This pre-doctoral training program in Reproductive, Perinatal, and Pediatric Epidemiology centered in the Department of Epidemiology of the Rollins School of Public Health of Emory University will train outstanding candidates in the discipline of epidemiology, mentor them in research teams that include basic and clinical scientists, and prepare them as teachers as well as independent researchers. Three students will be recruited each year and supported for up to three years. They will develop methodologic skills from a rigorous core of biostatistics and epidemiologic methods courses and will receive formal training in teaching skills and in the ethical conduct of research. In specialization courses and interdisciplinary seminars, students will gain an academic understanding of the related areas of reproductive, perinatal, and pediatric epidemiology. They will receive mentoring in research methods through research internships to allow them to learn to the skills learned in a formal educational setting to the research setting. Throughout the pre-doctoral curriculum and research experiences, students will progress from more general to specific areas, culminating in dissertation research focused in one of the three fields. Core leaders for these areas are Drs. Carolyn Drews-Botsch (PI and Pediatric Leader), Carol Hogue (Perinatal Leader) and Michele Marcus (Reproductive Leader). All have extensive research and training experience, and two of the three have had experience in administering doctoral programs. Interdisciplinary seminars will expose students to potential mentors. Students' dissertation research will most likely develop from one of these experiences and be funded through ongoing research grants or supplements which the students will obtain. Relevance: More evidence-based and epidemiologic research is required to make major advances in reducing major morbiditiy and mortality associated with gynecologic infertility, unintended pregnancy, pregnancy complications, preterm delivery, developmental disabilities, and congenital defects. Beginning with their dissertation research and continuing throughout their careers, graduates of this program should make significant contributions to this knowledge base.
Morbidity and mortality associated with human reproduction and child development pose some of the most stubborn public health challenges. The proposed project would train scientists in the most advanced methods of identifying the causes of, prevention methods, and treatments for these conditions. Thus, this project will add to the ability to improve the health of women and children.
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