T32: Renal & Urologic Biostatistics Training Grant

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The Renal & Urologic Biostatistics Training Grant (2T32DK060455) is funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease (NIDDK) in the National Institutes of Health. The training program is designed for Ph.D. students in all years (up to five years of support) of their graduate training in the Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. The Principal Investigator (project leader) is Justine Shults.

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(Also available on the NIDDK web-site.)

The Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics (CCEB) and Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology (DBE) of the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) School of Medicine (SOM) resubmit this proposal to continue an innovative and successful predoctoral training program in biostatistics for renal and urologic diseases (BRUD). The objective is to train individuals to be rigorous and independent academic investigators able to use the range of approaches in biostatistics to address issues in kidney and urology research. The program is specifically built upon existing collaborative relationships among biostatistics, statistics, and renal and urologic research faculty in the DBE, CCEB, the Renal and Urology Divisions of Penn's SOM, the Department of Pediatrics' Division of Nephrology, other divisions within the Department of Pediatrics at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and Wharton's Department of Statistics at Penn. The four- to five-year training program for predoctoral students provides didactic training in fundamental skills, methodologies, and principles of biostatistics, with specific emphasis on the areas of most importance in renal and urologic research. Specific courses are offered in general and advanced biostatistics and research methodology, leading toward a PhD degree in Biostatistics. Trainees are required to obtain a strong background in substantive areas related to renal and urologic diseases through coursework, participation in research seminars, and an ongoing journal club in biostatistics for renal and urologic research. In addition, faculty mentors lead students through directed experiences in collaborative nephrology and urology research and consultation projects. Specifically, the training program is designed to: 1) provide in-depth knowledge of the biostatistics techniques appropriate to research in kidney and urologic disease; 2) provide research experience with mentors in biostatistics and renal and urologic research; and 3) bring together faculty and students in the DBE/CCEB and the respective clinical departments. Strengths of the program are the training program in biostatistics, including comprehensive course offerings available to students; the wide ranging experience of the biostatistics faculty in multiple areas of biostatistics methods and kidney and urology research; the faculties' commitment to collaborative research and training; the established teaching program in Statistics offered by the Wharton School; the long history of successful clinical research training programs offered by the CCEB; and the existing collaborative links among faculty in biostatistics and epidemiology, the Renal Division, the Division of Urology, the Department of Pediatrics, and statistics faculty with the Wharton School. Resources available to students include several existing large databases that can be tapped for biostatistics training, a broad array of ongoing research projects including clinical trials and observational studies, Penn's commitment to collaborative research and training, and the broad range of experiences of faculty participating in this training program.