$1 M Grant to UR Results in New Training in Clinical Research

November 22, 1999

A $1 million grant has been awarded to the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry to train health professionals to perform studies to translate and apply the knowledge generated from other areas of science.

Provided by the National Institutes of Health, the grant has made possible a new course of study - the Rochester Clinical Research Curriculum - which trains physicians, dentists, doctorally prepared nurses and clinically oriented Ph.D.'s to be clinical researchers. Funding for this $1 million grant, which is one of only 35 awarded nationally by the NIH, will be received over five years.

Introduced this fall, the curriculum consists of theory and methods of clinical research integrated with instruction in practical skills that are needed to determine the causes of disease, describe the prognosis of disease, develop new treatments, test the treatments and diagnostic tests for effectiveness, and to assess how healthcare is provided and purchased.

"The National Institutes of Health has concluded that we must train a new generation of researchers to apply what we have learned," says Thomas A. Pearson, M.D., Ph.D., Kaiser Professor and chair of the Department of Community and Preventive Medicine and program director. "We are pleased to have been chosen as one of the first groups of academic medical centers to provide this training."

The program includes courses in biostatistics, epidemiology, social and behavioral medicine, design of clinical trials, and clinical evaluation and continuous research, as well as seminars, field experience, and a mentored research experience.

Additionally, a new Clinical Investigation track in the Master of Public Health Program has been developed to provide a degree for those completing the new curriculum.

"This new MPH in Clinical Investigation enhances our existing MPH program, with a new, strong focus on clinical research," says Sarah Trafton, J.D , director of the MPH Program. "It makes it possible for us to prepare individuals for valuable clinical research by tailoring the program to their specific interests."

The new MPH Program is the only one of its kind in Western New York and is similar to programs being offered at Harvard, Columbia and Johns Hopkins Universities.

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