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Integrated MD-PhD program on a direct track of research studies for medical students (6021)
Objective
The Faculty of Medicine regards the M.D.-Ph.D. program to be a unique track, which expresses the commitment of the Faculty to the combination of research excellence and medicine. It is expected that in the future the graduates of the integrated program will participate in the research and teaching programs of the Faculty of Medicine.
 
Details of the program
The program is conducted as a special track within the Medical Research Institute, Israel-Canada, and it is known as the "Program of research studies for medical MD-PhD students."
At the beginning of the second year of medical studies, the head of the Graduate Studies Committee introduces this unique program to the MD students.
Students seeking admission into the combined MD-PhD excellence program must approach the program coordinator, Professor Eli Pikarsky, to check their compliance with requirements of the program.
 
Course of Study
In the second semester of the second year of medical studies, an internal enrollment into the program takes place for qualified students with a GPA of at least 88. During the second semester of the second year, the students register for certain mandatory courses of the program, with earned credits reserved towards the Master’s degree.
 
During the third year students complete all mandatory courses in the program (credits counting towards the Master’s degree).
 
During the same year, or upon its completion, students participate in a laboratory rotation (94862) and submit their thesis.
 
At the end of the third year, students leave their medical studies for a period of two to three years.
 
Before the end of the first research year, students complete 22 credits with a GPA of at least 90, and transfer to the direct Ph.D. track after successfully passing the screening examination.
 
At the time of admission into Stage 1 of the doctoral studies, students present a two-page research plan and a letter from their mentor with a proposal to the Research Students Office, with recommendations for the appointment of the members to a supervisory committee. The Office, at its discretion, issues appointment letters to committee members.
 
The committee is convened by the mentor within six months of student’s admission to Stage 1. With the approval of committee members, the mentor issues a letter to the Office containing a summary of the meeting. A copy of the letter is forwarded to the head of the Graduate Studies Committee. Committee members reconvene before the student starts Stage 2.
 
The student begins Stage 2 no later than one year after the start of doctoral studies. At the time of transition to Stage 2, the supervisory committee decides whether the student can return to medical studies. If the committee finds that the student has not advanced at the desired pace, the student is required to take an additional (third) year away from medical studies. The summary of the meeting is sent by the mentor to the Office, with the approval of members of the supervisory committee. A copy is forwarded to the head of the Graduate Studies Committee. In any case, the decision of the supervisory committee is binding. 
 
Students who did not start the program in their second year in medical school (or at least at the beginning of the third year), must complete all the makeup courses of the Master’s program, in parallel with conducting research, during the first year of leaving the medical studies (after the third year), at the end of which they can transfer to the direct track (after having passed the screening examination).
 
Progress report to the MD-PhD committee
At the end of each research year, the student, with the approval of the mentor, presents a brief progress report, including a detailed schedule for future research in the upcoming years. The report is forwarded to members of the MD-PhD committee by the Teaching Division office.
 
Submission of the PhD thesis
The Ph.D. thesis must be submitted before the beginning of residency.
 
Scholarships for MD-PhD
MD-PhD students are entitled to a living scholarship from the Faculty of Medicine, and to a grant covering the tuition for the research program.
 
MD degree thesis
Students whose research plan has been approved by the Research Students Office (at the time of transition to Stage 2 of the doctoral studies), are exempt from submitting a thesis for the MD degree.
 
Students in the integrated program are assigned during their clinical studies to Teaching Divisions of the Ein Kerem campus, to allow them maximum access to research labs.
 
Teaching
Students in the MD-PhD program are exempted from teaching assignments.
 
The program requires completion of 22 credits, including:
15 credits from at least three of the five following clusters:
Cluster 1: Molecular Biology and Microbiology
81801 Medical Microbiology
81888 Clinical Molecular Microbiology
81850 Molecular Biology
94630 From the Receptor to The Gene
 
Cluster 2: Cell Biology and Cancer Research
81803 Cellular, Molecular Immunology: Selected Issues
81815 Genetics Animal Models of Human Disease
81809 Molecular Biology of The Cell
94861 The Biology of Cancer
 
Cluster 3: Neurobiology and Development
98827 Highlights of Neurological Sciences: Basic and Clinical
98819 Open Questions and Research Methodologies in Neurosciences
98122 Development of the Nervous System – Cellular and Molecular Aspects
94634 The Fundamentals of Embryonic Development
 
Cluster 4: Biochemistry and Human Molecular Genetics
94906 Genetic Counselling
94921 Developmental Genetics
94304 Regulation of Gene Expression in Animals
94853 Human Endocrinology
94849 Regulation of Gene Experssion in Endocrine System
94803 Molecular Mechanisms of Aging
 
Cluster 5: Bioinformatics
72677+72687 Bioinformatics-Computerized Analysis of Biomolecules Sequences - Lab
76880 Functional Genomics
81817+81821 Structure and Function of Proteins - Lab
81820+81865 From Networks to Molecules: Experimental and Computational Approaches for the Study of Protein Interactions - Lab
 
Additional mandatory courses
94661 Selected Research Projects in Bio-Medical Sciences.
94862 Rotation Course for Md/Ph.D Students
 
Over 150 laboratory hours. At the end of the laboratory rotation, students submit a paper that is reviewed by the mentor and by an outside examiner.
A group photo of students for research studies
Students in a lecture hall
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