This is a competing renewal application for the Cardiovascular Behavioral Medicine Research Training grant (HL07560), continuously funded since 1983. The purposes of our program are to provide advanced training in cardiovascular behavioral medicine research methods and knowledge to postdoctoral and predoctoral fellows, and to provide summer research experiences for medical students. Specifically, our training program for the postdoctoral and predoctoral trainees is designed to foster proficiency in four distinct areas: ? Research methods and statistics, whereby the basic skills necessary for conducting research and for drawing valid inferences from empirical data are developed; Cardiovascular physiology and psychophysiology, through which an understanding of cardiovascular functioning and of methodologies of cardiovascular assessment is established. Cardiovascular diseases, including the distributions in human populations, genetic and biobehavioral markers of disease risk, and principles of pathophysiology as related to disorders of the heart and vasculature and new tools to image subclinical and clinical cardiovascular disease;and Principles of behavior and behavior change, through which the theoretical underpinnings of behavioral risk factors are understood and interventions designed. In addition, each trainee develops proficiency in a specific content area of cardiovascular behavioral medicine, such that when they exit the program trainees have the foundation for an integrated, independent research program. Our training program continues to benefit from the participation of enthusiastic and committed faculty from the Departments of Psychiatry, Psychology, Medicine, Human Genetics, and Epidemiology. This diverse faculty provides collaborative and innovative research strategies examining mechanistic pathways connecting psychosocial factors and cardiovascular risk;determinants of health behaviors;and/or behavioral interventions to reduce cardiovascular risk. Our program also benefits from the availability of appropriate course offerings in the Departments of Psychology, Epidemiology, and Human Genetics;the history of multidisciplinary research and training efforts by the above departments and their faculty;and new training resources at the University of Pittsburgh's School of Medicine and Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences. Postdoctoral trainees are doctorates in psychology or related academic field or physicians who have completed their residency in relevant specialties, and predoctoral trainees are individuals with a four year college degree who want to specialize in health psychology, or medical students seeking research training in cardiovascular behavioral medicine. Support is requested to continue the program at the same number and type of positions: four postdoctoral, four predoctoral, and two short-term summer trainees.
The Centers for Disease Control estimates that 50% of mortality from the 10 leading causes of death in the United States can be traced to enduring patterns of individual behaviors, e.g., maladaptive responses to stress, depression and anxiety, and health behaviors. To further understand and prevent the leading cause of death, cardiovascular disease, the United States needs to invest in training scientists who conduct high quality, innovative research on the interface of psychology, cardiology, and public health. To address this need, our program is dedicated to providing advanced training in cardiovascular behavioral medicine research.
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