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Cardiovascular Behavioral Medicine Research Training

University of Pittsburgh image of external icon
Grant #: T32 HL007560
Program Director: Karen Matthews,

Trainees Supported: Predoctoral (4), Postdoctoral (4), Short-term Summer (2)

Areas of Emphasis: Research methods and statistics, cardiovascular physiology and psychophysiology, cardiovascular diseases

Program Summary:

The Cardiovascular Behavioral Medicine Research Training program has been very successful and continuously funded since 1983. The purposes of this program are to provide advanced training in cardiovascular behavioral medicine research methods and knowledge to predoctoral and postdoctoral fellows, and to provide summer research experiences for medical students. This training program is designed to foster proficiency in four distinct areas for trainees: 1) Research methods and statistics, whereby the basic skills necessary for conducting research and for drawing valid inferences from empirical data are developed; 2) Cardiovascular physiology and psychophysiology, through which an understanding of cardiovascular functioning and of methodologies of cardiovascular assessment is established, 3) Cardiovascular diseases, including the distributions in human populations, genetic and biobehavioral markers of disease risk, and principles of pathophysiology as related to disorders of the heart and vasculature and new tools to image subclinical and clinical cardiovascular disease; and 4) Principles of behavior and behavior change, through which the theoretical underpinnings of behavioral risk factors are understood and interventions designed. In addition, each trainee develops proficiency in a specific content area of cardiovascular behavioral medicine so that trainees have the foundation for an integrated, independent research program.

The training program continues to benefit from the participation of diverse, committed faculty from the Departments of Psychiatry, Psychology, Medicine, Human Genetics, and Epidemiology. This faculty provides collaborative and innovative research strategies examining mechanistic pathways connecting psychosocial factors and cardiovascular risk; determinants of health behaviors; and/or behavioral interventions to reduce cardiovascular risk. Appropriate course offerings are made available in the Departments of Psychology, Epidemiology, and Human Genetics; the history of multidisciplinary research and training efforts by the above departments and their faculty; and new training resources at the University of Pittsburgh's School of Medicine and Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences.

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Last updated: June 2014

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