This application is for a competitive renewal of the Johns Hopkins Training Program in STIs. We are now entering the 10th and final year of the current award. The initial award was granted in 2001 and was renewed in 2006. We are now applying for an additional five years of funding to continue our successful training program in the clinical and public health aspects of STIs. We are requesting support for six pre- doctoral public health students and one postdoctoral PhD or DrPH fellow. Research on the impact and efficacy of STI interventions requires a multidisciplinary approach, and also presents major methodological problems. For example, the disciplines required to effectively study STI interventions include: infectious diseases, adolescent medicine, behavioral sciences, laboratory medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, as well as substantial interest and effort in operations and coordination. Traditional training programs (i.e., infectious diseases, behavioral sciences, epidemiology, etc.) are typically very discipline-focused, and often do not provide the breadth of experiences required. This training proposal is designed to complement other training programs at Johns Hopkins. Our program emphasizes and develops a structure for linkages among behavior, epidemiology, and molecular biology, and also offers specific interactions with public health agencies with which trainers have working relationships, such as the Baltimore City Health Department, the Maryland State Health Department, and federal agencies such as the CDC and HRSA. The Johns Hopkins Center for STI Research and Prevention, whose members include faculty from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, has provided extensive training to promising scientists for over 25 years. Since initial funding for the training program was received, we have developed a competitive and multidisciplinary program that has directly supported twenty-eight predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees who have interacted with twenty training faculty. The Johns Hopkins environment is unique in that it fully integrates clinical disciplines, public health disciplines, and public health practice through our close collaborations with the Baltimore City Health Department, which includes such varied clinics as STI clinics, family planning clinics, and a Healthy Teens and Young Adults clinic. Our program provides research training opportunities, that include supervised didactic training in research design and methods, basic laboratory research in the virology and microbiology of STI pathogens, behavioral research, and access to both clinical populations and population- based studies in a variety of venues. The program is administered through the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health but involves trainers and trainees from multiple departments in the School of Public Health, School of Medicine, School of Nursing, The Global Health Center, and the Schools of Arts &Sciences and Engineering.
The overall goal of the training program is to increase the number of public health students and postdoctoral fellows trained to conduct high quality, relevant and innovative research related to the public health aspects of sexually transmitted infections.
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