UTHealth Medical School

BradyFig-CropThe Clinical Research Curriculum is a two-year introductory series of evening courses designed to promote clinical research expertise among clinical investigators at the fellow and junior faculty levels.

The classes are open to all clinical researchers at the UT Houston Medical School and, as space allows, to researchers from affiliated institutions. These courses are offered at no charge to faculty and fellows at UTHSC institutions. Since the program began in 1999, we have had over 1000 participants from a variety of Texas Medical Center institutions including UT Houston Medical School, MD Anderson Cancer Center, UT Houston Dental Branch, UT Houston School of Nursing, UT Houston School of Public Health, Memorial Hermann Hospital, and Baylor College of Medicine. A certificate of completion will be issued to participants who enroll in the curriculum, attend most or all of the classes, and successfully complete the homework assignments and tests. Successful completion of this Clinical Research Curriculum will qualify for 9-12 credit hours toward the Master’s Degree Program in Clinical Research at the Medical School.

COURSE SCHEDULE

These courses are given in a revolving 2-year schedule with the understanding that participants may begin the curriculum in either year 1 or year 2.

Year 1: 2013-2014

(classes held every Wednesday from 5-6:30 pm, MSB 2.135, except as noted)

Introduction to Clinical Research

This lecture is given every year and provides an overview of the clinical research curriculum program, insights into the opportunities for young clinical investigators, and suggestions on getting started in clinical research.

The NIH Grant Submission and Review Pathway

This seminar outlines how the NIH application and review processes work with an emphasis on strategies that investigators can use to navigate this system.

Intro to Epidemiology Research (8/28/13 – 10/30/13)

This course provides a basis for an understanding of the concepts and methodological skills necessary for designing and interpreting observational studies. These include validity (random error, bias and confounding), measures of disease occurrence and impact, measures of association, reliability and generalizability, causal inference, and critically reviewing evidence. See class schedule from previous cycle.

Clinical Trial Design (11/13/13 – 2/12/14)

This course prepares the student to design and analyze randomized trials of medical interventions. Covered topics include basic study design, recruitment, randomization, masking, data collection and quality control, participant adherence, sample size considerations, data monitoring and analysis, and meta-analysis. See class schedule from previous cycle.

Academic Success as a Clinical/Translational Investigator

This seminar will cover the principles and pragmatic realities of academic career advancement and promotion, with an emphasis on clinical investigators. Successful senior faculty will offer advice for participants at the fellow and junior faculty levels.

Health Services Research (2/26/14 – 4/09/14)

This course begins with an overview of healthcare financing, access to care, quality of care, and health policy. Subsequent classes will focus on: conceptualization of healthcare quality (including the classic “structure, process, and outcome” framework) and safety; quality of care measurements; risk adjustment; and introductions to survey research and qualitative research. See class schedule from previous cycle.

Bioinformatics (4/16/14 – 6/4/14)

The goal of this course is to train the next generation of clinical researchers in the basic principles of clinical information systems so that they can use the data and understand the issues regarding design, development, implementation, and evaluation of interventions based on these information systems. See class schedule from previous cycle.

Clinical Research Design Workshop (6/11/14 – 8/27/14)

In this problem-based course, each student is expected to build a clinical research proposal in his/her field of interest. Each week, students are asked to present specific parts of their protocols to facilitate the discussion of successive stages in study design. This course is run in small group sessions (10-12 students per group) to facilitate active participation and interaction.

Translational Research Workshop (6/11/14 – 8/13/14)

This workshop course provides a hands-on venue to introduce fundamentals of genetics, epigenetics, and gene expression profiling to clinicians.  The goal is to provide clinical researchers with a good understanding of the high-throughput molecular technologies that are needed to conduct clinically relevant translational research. This course is run in a small group format (10 students) to facilitate active participation and interaction.

Scientific Writing (to be scheduled)

This course covers the goals of scientific writing and presentation: clarity, succinctness, and consistency. Subsequent sessions provide detailed and specific recommendations for manuscript and grant preparation. See class schedule from previous cycle.

Use of Computers in Clinical Research (lab course, flexible schedule)

This is a hands-on laboratory course. Each student is expected to complete computer-based exercises that demonstrate skills in searching databases, managing data, and analyzing data sets. Software packages used in the course include internet-based searching programs, and PC-based spreadsheet, database, statistics software packages. Download course modules.

Year 2: 2014-2015

(classes held every Wednesday from 5-6:30 pm, MSB 2.135, except as noted)

Introduction to Clinical Research
(to be scheduled)

This lecture is given every year and provides an overview of the clinical research curriculum program, insights into the opportunities for young clinical investigators, and suggestions on getting started in clinical research.

Biostatistics for Clinical Investigators (9/03/14 – 12/10/14)

This course begins with an overview of descriptive statistics and provides students with the tools to perform univariate analyses using parametric and non-parametric methods for paired and unpaired designs. Emphasis is placed on choosing appropriate tests, evaluating assumptions for the tests, understanding the limitations of statistical tests, and appropriate interpretation of test results. Survival analysis and multiple regression techniques are introduced to familiarize the student with the availability and limitations of these tests. See class schedule from previous cycle.

Literature Appraisal (12/17/14 – 2/18/15)

In this course, the students have an opportunity to learn rules of evidence and demonstrate critical evaluation of the medical literature. Students will be expected to demonstrate these concepts and skills by appraising the evidence in their areas of clinical research interest. This critical appraisal of existing evidence will be used to determine fruitful areas for new investigation. See class schedule from previous cycle.

Lecture Videostreams: Lecture 1 – Course Overview and Searching and Lecture 2 – Appraisal Overview: Crunching the Numbers

Ethical Aspects of Clinical Research (2/25/15 – 4/15/15)

This course introduces the fundamental ethical principles of autonomy, beneficence, nonmaleficence, and justice and applies these principles to clinical research involving human subjects. The use of unproven therapies, the use of placebos, the consent process, institutional review board submission and review processes, conflict of interests, and the costs of clinical research are covered. See class schedule from previous cycle.

Introduction to Translational Research (4/22/15 – 5/27/15)

This course is an overview of the clinical research that bridges basic science and patient-based research. Topics include pharmaceutical research, genetic research, gene therapy, and genomics. See class schedule from previous cycle.

Clinical Research Design Workshop (6/03/15 – 8/19/15)

In this problem-based course, each student is expected to build a clinical research proposal in his/her field of interest. Each week, students are asked to present specific parts of their protocols to facilitate the discussion of successive stages in study design. This course is run in small group sessions (10-12 students per group) to facilitate active participation and interaction.

Use of Computers in Clinical Research (lab course, flexible schedule)

This is a hands-on laboratory course. Each student is expected to complete computer-based exercises that demonstrate skills in searching databases, managing data, and analyzing data sets. Software packages used in the course include internet-based searching programs, and PC-based spreadsheet, database, statistics software packages. Download course modules.

Lecture Videostreams

Click here to view prior lectures by videostream. (Scroll right to CRC Courses, then click on desired course on menu bar)

Mentorship Programs

A limited number of applicants (6-8 per year) are accepted into an intensive mentoring program that complements the above coursework. A methodologic mentor from the Center is selected for each mentee. Acceptance into the program requires the commitment of at least one departmental mentor for the mentee and adequate protected time for the mentee to fulfill the requirements of the program. Over the course of the two-year program, each mentee is expected to design a research protocol that is of sufficient quality and sophistication for competitive grant submission.

For more information regarding any of the above programs, or to be included in the email distribution list for upcoming CRCA courses, please email Deborah Garcia, CRCA Program Coordinator or call our office at (713) 500-6708.