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Department of Urology

Men's Reproductive Health Research (MRHR) K12 Program

MRHR Career Program

Men’s reproductive health is a large and underserved area of medicine in the United States. The MRHR program aims to recruit a superb and diverse group of health scientists, from around the US, early in their academic careers and enable them to conduct men's reproductive health research, with the ultimate goal of developing future academic leaders in Men's Reproductive Health. The program provides mentoring and research career development for up to three MRHR scholars annually through 2011. New applications will be accepted through November 2009. Each scholar will receive at least two years of financial support; financial support may be extended based on the availability of NIH funds. Scholar appointments are 12 months in duration; yearly renewals are contingent upon satisfactory progress as reported to the advisory committee and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD).

Each scholar will follow one of three research tracks: basic, clinical or translational research while participating in the program. The basic research pathways include, but are not limited to: stem cell and germ cell biology, sexual development and biology, the neurobiology of sexual behavior, genetics of spermatogenesis, steroidogenesis and androgen receptor biology, and molecular biology of erectile and sexual function. The translational research track may include: the effect of paternal age on gamete genetics, fertility and offspring, phenotype-genotype associations in male infertility, the role of growth factors in erectile function and dysfunction, and the pathologic role of viruses in male infertility. Examples of clinical research include: the epidemiology of male contraception and sexually transmitted diseases, infertility-related quality of life issues in underserved or minority communities, epidemiology of cancer and male infertility, the development of new treatments for erectile dysfunction and male infertility, and lifestyle risk factors for male infertility and erectile dysfunction.

Scholars will be paired with a team of mentors, from diverse disciplines, who will be responsible for integrating each scholar into existing research programs at UCSF. Scholars will have access to appropriate cores and the experts who run them, including: bioinformatics, genomics, clinical research design, and stem cell technology. The program's mentors are specialists in: developmental, stem cell biology and genetics; epidemiology and infectious disease; steroidogenesis; and sexual function. Mentor selection is facilitated by the program director who assists in identifying and matching interests and expertise. The program's mentors are listed below:

Application Process

Candidates for the MRHR program must have earned their MD and completed their clinical training. Fellowship training is not mandatory. The program is focused on recruiting physicians who have been trained in Urology, Obstetrics and Gynecology, or Medical Endocrinology; however other strong candidates with a medical degree will be considered.

Applications to the program are due each year by November 1. Accepted scholars will receive an appointment beginning July of the following year. Applicants should submit a complete application packet, as described below to Ada Sanchez, the program administrator.

Application packets will include:
1) Evidence of MD degree and of completion of clinical training
2) Evidence of US citizenship or permanent residency, as per NIH guidelines
3) Curriculum Vitae
4) Undergraduate and graduate medical education transcripts
5) Three letters of recommendation
6) A one to three page Personal Statement. The statement will address the candidate's background, research interests and goals, as well as identify the anticipated research resources and primary mentor.
7) A one to three page draft MRHR Career Development Plan. The draft plan should describe the scholar's research interests and goals.

The program director will help each candidate, in advance of submission, to identify two appropriate mentors from different disciplines. Prior to submission the potential mentors and the program director should review and provide input on the draft plan. Candidates should allow ample time to contact the program director and their mentors for input. This draft plan will be finalized, and mentoring relationships will be formalized, after candidates are accepted into the program.

Selection Process

MRHR scholar recruitment will be a joint process with each candidate's future home department. Successful candidates will demonstrate a high level of support by their proposed mentors and future home department. Scholars will be selected to participate in the MRHR program based on the evidence provided. Candidates will document: their research experiences in undergraduate and medical school, an outstanding academic record, and their publication record. Successful candidates provide strong letters of support and will show the potential to develop an independent multidisciplinary career in clinical research.

Candidate review will be modeled on the NIH peer review process. Specific criteria used to rank candidates will include:

The quality of their previous training and accomplishments
The strength and feasibility of their training plan
The nature and feasibility of the research plan
The importance of the research area and question
The support from the mentored research environment in the proposed home department
The quality, feasibility and potential for success of the research protocol

Top candidates for the scholar position will be interviewed in person at UCSF.

Selected Scholars

After scholars are selected to participate in the program, a final MRHR Career Development Plan will be developed. The plan will detail the particular path each scholar will take to develop content and methodological expertise, as well as communication and leadership skills. Plan length will be determined in part by the training phase as described below. The final plan will be developed with the scholar’s mentors, and the program's principal investigator, program directors and advisory committee.

Two different training phases are available for MRHR scholars. Phase I training is for scholars with limited expertise in experimental methods and/or little experience in conducting research. It includes structured, intensive basic or clinical science coursework under the guidance the team of mentors. Most scholars who have recently completed clinical training will start in this phase. Phase II training is for scholars who have completed Phase I and those who enter the program with formal research training and experience. Phase II consists largely of a mentored, intensive research experience, autonomously directed by the scholar but closely guided by the mentors. Scholars likely to qualify for Phase II training are urologists, endocrinologists or gynecologists with another advanced degree (e.g. MS, MPH or PhD) or who have previously completed a postdoctoral fellowship that offered substantial research opportunities.

Scholars who make satisfactory progress are funded for a minimum of two years. Successful scholars will used this opportunity to develop an independent research careers with secured grant funding to study male reproductive health issues and to secure an academic tenure-track faculty position.

Current Scholars

Maurice Garcia, MD, MAS
Assistant Professor
MRHR Scholar, 2008-2011
Project: Use of Autologous Adult Adipose Derived Stem Cell Therapy in Urology: Management of Diabetic and Post-Surgical Erectile Dysfunction

James Smith, MD, MS
Assistant Professor
MRHR Scholar, 2009-2011
Project: UCSF Fertility, Lifestyle, and Quality of Life Study

Scholars Trained

Thomas J. Walsh, MD, MS
Assistant Professor and Director Male Fertility Laboratory, Department of Urology, University of Washington School of Medicine
MRHR Scholar, 2007-2008
Project: Male infertility and cancer risk

Contents of This Page

Application Process
Selection Process
Selected Scholars
Current Scholars
Scholars Trained

Faculty

Peter Carroll, MD, MPH
Principal Investigator; Program Director
Assistant email: jdeming@urology.ucsf.edu

Linda Giudice, MD, PhD
Co-Principal Investigator

Mary Croughan, PhD
Co-Program Director

Key Staff

Ada Sanchez
MRHR Program Administrator
Email: asanchez@urology.ucsf.edu
Tel: 415/514-0206

Contact Number

For more information about applying for MRHR funding please contact asanchez@urology.ucsf.edu.

Equal Opportunity Employer

UCSF seeks candidates whose expertise, teaching, research, or community service has prepared them to contribute to our commitment to diversity and excellence. UCSF is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer. The University undertakes affirmative action to assure equal employment opportunity for underutilized minorities and women, for persons with disabilities, and for covered veterans. All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply, including minorities and women.