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 19 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. I also lead the “T Team”, a consortium of T32 program directors at UF, which meets at semiannually to discuss policy and administrative matters and share best practices.
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, lead team for the Workforce Development Enterprise Committee, and executive committee 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 fourteen 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.
GRADUATE EDUCATION AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
My primary education research area focuses on innovative teaching and assessment methods in biomedical science graduate education. The TBL-based responsible conduct of research (RCR) training program I developed has been shown to have more positive impact on ethical decision-making than typical RCR curricula (a). I guided the development of TBL modules for inter-professional education, e.g., clinical ethics (b), patient safety, and health disparities, and for a variety of other basic and clinical science topics. With colleagues in the TBLC I have led efforts to promote research and scholarship related to TBL (c). My most recent work has 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) and the definition of individual and team competencies for translational science teams (e). 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). A novel team science training program has shown preliminary positive outcomes for student attitudes toward interdisciplinary collaboration and self-efficacy for conducting clinical research (manuscript in preparation).
a. 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
b. Gregg A, Allen W, Black E, Davidson R, McCormack W. 2013. An Interdisciplinary Team-Based Learning Experience in Clinical Ethics. MedEdPORTAL http://www.mededportal.org/publication/9579
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
e. 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
CLINICAL & TRANSLATIONAL SCIENCE and TEAM SCIENCE
As the Principal Investigator of the UF Clinical & Translational Science Award (CTSA) TL1 program, and director of our Clinical & Translational Science (CTS) PhD programs, I have been actively involved with other translational workforce development program leaders in the CTSA Consortium investigating optimal ways to train translational researchers. I have developed several CTS courses for PhD students here at UF. I have also been involved in two collaborative studies with other institutions, with a special interest in metrics for training assessment and methods for training in team science (a, b and e in previous section). I am piloting a novel team-training model in which PhD and dual degree students are engaged in interdisciplinary collaborative research while supported as “TL1 Teams” by our CTSA training grant. I co-mentored an MD-PhD education research project that examined current clinical research training methods used by MD-PhD programs and how effective they are in promoting self-efficacy for clinical research (c). I co-led the first national survey of TL1 programs (two manuscripts in preparation), and I co-led a national survey about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on training and career development in the TL1 and KL2 programs (d).
a. Lee LS, SN Pusek, WT McCormack, DL Helitzer, CA Martina, A Dozier, JS Ahluwalia, L Schwartz, LM McManus, B Reynolds, E Haynes, DM Rubio. 2012. Clinical and Translational Scientist Career Success: Metrics for Evaluation. Clinical and Translational Science 5: 400-407. PMID 23067352
b. Begg MD, Crumley CG, Fair AM, Martina CA, McCormack WT, Merchant C, Patino-Sutton CM, Umans JG. 2014. Approaches to Preparing Young Scholars for Careers in Interdisciplinary Team Science. Journal of Investigative Medicine 62(1):14-25. PMID 24169319
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. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/cts.2019.419
d. McCormack WT, Bredella MA, Ingbar DH, Jackson RD, Meagher E, Morris C, Nagel J, Pusek S, Rubio DM, Sandberg K, Schnaper HW, Tsevat J, Umans JG, McIntosh S. 2020. Immediate Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on CTSA TL1 and KL2 Training and Career Development. Journal of Clinical & Translational Science https://doi.org/10.1017/cts.2020.504
HUMANISM IN MEDICINE
Another area of my education research has focused on the use of peer evaluation to assess medical student professional behaviors, with a special interest in humanism in medicine. A peer nomination survey I developed and continue to study was adopted as a student selection tool by the Gold Humanism Honor Society and is now in use at over 3/4 of our nation’s medical schools (a,b). Research not yet published has shown that patterns of medical student peer nomination are influenced significantly by the clinical clerkship experiences of the third year of medical school. This research was funded by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation.
a. McCormack, W.T., C. Lazarus, D. Stern, C.B. Stevens, P.A. Small, 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
GENETICS OF VITILIGO SUSCEPTIBILITY
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). We collaborated with the VitGene Consortium in genome-wide association studies, which led to the discovery of many more human vitiligo susceptibility genes (c,d).
a. Casp, C.B., J.X. She, & W.T. McCormack. 2002. Genetic association of the catalase gene (CAT) with vitiligo susceptibility. Pigment Cell Res. 15:62-66
b. Casp, C.B., J.X. She, & W.T. McCormack. 2003. Genes of the TAP/LMP cluster are associated with the human autoimmune disease vitiligo. Genes & Immunity 4:492-499
c. Jin Y, SA Birlea, PR Fain, TM Ferrara, S Ben, SL Riccardi, JB Cole, K Gowan, PJ Holland, DC Bennett, RM Luiten, A Wolkerstorfer, JP Wietze van der Veen, A Hartmann, S Eichner, G Schuler, N van Geel, J Lambert, EH Kemp, DJ Gawkrodger, AP Weetman, A Taϊeb, T Jouary, K Ezzedine, MR Wallace, WT McCormack, M Picardo, G Leone, A Overbeck, NB Silverberg, RA Spritz. 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
IMMUNOGLOBULIN AND T CELL RECEPTOR GENETIC DIVERSITY
During my predoctoral and postdoctoral training and early faculty years my research focused on the genetic diversification of rabbit antibody (a) and chicken antibody and T cell receptor genes (b-d). 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 beta and gamma genes.
a. McCormack, W.T., S.M. Laster, W.F. Marzluff & K.H. Roux. 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, W.T., L.W. Tjoelker, L.M. Carlson, B. Petryniak, C.F. Barth, E.H. Humphries & C.B. Thompson. 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, W.T. & C.B. Thompson. Chicken IgL variable region gene conversions display pseudogene donor preference and 5′ to 3′ polarity. Genes Dev. 4:548 558.
d. McCormack, W.T., L.W. Tjoelker, G. Stella, C.E. Postema & C.B. Thompson. Chicken T-cell receptor beta-chain diversity: An evolutionarily conserved D-beta -encoded glycine turn within the hypervariable CDR3 domain. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 88:7699-7703.