Yale University Investigative Medicine Courses

Fellows take courses in their second and third year. All fellows take Principles of Clinical Research and Introduction to Biostatics.

The purpose of this 2-week intensive course is to provide an overview of the objectives, research strategies and methods of patient-oriented research. Sample topics will include: introduction to clinical epidemiology; principles of observational studies; principles of clinical trials; principles of meta-analysis interpretation of diagnostic tests; prognostic studies; qualitative research; causal inference; decision analysis. Sessions will include lectures and discussion.
This course provides an introduction to statistical concepts and techniques commonly encountered in medical research. Previous coursework in statistics or experience with statistical packages are not a requirement. Topics to be discussed include study design, probability, comparing sample means and proportions, survival analysis, and sample size/power calculations. The computer lab will incorporate lecture content into practical application by introducing the statistical software package SPSS to describe; analyze data.

Additional Courses

Fellows may elect to take additional courses

This semester-long course addresses topics which are central to the conduct of clinical investigation, including ethics of clinical investigation, scientific fraud, technology transfer, interfacing with the pharmaceutical industry. Practical sessions include: scientific presentations and teaching, medical writing, NIH peer review process, journal peer review process, and career development: models of academia. This course provides guidelines and a framework for the clinical investigator to write, obtain funding for, conduct and present a clinical study. Format consists of a lecture followed by discussion.
Core course which explores the interface between clinical strategies and methodologies used to investigate these topics. A variety of topics are covered in an interactive seminar format. Articles are selected by the faculty, and students review and discuss the articles at each session. In addition, students gain experience in critical evaluation of study designs and protocol development (Fall semester), and grant writing and reviewing, medical writing/abstract presentation (Spring semester). Attendance and active participation are required. The course gives new clinical investigators tools to conduct their own research project.
This is an intensive 2-week lecture laboratory course. Emphasis is on performing experiments and on problem solving. This year the focus is on protein and nucleic acid biochemistry, and on RNA interference experiments. A variety of lectures complement and extend the laboratory experience.

Section 1: Genomics
Genomics describes the determination of the nucleotide sequence as well as further analyses used to discover functional and structural gene information on all the genes of an organism. The term proteome refers to all the proteins expressed by genome, and thus proteomics involves the identification of proteins in cells and the determination of their role in physiological and pathophysiological functions. When used in combination, these two approaches enable researchers to analyze gene function at many levels. In this section, students will become familiar with both the underlying theory and the practical application of genetic sequence analysis. Lectures will be supplemented with computer laboratory sessions to reinforce these ideas and to provide practical experience. Topics include the methods and results of analysis on a genome-wide scale as well as a discussion of the implications of this research in medicine.

Section 2: Structure-Based Drug Design
In this section, students will learn the underlying principles in structure based drug design. Lectures will be supplemented with computer laboratory sessions devoted to practical learning of basic principles in protein structure determination, analysis and relationship to molecular drug design. Clinically relevant examples of this approach will be considered.

Core course which focuses on the details of basic investigation of the biochemistry, cell biology, genetics, immunology, and molecular biology of human disease from a sophisticated perspective. At each session, articles on the laboratory investigation of a disease or disease process (which is well understood at the molecular level) are selected by the faculty. Faculty provides an overview of the topic, followed by discussion of the articles in a seminar format.

Advanced training

Fellows can participate in courses and advanced degree programs leading to an MPH (Yale School of Epidemiology and Public Health) or PhD (Yale Investigative Medicine Program). The Investigative Medicine Program also offers a Masters in Health Sciences degree. This innovative program is directed exclusively to physicians serving as fellows in clinical departments and emphasizes either disease-oriented or patient-oriented research. The Yale Robert Wood Johnson Program offers additional Training in Clinical Epidemiology. Fellows who wish to pursue additional laboratory or advanced clinical research have the option to pursue a fourth year to complete their research projects.