? ? Biomedical research at every level relies on probability and statistics. Without proper research design and analysis based on sound statistical theory, inferences and conclusions made from the results of the study would be biased and even invalid. In the United States, there is a severe shortage of biostatisticians because of a combination of growing demand for them by the biomedical research community and a relatively steady rate of graduating doctoral level biostatisticians over the last couple of decades. Doctoral level biostatisticians working in the neuroscience field are scarce. In order to maintain excellence in the expanding neuroscience research field, this shortage must be alleviated through interdisciplinary training of fellows and students interested in pursuing academic and research careers. Furthermore, educating neuroscientists in biostatistical methodology will enhance the quality of their research by ensuring a firm foundation of proficiency with analytical skills and appreciation for statistical input. The Department of Biostatistics, Bioinformatics and Epidemiology (DBBE) at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) requests funds for an educational program dedicated to Biostatistics Training with Application to Neuroscience (BTAN). This program will train candidates at both pre- and post-doctoral levels. Pre-doctoral trainees will earn a PhD degree in biostatistics, undertaking dissertation research focused on biostatistical methodology with direct application to neuroscience research. The post-doctoral fellows will be clinically- or basic science-trained neuroscientists who will develop a broad working knowledge of biostatistical approaches and techniques pertinent to their specific neuroscience investigations. They will achieve this through successfully completing a Master's degree program in clinical research (for clinical neuroscientists) or biomedical sciences (basic neuroscientists) in DBBE. DBBE has offered doctoral and master's level degree programs in biostatistics since the early 1970s. It has a well established administrative and research infrastructure to house and support the BTAN Program. The BTAN Program consists of didactic instruction and adjunctive training in both biostatistics and the neurosciences, with all research projects focused specifically on the application of biostatistics to neuroscience. DBBE faculty members with significant strengths in the application of biostatistics to problems in neuroscience serve as primary mentors for the BTAN trainees, in partnership with clinical and basic science faculty in MUSC's Neuroscience Institute, who serve as associate mentors and experts in their respective fields of neuroscience and medicine. ? ?
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