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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.

2015 Conference schedule: A schedule of events planned for this year's conference can be found here​​​.


2015 MD/PhD Student Conference registration links:

Student Registration

Ab​stract Submission

Non-student Registration (full conference)

Director Registration (partial conference)

IMPORTANT NOTE: A link to the registration website for the 2015 National MD-PhD Association Conference (directors only) is found here​.


2015 early registration deadline: June 15

2015 late registration deadline: July 1

Cancellation with Refund deadline: June 15

Oral presentation and Travel Award submission deadline: May 15

Abstract submission deadline (poster presentation): June 1

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 pleased to announce that 2015 MSTP Student Conference speakers will include Dr.'s Robert Califf, Elaine FuchsBernardo Sabatini, Pamela SklarMatt Vander Heiden​, and Alan Goldin​.

Dr. Robert ​Califf​​​ is a board-certified cardiologist and Deputy Commissioner of the Office of Medical Products and Tobacco at the FDA.  Prior to joining FDA in March 2015, he served as Vice Chancellor for Clinical and Translational Research at Duke University.  Dr. Califf has authored more than 1,200 publications, led many landmark international clinical trials in cardiovascular medicine, and founded the world’s largest academic clinical research institute at Duke.  He has played a major role in shaping national policies regarding clinical research, as well as methodological and regulatory changes needed to revitalize the U.S. clinical research enterprise.

Dr. Elaine Fuchs is an HHMI investigator and the Lancefield Professor of Mammalian Cell Biology and Development at Rockefeller University. Her research interests are centered around the balance between stem cell maintenance and differentiation and how disruption of this balance can occur in cancer. Throughout her career she has received countless awards and recognitions including being named one of the Nation’s Outstanding Scientists by the White House. Recently, she received the 2014 Pezcoller Foundation Award for her translational cancer research.

Dr. Bernardo Sabatini is an MD/PhD, HHMI investigator and professor of Neurobiology at Harvard University. In his career, he has pioneered multiple optical techniques for detecting neuron synaptic activity. His lab studies the mechanisms of synaptic plasticity that facilitate learning of new behaviors in the young and how these same mechanisms are perturbed in neuro-psychiatric disorders such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Autism.

Dr. Pamela Sklar, MD, PhD is the Chief of the Division of Psychiatric Genomics, and Professor of Psychiatry, Neuroscience, Genetics and Genomic Sciences at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. As a neuroscientist, human geneticist and clinical psychiatrist, Dr. Sklar investigates the genetic causes of psychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Using large scale genome-wise association studies comparing affected individuals to a healthy individuals, she was the first to associate recurrent large deletions of DNA with the onset of schizophrenia and also found the first broadly reproducible genetic variants in schizophrenia as well as bipolar disorder. Sklar and her colleagues also discovered a molecular basis for polygenicity in schizophrenia among both rare and common DNA alterations and that schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are genetically linked through DNA variants that contribute to both illnesses.

Dr. Matthew Vander Heiden, MD, PhD, is the Eisen and Chang Career Development professor and associate professor of biology at MIT and an instructor in medicine at both Harvard Medical School and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. He has been a Member of the Scientific Advisory Board at Agios Pharmaceuticals, Inc. since 2008. He received the Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award for Medical Scientists in 2009. Dr. Vander Heiden uses a combination of biochemistry, molecular biology and mouse models, to investigate how metabolism is regulated to influence different stages of tumor biology with a major goal to find novel approaches to treat and diagnose cancer in the clinic.

Dr. Alan Goldin is a Professor of Molecular Biology, Neurobiology,  and Anatomy as well as Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Director of the MSTP at UC Irvine. Dr. Goldin holds an MD/PhD degree and serves as chair of the MD-PhD section of GREAT (Group on Graduate Research, Education, and Training), which is the AAMC-appointed committee that directs MD-PhD education in the United States. His research interests are focused on the study of voltage-gated sodium channel trafficking and mutations in CNS diseases such Epilepsy.

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 17th.The conference concludes late Sunday evening and we recommend you plan to stay in Keystone through Monday morning, July 20.

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 17th. 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: $54 each direction.
Discount Code: MDPHD15

Where should I stay? Lodging can be booked through Keystone Resort on their website, or via their toll-free conference line at 800-258-0437. Be sure to mention our group code (CZ8C15) to receive a discount! This code will be active only until the end of the day on Thursday, June 25th. The discounted rates will be honored up to 3 days before and 3 days after the meeting dates, based on availability. For further information visit their website at keystoneresort.comIf 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 30th Annual National MD/PhD Student Conference.  The Conference will take place July 17-19 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 30th anniversary of the National MD/PhD Student Conference with us and hope that you will find it as valuable as past attendees have.



The 2015 Organi​zing Committee