The UCSF Medical Genetics Residency Program allocates six months during the second year of residency for research. Residents perform clinical research during their period of training or can begin a more basic project in the second year that can lead to a more extensive project in the laboratory of a mentor after finishing the two-year residency. For clinical research projects, the resident must design a clinical study and learn about aspects of ethical conduct in research involving human subjects. All trainees are required to take courses in the responsible conduct of science, and in authorship in biomedical publication. In addition, residents submit an application, including a consent form for adults and an assent form for minors if applicable, for review by the Institutional Review Board. Subsequently, residents participate in the informed consent process, ethical conduct of research, preparation of an abstract for presentation at professional meetings, and preparation of the manuscript for peer review at a reputable medical journal.
For residents interested in a more extensive research project, UCSF offers many opportunities. UCSF is home to world-class genetic researchers in most of its basic and clinical departments. Most significantly, UCSF has an interdepartmental organized research unit, the Institute for Human Genetics (IHG), led by Dr. Neil Risch. The IHG plays an important role in coordinating research activities in human genetics that are carried out at different sites, programs, departments, and institutions beyond UCSF. The IHG has been instrumental in the establishment of a Genetic Studies Core Facility, a UCSF DNA Bank, and a Genome Core Facility, as well as in the recruitment of faculty geneticists to both clinical and basic science departments. Thus, there is a rich and expansive environment for research training at UCSF.
Progress in research is addressed at a semi-annual meeting of each resident with the program director and associate program director. In the first year of the program, this focuses primarily on identifying a research mentor and project.