This NICHD Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award application seeks to continue to train pre-doctoral students in reproductive, perinatal, and pediatric epidemiology. This field has experienced slower growth relative to other fields in epidemiology, despite a clear public health need. The long-term objective of this application is to expand the field of reproductive, perinatal, and pediatric epidemiology through increased investigator-initiated research by solidly trained scientists and to ultimately reduce th population burden of reproductive and pediatric adverse outcomes. Didactic and applied training will be provided by two Boston University School of Public Health centers: the Slone Epidemiology Center and the Epidemiology Department. Trainees will: 1) gain a solid understanding of theoretical and applied epidemiology and associated biostatistics, 2) learn the basic biological processes of and major clinical features of pregnancy and/or childhood, 3) contribute to a research project under the guidance of a program mentor, and 4) learn to write bio-medical manuscripts and grant proposals, and 5) demonstrate the ability to conduct independent, original research. These learning components are achieved through coursework, clinical shadowing, conducting research, and participation in national professional conferences;they culminate in completion of three epidemiologic dissertation studies. Major strengths of the program include 1) easy incorporation into an established, accredited epidemiology doctoral program that attracts high level students;2) established course curricula in relevant topics;3) a abundance of reproductive, perinatal, and pediatric research resources;and 4) faculty mentors with expertise in epidemiologic methods and applied epidemiology in reproductive, perinatal, and pediatric outcomes and pharmacologics, environmental exposures, infectious disease, social/behavioral factors such as illicit drug use, and racial/ethnic disparities;and 5) faculty mentors with track records in training academic reproductive, pediatric, and perinatal epidemiologists. An emphasis is placed on the responsible conduct of research through workshop attendance and mentoring. The program is overseen by a director who is a recognized reproductive epidemiologist and whose commitment to the field and links to the classroom, research, and mentoring components ensures a continued successful training program.
The Boston University Reproductive, Perinatal, and Pediatric Epidemiology pre- doctoral training program teaches advanced epidemiology, clinical knowledge, and research skills to launch the next generation of independent researchers in this field. The long-term goal is prevention of adverse reproductive, perinatal, and pediatric outcomes.
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