This ongoing multi-disciplinary research training program (now in Year 10) in cardiovascular disease (CVD) epidemiology and prevention supports 4 postdoctoral trainees (either MD or PhD) for a training period that is typically 2 years in duration. The Program can provide mentored research experiences in the related fields of cardiovascular epidemiology, CVD prevention, biostatistics, quantitative assessment of longitudinal risk, nutrition, behavioral medicine, vascular medicine, endocrinology, CV imaging, health services research, as well as applied genetics, transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics. Research experiences are complemented by coursework chosen as needed individually for each trainee. The overall experience is designed to assure a strong preparation for success in future independent research careers. The Program creates individual development plans (IDP) for each trainee and provides regular oversight by at least 2 primary mentors to meet training goals. Additional secondary mentors from related fields such as cardiology, metabolic diseases, sleep medicine, and basic CV sciences, are available depending on the individual needs of the postdoctoral trainee. Innovations for this 5-year project period include: 1) Enhancing minority recruitment by developing targeted pipelines with institutions that enroll significant numbers of minority graduate students in the public health sciences. 2) Continued improvement in training of the program's highly experienced mentors, combined with newly-structured mentor evaluations. 3) Assuring that all trainees have at least 2 senior mentors, a primary research mentor and a primary career mentor. 4) Enhanced attention to career development and "survival" skills, including new biweekly conferences primarily for trainees in the T32 program. Trainees are drawn from both clinical backgrounds (primarily MD intending to pursue a physician/scientist career in cardiovascular medicine and preventive cardiology) or from research backgrounds (PhD in biostatistics, epidemiology, nutrition, or other fields related to CVD prevention research) planning a career in CVD epidemiology or prevention. The Program Director, Co-Directors, and mentors are a highly experienced group, and most have worked together for many years which will help to assure coordinated training. A Steering Committee and an Advisory Committee will oversee all aspects of the Program. Ongoing evaluation and feedback will ensure that changes are implemented as needed and that Program goals are consistently met.
This Training Program is designed to prepare the next generation of researchers who will fill manpower needs in cardiovascular disease (CVD) epidemiology and prevention research. CVD remains the leading cause of death and a leading source of disability in the United States and throughout the world. The goal of the Training Program is to assure that a talented and well- trained group of MD and PhD researchers will be able to address the research needs and opportunities in the years to come to improve understanding of the causes of CVD, improve prevention and early disease detection, and help improve treatments for people who have developed CVD.
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