A Word from the Director ...

Shiraz I. Mishra, MBBS, PhD
MSCR Program Director

The Master's of Science in Biomedical Sciences with Clinical Research Concentration (MSCR) program is designed to address the growing need for basic, clinical, and translational science researchers.  The MSCR program is the result of the vision, commitment, dedication, and support of the UNM Health Science Center leadership, faculty, and staff to transform clinical and translational research education and training at UNM so as to enable the next generation of researchers conduct scientifically rigorous inquiries and effectively translate scientific advances in disease prevention and medical care from laboratories to clinical practice, and out into communities.  The MSCR program at UNM is supported by the UNM Clinical and Translational Science Center funded through the National Center for Research Resources and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences of the National Institutes of Health.

The MSCR program is looking for applicants with qualifications and interest to join the ranks of researchers who will use basic science and clinical research to find strategies that can be immediately translated to improve health in practice- and community-based settings.  The program is targeted to medical residents and fellows, clinicians from UNM Hospital and the Veterans’ Affairs Hospital, and faculty from the UNM medical school and the nursing and pharmacy colleges.

The MSCR is a graduate degree offered through the Biomedical Sciences Department within the UNM School of Medicine.  The program’s instructional design is based on adult learning principles and the attainment of competencies.  The program provides, through interactive course work and a mentored research thesis, a strong foundation and rigorous training across twelve competency domains (i.e., fundamental research design and methods, Epidemiology, Biostatistics, biomedical Informatics, research ethics, cultural competency, to name a few), which are chosen because they represent a consensus about the set of knowledge and skills that are required of successful clinical and translational researchers.  In addition to these twelve domains of competency, the program offers five cross-cutting competencies that will enhance the likelihood that becoming a successful researcher: leadership, team science, communication, critical thinking, and professionalism.  The MSCR program brings together a strong and committed interdisciplinary team of more than sixty faculty and staff from the School of Medicine, the Colleges of Nursing and Pharmacy, and the Veteran’s Administration.  Currently, the faculty to student ratio in this program is an incredible 10 to 1!

We will encourage you to be effective communicators – in person, as a presenter, as a group participant, as writers and as critical thinkers.  As a researcher you will be required to convince others of the significance of your work and of your ability to conduct the research you propose to do.  We will take the opportunity to develop and reinforce these skills in each and every educational encounter.  We will provide you with examples of local role models who are scientific leaders and who have learned to communicate well about their science.  And we will encourage you to work in multidisciplinary teams to advance the understanding and mitigation of diseases disproportionately affecting our state and nation.

The MSCR program’s goals are to provide an educational foundation for comprehensively and rigorously trained clinical and translational science researchers with competencies in:

  • Design, conduct, and dissemination of scientifically rigorous clinical and translational research;
  • Effective and ethical engagement of diverse communities in research;
  • Analysis and interpretation of data collected using qualitative and quantitative research methods;
  • Successful applications and competition for research funding;
  • Critical appraisal scientific literature;
  • Effective dissemination of research findings to the public and to the scientific community;

I encourage you to join the MSCR program to take advantage of this unique research and education resources.  Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or would like to discuss the program in greater detail.

Sincerely,

Shiraz I. Mishra, MBBS, PhD
Director, MSCR/CCTS Program
smishra@salud.unm.edu