The Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics (CCEB) and the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, collaborating with the Division of Neonatology, Department of Pediatrics of the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, apply to continue an innovative and successful post-doctoral training program in reproductive epidemiology for individuals who already are physicians. Penn and the School of Medicine promote an academic environment in which basic and clinical research are encouraged and viewed as attractive career paths for trainees. This training program attracts reproductive epidemiology trainees from other institutions nationwide and the graduates of this training program are placed in other institutions nationwide, resulting in a program of the highest impact. The two- to three-year training program consists of required courses in clinical epidemiology, research methodology, biostatistics, and reproductive epidemiology;elective courses;journal clubs and clinical research conferences focusing on research issues in reproductive medicine, women's health, and/or neonatology;extensive independent readings;attendance at and participation in research seminars at the CCEB, the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and the Division of Neonatology;and the completion of an independent research project in reproductive epidemiology. The program is designed to: 1) train clinicians to be rigorous and independent academic investigators able to use the range of approaches available in epidemiology to address research issues in reproductive medicine, women's health, and/or neonatology related to the etiology, prognosis, prevention and early detection, treatment, clinical economics, technology assessment, medical decision making, and quality of patient care;2) provide closely mentored research experiences with faculty preceptors in clinical epidemiology, obstetrics and gynecology, and neonatology;and 3) strengthen the links between traditional epidemiology, obstetrics and gynecology, neonatology, and women's health. Trainees matriculate in the Master of Science in Clinical Epidemiology (MSCE) degree program. Strengths of the proposed program are: 1) the long history of successful research training programs in the CCEB, the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and the Division of Neonatology;2) the collaborative links that have been forged among the faculty of these academic entities;3) the comprehensive course offerings and research programs that are available to trainees;and 4) an extensive set of experienced program directors and faculty preceptors with successful training records. In addition, the availability of the broad range of rich expertise of the faculties in the CCEB, the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and the Division of Neonatology;numerous existing large databases that can be used for research projects and training;a broad array of specialized analytic capabilities available for clinical studies (e.g., clinical trials, case-control, cohort research, etc.);and the faculties'commitment to collaborative research and training, combine to provide an ideal environment for this training program.
There is a major national shortage of qualified clinicians able to conduct rigorous clinical research in reproductive epidemiology. This training program addresses this shortage through the collaborative efforts of reproductive epidemiologists, obstetricians, gynecologists, and neonatologists. Specific research areas of focus of mentors and trainees include: fetal origins of adult disease, contribution of maternal illness to adverse perinatal and childhood outcomes, adverse childhood outcomes associated with assisted reproductive technologies, and the association of the transition into menopause and urogynecologic disorders.
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