Scientific Education Initiative

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

The rigorous medical school curriculum is designed to give future physicians the information and skills they will 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 collaborated with the Yale School of Medicine to help bridge this knowledge gap.

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

Authored by our company’s scientists and medical professionals, and approved by Yale faculty, the program has been implemented by more than 90 academic institutions in 20 countries. It consists of an interactive course that takes students through the development process, from target identification and validation through clinical trials, 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 then newly created National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences’ Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) program to foster new collaborations between academia and industry. We anticipate launching a new Diversity in Clinical Trials program in 2020.

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 addressing 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 Global 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.

Since the Global Scientific Education Initiative was first introduced, the courses have been translated from English into six additional languages (Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, Turkish, Vietnamese and Russian). The program has been expanded to serve students in other health disciplines and graduate programs. At the University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, the courses are open to all students interested in potential careers in biotechnology and the pharmaceutical industry.

The courses are provided at no charge to degree-granting institutions, and faculty members have unrestricted access to the materials to augment their curricula. For more information about the program, contact request@msdscience.com.