University of Wisconsin
School of Medicine and Public Health

Wisconsin Allergy Research Training (WiscART) Program (T32)

The Wisconsin Allergy Research Training (WiscART) program provides research training for postdoctoral fellows in Allergy and Immunology to prepare for careers as independent academic research scientists. 

We are proud of our high rates of recruitment and participation by underrepresented minorities and women, and 50% of our fellows pursue academic careers upon graduation from WiscART.

The program is funded by a National Institute of Health (NIH)/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Institutional National Research Service Award (T32).

How to Apply

To apply, you must be a postdoctoral student or a physician who has completed residency training in either pediatrics or internal medicine.

For physicians, the UW Departments of Medicine and Pediatrics leverage the T32 funds by providing funds for salary support and stipends for additional training years not covered by WiscART. 

Interested candidates should submit the following to Jae Werndli (jewerndli@medicine.wisc.edu): 

  • CV
  • Statement of research interest
  • Letter of support from research mentor. If you have not yet selected a research mentor, we can arrange interviews with selected mentors.

Current Fellows

Mentor: Sameer Mathur, MD, PhD
Project: Rhinovirus infection of esophageal epithelium in Eosinophilic Esophagitis

Mentor: Anne Marie Singh, MD
Project: Studying adult food allergy via the Food Allergy Research & Education database

Mentor: Anne Marie Singh, MD
Project: Childhood Allergy and the NeOnatal Environment (CANOE) research to determine how early-life environmental factors cause childhood asthma and allergies

Mentor: Lindsay Kalan, PhD
Project: The role of microbial products in modulating the host immune response

Graduate Success

Image
Kirsten Kloepfer, MD, MS

Class of 2013
Post-graduate employment: Current faculty member at the University of Indiana Department of Pediatrics

Dr. Kloepfer is a recipient of career development awards from the National Institutes of Health and the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) Foundation, and an emerging leader at AAAAI. Her research focuses on the upper airway microbiome and its association with local inflammatory cytokine expression and airway obstruction.

How our program prepared her:

"Shortly after starting my fellowship, I proposed the idea to pursue a master of science in clinical investigation through the WiscART program. Despite being the first allergy/immunology fellow at the University of Wisconsin to pursue this opportunity, Dr. Gern always ensured that I had the necessary protected time to attend class and work on my thesis.

"Under his mentorship, I successfully wrote one review article and three first-author manuscripts. I was able to generate preliminary data that I used to obtain an institutional K12 award, which led to a K23 award through the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, and the 2017 AAAAI Foundation Award. Without his continued mentorship, I doubt that I would be the successful physician scientist that I am today."

Program Leadership and Mentors

Principal Investigator

Associate Director

All Faculty Mentors

Mentoring Plan

Needs assessment

  • Trainee self-assessment of research skills and core competencies
  • Follow-up discussions with mentor and program leaders to review discuss career tracks and goals

Individual development plan

  • Select courses and curricula to fulfill core competencies
  • Design learning plans and evaluations
  • Provide certification in clinical and/or translational research for trainees who seek it
  • Teach compliance with federal regulations on the responsible conduct of clinical research
  • Identify extramural grant opportunities for scientific endeavors after graduation

Core competencies

  • Research core skills
  • Biostatistics and study design*
  • Medical ethics and responsible conduct of research*
  • Leadership and management*
  • Presentation and teaching*
  • Scientific writing*

*Learning activities offered through resources at the University of Wisconsin Institute for Clinical and Translational Research

Clinical research curricula

All trainees first complete a four-hour online course, “The Basics of Conducting Clinical Research at UW–Madison." 

Mentored research is the cornerstone of the WiscART program and how most trainees spend their time in years 2, 3, and beyond.

Mentor and research project selection is a mutual decision based on project availability and trainee interests. The mentor advises and supervises all aspects of the research process, evaluates trainee progress through daily interactions and weekly laboratory meetings, and submits written evaluations to the trainee and program directors every six months. Trainees can switch projects and/or mentors if needed.

Each trainee is assigned a mentoring committee. Committee members send written comments to the fellow and their portfolio and track progress and problems longitudinally.

Trainees have a formal performance review every six months. Reviews include a self-assessment, a written assessment from the mentors, and a follow-up discussion on the IDP and goals for the next six months. Program directors also collect additional assessments, including the In-Training examination and course grades.

UW ICTR staff help evaluate learning objectives related to biostatistics, medical ethics, scientific writing and grant writing through mechanisms specified in the ICTR Capstone certificate or Masters in Clinical Research programs. These evaluations occur every six months.  

Capstone certificate

The UW Institute for Clinical and Translational Research offers two capstone certificate programs—Fundamentals of Clinical Research and Clinical and Community Outcomes Research—plus advanced degree programs.

Designed for health care professionals, these programs consist of 13-14 credit hours of coursework that provide formal training and a practicum in research design and statistical analysis for clinical research.

All WiscART physician trainees must obtain a capstone certificate, or demonstrate that they have completed equivalent coursework. PhD trainees pursuing clinical or translational work are also encouraged to supplement previous coursework with curriculum that addresses gaps identified through needs assessment and discussions with their research mentors. Trainees may add more credits to obtain the MS or PhD in Clinical Investigation.