Molecular Medicine Program

The Molecular Medicine Program within the Categorical Pediatrics Residency is designed for individuals who are interested in pursuing a career that emphasizes bench research in combination with the practice of medicine. The overarching goal of the program is to train the next generation of transformative laboratory-based physician-scientists.

Program Description

The Molecular Medicine Program provides specialized, individualized attention to each participant’s development as a scientist while maintaining the same broad and intensive exposure to clinical medicine that is enjoyed by all UCSF categorical pediatrics residents. We encourage anyone with an interest in pursuing science and a career that includes research to apply.

Clinical Pediatrics Training

The curriculum focuses on excellent clinical training and individualized development to enable long-term success as a physician-scientist.

Trainees will complete their internship and residency in our highly ranked categorical residency program. For successful applicants with an established record of research (MD/PhD or an in-depth research experience of at least one year), UCSF supports Accelerated (ARP) or Integrated (IRP) Research Pathways of the American Board of Pediatrics. The decision regarding shortened clinical training is based on demonstrated clinical skill development during the first year of training. The decision to enter an alternative pathway is made in Spring of intern year.

Research Training

During their intern year, participants will begin meeting with Physician-Scientist faculty members to maximize their exposure to their field of interest. This will be facilitated through the Molecular Medicine elective experience and during individualized curriculum rotations. Participants can pursue research in any lab throughout UCSF or the Bay Area.

UCSF is the top public recipient of NIH funding, and second overall among all academic institutions nationwide. In 2019 UCSF was awarded nearly 1,300 NIH grants amounting to greater than $650 million in funding.

Participants will also be provided funding to attend a scientific meeting in person and encouraged to submit abstracts of current/previous work for UCSF Pediatrics Research Day and other conferences of interest.


Every year there is a cohort elective where all Molecular Medicine residents attend talks and seminars focused on emerging research, grant writing and mechanisms, professional and career development. Each resident also has additional elective time for individualized curriculum where they can do research, meet with mentors, and perform their own scholarly work, or do additional clinical rotations to identify goals and next steps in their training and career.


Mentorship and the development of the mentor/mentee relationship is a cornerstone of the Molecular Medicine Program. Molecular Medicine residents receive personal mentoring that supports them throughout residency and beyond, focused on their clinical, scientific, and career development. This mentoring helps trainees identify appropriate research and career mentors, develop individualized training plans, sets milestones, and tracks progress. This also includes assistance in selecting their area of research and choosing laboratories that may be of interest to them for training.


Molecular Medicine residents in Pediatrics have regular interactions with residents in the Internal Medicine Molecular Medicine program. In addition, there are regular social events conducted in a relaxed, informal setting where MM residents can interact with each other, as well as fellows, early and senior faculty in Pediatrics and throughout UCSF.

Molecular Medicine Program Alumni

UCSF has a long history of successfully training and developing physician-scientists, with a strong infrastructure and numerous programs and collaborations with institutes focused on developing future leaders in academic medicine and research. The UCSF Department of Pediatrics has been very successful in obtaining NIH and foundation funding in the Department of Pediatrics. Currently, there are 21 K holders and 33 R holders in the Department.

Application Process

The Molecular Medicine Program is a separate track within Pediatrics and has its own NRMP code for application: 1062320C2.

Those applicants who are interested in a career in biomedical research are encouraged to consider the molecular medicine option. Applicants who are selected to interview for this program will be notified by email and invited to participate in interviews, in addition to the interviews for the standard categorical program.

The Molecular Medicine interviews will allow candidates to meet with potential investigators in their field, as well as members of subspecialty program leadership and current participants in the pathway. The Molecular Medicine Program is fully committed to enhancing diversity at UCSF. Applications from under-represented ethnic/cultural groups are strongly encouraged.


Fernando Gonzalez, M.D
Professor of Pediatrics
Division of Neonatology Co-Director
Neuro-Intensive Care Nursery Director

Pediatric Molecular Medicine Pathway
University of California, San Francisco
1550 4th St., Box 2924
San Francisco, CA 94158

Email: [email protected]