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, and developing, implementing, and evaluating rationally designed interventions to prevent and/or control these disorders. Recent scientific advances in omics (e.g., genomics, epigenomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics), informatics (e.g., electronic medical records, mobile technologies, and biosensors) and imaging 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 two Concentrations: Etiology of Mental Disorders and Interventions in Mental Disorders. In addition, it will provide a Methods Support Hub that will bring together the extensive expertise in working with data-intensive methods around the Johns Hopkins community, particularly in genomics, informatics and imaging, to support the activities of the trainees and provide them with resources needed to advance their training. The program will include 4 predoctoral students and 2 postdoctoral fellows who are supported by an experienced group of 21 Core and 25 Affiliate Faculty who are aligned with one of the two Concentrations. 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 applied 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 4 decades. Dr. Peter Zandi, a former graduate of the program, took over as Director of the program in the last project period. He is poised to continue building 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 and targeted interventions (i.e., analytic epidemiology).
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 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, and developing, implementing, and evaluating rationally designed interventions to prevent and/or control these disorders.
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