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THANK YOU to everyone that attended and participated in this year's conference. We look forward to seeing you again next year!


About the Conference

Each year, the University of Colorado Medical Scientist Training Program sponsors and coordinates the National MD/PhD Student Conference. Organized by the 3rd year MSTP students, the conference provides an opportunity for MD/PhD students around the country to present their work and interact with other students and prominent scientific investigators. What began as a small meeting in 1986 has grown into a gathering of over 200 students, faculty, and alumni from over 60 academic institutions in the United States and Canada.

2016 Conference schedule: A schedule of events planned for this year's conference can be found here​​​​.


2016 MD/PhD Student Conference registration links:


Ab​stract Submission


2016 early registration deadline: June 17

  • Fees: 
    • Student: $375.00
    • Faculty: $375.00
    • Administrator: $375.00
    • Commercial/Vendor: $475.00
    • Other: $375.00
2016 late registration deadline: July 1

  • Fees: $425.00

Cancellation with Refund deadline: June 17

Oral presentation and Travel Award submission deadline: May 16

Abstract submission deadline (poster presentation): June 10

Abstract Submissions:

We welcome abstract submissions from all students interested in sharing their projects with us at the conference! Selected projects will be used for our student poster presentation sessions. Project​ categories include: Immunology and Infectious disease, Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Cancer Biology, Neuroscience, General Medicine and Public Health, or Bioengineering. Please submit your abstract (limit to 2500 characters) by June 10, 2016 on our abstract submission page. For full information about the abstract requirements as well as to submit an abstract, please visit our information page here​.

If you have submitted an abstract for a poster session please print your poster to fit on a 4'X4' board!

Diversity Travel Awards

Ten Diversity Travel Awards in the amount of $1000 each are being offered this year. The intent of these travel awards is to increase attendance of diversity students to the National MD/PhD Student Conference. Attendees may apply for these awards when submitting an abstract (see abstract submission page​​​). Further information regarding these awards may be found here​

About​ the Speakers

We are excited to announce the following Keynote speakers for the 2016 MSTP Student Conference:

Dr. Anirban Maitra 

Dr. Anirban Maitra is currently a Professor of Pathology and Deputy Division Head for Academic Science at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Additionally, he is the current Scientific Director at the Sheikh Ahmed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Center for Pancreatic Cancer Research. Dr. Maitra has received numerous awards for his research studies, including the Benjamin Castleman Award, the Warren R. Lang Award, and the Ramzi S. Cotran Young Investigator Award. His research goals focus on the identification of genetic mechanisms regulating patient response to current therapies and preclinical validation of rational, cancer-specific therapies for pancreatic cancer.

Dr. Katherine High

Dr. Katherine High is the William H. Bennett Professor of Pediatrics and Professor of Medicine and Pathology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. High’s research focuses on the molecular basis of blood coagulation, and the use of novel genetic therapies to treat hemophilia. More recently, she co-founded Spark Therapeutics, a private company that is pioneering safe and effective clinical translation of genetic therapies for inherited disorders. Her leadership in research and clinical trials have led to short-term correction of disease in hemophilia B, and long-term improvements in Leber's congenital amaurosis, a hereditary cause of blindness.  In addition, Dr. High previously served as President of the American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy (ASGCT).​

Dr. Michael Shadlen

Dr. Michael Shadlen is an HHMI Investigator and Professor of Neuroscience at The Kavli Institute for Brain Science at Columbia University. Dr. Shadlen’s research project combines electrophysiological, behavioral, and computational methods to understand how neurons in the association cortex process information to give rise to complex decision making behavior.  He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Golden Brain Award, the W. Alden Spencer Prize, and the McKnight Scholar Award.  Additionally, Dr. Shadlen is a member of the National Academy of Medicine.

Dr. Rob Knight

Dr. Rob Knight is a Professor in the Department of Pediatrics, with an additional appointment in the Department of Computer Science, at the University of California San Diego. Dr. Knight’s research involves the analysis and characterization of environmental, animal-associated, and human-associated microbiota.  He has pioneered new laboratory and computational techniques to reveal the complex interactions between human behavior, health, and our microbiome.  Dr. Knight is a member of the Steering Committee of the Earth Microbiome Project, and a co-founder of the American Gut Project. Additionally, he received the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise and is the author of the book Follow Your Gut: The Enormous Impact of Tiny Microbes.

Dr. Robert Seder

Dr. Robert Seder is the current Chief of the Cellular Immunology Section at the Vaccine Research Center of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIH). Dr. Seder’s postdoctoral work at NIAID, showing that cytokines such as IL-12 are critical for inducing Th1 responses, is the basis for current vaccine design for diseases ranging from HIV, malaria, and tuberculosis. His current research program is focused his efforts on understanding the relationship between the magnitude and quality of T cells, the role of adjuvants, and humoral and cellular immunity.

About Keystone

What happens other than famous scientists giving talks? There will also be a career panel, poster sessions, optional outdoor activities, and breakout sessions covering topics of interest to MD/PhDs. This year these will include: Scientific Presentation Techniques, Grant-Writing Techniques, Biotechnology and Industry, Entering Residency and Fellowship, and Approaching Bioinformatics Analysis.

How long should I plan on staying for the conference? Conference check-in opens at 2 pm and activities begin at 5 pm on Friday, July 15th.The conference concludes late Sunday evening and we recommend you plan to stay in Keystone through Monday morning, July 18.

How far Keystone is from Denver International Airport? 98 miles, or about 2 hours in normal traffic. You should plan flying in around noon on Friday, July 15th. Google Map 

How do I get to Keystone? Colorado Mountain Express is a shuttle service that is offering discounted rates to Keystone for conference attendees. Shared Ride Shuttles depart daily every 90 minutes. Colorado Mountain Express is offering a discounted rate to attendees from July 10th-24th. To receive the rate, attendees must use the discount code shown below.

Denver Intl. Airport to Keystone -- 9:30am-9:30pm
Keystone to Denver Intl. Airport -- 5:15am-5:45pm

Phone: 1-800-525-6363
Discount rate: $53 each direction.
Discount Code: MDPHD16

​Ho​using Information​
Please read the following information from the resort about booking a room for the conference:
To ensure that rooming requirements can be accommodated properly, we ask that individual reservations be made on prior to Tuesday, June 14, 2016. Rooms will be booked based on space and availability after this time. The contracted rates will be honored up to 3 days before and 3 days after the meeting dates, based on availability.  Please call 800-258-0437 to make lodging reservations or visit
 their website​. Reference group code CZ8C16 to receive discounted rates.  If you would like to share a room with attendees from other MD/PhD programs, please see and like our conference facebook page​

What should I bring with me? 
Sunscreen and Water BottleThe elevation at Keystone ~9,300 ft. It's easy to get dehydrated, so drink plenty of water. This NEJM article​ has more information.
JacketAverage July high and low are 74°F and 39°F. On Sunday morning there will be optional conference activities, some of which are outdoors. It might rain.  
Scientific Curiosity: It is a science conference, after all. 

Invitation Letter

Dear Invitee,

It is with great pleasure that the Medical Scientist Training Program at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus invites you to attend the 31st Annual National MD/PhD Student Conference.  The Conference will take place July 15-17 in Keystone, Colorado.  Over the past 30 years, the conference has brought MD/PhD students from across North America to Colorado to share their research, hear featured speakers, participate in small groups, interact with a career panel and enjoy the Rocky Mountains.  Participants have the unique opportunity to network with their fellow MD/PhD students, meet leading researchers, and consider the evolving role of the physician scientist. Furthermore, because this year’s conference coincides with the National MD/PhD Director Conference, attendees will have the unique opportunity to interact with Directors of MD/PhD programs from all over the United States.

As in the past, we have invited a group of distinguished speakers from a variety of disciplines. These featured speakers will address topics in both basic science and translational research. In addition, student oral presentations and poster sessions will ensure that a wide spectrum of topics are discussed including, but not limited to, cancer biology, biochemistry, immunology, microbiology, neuroscience, bioengineering, developmental biology, and public health. There will also be a number of career improvement breakout sessions intended to help students to be successful as clinician scientists.

The program includes free time to enjoy the spectacular surroundings of the conference venue. Summit County and the nearby cities of Keystone, Dillon, Silverthorne and Breckenridge allow for outdoor exploration, shopping and social gatherings after hours. Hiking, mountain biking, kayaking and other adventure activities are conveniently located near the conference site and are incorporated into the conference.

Ten Diversity Travel Awards will be given to conference attendees. We strongly encourage students to apply for these $1000 awards that cover registration and travel expenses. Additional awards may be provided (see conference website for details).

We invite you to celebrate the 31st anniversary of the National MD/PhD Student Conference with us and hope that you will find it as valuable as past attendees have.



The 2016​ Organi​zing Committee