Neonatal and childhood diseases can be debilitating and even deadly outcomes of insults induced during the reproductive, perinatal, and pediatric (RPP) periods. The best hope for combating these diseases is to enhance the cadre of researchers invested in better understanding the pattern, risk factors, and interventions that might improve RPP health. The overall objective of this RPP Epidemiology Training Program is to train five pre-doctoral students per year over a grant period of five years. We will identify highly qualified applicants, with a focus on minority trainees, and provide them with rigorous and practical training in the basic foundations and methodologic tools requisite to become emerging leaders in RPP epidemiology. The University of Pittsburgh has many strengths that ensure our success in realizing this goal. First, the RPP Program will draw faculty from our pre-existing strong and flexible collaborations among the departments of Epidemiology;Environmental Health;Human Genetics;Behavioral and Community Health Sciences;Obsetrics and Gynecology;Pediatrics;Psychiatry;Immunology;Cell Biology and Physiology;School of Nursing, and School of Dental Medicine. Second, the many, federally funded studies led by our faculty provide a wealth of existing vehicles for dissertation research in areas including: preterm birth;preeclampsia, infertility and sexually transmitted diseases, spontaneous abortion, lifespan approach, mood disorders, substance abuse, injury, nutrition and obesity, environmental health, adolescent health, and pediatrics. Third, strong methodologic Cores are available to ground students in disciplinary learning. These include statistics;demography;basic biology;genetics;mood/behavior/substance abuse;health disparities;clinical;and scientific writing. Fourth, maximizing quality education in the Department of Epidemiology has been a major focus of the chairmanship of Dr. Ness, the Principal investigator of this RPP Program. We describe the many, ongoing initiatives that have made Pittsburgh a strong training environment. Fifth, our faculty's extensive experience in leading NIH-funded training programs will inform the RPP Program. Sixth, we will leverage an outstanding infrastructure for recruiting and retaining under-represented minority students. Finally, a pressing need for future researchers in RPP epidemiology and an outstanding aspect of the environment at the University of Pittsburgh involves integrating knowledge across disciplines in a rapidly evolving research environment. The next generation of RPP epidemiologic research will require a cadre of responsible, appropriately trained investigators who have both knowledge of critically linked basic science and clinical disciplines and fundamental skills in epidemiologic and biostatistical methods related to RPP epidemiology. At the University of Pittsburgh, the combination of outstanding potential students, didactic experiences, and mentorship will maximize the likelihood of producing future leaders in RPP epidemiology.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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Pediatrics Subcommittee (CHHD)
Program Officer
Ren, Zhaoxia
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University of Pittsburgh
Public Health & Prev Medicine
Schools of Public Health
United States
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