September 30, 2021

Krick, Petit named assistant directors of the Medical Scientist Training Program

Written by

Krick editedStefanie Krick, M.D., Ph.D., and Chad Petit, Ph.D., have been named the new assistant directors for research for the Medical Scientist Training Program in the UAB Heersink School of Medicine. 

In these new roles, Krick and Petit will primarily focus on research advising during the students’ doctoral training, along with duties across the pre-clinical, clinical, and research phases of the students’ coursework. Their responsibilities will include reviewing AMCAS applications and participating in admissions activities, assisting in MSTP course development, implementation, and evaluation, and serving as faculty leads for designated MSTP organizations.

The MD-PhD Program at UAB was created in 1987 and was designated a Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences in 1991. Since then, it has expanded to include several more tracks of study and an increase in student training each year.

MSTP students complete their first two years of medical school before taking a leave to complete their Ph.D. coursework. After they have completed their Ph.D., they return to medical school to complete their clinical training.

“Our program has grown from eight students each entering class to 10 students each entering year in the last two years due to our success in increasing NIH funding for the UAB MSTP,” said Talene Yacoubian, M.D., Ph.D., director of the MSTP program. “With this growth, more leaders were needed to advise our students through their medical and graduate phases in our program. Additionally, expansion of our leadership will allow us to adapt our curriculum and develop new initiatives to train the next generation of physician-scientists.”

Petit, an associate professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, will serve as a key advisor for students during their Ph.D. years. A part of the faculty since 2012, he earned his bachelors of science degrees in Biochemistry, Microbiology, and Chemistry from Louisiana State University in 2001 and his Ph.D. from Louisiana State University in 2005. Petit's postdoctoral work was performed at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, where he sought to use NMR to understand the role of dynamics in protein function.

petit editedAt UAB, Petit’s lab uses structural and biophysical techniques to define host-pathogen interactions that underlie influenza and SARS-COV-2 virulence. He currently serves as the co-director of the Biochemistry & Structural Biology Graduate Training Theme, serves on the COVID-19 Research Task Force, and was awarded the Dean’s Excellence Award for Service in 2018.

Additionally, he has championed mental health initiatives in the GBS program and will bring his expertise in this important area to support students.

Krick, an assistant professor in the Division Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine, will advise and mentor students, particularly in the selection of Ph.D. mentors, and aid in the transition from the first two years in medical school to the Ph.D. phase.

She completed training in internal medicine and pulmonary and critical care medicine at the University of Miami after completing a postdoctoral fellowship at the Mount Sinai Medical Center and medical school at the University Hospital Giessen in Germany. Her research is focused on fibroblast growth factor signaling in chronic inflammatory lung diseases such as cystic fibrosis, COPD, and pulmonary fibrosis. She is the author of numerous publications in top-tier journals, including the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Annals of the American Thoracic Society, PNAS, and the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

She was a winner of the Dean’s Excellence Award for Mentoring in 2020.

They will join the MSTP leadership with Yacoubian and Gregory Payne, M.D. Ph.D., assistant director in the program.