The Specialty Training and Advanced Research (STAR) Program allows M.D. fellows to complete clinical training toward certification in a sub-specialty as well as research training to complete a Ph.D. degree. The STAR program also provides the opportunity for physicians who already have the Ph.D. degree to pursue post-doctoral training in a UCLA laboratory. In general, the STAR program begins with 12 to 24 months of clinical fellowship training followed by research training in a Ph.D. granting department. Full financial support is provided and research time is protected. Since its inception, 60 STAR fellows, including several Pathology residents and fellows, have been awarded the Ph.D. STAR Program Website.
The Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) at UCLA in conjunction with the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) is designed for the education and training of exceptionally qualified individuals for careers in biomedical science. The MSTP requires an average of seven years of study leading to both the M.D. and Ph.D. degrees. The program seeks to provide an optimum environment for education and research utilizing the individual talents of participating faculty and students leading to a greater understanding of basic biology and of the causes and treatment of human disease. The program encourages independent thinking, creativity, self-motivated lifelong learning, personal responsibility and service. Over a hundred faculty at UCLA and Caltech, including members of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, participate in the program. MSTP faculty members tend to be leading researchers expert in postgraduate training or exciting young faculty. The MSTP faculty has strong research funding support from a wide variety of sources including the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and many private organizations and foundations. Information about the application process, support and curriculum can be found directly on the MSTP website.