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Graduate Summer Institute of Epidemiology and Biostatistics

General Information

The Summer Institute schedule offers courses that meet for one, two or three weeks, as well as one-day workshops and online courses.

In addition to offering basic and advanced courses on epidemiologic and biostatistical concepts and methods that can stand alone, the curriculum allows students combinations of courses that either expand their breadth of knowledge or enable them to delve more deeply into a specialized topic area of their choice. Such topic areas include observational and experimental study designs, multiple facets of genetic epidemiology, and statistical analysis techniques.


Epidemiologic Methods
The methods series of courses aim at exposing students to the concepts, methodologic strategies, and practical aspects of epidemiology. This group of courses includes lectures and laboratory discussions related to observational (case-control and cohort) and experimental (clinical trials) study designs used by epidemiologists to conduct research on risk factors, and on therapeutic and preventive interventions. The courses emphasize not only the theoretical underpinnings of the different epidemiologic investigation designs, but also their practical applications. The two introductory courses - Principles of Epidemiology and Observational Epidemiology - cover the main issues that represent the foundations of epidemiology, including approaches to investigate epidemics, natural history of disease, principles of screening, basic study designs, interaction and threats to causal inference (confounding and bias). The methods, inferential aspects, and applications specific to observational and experimental designs are discussed in greater detail in the courses, Applications of the Case Control Method and Methods and Applications of Cohort Studies. Finally,  Conducting Epidemiologic Research deals with the practical aspects of study conduct, such as quality assurance and quality control, and management of multi-center studies.

Advanced Biostatistics Methods
This set of courses is intended for persons with rudimentary understanding of statistical reasoning and methods who seek to further their ability to read the scientific literature and conduct statistical analysis. The Data Analysis Workshops I and II are highly interactive, problem-solving experiences in which participants work with course faculty to conduct a range of statistical analyses of important public health data sets. The pair of courses Regression Analysis and Regression Lab will introduce course participants to the main ideas of linear, logistic and survival regression models and then assist them to conduct illustrative data analyses. The course Survival Analysis is a more advanced treatment of the methods for analysis of clinical trial and cohort study time-to-event data. Lectures and data analyses comprise the learning experience. Multi-level Models will give an overview of hierarchical models for the study of the interaction of risk factors from many levels: societal, community, neighborhood, family and personal. This course will comprise lectures and discussions and some data analysis by participants.

Clinical Research
We offer a series of courses for those seeking an in-depth yet rapid introduction to the methods of quantitative clinical research. Course offerings relevant to clinical research include Evidence-based Decisions, Comparative Effectiveness Research: Outcome Measurement, Bayesian Adaptive Trials, and Pharmacoepidemiology, focusing, respectively, on how to use data in decision making, and on research strategies to evaluate therapeutic agents.

The summer Institute offers online introductory courses in Genetic Epidemiology. These are ideal for students new to the field of genetics or who just want to understand the details in the latest papers being published. Principles of Genetic Epidemiology I provides the basics and definitions in the field from DNA to genome wide association studies. Principles of Genetic Epidemiology II expands on the 1st course with statistics to explain concepts like population stratification, admixture and association. For those students with little background in molecular biology, the course “Molecular Biology for Genetic Epidemiology” introduces basic genetic terms and molecular mechanisms. 

We also offer a one day workshop on Human Genetic Sequencing. This course will provide a full overview from sequencing technology, study design, statistical analytic methods and will include real examples from the field and a moderated discussion panel. This one-day course is ideal for those who want to know what the “buzz” about sequencing is all about, and for those who may be starting or in process of doing genetic sequencing studies.