Educational Research: Dr. McCormack’s education research focuses on the use of team-based learning (TBL) in graduate education, responsible conduct of research (RCR) training, and student peer evaluation in medical education. Team-based learning is being used to promote active learning and scientific thinking in graduate level basic science courses (particularly immunology), and to improve ethical decision-making in RCR training. Although a major determinant of later professional success, peer evaluation is under-utilized in medical education. Other ongoing studies focus on medical student summative peer evaluation, including dimensions of professional competence, interpersonal skills, humanism, and community service.
Biomedical Research: In collaboration with Dr. Margaret Wallace and the VitGene Consortium led by Dr. Richard Spritz, Dr. McCormack’s immunogenetics research focused on the genetics of susceptibility to vitiligo, a human autoimmune disease that causes skin depigmentation. Susceptibility to autoimmune diseases has both genetic and environmental components. Genome-wide association, case/control, and family-based genetic association methods provide evidence for many vitiligo susceptibility genes, including genes involved in the normal functioning of the skin pigment-producing melanocytes and in the regulation of lymphocytes in the immune system. This project is not active at UF at this time, and we are not enrolling additional research subjects.