This is a proposal for the competing continuation of the University of Pittsburgh T32 Training Program in Cardiovascular Epidemiology funded by NHLBI since 2008. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains the leading cause of death despite a more than 50% decline in age-adjusted mortality from CVD in the past five decades. This Training Program thus addresses the critical need to promote epidemiological research of CVD. The primary goal of our T32 Program is to train individuals in cardiovascular epidemiology based on a pathophysiological understanding and experiential learning to thereby help develop in the future better prevention strategies. Our philosophy is to provide a core foundation of didactic training in epidemiology focusing on subclinical atherosclerosis, CVD biomarkers and outcomes with strong methodological skills, customized to the experience and background of each trainee. The Training Program is organized around three Research Cores: 1) subclinical atherosclerosis, 2) biostatistics/ epidemiological methods and 3) cardiology, grounded in six areas of strength ((i) vascular aging, (ii) women's health, (iii) high risk & international populations, (iv) nutrition & environment, (v) physical activity and (vi) psychosocial factors). To address challenges and opportunities which epidemiological research faces, our Training Program is updated by introducing Big Data, Mobile Health and Cross-Cohort Collaboration components for which we have rich faculty expertise. Doing so will position our trainees to be independent cardiovascular epidemiologists in multidisciplinary research settings competent in traditional and novel epidemiological methods in CVD. Trainees will have a primary mentor, work closely with other faculty members and a peer mentor who is a more experienced trainee. The Training Program consists of course work, research field work and professional development, all individually tailored to each trainee. Research field work includes data collection/management and data analysis. Professional development includes an independent research project, a remote training experience, grant writing experience, manuscript preparation, participation in national conferences, skill development workshops and training in the Responsible Conduct of Research. The Training Program is designed to produce investigators skilled in a multidisciplinary approach to research in cardiovascular epidemiology, who are comfortable with using subclinical atherosclerosis, CVD biomarkers or outcomes data in cross-discipline collaborations. The Training Program will continue to include 4 pre-doctoral and 2 post- doctoral positions in epidemiology.
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains the leading cause of death in the US. This Training Program thus addresses a critical need to train individuals in cardiovascular epidemiology, ultimately to better prevent CVD. Our Training Program reflects the changing needs of our trainees in research in cardiovascular epidemiology and aims to produce independent cardiovascular epidemiologists in multidisciplinary research settings competent in traditional as well as novel epidemiological methods in CVD.
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