (Geriatrics); Director ADRC; Director GRECC; Associate Director, WI Alzheimer’s Institute
    Research: Alzheimer’s, aging
  • Bruce Barrett, MD, PhD
    Title/Dept:
    Professor, Family Medicine, Population Health & Anthropology
    Research: Primary care, especially for special populations
  • Christian Capitini, MD
    Title/Dept: Assistant Professor, Pediatrics
    Research: Preclinical models of allogeneic blood and marrow transplant to cure pediatric cancers
  • Toby C. Campbell, MD
    Title/Dept:
    Associate Professor, Medicine (Hematology-Oncology)
    Research: Lung cancer, symptom management, communication and palliative care
  • Mary L. (Molly) Carnes, MD, MS
    Title/Dept:
    Professor, Medicine (Geriatrics and Gerontology)
    Research: Increasing diverse leadership, how stereotypes influence judgments and decision-making in ways that constrain opportunities in academic medicine, science, and engineering
  • Richard Chappell, PhD
    Title/Dept:
    Professor, Statistics & Biostatistics and Medical Informatics
    Research: Analysis and design of clinical trials, link estimation in generalized linear models, survival analysis, models in radiobiology
  • Robert Dempsey, MD
    Title/Dept: Professor, Neurology; Chair, Surgery
    Research: Cerebral ischemia, injured brain repair
  • Dorte Dopfer, DVM
    Title/Dept: Professor, Veterinary Medicine (Food Animal Production Medicine)
    Research: Veterinary epidemiology, food safety, global health
  • Marina Emborg, MD, PhD
    Title/Dept: Associate Professor, Medical Physics
    Research: Neurodegenerative disorders
  • Amy Fowler, MD, PhD
    Title/Dept: Assistant Professor, Radiology
    Research: Molecular imaging biomarkers to assess early therapeutic response for breast cancer in preclinical and translational clinical studies
  • Ronald Gangnon, PhD
    Title/Dept: Associate Professor, Biostatistics and Medical Informatics
    Research: Model selection,  measurement reliability, survival analysis, interim monitoring
  • James Gern, MD
    Title/Dept: Professor, Medicine & Pediatrics
    Research: Asthma, interaction between host and viral factors affecting respiratory illness severity
  • Jenny Gumperz, PhD
    Title/Dept: Associate Professor, Medical Microbiology and Immunology
    Research: Immunology
  • Bryan Heiderscheit, PT, PhD
    Title/Dept: Professor, Orthopedics and Rehabilitation
    Research: Human movement
  • Hrissanthi (Chris) Ikonomidou, MD, PhD
    Title/Dept: Professor, Pediatric Neurology
    Research: Brain development
  • Bermans Iskandar, MD
    Title/Dept: Professor, Neurosurgery; Director Pediatric Neurosurgery Program
    Research: Craniofacial repair, brachial plexus reconstruction, endoscopic surgery
  • Daniel Jackson, MD
    Title/Dept: Assistant Professor, Pediatrics
    Research:  Pediatric allergy, asthma, immunology
  • Nizar Jarjour, MD
    Title/Dept: Professor, Medicine (Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Pulmonary and Critical Care)
    Research: Pulmonary and critical care medicine
  • KyungMann Kim, PhD
    Title/Dept: Professor, Biostatistics and Medical Informatics
    Research: Sequential methods of statistical analysis
  • Lingjun Li, PhD
    Title/Dept: Professor, Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Sciences and Chemistry
    Research: Peptide hormones, neurotransmitters
  • Wan Ju Li, PhD
    Title/Dept: Associate Professor, Orthopedics and Rehabilitation
    Research: Musculoskeletal tissue engineering, stem cell-based regenerative medicine, nanostructural biomaterial
  • Glenn Liu, MD
    Title/Dept: Associate Professor, Medicine (Hematology)
    Research: Genitourinary oncology, experimental therapeutics
  • Sameer Mathur, MD, PhD
    Title/Dept: Associate Professor, Medicine (Allergy & Clinical Immunology)
    Research: Human peripheral blood eosinophils and epithelial cells
  • David O’Connor, PhD
    Title/Dept: Professor, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine & WI Primate Research Center
    Research: HIV/AIDS pathogenesis
  • Mario Otto, MD, PhD
    Title/Dept: Assistant Professor, Pediatrics
    Research: Novel approaches to treat childhood cancer
  • David Page, PhD
    Title/Dept: Professor, Biostatistics and Medical Informatics & Computer Science
    Research: Machine learning and data mining
  • Robert Pearce, MD, PhD
    Title/Dept: Professor & Chair, Anesthesiology
    Research: Anesthetics and other drugs’ control of memory and consciousness
  • G. Mark Pyle, MD
    Title/Dept: Professor, Surgery
    Research: Monitoring during acoustic neuroma surgery; outcome studies in the surgical treatment of vertigo; measurements of middle function; development of cochlear and vestibular aqueducts
  • David Rabago, MD
    Title/Dept: Associate Professor, Family Medicine and Community Health
    Research: Chronic musculoskeletal pain, nasal saline irrigation
  • Amish Raval, MD
    Title/Dept: Associate Professor, Cardiovascular Medicine
    Research: Interventional image guidance for complex catheter-based procedures
  • Scott Reeder, MD, PhD
    Title/Dept: Professor, Radiology
    Research: Liver diseases, new MRI methods
  • Nasia Safdar, MD, PhD
    Title/Dept: Associate Professor, Infectious Disease
    Research: Healthcare Associated Infections
  • Nader Sheibani, PhD
    Title/Dept: Professor, Ophthalmology & Pharmacology
    Research: Diabetic retinopathy, retinopathy of prematurity
  • Maureen Smith, MD, MPH
    Title/Dept: Professor, Population Health, Family Medicine and Community Health & Surgery
    Research: Short/long-term health outcomes in patients with diabetes
  • Paul Sondel, MD, PhD
    Title/Dept: Professor, Pediatrics
    Research: Graft-versus-leukemia reactions, activation of anti-tumor immune destruction
  • Christine Sorkness, PharmD
    Title/Dept: Professor, Pharmacy Practice
    Research: Efficacy and safety of therapeutic agents for asthma and allergic diseases
  • M Suresh, DVM, PhD
    Title/Dept: Professor, Pathobiological Sciences
    Research: T cell memory, CD8+ T cell responses in chronic viral infections
  • Susan Thibeault, PhD
    Title/Dept: Professor, Surgery (Otolaryngology), Communication Sciences and Disorders
    Research: Molecular and genetic factors as basis of normal vocal fold tissue and its vibration
  • Giulio Tononi, MD, PhD
    Title/Dept: Professor, Psychiatry
    Research: Sleep and consciousness, the synaptic homeostatis hypothesis
  • Amy Trentham Dietz, PhD
    Title/Dept:
    Professor, Population Health Sciences
    Research: Breast cancer prevention, early detection, and outcomes
  • Arnold Wald, MD
    Title/Dept: Professor, Medicine (Gastroenterology)
    Research: Constipation, incontinence

Student Handbook

The Graduate Program in Clinical Investigation admitted its first MS and PhD students in 2009. The program was made possible by the 2007 funding for UW ICTR from a National Institutes of Health Clinical and Translational Science Award.

Graduate Program in Clinical Investigation Academic Policies and Procedures Handbook (PDF)