Every fall, a new cohort of MTM students dive into a plethora of capstone projects. Projects may focus on multiple aspects of the medical translation process, including technical development, prototyping, examination of the intellectual property landscape, market scoping, or business case development.
Teams involve 3-5 students with backgrounds ranging from bioengineering and molecular biology, to clinical training as RNs or MDs. The advisory team can include multiple facets such as clinicians, academic scientists, business advisers, and regulatory consultants. Generally, advisers meet with students on a weekly basis, providing mentorship, technical advice, and resources (e.g., lab space, hardware and software) required to complete the project.
Projects submissions for next year’s MTM cohort are accepted until the end of June, 2016. Submissions are evaluated to ensure they are incorporate translational elements and have a robust mentorship plan to enhance the student learning experience. Mentors will be notified whether they will be considered by the end of July. At the beginning of the MTM program in mid August, mentors will pitch their project to students and answer questions (these can take place at UC Berkeley or at UCSF). Students will rank their interest in each project and submit resumes to their top choices; projects must garner sufficient interest (at least 3 students) to proceed. Capstone mentors will provide the MTM program with their rankings of the submitted resumes and the MTM program will build teams, taking into account both student and mentor preferences.
Teams begin work in early September, 2016, with each students expected to spend 10-30 hours per week on project activity (this effort typically ramps up during the year, with more intense project focus later in the spring).
Students use their capstone projects as the basis for assignments in core MTM courses, and projects must accommodate some level of discussion. At the conclusion of the MTM program, in June 2017, students will present their capstone activities in a symposium that includes students, mentors, faculty, and other invited guests of the MTM program.