Cardiovascular and Clinical Epidemiology
This track focuses on the use of rigorous epidemiologic methods as applied to clinical and translational research, with emphasis on cardiovascular disease.
Clinical and translational research encompasses a broad area of investigations that includes:
- Patient-oriented research
- Epidemiology and behavioral studies
- Clinical trials
- Health services and outcomes research
The Cardiovascular and Clinical Epidemiology track aims to develop creative and independent investigators who will be able to collaborate effectively with bench and applied scientists to improve disease prevention and treatment at both the clinical and population levels. Coursework and mentorship emphasize the use of epidemiologic methods in clinical and translational research, as well as interdisciplinary training on the epidemiology of cardiovascular disease.
The track includes two groups of students – those with a focus on cardiovascular disease epidemiology and those with a focus on clinical epidemiology. The track is geared toward students, including both research-oriented clinicians and non-clinicians, who seek to apply rigorous epidemiologic methods to strengthen clinical practice, advance the health of people and improve the health of populations.
The track offers both masters and doctoral degrees and is housed at the Welch Center for Prevention, Epidemiology and Clinical Research, a teaching and research center that bridges both the Schools of Public Health and Medicine. Among other outstanding collaborations, the program benefits from close ties with the Johns Hopkins University divisions of General Internal Medicine, Cardiology and Endocrinology.
The strengths of the program include the existing depth of interest and expertise in cardiovascular disease and clinical epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, as well as the enthusiasm, commitment, and experience in training and mentorship of the program faculty.
Students engage in coursework and research applicable to the entire continuum of clinical epidemiology – prevention and screening, diagnosis, treatment, disease management, and prognostication. Prior students, for example, have engaged in natural history studies, cohort studies, translational research studies, clinical trials, and meta-analyses. Special emphasis is placed on the application of innovative and rigorous methods, and on the role of epidemiology in understanding risk factors for disease and developing and implementing prevention strategies. Specific areas of interest include, but are not limited to:
- Heart disease
- Kidney disease
- Mental health
- Substance abuse
- Primary care
- Behavioral modification
- Health equity
The goals of the program can be effectively divided by year:
First year students master the material in the required courses, identifying a research mentor and project, and pass the comprehensive examination. Seminars and interaction with the academic advisor build the foundation for subsequent research.
In addition to classes, students attend seminars in the Department of Epidemiology and the Welch Center, such as the Welch Center Grand Rounds, Welch Center Journal Club and Research in Progress.(Please visit the Welch Center for more details.) Additional interest group meetings related to research projects are held in several topic areas, such as Diabetes and Obesity, Kidney Disease Epidemiology, Methods and Ideas in Cardiovascular Epidemiology (MICE) and Health Equity.
Second year students work on a research project with a faculty research mentor. The research is facilitated by faculty playing a leading role in seminal cardiovascular studies including ARIC, MESA, and Look AHEAD and who are experts in a wide range of research areas. Training grant opportunities are available in several disease areas as well as primary care.