Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Department of Preventive Medicine


Department of Preventive Medicine’s Long-Standing NIH-Funded T32 Post-Doctoral Research Training Program Renewed 

January 31st, 2014

The Department of Preventive Medicine’s post-doctoral research training program has received another five years of support from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of National Institutes of Health (NIH) earlier this month.  This T32 institutional training grant in cardiovascular epidemiology and prevention will continue more than two decades of support for PhD- and MD-trained post-doctoral research fellows to launch their careers in academics.  Dr. Philip Greenland, professor of preventive medicine and medicine, returns to the director’s role of the training program after having served as the director of the Northwestern University Clinical and Translational Science (NUCATS) Institute.  He will be expertly supported by co-directors, Dr. Mercedes Carnethon, associate professor of preventive medicine, and Dr. Martha Daviglus, associate vice chancellor for research, director of the Institute of Minority Health Research, professor of medicine and public health at the University of Illinois-Chicago, and immediate past-director of this training program.  The change allows for expansion of the training program to include mentors and fellows affiliated with the University of Illinois-Chicago as well as those from Northwestern. 
“This renewal of our NHLBI funding is critically important to the future of our department and a central component of our activities,” according to Philip Greenland, program director.  “We have so many wonderful mentors and research resources to share with trainees, and this extended funding will enable us to maintain and expand our longstanding efforts in research training.  We greatly look forward to helping to train the future leaders in cardiovascular epidemiology and prevention.”
“The T32 training grant is the perfect platform for those seeking to become independent scientists in the field of cardiovascular epidemiology,” says Rosalba Hernandez, a current T32 Fellow. “Fellows receive hand-on training through collaboration with a multi-disciplinary medical social science team, accompanied by formal in-class training, and participation in diverse training opportunities such as weekly seminars, statistical workshops, monthly journal club meetings. The departmental environment of curiosity and passion for high-impact novel research allows for cultivation of innovative ideas with provision of the needed skills to successfully bring them to fruition. The one-on-one mentorship from renowned experts in cardiovascular health has proven to be invaluable.”
The program has been continuously updated since its inaugural class in 1980, has graduated 11 fellows since 2004, and includes current Northwestern faculty, such as Drs. Norrina Allen, Mark Huffman, Kiarri Kershaw, and John Wilkins.  Recent updates to this iteration of the training program include:
•             Emphasis on individual develop plan-based mentorship with two mentors per trainee
•             Mentor training through NUCATS
•             Enhanced attention to career development, research ethics, and “survival” skills
•             Expansion beyond traditional epidemiology to areas such as predictive and personalized medicine, mechanistic epidemiology, novel imaging techniques including 4D-MRI, clinical trials, comparative effectiveness and patient-centered outcomes research, global health, metabolomics and genomics, and many aspects of “e-health” including use of mobile technology for intervention on adverse health behaviors, health and biomedical informatics, among others.

The program provides two years of salary support with tuition and travel support for professional development activities through a competitive application process.  The program is currently accepting applications for the 2014-16 cycle, and applications are accepted on a rolling basis.  The application can be accessed here.