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Outstanding Early Career Scholars Program

Department of Medicine


The Department of Medicine is now offering a new Outstanding Early Career Scholars Program (OESCP) to accelerate the development of exceptionally creative and promising faculty in the early stages of their career. The goal of the Outstanding Early Career Scholars Program is to accelerate the development of exceptionally creative and promising faculty early in their career. It is designed to invest in the career development of each scholar, but is not limited to a specific research project or scholarly activity. The Early Career Scholars will be expected to commit 75% of their effort to scholarly activities.  They will each receive $75,000 annually for up to five years and the funds cannot be used to support or supplement the Scholar’s salary.         


The OESCP started in 2012 with two scholars — Mario Santiago, MD, Infectious Diseases and Larry Allen, MD, Cardiology. This year the number of deserving applicants increased significantly and the committee decided to select three from the group. Those chosen were: Dan Matlock, MD; Eric Schmidt, MD; and Rachel Zemans, MD.


Eric Schmidt, MD who is doing pulmonary research on Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome, will be using the funding to help him establish his own lab, help pay for staff and assist in gaining the experience and research data he will need to successfully compete for National Institute of Health and other grants to fund his research in the future.


The title of Dan Matlock, MD’s research is “Informed and Empowered: Improving the Quality of Patient Decision Making.” An internist and geriatrician, Dan is exploring how and why patients make decisions based on the information that their physician shares with them. This intriguing topic is a more psychological approach to patient centered care, but Matlock believes the results will be important for both patients and their physicians as we expand care to different audiences through new governmental programs and the advances that modern science offers for both the present and the future.

Rachel Zemans, MD, is focusing her research on the repair of the lung epithelium after inflammatory injury in disease states such as acute lung injury or emphysema. Her goals include addressing novel and important questions that are distinct to her individual research based on what she has learned from her mentors. With her grant, she is hoping to develop a mouse model and an independent research program.


The Department of Medicine will endeavor to support a total of six scholars through  gifts from friends of the Department of Medicine.