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:
2016 early registration deadline: June 17
2016 late registration deadline: July 1
Cancellation with Refund deadline: June 17
Oral presentation and Travel Award submission deadline: May 16
Abstract submission deadline (poster presentation): May 27
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 May 27, 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.
Diversity Travel Awards
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
Discount rate: $53 each direction.
Discount Code: MDPHD16
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 Bottle: The elevation at Keystone ~9,300 ft. It's easy to get dehydrated, so drink plenty of water. This NEJM article has more information.
Jacket: Average 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.
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 Organizing Committee