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DDS-Master's in Clinical Research

Program Director: Richard Jordan, DDS, PhD, FRCPath
The DDS–Master’s in Clinical Research (DDS-MCR) program draws on the rich clinical & translational research resources and expertise that continue to be the hallmark of the University of California San Francisco (UCSF). Building on the foundation of our successes developing leading education programs within the School of Dentistry and within our other 3 Professional Schools (Medicine, Pharmacy and Nursing), we will train dental clinician-scientists (Scholars) who will be future leaders in clinical and translational research. We have implemented a comprehensive, structured and rigorous education program that provides rich training for dental school Scholars leading to the DDS and MCR degrees in 5 years. We have partnered with a nationally recognized and highly successful clinical research training program based in the UCSF School of Medicine (Training in Clinical Research, TICR) to create a unique cross-disciplinary, integrated clinical and translational research training experience. This DDS-MCR program meets the needs of both the Scholars and the oral health research community, providing training that assures continuing access to cutting-edge science, state-of-the-art research tools, and the innovative, cross-disciplinary, team-based perspectives required by today’s complex scientific problems.
Scholar selection is based on records, credentials, and judgment of which candidates most likely to benefit from the program and potential for future contributions and scientific leadership. Outstanding mentors with whom they will be linked to form a partnership that will meet their educational needs through the entire program will guide scholars through the program.
 The Program:
 We have developed a comprehensive, structured and rigorous academic program that provides rich and comprehensive training for DDS candidates wishing advanced educational training in clinical and translational research. This will culminate in awarding the combined DDS-MCR degree in 5-years of study and prepare Scholars for careers as independent investigators in academic dentistry.
 In order to provide effective and comprehensive clinical and translational research training to Scholars we have partnered with the well established and nationally known clinical research training in the School of Medicine programmatically called the “Training in Clinical Research Program” under the direction of Dr. S. Hulley (Internal Advisory Board member) and Dr. J. Martin (Co-Program Director). The advantages of this strategy are that the program is already well established, has a proven track record of successfully training clinical investigators and has goals that are fully aligned with this proposal. Integration of the clinical research-training component is comprehensive, and is cost effective since it utilizes an already existing successful infrastructure. Moreover, a significant advantage of this format is that many core didactic elements are shared by this DDS-MCR program and our existing clinical and translational training (CTST) PhD program, thus permitting a suitably motivated and qualified Scholar the opportunity transfer to the PhD program and receive advanced standing. 
Training in clinical research (TICR): One of the strongest statements about the broad based institutional commitment of UCSF to the success of the TICR program is the fact that over 100 faculty members from a dozen departments teach in their courses each year.Another is the new UCSF Physician Scientist Program-Clinical was based on TICR and is now a component of the CTSI, a comprehensive and ambitious blueprint for clinical research training infrastructure at UCSF.  UCSF has also committed office space and technical support for the Director and Co-Directors of the TICR program in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, as well as an attractive large conference room dedicated to the program and other rooms as needed. The Departments of Epidemiology and Biostatistics and of Medicine have also committed faculty and staff time to teaching, mentoring, and administering the program, about 2/3 of which is supported by sources other than the K30 grant. The overall mission of the UCSF TICR Program is to increase the number, diversity and quality of clinical investigators. A primary focus is to develop independent principal investigators who will direct research teams at academic centers. TICR provides a solid foundation for partnering with this DDS-MCR program.
We expect that students will complete the combined DDS-MCR in 5 years of study and have designed the curriculum to ensure that happens. Year 1 of the MCR (MCR-1; taken after the second dental school year) is a full-time commitment and will require a 1-year leave of absence from the DDS program. The final 8 months of the MCR (MCR-2) is a part-time effort (3 required courses: 1 in the fall, 1 in the winter and a lunchtime seminar series) and will be completed concurrently with year 3 of the DDS program. The new dental school curriculum introduced to UCSF in 2004 provides for at least 2 half days a week of elective and independent study time through the entire year permitting students to complete the MCR requirements while continuing to fulfill the didactics components in year 2 of the DDS program. Detailed specifics of the courses follow the timetable.
DDS-MCR Program objectives:
1. Acquire a mastery of a broad set of clinical research methods.
2. Plan and implement one or more clinical research projects
3. Present research findings at a national meeting.
4. Write a comprehensive literature review and publish one or more first-authored peer-reviewed original research papers.
5. Obtain experience in the instruction of clinical research methods.
Overall course plan and timeline: