Wayne T McCormack,
DIST TEACHING SCHOLAR & PROFESSOR
About Wayne T McCormack
My faculty career here at UF shifted over ten years ago from an emphasis on basic research to a devotion to health science education research and the professional and career development of health science predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees. I began my faculty career as a basic scientist, investigating chicken antibody and T cell receptor genes, and transitioned to a chicken model of the human autoimmune disease vitiligo, and then into preclinical translational research on the genetics of susceptibility of human vitiligo. I also became involved in administration rather early in my career, and have been involved in virtually every facet of graduate program planning, curriculum development, recruiting & admissions, and administration. I have 21 years of experience at higher education administration, having served as the Associate Dean for Graduate Education and biomedical sciences PhD program director (2001-2011), MD/PhD program co-director (2007-2011 and 2018-date), and serving since 2009 as the director of the UF predoctoral program in Clinical & Translational Science and Principal Investigator of the TL1 training grant. I direct and teach in a graduate-level immunology course, and developed, direct, and teach in several professional development courses, including “Responsible Conduct of Biomedical Research”, “Fundamentals of Biomedical Science Education”, and “Team Science”. My administrative responsibilities now include directing the Office of Biomedical Research Career Development, which is charged with developing and implementing professional and career development programs for all UF Health Science Center predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees, and supporting training grant submissions, trainee tracking, and program evaluation.
Extramurally I have been active in professional working groups of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), including the Graduate Research, Education and Training (GREAT) Group and the Group on Educational Affairs. I served as the national Chair (2011-12) of the GREAT Group, which provides professional development to and fosters the development and exchange of best practices among faculty and administrative leaders of biomedical PhD, MD-PhD, and postdoctoral programs, and evaluates national policy developments that affect the recruitment and retention of new scientific talent. I co-led a project to develop a competency-based assessment model for science PhD training at the predoctoral and postdoctoral levels. I am actively involved in the national CTSA Consortium as a member of the CTSA Program Steering Committee, Workforce Development Enterprise Committee member, and executive committee member of the TL1 Program Directors Group. I led the development of a national TL1 survey project now nearing completion, and co-led a national survey of TL1 trainees and KL2 scholars to assess the immediate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on training. I’ve coauthored two papers describing measures of career outcomes and the status of current training for team science at CTSA institutions (Section C2). I also served for three years (2012-2015) as the president of Team-Based Learning Collaborative (TBLC), an international educational organization that promotes the understanding and evolution of team-based learning (TBL) across the educational community. Finally, I have nineteen years of experience teaching advanced adult leadership skills outside the university setting, as a training team leader at the local, regional and national levels for the Boy Scouts of America. I served as a member of a national task force that redesigned an advanced leadership course for adult leaders known as Wood Badge, was responsible for introducing additional active learning methods into the curriculum, and served as the director of the first national pilot course for the revised curriculum in January 2018.
CLINICAL & TRANSLATIONAL SCIENCE AND TEAM SCIENCE As the PI/PD of the UF CTSI TL1 program, and director of our CTS PhD programs, I have been actively involved with other translational workforce development program leaders in the CTSA Consortium investigating optimal ways to training for clinical and translational research and team science. I have developed several CTS courses for PhD students here at UF. I have been involved in two collaborative studies with other CTSA hubs examining in training assessment metrics (a) and defining individual and team competencies for translational research teams (b). I have created a novel team-training model in which PhD and dual degree students are engaged in authentic cross-disciplinary collaborative research while supported as “CTS Teams”. This unique team training method improves self-efficacy for clinical research skills and increases participation in cross-disciplinary collaborative activities by both TL1 trainees and their mentors. It has been shown to be a network intervention by catalyzing new cross-disciplinary collaborations among faculty mentors in different colleges (c). I led a national survey project of TL1 programs across the CTSA Consortium, and first of two reports has been published (d). Ongoing research focuses on team mentoring and competency-based assessment for translational research teams. a. Lee LS, Pusek SN, McCormack WT, Helitzer DL, Martina CA, Dozier A, Ahluwalia JS, Schwartz L, McManus LM, Reynolds B, Haynes E, Rubio DM. 2012. Clinical and Translational Scientist Career Success: Metrics for Evaluation. Clinical and Translational Science 5: 400-407. PMID 23067352. b. Lotrecchiano GR, DiazGranados D, Sprecher J, McCormack WT, Ranwala D, Wooten K, Lackland D, Billings H, Brasier AR. 2020. Individual and Team Competencies in Translational Science Teams. Journal of Clinical & Translational Science. https://doi.org/10.1017/cts.2020.551 c. McCormack WT, Levites Strekalova YA. 2021. CTS Teams: A New Model for Translational Team Training and Team Science Intervention. Journal of Clinical & Translational Science. https://doi.org/10.1017/cts.2021.854 d. Sancheznieto F, Sorkness C, Attia J, Buettner K, Edelman D, Hobbs S, McIntosh S, McManus LM, Sandberg K, Schnaper HW, Scholl L, Umans JG, Weavers K, Windebank A, McCormack WT. 2021. Clinical and Translational Science Award T32/TL1 Training Programs: Program Goals and Mentorship Practices. Journal of Clinical & Translational Science, 1-32. https://doi:10.1017/cts.2021.884
BIOMEDICAL SCIENCE GRADUATE EDUCATION In addition to clinical and translational research training, my education research has focused on innovative teaching and assessment methods in biomedical science graduate education and health professions education. I guided the development of TBL modules for inter-professional education, e.g., clinical ethics (a), patient safety, and health disparities, and for a variety of other basic and clinical science topics. The TBL-based RCR training program I developed has been shown to have more positive impact on ethical decision-making than typical RCR curricula (b). I have led efforts to promote research and scholarship related to TBL (c). My most recent work led to the development of a set of core competencies for science PhD predoctoral and postdoctoral training and an accompanying rubric for competency-based assessment by trainees and mentors (d). My analysis of a twenty-two year history of biomedical science career outcomes data reveal significant differences in career outcomes based on gender, nationality, and time since degree, but not for underrepresented minorities (unpublished). My ongoing research focuses on pilot testing of the science PhD competencies to support more effective mentoring of predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees in biomedical sciences, engineering, and other science disciplines. a. Gregg A, Allen W, Black E, Davidson R, McCormack W. 2013. An Interdisciplinary Team-Based Learning Experience in Clinical Ethics. MedEdPORTAL doi.org/10.15766/mep_2374-8265.9579 b. McCormack WT, Garvan CW. 2014. Team-Based Learning Instruction for Responsible Conduct of Research Positively Impacts Ethical Decision-Making. Accountability in Research 21(1):34-49. c. Haidet P, Kubitz K, McCormack WT. 2014. Analysis of the Team-Based Learning Literature: TBL Comes of Age. Journal on Excellence in College Teaching 25(3&4):303-333. d. Verderame MF, Freedman VH, Kozlowski LM, McCormack WT. 2018. Competency-Based Assessment for the Training of PhD Scientists. eLIFE 7:e34801.
HUMANISM IN MEDICINE Another area of my education research focuses on medical education, including the use of medical student peer evaluation to assess medical student professional behaviors, with a special interest in humanism in medicine, and MD-PhD student clinical research training. A peer nomination survey I developed and continue to study was adopted as a student selection tool by the Gold Humanism Honor Society (GHHS) and is now in use at over 3/4 of our nation’s medical schools (a,b). Unpublished research showed that patterns of medical student peer nomination are influenced significantly by the clinical clerkship experiences. This research was funded by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation. a. McCormack WT, Lazarus C, Stern D, Stevens CB, Small PA Jr. 2007. Peer nomination identifies medical student exemplars in clinical competence and caring at three medical schools. Academic Medicine 82(11):1033-9. b. Specter S, Kahn MJ, Lazarus C, Prislin M, Wong JG, O’Donnell J, McCormack WT, Kavan MG, López AM, House A. 2015. Gold Humanism Honor Society Election and Academic Outcomes: A 10 Institution Study. Family Medicine 47(10):770-775. c. Sebastian M, Robinson MA, Dumeny L, Dyson KA, Fantone JC, McCormack WT, May WS. 2019. Training methods that improve MD-PhD student self-efficacy for clinical research skills. Journal of Clinical & Translational Science. https://doi.org/10.1017/cts.2019.419
GENETICS OF VITILIGO SUCEPTIBILITY Before my transition to education research, my research focused on human genetics of vitiligo susceptibility, supported by grant funding from the National Vitiligo Foundation and the American Vitiligo Research Foundation. Using case-control association studies, we found significant association with the catalase gene and genes of the TAP/LMP cluster in the HLA region (a,b). Genome-wide association studies as part of the VitGene Consortium revealed many more human vitiligo susceptibility genes (c,d). a. Casp CB, She JX, McCormack WT. 2002. Genetic association of the catalase gene (CAT) with vitiligo susceptibility. Pigment Cell Res. 15:62-66. b. Casp CB, She JX, McCormack WT. 2003. Genes of the TAP/LMP cluster are associated with the human autoimmune disease vitiligo. Genes & Immunity 4:492-499. c. Jin Y, Birlea SA, Fain PR, Ferrara TM, Ben S, Riccardi SL, Cole JB, Gowan K, Holland PJ, Bennett DC, Luiten RM, Wolkerstorfer A, Wietze van der Veen JP, Hartmann A, Eichner S, Schuler G, van Geel N, Lambert J, Kemp EH, Gawkrodger DJ, Weetman AP, Taϊeb A, Jouary T, Ezzedine K, Wallace MR, McCormack WT, Picardo M, Leone G, Overbeck A, Silverberg NB, Spritz RA. 2012. Genome-wide association study and meta-analysis identifies 13 new melanocyte-specific and immunoregulatory susceptibility loci for generalized vitiligo. Nature Genetics 44(6):676-80. d. Jin Y, Andersen G, Yorgov D, Ferrara TM, Ben S, Brownson KM, Holland PJ, Birlea SA, Siebert J, Hartmann A, Lienert A, van Geel N, Lambert J, Luiten RM, Wolkerstorfer A, Wietze van der Veen JP, Bennett DC, Taïeb A, Ezzedine K, Kemp EH, Gawkrodger DJ, Weetman AP, Kõks S, Prans E, Kingo K, Karelson M, Wallace MR, McCormack WT, Overbeck A, Moretti S, Colucci R, Picardo M, Silverberg NB, Olsson M, Valle Y, Korobko I, Böhm M, Lim HW, Hamzavi I, Zhou L, Mi QS, Fain PR, Santorico SA, Spritz RA. 2016. Genome-wide association studies of autoimmune vitiligo identify 23 new risk loci and highlight key pathways and regulatory variants. Nature Genetics 48(11):1418-1424.
ANTIBODY AND T CELL RECPTOR DIVERSITY During my predoctoral and postdoctoral training and early faculty years my research focused on the genetic diversification of rabbit antibody and chicken antibody and T cell receptor genes. My research elucidated molecular mechanisms for antibody gene rearrangement and somatic diversification by gene conversion and contributed to the identification of chicken T cell receptor alpha and beta genes. a. McCormack WT, Laster SM, Marzluff WF, Roux KH. 1985. Dynamic gene interactions in the evolution of rabbit VH genes: a four codon duplication and block homologies provide evidence for intergenic exchange. Nucleic Acids Res. 13:7041 7054. b. McCormack WT, Tjoelker LW, Carlson LM, Petryniak B, Barth CF, Humphries EH, Thompson CB. 1989. Chicken IgL gene rearrangement involves deletion of a circular episome and addition of single nonrandom nucleotides to both coding ends. Cell 56:785 791. c. McCormack WT, Thompson CB. 1990. Chicken IgL variable region gene conversions display pseudogene donor preference and 5′ to 3′ polarity. Genes Dev. 4:548 558. d. McCormack WT, Tjoelker LW, Stella G, Postema CE, Thompson CB. 1991. Chicken T-cell receptor beta-chain diversity: An evolutionarily conserved D -encoded glycine turn within the hypervariable CDR3 domain. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 88:7699-7703.
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