Access to Health

Research & Development

Scientific
Education Initiative

Scientific
Education Initiative
Research & Development

We’re collaborating with academia, globally, to educate tomorrow’s doctors about biopharmaceutical development.

The rigorous curriculum of medical school is designed to give future physicians the information and skills they need to begin clinical practice. For most, clinical practice will inevitably mean prescribing a medicine or vaccine to a patient. Yet few medical students are trained to understand the drug development process or how pharmaceutical research can be applied to patient care. In 2010, our company and the Yale School of Medicine collaborated to bridge this knowledge gap.

Our Drug Development Program, in partnership with Yale University, is a comprehensive, six-module, seven-hour Web-based course established for second-year medical students and graduate students in health sciences, and includes a new module on vaccine development and clinical vaccinology.

The Scientific Education Initiative in Japan plans to double the number of schools in the next 12 months.

Authored by our company’s scientists and medical professionals and approved by Yale faculty, the program has been used by more than 60 academic institutions in 20 countries. It consists of an interactive course that takes students through the development process, from target identification and validation through the clinical trial, the regulatory review process and post-approval monitoring.

A second course, the Principles of Clinical Research and Design (PCRD), was developed in 2011 in response to a call for action from the NIH Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) program to foster new collaborations between academia and industry. Additionally, many universities outside of the U.S. requested information to help them better understand how clinical studies are designed and implemented. The course includes topics on both interventional and non-interventional studies, and addresses the concepts of bias and confounding, randomization, and blinding, among others.

Today, these courses are part of the Scientific Education Initiative in our Global Center of Scientific Affairs, within our company’s research laboratories. The Web-based initiative focuses on working with academia to develop and share high-quality, balanced, unbranded education on translational science topics.

“With academia and industry working together to develop the educational materials; the program becomes more comprehensive, efficient, and sustainable. Some Japanese students and residents might have difficulties learning in English, therefore, it is our great pleasure to help translate and edit the education material into Japanese. I believe this e-learning can spread in Japan and contribute more knowledge and skills of the drug development and the clinical research to a broader academic audience.”

Tsutomu Yamazaki, M.D., Ph.D.
Director and Professor
Clinical Research Support Center
The University of Tokyo Hospital

Since the Scientific Education Initiative was first introduced, the courses have been translated into five additional languages (Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, Turkish and Russian). In Japan, the University of Tokyo partnered with our regional Medical Affairs office to ensure that the educational content was translated appropriately for the student audience and aligned with their educational needs.

The Scientific Education Initiative in Japan plans to double the number of schools in the next 12 months.

“I think with the recent focus on drug discovery and clinical developments in Japan, the Scientific Education Initiative provides an excellent platform for students and investigators in top academic research centers. Also, with increasing globalization in Japanese academia, international students find our program easy to use because it is available in six languages.”

Rick Tsai, M.D.
Associate VP, Medical Affairs, Regional Medical Affairs
MSD Japan

English and Japanese versions of the new Web program are completed and content will be translated into four additional languages by the end of summer 2016. For additional information, contact request@msdscience.com.