Masters of Advanced Study in Clinical Research

Topics covered in Clinical Epidemiology and Study Design

  • The anatomy and physiology of conducting clinical epidemiologic research
  • The three basic study designs (cross-sectional, case-control, and cohort, including experimental trials) and their conduct, strengths, and limitations
  • Sources of secondary data, their strengths and limitations, including meta-analysis
  • Principles of measurements in clinical epidemiological studies, including the use of questionnaires, precision, accuracy, sensitivity, specificity, and predictive accuracy
  • Basic methods for analyzing data, including descriptive and analytic statistical approaches
  • Introduction to basic statistical software packages, including NQuery, EpiInfo, STATA, and others
  • Ethical issues involved in conducting clinical epidemiologic research
  • Funding sources

The UC Davis Mentored Clinical Research Training Program (MCRTP) provides access for undergraduate medical students and doctoral graduate students to the resources of the Clinical and Translational Science Center. It offers undergraduate medical students an opportunity to temporarily leave medical school for a one-year mentored research experience leading to a Master of Applied Science (M.A.S.) in Clinical Research. Thus, participating medical students are trained in medicine (M.D. program) and in clinical research (M.A.S.). Nevada INBRE and the UC Davis MCRTP and the University of Nevada School of Medicine are collaborating to provide University of Nevada School of Medicine medical students access to this established, structured, and tested curriculum and to a nucleus of clinical faculty for mentored research training. As a community-based medical school without its own hospital, the University of Nevada School of Medicine has few clinical investigators to train Nevada medical students. The training partnership with the UC Davis Clinical and Translational Science Center provides an opportunity for Nevada medical students to gain clinical research experience.

The program funds two to three medical students each year from 2011-2014. Students will be selected after an application process in their second year of medical school and enter the MCRTP after their third year of medical school, i.e. after they have completed their basic science and clinical clerkship years and required exams. The medical students will be granted a leave of absence from the School of Medicine to participate in the MCRTP and will be fully enrolled at UC Davis.

The curriculum of the UC Davis MCRTP program (outlined below) is rich in content to prepare trainees to conduct clinical research including two semesters of mentored clinical research experience. The INBRE program will be capped at three trainees per year to ensure a competitive application process at the School of Medicine and to prevent the program from overwhelming the resources, particularly mentors, of the UC Davis MCRTP. Recruitment and selection of trainees will begin in the fall of the first year of medical education. We will counsel the students about the benefits of the MCRTP and the substantial commitment that the program requires. Applicants will fill out a short application describing their background of research experience, identifying an area of medical research interest, and describing how the MCRTP will advance their career goals. Students will be selected by a committee comprised of the Program Director as Chair, the INBRE PI, clinical and basic science faculty from the School of Medicine, and an at large member selected by the UC Davis MCRTP. Criteria for selection to the INBRE program will include, academic standing at the School of Medicine, student interest in developing a career in clinical and translational research, student willingness to commit full-time effort for the funding period. The selection committee, in consultation with the trainee and the Clinical and Translational Science Center leadership, will identify an appropriate research mentor.

For information about participating in the MAS program, contact Dr. David Lupan or (775) 784-4908.