The Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Washington University School of Medicine (WUSM) and the Mentored Training in Clinical Investigation (MTPCI) program propose an innovative research training program in clinical and reproductive epidemiology, specifically designed to strengthen the links between women's health research and traditional epidemiology. The goal of this T32 Program is to promote the performance of epidemiologic research and clinical trials and the transfer of findings that will benefit the health of women through the development of well-qualified, women's health investigators. Fellows will learn to use the range of approaches available in epidemiology to address issues in women's health related to etiology, prevention, treatment, prognosis, clinical economics, technology assessment, medical decision making, and quality of patient care. The two-year training program consists of: 1) a core curriculum of required courses in clinical epidemiology, research methodology, and biostatistics;2) three required core seminars: reproductive epidemiology and women's health issues;academic development and reproductive-epidemiology-in- action;3) elective courses;4) one-on-one mentorship with a methodologic (primary) mentor and a clinical (secondary) mentor, 5) attendance at and participation in research seminars in the MTPCI;and 6) the completion of an independent research project in clinical or reproductive epidemiology.
The specific aims. of the training program are to: 1) provide in-depth knowledge of the research techniques appropriate to clinical research;2) provide opportunities for the study of topics related to women's health;3) provide research experience with mentors in clinical epidemiology and obstetrics and gynecology research;and 4) bring together faculty and fellows through participation in seminar series in the MTPCI and the Department of OB/GYN. Trainees will matriculate in the Master of Science in Clinical Investigation (MSCI) degree program or MPH/MS at Saint Louis University School of Public Health. Strengths of the proposed program are: 1) the long history of successful research training programs in the WUSM;2) the comprehensive course offerings and research programs that are available to trainees, 3) a history of collaborative links already forged between the WUSM and the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology;4) and the extensive successful training records of the program directors and faculty. In addition, the availability of resources including a broad range of rich expertise of the faculties in the MTPCI and the Department of OB/GYN, numerous existing large databases available to these groups 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, etc.), faculties'commitment to collaborative research and training, and a newly renovated Division of Clinical Research, combine to provide an ideal environment for this proposed training program.
Training the next generation of reproductive epidemiologists and clinical researchers is essential to improve women's health in the U.S. and beyond. This training program will provide didactic courses and one-on-one mentorship for scholars interested in reproductive and epidemiologic research in women's health.
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