The Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology (DBE) and the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics (CCEB) of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine is submitting this proposal to continue our successful and innovative pre-doctoral training program in mental health biostatistics. This training program addresses the shortage of biostatisticians with interests in mental health through the efforts of a distinguished, experienced, and committed training program faculty. The program utilizes a multidisciplinary approach to training students desiring careers as biostatisticians focused on mental health research, which is critical to developing superb collaborative and communication skills with biomedical researchers. The objective is to train individuals as rigorous and independent academic investigators able to use the wide range of biostatistics methods to address mental health research questions. The currently successful program is built upon existing collaborative relationships among biostatistics, statistics, and mental health research faculty in the CCEB, DBE, Dept. of Psychiatry (PSYCH), and Wharton's Dept. of Statistics (STAT). The 4-5 year training program for pre-doctoral students provides didactic training in fundamental skills, methodologies, and principles of biostatistics, with emphasis on areas of importance to mental health research. Courses are offered in general and advanced biostatistics leading toward a PhD in Biostatistics. Trainees are required to obtain a strong background in substantive areas related to mental health through coursework, seminars and interdisciplinary courses in mental health research examining methodological issues, concepts, and statistical approaches in mental health research. The training program is designed to: Recruit trainees with interests in mental health research;Provide in-depth knowledge of biostatistics techniques appropriate to mental health research;Provide research experiences with mentors in both biostatistics and mental health;Provide an inter-disciplinary infrastructure, bringing together faculty and students in the CCEB, DBE, PSYCH, and STAT, supportive of graduate education in mental health biostatistics;Help ensure that trainees pursue academic careers developing methods and collaborations for mental health research. Strengths of the program include the established teaching programs in the DBE and STAT, the wide- ranging experience of the biostatistics faculty in areas of biostatistics methods and mental health research;the long history of successful clinical research training programs in the CCEB;and the existing strong collaborative links among biostatistics, statistics, and mental health research faculty at Penn. The resources available to students include a broad array of ongoing research projects that includes clinical trials, observational studies, translational research, and experimental studies;Penn's commitment to collaborative research and training encompassing basic and clinical research multidisciplinary teams capable of addressing a broad array of research questions provide an exceptional environment for this training program.
There has been a significant effort, primarily by NIMH, to fund programs to train biostatisticians specializing in mental health who have a high level of methodological expertise as well as strong collaborative experiences. This training program addresses the shortage of biostatisticians with interests in mental health through the efforts of a distinguished, experienced, and committed training program faculty. This training program utilizes a multidisciplinary approach to training, with training provided to those who desire careers as biostatisticians focusing on mental health research. The training is provided by distinguished, experienced, and committed training program faculty. This is crucial to the development of biostatisticians, as they need to communicate well with and work alongside biomedical researchers.
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