We propose a weeklong, accessible workshop that offers short courses for both biomedical scientists and analysts. It will give both groups the material and skills that cutting-edge scientists need in order to maintain their level of innovation and relevance. It will also give the groups a chance to interact, which they rarely are able to do. Scientists engaged in multidisciplinary research, systems sciences, model development, and research on large and complex data sets need to understand the assumptions, advantages, and limitations of these approaches. Likewise, many quantitative scientists are interested in applying their skills and knowledge to contemporary biological and behavioral research but may lack formal training in fundamental biological disciplines. These scientists would benefit from instruction in the goals, nature, issues, and language of biological research.
Progress in contemporary biological and behavioral disciplines depends heavily on investigators who are skilled in the use of mathematics, computation, and statistics (collectively referred to as quantitative methods) but who also appreciate biological and medical principles enough to understand the complexity inherent in applying these methods to real biological data. Similarly, their biological counterparts must understand and appreciate analytical methods in order to make decisions about managing the enormous data sets that are produced by modern experimental methods. In our proposal, we outline a simple and effective approach to helping scientists from disciplines as diverse as these gain the competence and perspective they need to maintain their status at the forefront of biomedical research.