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Resident Research Year

A researcher in a lab coat, at a laboratory bench, injects liquid into a tube

Research-track residents are assigned individual desk and research bench space and resources during their training.

In 2015, in collaboration with the Institute for Personalized Medicine (IPM), the Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery launched a unique research residency program with the goal of producing academic surgeon-scientists in otolaryngology – head and neck surgery. This six-year training opportunity provides one year of protected research time prior to internship.

During this year, residents are expected to conduct basic and/or translational otolaryngology – head and neck surgery research within the IPM. Residents may continue existing projects within the department or may develop novel projects in collaboration with clinical or basic science faculty.

Currently, several cutting-edge projects are aimed at understanding the genetic, epigenetic and genomic changes that drive head and neck and thyroid cancers. Using a novel platform called Irys to generate high-resolution physical genome maps, this group was the first to map the genome of patient-derived solid tumors with the goal of identifying structural changes in the thyroid cancer genome.

Additionally, the program has established collaborations within the IPM in pursuit of several other exciting and highly innovative endeavors. These projects include generating the first de novo cancer genome assemblies, interrogating the three-dimensional changes in genome structure that occur in cancer, and identifying genetic causes of familial thyroid cancer. In general, residents maintain a portfolio of low- and high-risk projects with the goal of producing at least two publications and presentations by the end of the year.

The research track resident will be assigned individual desk and research bench space and resources throughout their year of training. These are located in the Institute of Personalized Medicine in the Biomedical Research Building at Penn State College of Medicine.

The institute encompasses 5,000 square feet of laboratory space, equipped with all the instrumentation necessary for state-of-the-art genomic studies. Residents will have access to all of these instruments and are expected to become well-versed in the preparation of libraries and execution of next-generation sequencing protocols. Learn more about the Genome Sciences Facility.

Learn more about the Otolaryngology Residency