Physician-Scientist Residency Track

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center has a long-standing commitment to clinical, translational and basic science research and supports all residents in their research pursuits. We are excited to also offer a dedicated Physician-Scientist Track for residents who envision a career in both clinical medicine and research.

Our Mission

While BIDMC's Internal Medicine Residency Program offers research opportunities to all residents, the dedicated Physician-Scientist Track aims to support the research careers of MDs and MD/PhDs committed to clinical, translational, and/or basic science investigation as well as clinical practice.

The track supports residents as they develop their research interests and career paths. Participants receive guidance on how best to navigate the challenges of securing research funding and balancing research and clinical work. Our renowned Harvard faculty members provide the mentoring, career guidance, and opportunities future physician-scientists need in today’s environment. Residents also receive the highest level of clinical training with the potential for short tracking through the ABIM Research Pathway.

Program Structure

The Physician-Scientist Track provides a clear and comprehensive path for residents interested in research and clinical care.

As part of the track, residents receive:

  • An assigned mentor whose expertise aligns with the resident’s area of interest. They will focus on career mentoring around fellowship and faculty goals, and fellowship application review and counseling.
  • Guidance on grant funding strategies, such as when to apply to maximize faculty opportunities and grant-writing courses to bolster writing skills.
  • Opportunities to engage in leading-edge research and publication support.
  • Financial support to attend national meetings.
  • Special curricular offerings designed for Physician-Scientist Track members.
  • Monthly meetings with both internal faculty and outside experts in both academia and Pharma/Biotech who exemplify the breadth of opportunities and strategies for a successful career as a physician-scientist.

Our Faculty

Residents in the research track will be taught and mentored by some of the brightest research minds in the world. Our Harvard-affiliated faculty members have received the highest national and international honors. They are members of the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine, the American Society for Clinical Investigation, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; and several are fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Thanks to the research acumen and reputation of our faculty, the Department of Medicine is consistently among the ten best-funded medical school departments of medicine in the country; and BIDMC consistently ranks as a national leader among independent hospitals in National Institutes of Health funding.

Most importantly, our acclaimed faculty members are committed to nurturing the research career goals of our residents.

Steven D. Freedman MD, PhD

Dr. FreedmanSteven D. Freedman MD, PhD, leads our Physician-Scientist Track and is Director of the Pancreas Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Chief of the Division of Translational Research, and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts. He has played a leadership role in clinical/translational research both at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and at Harvard Medical School through his prior role as the Associate Dean for Clinical and Translational Research and Co-director of the Harvard CTSA (Harvard Catalyst). He is Director of the Grant Review and Support Program (GRASP) of the Harvard Clinical and Translational Science Center, which is a unique longitudinal program that provides project management support and grant writing tools to enhance the transition from the NIH K to R01 grant.

Dr. Freedman’s expertise is in exocrine pancreatic disease with a particular focus on pancreatitis and cystic fibrosis. He is an internationally recognized leader in these areas with an extensive research and mentorship program that encompasses both basic science discovery as well as clinical trials. More recently, he has also developed a major focus on health care delivery reform, referred to as Passport to TRUST, which addresses structuring the doctor-patient encounter to build informed partnerships leading to sustained improvements in health outcomes.

Aarti Asnani, MD

Dr. AsnaniAarti Asnani, MD, serves as an Associate Program Director for Resident Research in the BIDMC Department of Medicine. She is also the Director of Cardio-Oncology at BIDMC, a principal investigator in the BIDMC CardioVascular Institute, and an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Asnani graduated from Duke University with a degree in chemistry and French, followed by a medical degree from Duke University School of Medicine. She completed her research training in the laboratories of Robert Gerszten, MD and Randall Peterson, PhD at Massachusetts General Hospital.

As a physician-scientist, Dr. Asnani leads a basic and translational research program that aims to develop new protective strategies for patients at risk of heart toxicity secondary to cancer therapy. Dr. Asnani’s research program has received funding from the NIH, American Heart Association, Breast Cancer Alliance, and Harvard Medical School. In parallel to her research program, her clinical practice focuses on patients who have both cancer and cardiovascular disease. Dr. Asnani remains dedicated to mentoring the next generation of physician-scientists through her work with medical residents at BIDMC and her continued involvement in the Sarnoff Cardiovascular Research Foundation.

Z. Gordon Jiang, MD, PhD

Z. Gordon Jiang, MD, PhDZ. Gordon Jiang, MD, PhD, is the Associate Director of the Physician-Scientist Track and co-Lead of the Metabolic Research Hub at BIDMC. He is a transplant hepatologist, physician-scientist in the Division of Gastroenterology, and Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Jiang graduated from Boston University School of Medicine with a MD and PhD in Physiology and Biophysics. He completed both his internal medicine residency and gastroenterology and transplant hepatology fellowships at BIDMC through the ABIM Physician-Scientist Research Pathway.

As a transplant hepatologist, Dr. Jiang takes care of patients with various liver diseases, including those needing a liver transplant. As a physician-scientist, his research focuses on fatty liver disease, including translational research in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and alcoholic hepatitis. His research has been supported by NIH, the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, American College of Gastroenterology, and the Gilead Research Foundation. He also actively works with the pharmaceutical industry in developing novel diagnostic tools and therapeutics for liver diseases. He has mentored over two dozen research and clinical fellows.

Contact Us

For more information about the Physician-Scientist Track or to apply, please contact:

Steven D. Freedman, MD, PhD 
Chief, Division of Translational Research
Director, Physician-Scientist Track

Phone: 617-667-5576
Fax: 617-667-5826
Email Dr. Freedman