Mental disorders are among the leading causes of disability in the world, and improved strategies to reduce their burden are needed. The goal of this training program is to produce the next generation of psychiatric epidemiologists who can address this need by conducting research that will advance our understanding of the causes and consequences of mental disorders; developing, implementing, and evaluating rationally designed interventions to prevent and control these disorders; and critically examining mental health services and systems of care to improve mental health outcomes. Recent scientific advances such as in genomics, proteomics, and informatics present new opportunities for accelerating the discovery and translation of findings into public health gains. This training program will capitalize on the unusually rich resources for biomedical research at the Johns Hopkins University to provide trainees with the skills and experiences needed to lead multi-disciplinary research that takes advantage of these emerging opportunities and promotes mental health. It will achieve this through a rigorous program of coursework, research apprenticeships, and integrative activities that provide trainees with a solid foundation in the core proficiencies of psychiatric epidemiology while giving them the opportunity to pursue specialized training in one of four Domains of Expertise that build on strengths within our department and are recognized as high priority: Genetic and Environmental Etiology of Mental Disorders, Mental Health Services and Outcomes, Mental Health and Aging, and Global Mental Health. The program will include 5 predoctoral students and 2 postdoctoral fellows who are supported by an experienced group of 20 Core Faculty and 23 Affiliate Faculty with expertise in one or more of the identified domains. The trainees will be prepared to assume leadership positions in academia carrying out mental health research typically on faculty in Schools of Public Health or Medicine, in government formulating research priorities and mental health policy at the local, state, national, and international levels, in private industry conducting appled research for pharmaceutical or other mental health care delivery companies, and in non-profit mental health agencies or non-governmental organizations advocating for those with mental disorders. This training program has successfully trained psychiatric epidemiologists for over 30 decades. The former Director of the program, Dr. William Eaton, recently stepped down and handed the leadership to Dr. Peter Zandi. Dr. Zandi is a graduate of the program and now an accomplished faculty member with expertise in the genetic and pharmaco-epidemiology of mental disorders. In this competing renewal, he is poised to build on the rich tradition of the program and lead it in new directions that will prepare the next generation of leaders in psychiatric epidemiology who will advance the field beyond traditional studies of the incidence and prevalence of mental disorders (i.e., descriptive epidemiology) and drive research that focuses on etiologic mechanisms, targeted interventions, and delivery of services (i.e., analytic epidemiology).
The rationale for this training program is motivated by the fact that mental disorders are among the leading causes of disability in the world, and improved strategies to reduce their burden are needed. The goal of the program is to produce the next generation of psychiatric epidemiologists who can address this need by conducting research that will advance our understanding of the causes and consequences of mental disorders; developing, implementing, and evaluating rationally designed interventions to prevent and control these disorders; and critically examining mental health services and systems of care to improve mental health outcomes.
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