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Cardiovascular Epidemiology Training Program

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill image of external icon
Grant #: T32 HL007055
Program Director: Wayne D. Rosamond, PhD, MS,
Co-Director: Gerardo Heiss, MD, PhD,

Trainees Supported: (4) Predoctoral and (4) Postdoctoral

Areas of Emphasis: CVD epidemiology, genetic epidemiology, behavior and environmental determinants of CVD, vascular origins of cognitive impairment and dementia, research methodology, community surveillance and outcomes research

Program Summary:

The overall goal of the Cardiovascular Epidemiology Program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Department of Epidemiology, Gillings School of Global Public Health is to train innovative and effective researchers in the field of CVD epidemiology to meet the two main challenges faced by the field. One is the need to channel qualified scientists into a workforce capable to address the national and worldwide burden of CVD. The other is the need for scientists who possess competencies that can place research at the interface between disciplines, and the ability to incorporate innovation into the formulation and conduct of research.

Strengths of the program include: engaged mentoring and numerous opportunities for active participation in research for pre- and postdoctoral trainees in environmental, behavioral, social and genetic epidemiology of CVD, subclinical atherosclerosis and community-based surveillance of CVD; integration of collaborating mentors from biostatistics, cardiology, nephrology, dental ecology, health policy, nutrition, neurology, genetics, and sociology; ongoing programmatic self-assessment and evaluation; and development of trainees from minority groups under-represented in the biomedical sciences. A process of close mentoring encourages trainees to develop individual training paths and career development models. Career development competencies and measurable outcomes are built into the yearly goals for both predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees.

Established elements of the program include peer-to-peer mentoring, faculty co-mentoring (a primary mentor and an associated mentor), periodic goal setting by each trainee and fellow with their mentors; and yearly evaluations of trainer and trainee. Ongoing training activities include peer led workshops, CVD seminar series, and structured journal clubs. Recent additions to the program include (1) expanded leadership structure of the program to include a Program Steering Committee, Career Development team, and Research Support team; (2) creation of an External Advisory Board; and (3) introduction of two new core research areas based on active research (vascular origins of cognitive impairment and dementia, and CVD outcomes research).

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Last updated: June 2014

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