Medical Sciences Research Track


Big4Program Overview

The Medical Sciences Research Track (MSRT) is an intensive one-year enrichment internship designed to expose students who have completed the 1st-year of the UNTHSC Masters of Science in Medical Sciences program to biomedical research. Working under the guidance of faculty mentor, students complete advanced coursework and undertake independent research leading to the production of an internship practicum report and presentation.

Approximately 95% of students who complete the MSRT program have been accepted into professional/graduate programs, including medical schools (including TCOM), dental schools, pharmacy schools, and graduate schools (PhD programs).


Opportunities and ExpectationsMentors

While all MSRT students are expected to participate in research, the MSRT program provides a personalized 2nd-year experience through elective coursework and one-on-one interactions with faculty mentors and other scientists on the UNTHSC campus.

  • Conduct an independent research study or contribute to an ongoing lab research project.
  • Work with a team of scientists (faculty mentor, trainees, research staff).
  • Learn advanced research techniques and apply them to biomedical research.
  • .Develop scientific communication skills through oral presentations and written publications
      • Present research at RAD conference at UNTHSC
      • Present research at a state, national, or international scientific conference
      • Publish a peer-reviewed manuscript (first or co-author)
      • Contribute to grant applications
  • Receive research awards (local, state, national)
  • Attend MSRT professional development workshops (e.g., research ethics, literature searches, scientific writing)
  • Full-time, on-campus commitment (40 hours a week)
  • Meet all deadlines, including submission of required paperwork, written proposal, and final report
  • Attend all required laboratory and departmental activities (e.g., lab meetings, departmental seminars)

Application and Transfer to Medical Science Research Track

Any1st-year MS in Medical Sciences students interested in expanding their research experience may apply to the Medical Science Research Track.  Application procedures for transferring to the MSRT include submitting a CV/resume and a completed application form.  Prior to submitting an application, prospective students must first interview with a minimum of three potential major professors (a list of prospective advisors is provided). The student will list these faculty in order of preference on their application form. The MSRT admissions committee will determine the placement of each student based on the students’ preferences and faculty availability.

The minimum academic requirements to enroll in the MSRT program include:

    • Minimum GPA of 3.0 in the 1st-year medical sciences curriculum
    • Have passed all MS Medical Sciences courses by the start of the Research Track program
    • To work with anatomy faculty, students must also receive an “A” in either Gross Anatomy (PHAN 5401) or Structural Anatomy (PHAN 5301)

Students from the on-campus “face-to-face” cohort start in the summer semester and graduate the following spring semester.  Students from the Online cohort start in the fall semester and graduate the following summer semester.  The MSRT program concludes in time for both the face-to-face and online cohorts to matriculate into subsequent professional degree programs (medical school, dental school, etc.).


Research Track Curriculum and Requirements

During the research track year, students complete a combination of research-focused courses and an independent research project within a laboratory on the UNTHSC campus. Students will work closely with a primary research advisor and advisory committee to select appropriate coursework and to produce a research proposal, a final practicum report, and a final oral presentation/defense.Graduation

  • 24 SCH of graduate coursework – Summer (6 SCH), Fall (9 SCH), Spring (9 SCH)
  • Research Proposal (end of first long semester) – written document approved by advisory committee
  • Final Report, Presentation & Defense (final semester)
    • Written document approved by advisory committee
    • Oral Presentation, open to the public
    • Private defense with committee



Research Track – Class of 2022

Elias Arellano, Advisor: Dr. Kimberly Fulda (Public Health)
Nasrul Bhuiyan, Advisor:  Dr. Caroline Rickards (Integrative Physiology)
Clay Carey, Advisor: Dr. Scott Maddux (Structural Anatomy & Rehabilitation Sciences)
Taylor Craig, Advisor: Dr. Rustin Reeves (Structural Anatomy & Rehabilitation Sciences)
Aakaash Duggal, Advisor: Dr. Derek Schreihofer (Pharmacology & Neuroscience)
Fernando Gracia, Advisor: Dr. Brandy Roane (Pharmacology & Neuroscience)
Tooba Husain, Advisor: Dr. Rachel Menegaz (Structural Anatomy & Rehabilitation Sciences)
Lila Huston, Advisor: Dr. Lauren Gonzales (Structural Anatomy & Rehabilitation Sciences)
Andrew Kim, Advisor: Dr. Rance Berg (Cell Biology, Immunology, & Microbiology)
Kevin Lal, Advisor: Dr. Hongli (Catherine) Wu (Visual Sciences)
Jacob Moore, Advisor: Dr. Emma Handler (Structural Anatomy & Rehabilitation Sciences)
Oluwaseun Omoba, Advisor: Dr. Kunlin Jin (Pharmacology & Neuroscience)
Fatemeh Jafari Roshan-Zamir, Advisor: Dr. Tara Tovar-Vidales (Visual Sciences)
David Salinas Aguirre, Advisor: Dr. Lisa Hodge (Integrative Physiology)
Virginia Wang, Advisor: Dr. Liang-Jun Yan (Pharmaceutical Sciences & Pharmacotherapy)
Cooper Warne, Advisor: Dr. Johnathan Tune (Integrative Physiology)


Research Track – Class of 2021

Kulsum Abdali “Slow Recovery of Cerebral Perfusion during Hypotension in Elderly Humans.”  Advisor: Dr. Xiangrong Shi
Sara Aldeeb “Sexual Dimorphism within Dental Microstructure.” Advisor:  Dr. Emma Handler
Ian Dadeboe “Computational Pharmacology Towards RGS12 Inhibitors.” Advisor:  Dr. David Siderovski
Jonathan Ferguson “Neuroprotective Effects of Topically Delivered SA2 Nanoparticles in a Mouse Model of RGC Injury” Advisor: Dr. Dorota Stankowska
Madison Parker “The Effects of Osteopathic Manipulation Techniques on the Lymphatic System.” Advisor:  Dr. Lisa Hodge
Jennifer Pham “Development and in vitro Characterization of Gemcitabine Loaded Nanoparticles for Pancreatic Cancer Therapy.” Advisor:  Dr. Amalendu Ranjan
Rajiv Rangan “miRNA Profiling of Human Optic Nerve Head Astrocytes Exposed to Cyclic Stretch.” Advisor:  Dr. Tara Tovar-Vidales
Ryan Rusy “Investigating the Use of Resistance Breathing for the Detection of Acute Hypovolemia.” Advisor:  Dr. Caroline Rickards
Cooper Stevenson “The Effects of Ad5.CMV.hTGFβ2C226/228S on AHD in Mice.” Advisor:  Dr. Cameron Millar
Andrew Su “The Effect of Tooth Loss on Craniofacial Morphology.” Advisor: Dr. Rachel Menegaz
Zachary Terrell “Effects of Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment on Parkinsonian Gait: A Statistical Parametric Mapping Analysis.” Advisor: Dr. Rita Patterson
Stephen Thai “Protein Biomarkers of Estrogenic Impact on the Mouse and Rat Uterus.” Advisor: Dr. Laszlo Prokai
Lyndee Ward “Assessing Ecogeographic Variation in the Nasal Passages Utilizing Semilandmark Geometric Morphometrics.” Advisor: Dr. Scott Maddux
Bisma Zulifqar “Provider’s Satisfaction with Provision of Prenatal Care during the COVID-19 Pandemic.” Advisor: Dr. Kimberly Fulda



Dr. Caroline Rickards
Director, Medical Science Research Track
Phone: 817-735-2735


This page was last modified on May 7, 2021