Training: SRTP

The Vanderbilt Medical Student Research Training Program (SRTP) is sponsored by the National Institutes of Health and allows medical students to conduct research under the direction of an established scientist in the areas of diabetes, obesity, kidney disease, or digestive disease at Vanderbilt during the summer between the first and second or second and third years of medical school.


SRTP offers three areas of emphasis: 

  • Diabetes and Obesity
    Research areas include pancreatic islets/insulin secretion, neuroscience related to obesity and diabetes, carbohydrate physiology, hormone action/signal transduction, immunology related to diabetes, complications of diabetes, exercise physiology, and patient education or behavior related to diabetes.

  • Kidney Disease
    Research areas include diabetic nephropathy, immune-mediated kidney disease, kidney fibrosis, hypoxia and cellular signaling, metabolism and inflammation in acute and chronic kidney disease, and psychosocial aspects of kidney disease. Students selected for this program will participate in the Vanderbilt Center for Kidney Disease Student Research Training Program in Kidney Disease; click here for more information.

  • Digestive Disease
    Research areas include epithelial integrity, gastrointestinal development and function, gastrointestinal physiology, inflammatory bowel disease, Helicobacter pylori infection, and GI-related cancer. 




  • Students spend 2-3 months at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and receive a stipend of approximately $2,200 per month.

  • Students must participate for a minimum of two calendar months (60 days) between late May and August and participate in the research symposium at Vanderbilt.

  • Program staff will assist students in selecting an appropriate research project and preceptor. Prior research experience is not required. In addition to working on his/her own research project, each student attends a series of seminars addressing various clinical and research aspects of diabetes mellitus and its complications, kidney disease, and digestive disease.

  • MD and DO students are eligible to apply.

SRTP 2024 Applications Have Closed  đź—‚  Applications for 2025 will open in late October 2024


Click here to view SRTP alumni and their affiliations.




  • The objectives of the Vanderbilt Medical Student Research Training Program (SRTP) are:

    • To provide the opportunity for the student to conduct diabetes and obesity-related research, kidney and hypertension-related research, or digestive disease-related research in order to gain an improved understanding of research and career opportunities in biomedical research

    • To provide an atmosphere that encourages and facilitates student interaction with a diverse group of established investigators and clinicians

    • To give participants a comprehensive and current understanding of diabetes mellitus, its clinical manifestations and its unsolved problems


    Icon Read here: Impact of Medical Student Research in the Development of Physician-Scientists


    The SRTP started in the summer of 1975 and during the past 42 years over 1000 students from more than 100 medical schools have participated. Each summer approximately 30 medical students participate in the program (see below section for a list of recent alumni). Each student chooses an established Vanderbilt investigator in the field of Diabetes, Obesity, Kidney Disease, or Digestive Disease. The areas of research are quite broad and range from basic laboratory studies to clinical studies in humans. Program staff will assist students in selecting a preceptor. The Vanderbilt faculty member and the medical student jointly design a research project which is then conducted over the course of the summer. At the conclusion of the summer, each student presents a brief summary of his/her/their work in a national research symposium. In addition to working on his/her/their own research project, each student attends a series of seminars addressing various clinical and research aspects of diabetes mellitus and its complications, kidney disease and hypertension, and digestive disease. Through these seminars, Vanderbilt faculty alert students to recent advances in basic and clinical research and treatment options.

    Each student receives a stipend (currently calculated at a rate of approximately $2,100 per month) from which expenses for travel, food and housing may be paid. The stipend amount is prorated based upon the actual number of days a student participates in the program. Students are expected to spend 2-3 months in the program.

    Please note that students must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents to participate in this program.




    Diabetes and Obesity Track


    Cell Signaling

    Faculty Name Research Interest Affiliation(s)
    Breyer, Richard Prostaglandin E2 receptor signaling Medicine; Nephrology
    Collins, Sheila Biochemistry of metabolic disease Medicine
    Davies, Sean Oxidative stress Pharmacology


    Clinical Research, Genetics, and Epidemiology

    Faculty Name Research Interest Affiliation(s)
    Barkin, Shari Pediatric obesity Pediatrics
    Biaggioni, Italo Role of the autonomic nervous system in hypertension and obesity Clinical Pharmacology
    Cox, Nancy Genomics Medicine
    Elasy, Thomas Relapse prevention in diabetes Medicine
    Giri, Ayush Women's health in diabetes/obesity Medicine
    Jaser, Sarah Risk factors and interventions in T1D Pediatrics
    Luther, Matt Aldosterone and islet function Medicine; Clinical Pharmacology
    Mulvaney, Shelagh Improvement of self-management of diabetes Nursing; Pediatrics
    Rothman, Russell Patient education in diabetes Medicine
    Roumie, Christianne Epidemiology in pediatric diabetes Medicine
    Russell, William ERB signaling in liver regeneration Pediatrics
    Schlundt, David Environmental influences on diabetes and obesity Psychology
    Yu, Danxia Nutritional and molecular epidemiology Medicine


    Complications Related to Diabetes

    Faculty Name Research Interest Affiliation(s)
    Brantley, Milam Diabetic retinopathy Opthalmology
    Chaum, Ed Diabetic retinopathy Opthalmology
    Fogo, Agnes Glomerulosclerosis-vascular changes Pathology
    Guelcher, Scott Biomaterials for orthopaedic surgery Biomolecular Engineering
    Linton, MacRae Animal models of atherosclerosis Medicine
    Vickers, Kasey microRNA communication and systemic homeostasis Medicine
    Zent, Roy Cell-extracellular matrix interactions in kidney Medicine; Nephrology


    In Vivo Metabolic Regulation and Obesity

    Faculty Name Research Interest Affiliation(s)
    Abumrad, Naji Obesity/bariatric surgery Surgery
    Aronoff, David Placental inflammation in gestational diabetes Medicine
    Avison, Malcolm CNS development and function Pharmacology
    Ayala, Julio Gut-brain interactions in energy balance Molecular Physiology & Biophysics
    Bingham, Nathan Pediatric metabolic disease Molecular Physiology & Biophysics
    Flynn, C. Robb Diabetes and bariatric surgery Surgery
    Gamboa, Alfredo CNS and blood pressure Medicine; Clinical Pharmacology
    Gregory, Justin Insulin resistance Pediatrics
    Hulgan, Todd Translational mitochondrial genomics in HIV Medicine
    Koethe, John Adiposity and imune activation Medicine
    McGuinness, Owen Metabolism and nutritional support in vivo Molecular Physiology & Biophysics
    Shibao, Cyndya Hypertension and hypotension in diabetes Medicine; Clinical Pharmacology
    Shoemaker, Ashley Pseudohypoparathydroidism Pediatrics
    Silver, Heidi Diet and obesity Gastroenterology, Hepatology & Nutrition
    Simerly, Richard Brain and physiology metabolic regulation Molecular Physiology & Biophysics
    Stafford, John Obesity and lipid metabolism Medicine
    Wasserman, David Metabolism and exercise Molecular Physiology & Biophysics
    Young, Jamey Obesity and metabolic disorders Molecular Physiology & Biophysics


    Islet Development, Biology, and Immunology

    Faculty Name Research Interest Affiliation(s)
    Aune, Thomas Type 1 diabetes genes/regulating T cells Medicine; Rheumatology
    Bellan, Leon Microfluidics Mechanical Engineering
    Bonami, Rachel Islet autoantibodies as biomarkers Medicine; Rheumatology
    Chen, Wenbiao Metabolism, pancreatic islet development Molecular Physiology & Biophysics
    Dean, Danielle Alpha cell proliferation and dysfunction in diabetes Medicine
    Gannon, Maureen Molecular and cell biology of pancreas development Medicine
    Jacobson, David Pancreatic islet and hormone secretion Molecular Physiology & Biophysics
    Kaverina, Irina Microtubule-actin cytoskeleton interplay and cell motility Medicine
    Magnuson, Mark Stem cell biology Molecular Physiology & Biophysics
    Moore, Daniel Loss of immune tolerance in type 1 diabetes Pediatrics; Endocrinology
    O'Brien, Richard Gene regulation by insulin; islet gene expression Molecular Physiology & Biophysics
    Powers, Alvin Pancreatic islet function and growth Medicine
    Wright, Christopher Pancreas development Cell & Developmental Biology


    Digestive Disease Track


    Faculty Name Research Interest Affiliation(s)
    Abumrad, Naji Mechanisms involved in improved glucose handling following bariatric surgery Surgery
    Beauchamp, R. Daniel Colorectal carcinogenesis, biology of cancer cell invasion and metastasis, identification of novel molecular biomarkers Surgery
    Coffey, Robert Role of EGF receptor and its ligands in epithelial cell growth, differentiation and neoplasia Medicine
    Cover, Timothy Bacteria-host interactions, bacterial toxins, Helicobacter pylori, gastric cancer Medicine
    El-Rifai, Wael Cancer genetics, molecular biology, upper gastrointestinal cancer, Barrett's adenocarcinoma, gastric cancer Surgery
    Fingleton, Barbara Therapeutically targeting inflammatory molecules in colitis and colon cancer Cancer Biology
    Gannon, Maureen Genes and signaling pathways involved in development and function of pancreatic cells Medicine
    Goldenring, James Vesicle trafficking and recycling pathways that regulate function of apical membrane specializations in polarized kidney and gastrointestinal epithelial cells Surgery
    Hasty, Alyssa Obesity-related increases in adipose tissue macrophages leading to inflammation and insulin resistance Molecular Physiology & Biophysics
    Lee, Ethan Mechanism of Wnt signal transduction in development and disease Cell & Developmental Biology
    Peek, Richard Pathogenesis of Helicobacter pylori infection and gastric cancer Medicine
    Van Kaer, Luc Antigen presentation and lymphocyte development Pathology
    Wasserman, David Pathogenesis of insulin resistance in liver and muscle Molecular Physiology & Biophysics
    Williams, Christopher Epigenetic control of intestinal epithelial wound healing and repair programs and relationship to colorectal oncogenesis Medicine
    Wilson, Keith Mucosal immunology, mechanisms of inflammation, oxidative stress and gastrointestinal carcinogenesis, host-pathogen interactions Medicine


  • Check out our recorded lectures from the 2022 program.

Questions? Contact Us

Student Research Training Program (SRTP)
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
2213 Garland Avenue
7465 MRB IV
Nashville, TN 37232
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The Vanderbilt Medical Student Research Training Program (SRTP) is supported by the Vanderbilt Short Term Research Training Program for Medical Students (NIH grant DK007383), the Vanderbilt Diabetes & Endocrinology Training Program (NIH grant T32 DK007061), and the Vanderbilt Diabetes Research Center (NIH grant DK20593).