Research Training in CVD Epidemiology and Prevention

Project: Research project

Project Details


The overall objective of the cardiovascular disease (CVD) epidemiology and prevention postdoctoral training program at Northwestern University is to prepare academically-oriented MD and PhD trained investigators from diverse scientific and racial/ethnic backgrounds for research-intensive careers in CVD epidemiology and prevention. This ongoing multi-disciplinary research training program (now in Year 14) proposes to continue supporting 4 postdoctoral trainees for a training period that is typically 2 years in duration. At the completion of training, our alumni will be prepared for independent research careers in many sectors including academia, government, public or private industry. We will achieve this outcome by providing training in epidemiology, prevention, biostatistics, nutrition, behavioral medicine, vascular medicine, endocrinology, cardiovascular imaging, health services research, dissemination and implementation, applied genetics, transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics. Mentored research experiences are complemented by coursework chosen as needed individually for each trainee. Growth in knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviors is guided by an individual development plan (IDP) prepared by each trainee and reviewed regularly with the mentoring team comprised of at least 2 highly experienced mentors. The centerpiece of the training program remains the completion of mentored research projects that yield scientific products (e.g., publications) in any of the above areas. The home for the training program remains a resource-rich environment that is home to multiple large- scale CVD cohort studies that permit immediate scientific productivity. Three primary innovations for this training period include: 1) an expansion of our program focus from traditional epidemiologic and biostatistical cohort studies and designs to address contemporary challenges in cardiovascular health; 2) the implementation of competency-based training curriculum; and, 3) an expanded approach to evaluating program outcomes. Trainees are drawn from clinical backgrounds (primarily MD intending to pursue a physician/scientist career in cardiovascular medicine and preventive cardiology) and research backgrounds (PhD in biostatistics, epidemiology, nutrition, or other related fields). We intend to continue our successful active approaches to recruiting and retaining underrepresented minority investigators. The Program Director, Associate Director, and mentors are a highly experienced group that has worked together for many years which will help to assure coordinated training. The Directors are supported by an administrative infrastructure that provides input on the program vision and mission, selection of trainees and curriculum. Ongoing evaluation allows for programmatic modifications in order to maximize the effectiveness of the program. Using these approaches, we expect to continue our success in response to the NHLBI call to establish “a diverse scientific workforce equipped with the relevant skills, knowledge and resources to tackle future HLBS [Heart, Lung, Blood and Sleep] challenges.”
Effective start/end date2/1/191/31/24


  • National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (5T32HL069771-17 REVISED)


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