This proposal requests a further five years of funding to support the organization and delivery, on five occasions, of a one week intensive training workshop. The workshop is targeted at post-doctoral trainees, graduate and medical students (MDs and PhDs), and early career faculty carrying out mental health research supported by the Public Health Service, who are currently conducting or planning to initiate research on the genetics of complex traits involved in mental health. So as to keep a balance between the needs of investigators conducting different kinds of studies and those using a variety of methodologies, we propose to alternate between an workshop focusing on structural equation modeling of twin, family, multivariate, and developmental data, and an advanced workshop focusing on the analysis of genome variation including sequence data. Since the inception of the workshops in 1987, over 1600 individuals have attended this training. Nineteen of the 26 workshops have been hosted by the current PI (John Hewitt) in Boulder, Colorado. Although a training workshop, it shares some characteristics of a scientific meeting. Participants are encouraged discuss their current research, to bring copies of their data to work on directly while at the workshop, and to discuss and develop research plans. New collaborations are established to facilitate both high quality research and publication on existing data sets, and new research initiatives are strengthened by the collaboration of experts with a phenotypic focus with experts in methodology. The curriculum of the workshop is continuously updated by world leaders in statistical and computational genetics and their application to mental health. This proposal follows the guidelines in PA Number: PAR-12-262 for Short Courses for Mental Health-Related Research Education Grants and extends the training work previously funded by grants T35MH19392, T35MH19918, and R25MH019918. The workshop offers an innovative educational program designed to prepare researchers for interdisciplinary research careers in the area of genetics and mental health. Research scientists participating in the workshops will update their knowledge and expertise, refine their research skills and, specifically, obtain specialized training in methods of genetic design and analysis and their integration into research on the genetic and environmental etiology of mental health.

Public Health Relevance

This research education meets the need for training in methods of data analysis and experimental design for mental health researchers working with twin and related family study methodologies and with case-control or population-based genomic variation studies. The introduction of new techniques of statistical and computational genetics, and the increasing interest in the methodology for identifying the genes influencing complex traits, has created an enormous demand for this training.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Education Projects (R25)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZMH1)
Program Officer
Desmond, Nancy L
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of Colorado at Boulder
Graduate Schools
United States
Zip Code
Verhulst, Brad (2017) A Power Calculator for the Classical Twin Design. Behav Genet 47:255-261
Maes, Hermine H M; Hatemi, Peter K; Neale, Michael C (2014) Lindon J. Eaves, Ph.D., M.A. (Oxon), D.Sc. Theory-model-data. Behav Genet 44:183-92