We believe that early exposure to cutting-edge research and psychiatric care in clinical settings inspires a new breed of scientists, passionate about helping those with mental illness. The medical student research opportunities in our Department engage scholars in independent projects, and provide an authentic research experience that helps them to define their career goals.

Medical Scientist Training Program

Our faculty members serve as mentors to students in the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP), sponsored jointly by the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon. Upon acceptance into the program, students consult their career advisor to choose a mentor for their PhD studies and may choose from among our research faculty

Examples of MSTP Students Mentored by our Faculty


Kevin Dowling MSTP Researcher


Kevin Dowling

Research:  Integrating genetics and computational neuroimaging to study the underlying circuit biology relevant to cognition and neuropsychaitric disease

MentorDavid Lewis, MD


Sam Dienel


Samuel Dienel

Research: Development of prefrontal cortical circuitry and the pathogenesis of schizophrenia

Mentor: David Lewis, MD


Maria Ly MSTP Researcher


Maria Ly

Research:  Role and relationship of hippocampal activity with other biomarkers in early stage Alzheimer’s disease

Mentor: Howard Aizenstein, MD, PhD


Longitudinal Research Project

The School of Medicine's Longitudinal Research Project (LRP) is a longitudinal experience throughout the four years of the medical school curriculum in which students engage in a research project under the mentorship of a faculty member.  Each student is assigned a LRP Director, who will follow their progress throughout the entire longitudinal LRP experience.

Medical student training opportunities in specific areas of psychiatric research are provided through these programs:

Medical students who want to conduct their scholarly project in other areas of psychiatric research should view our list of research faculty and then contact potential mentors individually.

LRP student, Rachel Eleazu, with her research mentor, Dr. Alison Hipwell
LRP student, Rachel Eleazu, with her research mentor, Dr. Alison Hipwell