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SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University

College of Medicine

About Medical Student Research

Frank Barone, PhD
Professor of Neurology
Director Basic Research
(718) 221-5745

Stanley Friedman, MD
Senior Associate Dean for Education
Professor of Physiology & Pharmacology
(718) 270-1335

Sophie Christoforou
Associate Dean for Student and Curricular Affairs
(718) 270-2187

The Importance of Research

Medical Student Research is strongly encouraged (i.e., important for your future).

Many SUNY Downstate resources are provided to help you obtain the research training and experience you desire.

Many medical students participate in the Alumni Summer Research Fellowship Program in the summer after their first year (i.e., after Foundation 1 & 2). This involves:

  • Connecting with a research mentor (e.g., research mentors can be from SUNY Downstate and also area schools and Universities).
  • Contacting your Medical Student Research Advisor, Frank Barone; He will help you connect with the appropriate mentor for your work.
  • Working with your research mentor early (e.g., discussions should begin in Fall 2014) since some discussion, learning and agreement on your specific project will be required.
  • Submitting a 3 page Alumni Summer Research Fellowship Application from you and your mentor (e.g., instructions for and submission of this application will be posted in April 2015).

Most summer fellowship applications are accepted for summer support awards but those that are not will be considered for (and typically receive) work study support.

Some students extend their research into MS2 (i.e., continue beyond the summer months).

More extensive information on Summer Research Fellowships is posted on Prime under Community Groups. Login is required.

A list of Faculty mentors and their research interests can be found in this PDF file.

Summer Fellowships opportunities are available at many other Institutions.

If you have any difficulty in identifying a research mentor, and/or if you know now what you would like to do for research but do not know what to do next, again please plan an early contact with Frank Barone (i.e., it is recommended that you start in Fall 2014).

Beginning soon (Fall 2014) we will schedule lunch presentations by research faculty that will describe the many available research opportunities in addition to relevant research and fellowship application information.

GENERAL NOTE: If you want to do summer research, in almost all cases there will be a mentor and financial support made available to you. Please take advantage of these opportunities and follow your specific research training path!

One year Funded Research Fellowships

For a more extensive research experience, one-year funded research training programs are available through national and international sponsors and the Alumni Association; These prestigious year-off research opportunities are pursued by some students and should also be discussed with Frank Barone and/or Sophie Christoforou (contact information above) to identify the best available programs, to obtain additional support from internal experts in your project research area and to help you in completing a high quality application.

One Year Research Opportunities are available.

Sponsored one year Global Health awards are also available.

Awards For Research Activities

Medical Students who have made a significant research contribution are eligible to graduate with a Distinction in Research Award. Over the past 3 years 18 students received this impressive graduation award. There is also the Commendation in Investigative Scholarship award in which a student has participated in a basic science or clinical project for a limited period of time or who has participated in a project, which has not reached maturity. Over the last 3 years 15 students received this award. Students performing research at other institutions are eligible for this with prior approval of the review committee whose chair is Dr. Steven Fox ( More details are printed in the 2013-2014 student handbook, page 85

MD/PhD Program

Downstate offers a dual degree MD/PhD program. The college of Medicine and the School of Graduate studies jointly sponsor a program leading to a combined MD/PhD degree. This program combines a medical education with an intensive research experience and is designed for students who are interested in pursuing a career in academic medicine. Students receive a stipend and a tuition scholarship throughout the duration of the program. Students entered in the MD program who develop an interest in research and an academic career can apply at any time during their first three years in medical school. Additional information regarding the MD/PhD program may be obtained from the School of Graduate Studies web site.


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