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Required Courses

The following seven courses (22 credits) are required during the training program. A trainee who has already covered the material in one of these courses may take an more advanced course in the same general area with the Program Director's permission. These courses are offered by The Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health and The School of Medicine.

  1. Introduction to Biostatistics

    (5 credits- School of Hygiene and Public Health #140.601)
    Faculty: Drs. Diener-West and Royall. The course provides an introduction to the basic concepts of modern statistics as applied to problems in public health and medicine. Concepts of population descriptions, prevalence, and age-specific prevalence rates are discussed as well as methods to assess change, including standardized death rates (direct and indirect). Basic concepts of life tables including survival graphs and clinical life tables are presented. The fundamentals of probability are discussed including Bayes Theorem and conditional probability with applications to two by two tables, risks, odds, and odds ratios. The elements of descriptive statistics are presented including histograms and measures of center and spread. Finally, the foundations of statistical inference are presented including the fundamental concepts of population, sample, parameter, and estimate. Student evaluation is based on homework and a mid-term and/or final examination.
  2. Principles of Epidemiology

    (5 Credits- School of Hygiene and Public Health #340.601)
    Faculty: contact Allyn Arnold. This is the major course in epidemiology for various degree programs in the School of Hygiene and Public Health. Instruction is by lectures, laboratory problems, and seminar discussions. This course introduces principles and methods of epidemiologic investigation of both infectious and noninfectious diseases. Some of the methods by which properly conducted studies of distribution and dynamic behavior of disease in the population can contribute to an understanding of etiologic factors, modes of transmission, and pathogenesis of disease are illustrated. In the laboratory, a series of problems is provided to afford the student experience in epidemiologic methods and inferences. The problems illustrate a common-vehicle epidemic; the spread of infectious disease in school, home, and community; epidemiological aspects of noninfectious disease; a controlled vaccination experiment; and the application of epidemiological approach to evaluation of health services. This course is required for M.P.H. students. Students must register for both lectures and laboratory.
  3. Methods in Clinical Research

    (6 Credits- School of Hygiene and Public Health #340.655) Faculty: Drs Klag, Coresh and Goodman. Enrollment minimum of 15, maximum 25. Students must pre-register for this course. This course is an intensive two-week introduction to clinical research methods. Epidemiological, biostatistical, and computing concepts related to conduct of clinical research are emphasized. Informative hand-out materials and homework exercises are provided at each session. A full-time commitment is prerequisite to participation. Student evaluation is based on paired pre- and post-test knowledge base. Prerequisites: Abstract for research project and consent of instructor.
  4. Analytical Methods in Clinical Investigations

    (4 Credits- School of Hygiene and Public Health #390.611) Faculty: Dr. Flexner. This course will review the most important analytical techniques commonly applied to clinical research. The scientific principles underlying each technique will be discussed as well as the capabilities and limitations of current analytical methodology. The following topics will be presented in one or more sessions: metabolic studies; isotopic methods; imaging; immunoassays; techniques for genetic analysis (RFLP, pedigree analysis, etc.); application of tools of molecular biology including DNA and RNA analysis; physiologic studies; receptor studies; kinetic analysis (including introduction to pharmacokinetics); laboratory quality control and normative values. Student evaluation will be based on an exam.
  5. Biomedical Writing I

    (2 Credits- School of Hygiene and Public Health #390.710)
    Faculty: Dr. Stephens. This course concentrates on the process of writing the research paper and on the effective presentation of scientific information in text, tables, and figures. It emphasizes a reader-oriented approach to writing tables, abstracts, introductions, methods, results, and discussions. Through critical analysis of examples, students will learn what distinguishes good biomedical writing. Through practical exercises, they will learn how to organize their thoughts, produce a first draft, and revise early drafts to communicate data and ideas effectively.
  6. Responsible Conduct of Research: Research Ethics

    (0 Credits- The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine)
    This course consists of 8 lectures (1.25 hours each) which are given by prominent members of the Johns Hopkins faculty. These cover 1) Academic ethics, research responsibilities, and mentorship, 2) Human rights in biomedical and social science research, 3) Data management and retention, 4) Authorship and publication practices, 5) Protection of human subjects, 6) Conflict of interest, 7) Animal research, and 8) Scientific misconduct. A sample syllabus is presented in Table 13.
  7. Teaching Assistant for Neuroscience

    (0 Credits- Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine #440.600)
    Our Neuro-Oncology Fellows as teaching assistants for this course. Faculty: Dr. Baraban and staff. An introductory course dealing with the anatomy and physiology of the mammalian central nervous system in lectures, laboratory sessions and conferences designed to emphasize functional organization of the brain and spinal cord. The course is given jointly by the Departments of Neuroscience, Cell Biology and Anatomy and Biomedical Engineering with the staff of other collaborating departments. There are typically five lectures and four laboratory sessions each week. This course, which is required of all medical students, lasts for 8 weeks.

Clinical Resources at the NIH and The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions

There are large numbers of patients with neuro-oncologic disorders within the NIH and The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. A study by Drs. Grossman and Gilbert documented that neuro-oncologic problems constitute second most common reason for admission to the Oncology Center. The Departments of Neurosurgery and Neurology also have very active clinical services with many patients eligible for neuro-oncology research studies. Likewise, the NIH has an expanding number of clinical opportunities in neuro-oncology.