This is a competitive renewal of a training program currently in its ninth year, and proposes to continue the support of four predoctoral and four postdoctoral fellows per year, with each fellow receiving two years of training. This training program is directed by Dr. Edward P. Riley of San Diego State University (SDSU) and co-directed by Dr. Sandra A. Brown from the University of California San Diego (UCSD). The training faculty consists primarily of individuals affiliated with the SDSU/UCSD Joint Doctoral Program (JDP) in Clinical Psychology. The JDP provides a unique opportunity for the training of doctoral students in the Science/Practitioner (Boulder) model and recently has been ranked the #1 Clinical Psychology program in the U.S. by the Chronicle of Higher Education. The program is guided by the conviction that a solid foundation in the science of psychology is essential for the modern clinical psychologist. Further, a rigorous scientific core, including the commitment to empirically based knowledge and the development of research skills, is regarded to be fundamental in educating clinical psychologists. Finally, given that trainees acquire both scientific and clinical skills, this model is consistent with the NIH goal of translating research o the clinic. The environment for this training at both SDSU and UCSD is rich with resources, skilled mentors, ample research funding, and a collegial atmosphere that encourages collaborative studies. The training program is designed to prepare fellows for careers in academic settings with specialization in the alcohol research field. The specific training encompasses a broad range of alcohol-related research, including areas such as adolescent alcohol use, fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, and genetic influences on alcohol sensitivity. Predoctoral students receive didactic training in the behavioral sciences and in alcohol and substance abuse. In the first year, students receive a varied research experience and then focus on a particular aspect of alcohol research where collaboration is encouraged. The postdoctoral fellows receive similar types of varied training with a more individualized approach, tailored to their needs and expectations within the broad field of alcohol research. Since our training program began in 2002, we have undergone constant refinement and will continue to do so in order meet the needs of our trainees and of the field. However, our trainees are making their way in the academic world with considerable success and we are pleased at the progress we have made during the past nine years. Their experience as a fellow on this T32 has provided the trainees with the scientific discipline necessary to be successful academic researchers and the clinical skills to ask applicable and relevant questions regarding alcohol abuse and alcoholism.
Alcohol abuse is an international problem and a major public health issue in many parts of the world. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), alcohol consumption ranks as the world's 3rd leading risk factor for disease and disability and almost 4% of all deaths are attributed to alcohol. In order to deal with this immense problem, specialized training is required, particularly as related to clinical research, and this proposal i focused on just such training in pre- and postdoctoral fellows working with faculty in the SDSU/UCSD Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology.
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