The Physician Scientist Training Program (PSTP) in the Department of Pathology & Immunology is committed to training the next generation of physician-scientist leaders in anatomic and clinical pathology. The program focuses on providing support, mentorship, and research experience through the clinical and postdoctoral training years, culminating in a trainee who is highly competitive for investigator-track academic pathology faculty positions.

View current PSTP trainees
Although the anatomic and clinical pathology residency programs include time for research training, the department recognizes that training for a career as an independent investigator requires substantial additional research time. The department supports PSTP trainees for up to three years after completion of residency or fellowship to dedicate entirely to research training.

The PSTP combines the intensive clinical training environment of Barnes-Jewish Hospital and its affiliates with rigorous research training in laboratories at Washington University. Trainees choose a research mentor from any of the 2,700 faculty members, representing a range of disciplines including cancer biology, microbiology, biomedical engineering, immunobiology, genomics, computational sciences, cell biology and biochemistry.


Eligible applicants include graduates with a combined MD-PhD degree or an MD degree and a strong record of research experience. Applicants must fulfill all eligibility requirements for anatomic or clinical pathology training. The most competitive candidates will have a strong commitment to a research career in academic medicine and an outstanding academic and research record.

Application Process

Candidates must apply to the anatomic or clinical pathology residency programs or the combined anatomic and neuropathology (AP/NP) program through the ERAS (Electronic Residency Application System) and should be registered through the NRMP (National Residency Matching Program). Applicants for the combined anatomic and clinical pathology program are not eligible.

Those interested in applying for the PSTP are encouraged to contact the Pathology Residency Director, Neil Anderson, MD. Applicants are also encouraged to contact one of the PSTP Co-Directors, Jacqueline Payton, MD, PhD or Nima Mosammaparast, MD, PhD to express interest and obtain additional information about the program. Contact should be made as early as possible; it is not necessary that the ERAS applications be complete prior to contacting the directors.

In addition to the ERAS application, candidates should submit the following:

  • CV
  • One page statement of research and career goals: a brief framing of your research background and accomplishments as they pertain to your interests and goals for your postdoc and beyond. This statement serves to convey 1) your career goals and 2) your areas of research interest for your postdoc. The latter helps us to identify potential postdoc mentors here, which is an essential part of the interview and decision-making process
  • Three letters of recommendation, including one from the research mentor that comments primarily about the candidate’s potential for a career as an independent investigator. Letters in the ERAS application are acceptable if they fulfill these criteria.

For the 2020 interview season, PSTP interviews will be conducted virtually. Applicants will meet with clinical and research faculty relevant to their interests. Applicants will present a seminar on their research that will be attended by faculty and trainees who have a range of expertise from clinical and/or research backgrounds. Therefore, please include ~10 minutes of introduction/background and discuss the significance of your findings to your field and to the broader biomedical community.


Trainees complete the clinical training required by the American Board of Pathology for board eligibility in anatomic or clinical pathology, plus fellowship training if appropriate, during the first three-four years of training. During this period, trainees also initiate their research programs. Mentorship is crucial to the PSTP, which includes a collaborative assessment of research training mentors and experiences through regular updates to the PSTP Co-Directors. The goal is to tailor the training experience to foster the development of uniquely trained individuals who will work at the forefront of biomedical science.

At the end of residency/fellowship, trainees embark on up to three years of full-time postdoctoral research training free of clinical commitments, though there are opportunities for continued clinical activities. The selection of an appropriate postdoctoral training environment is crucial to the success of the trainee. To assist in this selection process, trainees will have (in addition to intensive mentoring) the opportunity to attend annual retreats offered by each department and research program within the Division of Biology and Biomedical Science (DBBS).  Importantly, trainees can complete their postdoctoral research training in any laboratory at Washington University.

PSTP mentorship continues throughout postdoctoral training, with trainees presenting research-in-progress style talks in regular meetings of the Pathology PSTP. Discussions are encouraged to give feedback to the trainee from other trainees and the PSTP Co-Directors. In addition, trainees have annual meetings with PSTP Co-Directors to discuss their progress and plans for the coming year. Finally, Pathology PSTP trainees have access to career development programs supported by the WUSM Division of Physician-Scientists and other Departments’ physician-scientist programs.  

Financial Support

In addition to the established post-graduate clinical training salaries (PGY), PSTP trainees receive $3,000 during the first clinical year for the purchase of a computer and software. During the second and third clinical years, PSTP trainees receive $1,500 per year for professional development. Travel to present research at regional and national conferences is also supported. During the postdoctoral research training years, PSTP trainees receive a salary supplement of $15,000 per year in addition to the PGY level salary. In addition, senior trainees are considered for promotion to Instructor.

Senior trainees are encouraged to apply for mentored career awards to facilitate their transition to independent faculty positions. Funding sources include NIH K and DP mechanisms and foundation grants, such as the Burroughs Wellcome and ASH Scholar Awards. The PSTP provides guidance and advice for trainees assembling an application. The PSTP has an excellent track record of trainees competing successfully for these awards.

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Current PSTP Trainees’ Accomplishments

Steve Persaud, MD, PhD

Recipient of:
1)      A 2-year, $60,000 New Investigator Award from the American Society for Transplantation and Cellular Therapy (ASTCT), entitled “Nontoxic alloHSCT conditioning with antibody-drug conjugates plus JAK inhibition.”
2)      A 2-year, $140,000 Career Enhancement Award from the Specialized Programs for Research Excellence (SPORE) in Leukemia at WashU, entitled “Antibody-drug conjugates for chemotherapy and radiation-free HSCT conditioning”
The overarching goal of these grants is to develop immunotherapeutic approaches to conditioning for hematopoietic stem cell transplantation that avoid the toxicities of traditional chemotherapy- and radiation-based conditioning regimens.

Nick Borcherding, MD, PhD, MS
PGY-1, Clinical Pathology Resident

Recipient of Williams L. Roberts Young Investigator Award with Distinction for the ALCPS Meeting and was selected for an oral presentation:
Borcherding, N., Crotts, S., Ortolan, L., Bormann, N., & Jabbari, A. (2020, May). Single-cell mRNA sequencing of murine and human alopecia areata identifies immune cell profiles predictive of the human disease state. Presented at the Academy of Clinical Laboratory Physicians and Scientists Annual Meeting in Iowa City, IA.

PSTP Alumni
Name, CredentialsTitle InstitutionYear Completed PSTPAreas of Interest
Jack Bui, MD, PhDProfessor of PathologyUniversity of California, San Diego2006My research laboratory uses mouse reporter models to elucidate immune responses in cancer formation, pathogen responses, and during immune therapy, with a focus on pathways upstream and downstream of pleiotropic cytokines such as the interferons and IL-17D. I also serve as the Director of Flow Cytometry, Director of Diagnostic Immunology, and Director of the Stem Cell Processing Lab.
J. Stacey Klutts, MD, PhDClinical Associate Professor of Pathology;

Chief, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine;
Staff Pathologist
University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics;

Central Iowa VA Health Care Systems
2007My primary research focus is on tracking multi-drug resistant organisms across the VA system in conjunction with VA National Infectious Diseases and collaborators across the VA system (CDC funded) along with leading the development of the national VA clinical microbiology module for the upcoming VA Cerner LIS/EMR that will include modules for tracking infectious diseases.
Brian Edelson, MD, PhDAssociate Professor of PathologyWashington University School of Medicine2010I run a basic science research lab studying immunology. I do not participate in clinical service, but am deeply involved in education at the medical school, redesigning a new curriculum and leading the immunology teaching for medical students.
Bradley Ford, MD, PhDClinical Associate Professor of Pathology;

Director of Clinical Microbiology
University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics2012My research is primarily clinical and collaborative, with occasional industry funding and small public grants.
Gerald P. Morris, MD, PhDAssociate Professor of Pathology;

Director, Immunogenetics and Transplantation Laboratory
University of California, San Diego2013I spend the majority of my time on research; my lab focuses on T cell development and function in transplantation. My clinical role is as Director of the Immunogenetics and Transplantation Laboratory
Bijal Parikh, MD, PhDAssistant Professor of Pathology & Immunology;

Medical Director, Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory;

Associate Medicine Director, Molecular Infectious Disease Laboratory;

Associate Medical Director, HLA Laboratory
Washington University School of Medicine2013My clinical roles are Medical Director of the Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory, Associate Medical Director of the HLA and Molecular Infectious Disease Laboratories at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and the Co-Director of the Molecular Genetic Pathology Fellowship at WUSM
Joshua L. Hood, MD, PhDAssistant Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology;

Co-Director Dental Pharmacology; Associate Scientist,

James Graham Brown Cancer Center, Experimental Therapeutics Program
University of Louisville2014My research focuses on bioinspired nanomedicine supported by extracellular vesicles investigations. I also co-direct the pharmacology course for the school of dentistry and am an associate scientist within the James Graham Brown Cancer Center Experimental Therapeutics Program.
Malay Haldar, MD, PhDAssistant Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine; Assistant Investigator, Abramson Family Cancer Research InstituteUniversity of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine2015I am a tenure track faculty at UPenn where 85% of my time is devoted to basic research and 15% to clinical services in molecular diagnostics. My research focuses on mononuclear phagocytes with an emphasis on their role in tumor immunity.
Edward Stites, MD, PhDAssistant Professor, Integrative Biology Laboratory;

Hearst Foundation Developmental Chair
Salk Institute2016Currently focusing almost exclusively on research where we combine mathematical and experimental approaches to study mechanisms of disease and its treatment.
Craig Wilen, MD, PhDAssistant Professor of Laboratory and Medicine and of Immunobiology;

Medical Director, Immune Monitoring Core Facility
Yale School of Medicine2018I spend 80% of my time on research; my lab focuses on viral pathogenesis. The remaining time is spent as Medical Director of the Immune Monitoring Core Facility.
Jonathan Brestoff-Parker, MD, PhDAssistant Professor of Pathology and ImmunologyWashington University School of Medicine

Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
2019My lab studies how the immune system regulates the function of endocrine organs to contribute to obesity and type 2 diabetes pathogenesis. I also serve as a medical director of clinical immunology, focusing on flow cytometry diagnostic testing.
Vanderlene Kung, MD, PhDAssistant Professor of PathologyOregon Health & Science University2019My clinical role focuses on diagnostic renal pathology.
Cole Ferguson, MD, PhDAssistant Professor of PathologyUniversity of California, San Diego2020My lab studies the regulation of chromatin by ubiquitin signaling in the context of brain development. Clinically, I am a neuropathologist specializing in ocular pathology.
Arjun Raman, MD, PhDAssistant Professor, Department of PathologyUniversity of Chicago2020My lab studies how systems that are products of evolution are built to function and adapt to new functions with the ultimate goal of developing principles for engineering natural-like, adaptive systems. Clinically, I will be helping to create a foundation for microbiomics with the Duchossois Family Institute.

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