Cardiovascular Disease 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
- Outcomes research and health services research
The track is geared toward clinicians who wish to acquire strong methodologic skills in study design as well as non-clinicians who seek to apply strong epidemiologic methods to clinical problems. Cardiovascular Disease and Clinical Epidemiology 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.
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
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 Clinical Research Grand Rounds, Welch Center Research Seminar (a.k.a. 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 a number of areas, like Diabetes and Obesity, Kidney Disease Epidemiology, Methods and Ideas in Cardiovascular Epidemiology (MICE) and Health Disparities.
Second year students work on a research project with a faculty research mentor. The research is facilitated by faculty playing a leading role in dozens of leading cardiovascular studies including ARIC, MESA, and Look AHEAD. Training grant opportunities are available in several disease areas as well as primary care.