Dr. Moeller Discusses Clinical Research with Visiting Italian Medical Students

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The VCU C. Kenneth and Dianne Wright Center for Clinical and Translational Research proudly welcomed nine medical students from the Università Campus Bio-Medico in Roma, Italy to VCU for a two and a half week program titled, “A Primer on Clinical and Translational Research.”

The program took place from Monday, Sept. 5 to Saturday, Sept. 24, during which time the Italian students attended lectures on clinical and translational research with Antonio Abbate, M.D., Ph.D., medical director of the Wright CCTR’s Clinical Research Services, and associate chair of the VCU Scientific Review Committee, and other esteemed VCU scientists and researchers. 

The students also visited the Richmond Academy of Medicine (RAM) building to meet with F. Gerard Moeller, M.D., director of the VCU Wright CCTR, who sat down with the group to discuss the value of clinical research and the paths to a research career. 

“As a medical professional, there is always a pull to just do clinical work because the career path of a researcher is difficult,” Moeller said. “But the work done by researchers is a vital component of the scientific field and there are many funding opportunities, fellowships, and mentors available to support you along your path.”

Dr. Moeller also stressed the importance of young scientists finding a good team and supportive institution. He explained the functions and services of the various programs offered to researchers by the VCU Wright CCTR, including protected time in the form of the KL2 (formerly known as K12) scholar program. The KL2 provides substantial salary support and $25,000 in start-up funds for faculty-level clinical and translational scientists near the beginning of their investigative careers. 

The Italian medical students’ visit to VCU was made possible by a cooperative partnership between VCU and the Università Campus Bio-Medico. This past June, five American students in their 3rd and 4th years of VCU’s medical program visited Italy for three weeks as part of an intensive training program dedicated to generating enthusiasm for research and exposing VCU students to medical practices abroad. 

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First image up top: F Gerard Moeller, M.D., director of the VCU Wright CCTR , presents a lecture on the value of clinical research

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