Research & Clinical Trials : Dermatology Medical Science Training Program



The DMSTP is designed to:
a) document (internally, externally) that the Derm Dpt is deeply committed to providing all its junior members with academic guidance, support, and stimulation geared towards nurturing the next generation of leaders in academic dermatology & skin biology,
b) provide individualized academic mentorship (e.g. regarding publications, training & career decisions, grant proposals, research projects, networking),
c) foster an intradepartmental culture that strives to overcome the divide between clinical dermatology and basic skin research by
i) encouraging residents & clinicians to engage more in research & laboratory-based researchers to strive for more clinical translation of their work,
ii) facilitating increased connections of basic scientists to clinicians within the Dpt., and
iii) promoting intradepartmental research collaboration, namely between groups & individuals that have not or rarely collaborated before,
d) generate a forum for openly discussing early-stage research projects, preliminary results, hypotheses, ideas/concepts for future grant proposals or joint research projects
e) promote interdisciplinary collaboration on campus & within the Univ of Miami
f) create a mechanism for close-up, longer—term interactions & networking with a carefully selected group of external, internationally renowned investigative dermatologists/skin biologists

All residents, graduate students, post-residency fellows, post-docs, and junior faculty are eligible and encouraged to formally enroll in the DMSTP (enrollment directly with RP).
Participation is voluntary, and comes with benefits (see Services, below).
The DMSTP runs and administers the Miami Skin Club (MSC) and incorporates the established Research Meeting and Journal Club (see below), but not the Grand Rounds.
The DMSTP feeds into the overall vision for developing the Dpt. defined by the Chair as well as into the research goals defined by the Vice Chair for Research and the training goals set by the Residency Training Program Director. It complements the established monthly events (e.g. Grand Rounds). The DMSTP also serves as an integral component for the Dept.’s planned NIH Training Program (T32) application in 2019.
The Dpt. provides a minimal budget for running the DMSTP; additional sponsorship is being sought.
The DMSTP is annually evaluated, reviewed & adapted accordingly. RP regularly discusses and coordinates the program of MSC events (see below) with the Chair & VC Res and with the individual responsible for the Grand Rounds program so as to achieve optimal complementarity.

DMSTP services & events

Enrolled DMSTP members are entitled to profit from the following services:

Individual mentoring: a personalized mentoring session with RP every 3-4 months, who subsequently enrolls additional faculty members as appropriate. Scheduling priority is given to regular attendees of & active participants to MSC events (see below).

Publication & grant proposal advice: DMSTP members can send RP manuscript/proposal drafts for pre-submission critical feedback & advice, who – jointly with the VC Res – recruits suitable faculty members to provide such feedback, with special emphasis on strengthening the planned manuscript/proposal by encouraging & promoting intradepartmental collaboration.

Miami Skin Club (MSC) The MSC forms a key element of the DMSTP:

“Miami Skin Club Lounge”: once monthly, Wed, 5:30 – 6:30 pm or 10:30-11:30 am, with snacks & drinks, Library Features 2-3 short presentations (NOT RECORDED) in an informal, relaxed atmosphere, with special emphasis on extensive, animated debate, joint speculation and exchange of ideas & advice, so as to pursue the DMSTP Aims c), d) and e).
Every enrolled DMSTP member is automatically excused to leave Clinics or lab activities they are assigned to (e.g. by 5:20 pm) in order to attend the MSC Lounge. This event focuses on translational research, emphasizes concepts rather than too much experimental detail, and attempts to help bridging the clinical dermatology-experimental research divide.

Research Meeting: once monthly, Wed, 5:30 – 6:30 pm or 10:30-11:30 am, with snacks & drinks, Library (alternating with “MSC Lounge”, see above; jointly organized & chaired by I. Pastar and RP )
Journal Club: once monthly (jointly organized with I. Pastar).

Annual Research Day: Future design to be reviewed and delineated. Event jointly organized by VC Res and Dir, DMSTP.

International Visiting Professorship (jointly organized by Chair, VC Res and Dir, DMSTP). Extended one-week sojourns of internationally renowned experts in investigative dermatology/skin research who give 2-3 lectures and interact closely with at least 3 groups in the Dept. 4-6 such sojourn per year planned, incl. recurrent visits of the same individual. Sponsorship to be sought.

“Derm Den”: On the 6xth floor (Rosenstiel) next to the Paus Lab, a small, cozy room for informal, impromptu gatherings & discussions of students & scientists active in skin research and their guests is installed. Open 24/7, complete with couches, espresso machine, drawing board, and computer/screen for informal presentations & exchanges in a maximally relaxed atmosphere; access restricted to DMSTP members & faculty. Will also be used for spontaneous “hot-of—the-bench” talks, methods workshops, small celebrations, and trouble shooting discussions. (“Derm Den” hosted by Paus Lab).

Special publication opportunities
DMSTP members are encouraged to propose original research articles, Concise Communications, Reviews, Methods Reviews, Viewpoint Essays, Hypothesis Letters to the Editor of Exp Dermatol and will be individually shephearded towards a corresponding publication, if a submission is invited.Selected “MSC Lounge”, “Research Mtg”, “Annual Research Day” and “MSC Conference” presentations are invited for submission as Review, Methods Review, or Viewpoint Essay to Exp Dermatol (Editor: RP)

The * “Bedside-to-bench” Letter* publication feature of Experimental Dermatology is institutionally edited by the DMSTP, guest-edited by changing faculty members paired with one enrolled DMSTP member. Up to 10 such Letters can be published per year under involvement of DMSTP members. For submissions to be successful during critical peer review, one key will be that clinicians team-up with basic skin researchers (thus pursuing DMSTP Aims c + e).

Together with P Romanelli and A Maderal, RP will generate a new edition of “Thieme Clinical Companion: DERMATOLOGY”, which will become internationally identified with UM Dermatology and is ear-marked to be translated into several languages. Selected residents enrolled in the DMSTP are invited to act as named contributors to this new textbook edition.

Recent UM Dermatology Publication Highlights Bulletin. The DMSTP prepares and mails out a bulletin every 2-3 months that highlights selected publications from with the Dpt. so as to make everyone aware of the range of basic and clinical research topics we cover and of the individuals involved, to facilitate inter-group collaboration, and to encourage students and staff to become actively involved in projects/topics they may not have considered before. Primary target audience: entire Dept., incl trainees & visiting fellows; distributed by email and posted on the Dpt. website; also sent to alumni. Inaugural Bulletin #1 has been issued und posted on the Dept. website. The cover page of selected publications listed in the “Publication Highlights” bulletin will also displayed on a large monitor in the Dept.’s entrance area.

“Poster Wall of Fame”: On another large monitor in the Dept.’s entrance area, the DMSTP presents selected, recent UM Derm posters that have won travel awards or poster prizes at national or international meetings.

DMSTP Annual Conference: once annually, Sat, 10 am – 5 pm, with joint lunch & drinks, Fairchild Botanical Gardens. Complements the Annual Research Day (Spring). The conference will feature both in-house & on campus faculty and 4-5 invited international guest speakers, composing a truly interdisciplinary perspective. In order to optimally bridge clinical dermatology and basic skin research, all talks will focus on concepts rather than overly detailed research data, with emphasis on translation and the proposal of provocative new ideas. Conference designed to foster animated debate (>10 min discussion time after each talk). DMSTP Conferences focus on a single, carefully selected cell population, whose importance as a therapeutic target, basic biology and crucial role in a large number of skin diseases is jointly explored in a highly interdisciplinary manner. We expect this unconventional approach to be fascinating for both clinicians and scientists and to foster new collaborations across traditional boundaries. Focus topics are selected so as to cover several of the defined research foci of the Dpt. as well as a particularly important/exciting research frontier in investigative dermatology. DMSTP Conferences will also showcase selected ongoing work of enrolled DMSTP members Ca. 50-70 selected participants (by-invitation-only); intimate, discussion-friendly setting.