Message from the Director

hartmann As you think about what we have to offer you and your career, I want to share that I came to Vanderbilt to be part of a plan to fundamentally change graduate education in epidemiology.   We are moving the focus out of any one department or school and into the middle of a  research enterprise that grapples with getting answers that matter – ones that can really be  applied – for advancing healthcare and prevention, and for understanding the causes and  mediators of both disease and health. We believe that is best done in a setting virtually free of  disciplinary boundaries. We have an institutional mandate to use what we learn to make a  measurable difference in the lives of real people. And we do and will.

 We want you here among the best and brightest of graduate candidates to bring your novel  insights, new concepts, and audacious goals into the mix. After an opportunity to come visit and  meet investigators and mentors, we will be matching doctoral students with exceptionally  productive research teams who excel at mentorship, have ample resources, and who are  already in the business of shaking up conventional approaches to research. Everyday,  Vanderbilt investigators do the “impossible” – meeting goals for diverse or demanding participant recruitment, expanding large-scale linkage of DNA to clinical records for research, and moving data and specimens from around the country and around the globe on a remarkable scale. We’ve never met a challenge we didn’t like and that we didn’t tackle with the best minds and tools that we can bring to the effort.

We are inviting and selecting students to function as a co-investigator and intellectual colleagues in that process. And we will provide a setting in which daily contact with leading epidemiologists; clinician researchers; genomics, proteomics, and biomarker and measurement experts; biostatisticians; informaticists; ethicists; and social, behavioral, and basic scientists is the norm. We’ve moved beyond lip service to "interdisciplinary collaborative research" to a mature, powerful, and exceptional way to do science. We hope you will consider if that fits your style, and if it does, join us for the adventure.

Katherine Hartmann, M.D., Ph.D.
Director of Graduate Studies
Vanderbilt PhD Program in Epidemiology