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About the Training Program

The Trauma Research Fellowship training program is designed to attract and train physicians in a two year fellowship devoted to research on the pathophysiology of the response to injury. The goals of this training program are to nurture talented young individuals in the areas of basic research and clinical investigation, to teach them to design and perform successful research projects, and to give them a solid background in the ethics and methods of scientific research. The objective of this fellowship is to increase the focus of research on injury within the University of North Carolina and to train individuals to become independent investigators and academic faculty with an interest in the area of trauma. Trainees will be selected from a broad group of candidates. Special efforts will be made to identify minority applicants who will increase the diversity of our trainees in this and other institutions.

The training program is two years of full-time effort working with one or more of a large group of talented faculty mentors. Research projects are concentrated in the areas of organ failure after injury, immunology and host resistance. Weekly seminars with the trainees allow them to present their material to the research community. Additionally, trainees are required to present their research at Surgery Grand Rounds, and submit abstracts to national meetings. Two intensive week-long courses, Responsible Conduct of Research and Methods in Clinical Research, are provided for trainees in the first month of the program. Trainees have the opportunity to attend graduate level courses from the broad range available at the UNC-CH and surrounding area universities to enhance their research experience.

The Training Advisory Committee will assist the Program Director in recruitment and selection of trainees, approval of trainee’s research and didactic plans, assignment of trainee to appropriate Research Training Faculty, and monitoring of program activities. The Program Evaluation Committee will provide overall evaluation of the training program and provide feedback to the Training Committee.

All of the Research Training Faculty in the program are established investigators with current NIH funding or other extramural funding, and are experienced mentors of physician-scientists. The faculty have diverse interests, allowing multiple candidates to find appropriate mentors within the training program. There is a strong institutional history of multidisciplinary collaboration. A group of Clinician-Scientist mentors will provide guidance to trainees through discussion of the clinical dimensions of the research.

There is a growing demand for academic trauma surgeons and burn surgeons to both teach subsequent generations of providers as well as develop innovative patient treatments. This training grant is designed to help meet this demand.

Training Faculty

Research Training Faculty

  • Richard C. Boucher, MD
  • Richard W.T. Burridge, PhD
  • Bruce A. Cairns, MD
  • Thomas M. Egan, MD
  • James E. Faber, PhD
  • Susan Henning, PhD
  • Tom Kawula, MD
  • Nigel Key, MD
  • P. Kay Lund, PhD
  • Robert Maile, PhD
  • Samuel McLean, MD
  • Virginia Miller, MD
  • W. Cam Patterson, MD
  • Mark Schoenfisch, MD
  • Stephen Tilley, MD
  • Jenny P-Y Ting, PhD
  • Jen Jen Yeh, MD

Clinical-Scientist Mentors

  • Sasha Adams, MD
  • Charles Cairns, MD
  • Anthony G. Charles, MD
  • Elizabeth Dreesen, MD
  • David A. Gerber, MD
  • Darryl Johnson, MD
  • Samuel W. Jones, MD
  • Clara Lee, MD
  • Sean E. McLean, MD
  • Matthew Nielsen, MD
  • Preston “Chip” Rich, MD
  • Renae E. Stafford, MD
  • John A. van Aalst, MD


Candidates must be US citizens or permanent residents, agree to fulfill the pay-back provision, have evidence of superior previous academic performance, have at least two letters of recommendation of highest enthusiasm, be committed to learning the necessary skills and acquiring the necessary experience to be an independent investigator and, preferably, have previous clinical or research experience and publications. The most important criterion for selection will be the assessment of the applicant’s potential for an academic career as a Clinician-Scientist.

All candidates are required to submit a written application, including a description of their career goals and their research interests. Emphasis is placed on identifying mature candidates with a commitment to academic medicine. Priority is given to those candidates who, because of their training and/or research experience, demonstrate an ability to be productive in academic pursuits. In general, the applicants will be required to have three years of post-graduate surgical training in an accredited residency or equivalent training in basic science research (e.g., PhD) prior to being considered. Applications from all surgical sub-specialties, as well as medical critical care sub-specialties will be considered. Some applicants have been accepted after completing residency with the concept that these candidates have an ideal opportunity to become an investigator after they finish the fellowship.

Candidates judged to be competitive by the Program Director based on their written applications, will be invited to visit the program. At that time, candidates are seen by appropriate faculty based on the applicant’s research interests. Each candidate sees at least two faculty members, including representatives from the Department of Surgery. Following review of the written material and completion of the interviews, the Training Advisory Committee is responsible for selecting the trainees who will be offered positions in the program. Successful candidates have predominantly come from high quality surgical residency training programs around the country, including the surgical residency program at UNC-CH. All qualified individuals are encouraged to apply, and applicants are not limited to individuals from the University of North Carolina or UNC Hospitals.

How to Apply

Complete the Application Form (pdf) and return with a copy of your current curriculum vitae, a recent photograph, and a personal statement addressing your career interests to:

Bruce A. Cairns, MD, FACS
Trauma Research Fellowship Program
North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center
101 Manning Drive CB 7600
The University of North Carolina
Chapel Hill NC 27599-7600

Three letters of reference are required. The responsibility for securing letters of reference rests with the applicant and all letters of reference should be forwarded directly to Bruce A. Cairns, MD, at the address above.

The University is committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our community and to ensuring that educational and employment decisions are based on individuals’ abilities and qualifications. Consistent with this principle and applicable laws, it is therefore the University’s policy not to discriminate in offering access to its educational programs and activities or with respect to employment terms and conditions on the basis of race, color, gender, national origin, age, religion, creed, genetic information, disability, veteran’s status, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression –

Application Deadline

Applications must be received by March 15th.

Interview Dates

Interviews will be scheduled for early April. Applicants will be notified of the status of their application by the end of April.

Contact Information

Program Director:

Bruce A. Cairns, MD, FACS
Director, NC Jaycee Burn Center
101 Manning Drive, CB 7600
Department of Surgery
University of North Carolina
Chapel Hill NC 27599-7600
Phone: 919-966-8159
Fax: 919-843-6568

Program Administrator:

Elisabeth Carter
NC Jaycee Burn Center
101 Manning Drive, CB 7600
Department of Surgery
University of North Carolina
Chapel Hill NC 27599-7600
Phone: 919-843-7940
Fax: 919-843-6568