Since its inception in 1981, the Neuro-Epidemiology Training Program (NETP) at Columbia University Medical Center has been preparing academically-oriented neurologists and neuroscientists for dynamic careers in research and academic medicine. Led by program graduate Dr. Mitchell S.V. Elkind, the NETP draws on the strength and experience of more than 30 expert faculty members from the Departments of Neurology, Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and the interdisciplinary Gertrude H. Sergievsky Center. Until very recently, the NETP was the only National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded program of its kind, and is widely-regarded as the preeminent neuro-epidemiology training program in the nation.
The unique aim of the NETP is to train clinical fellows in the techniques and methodologies of epidemiologic research and biostatistics. The NETP is conducted in combination with a clinical neurology fellowship at Columbia (e.g., movement disorders, stroke, epilepsy, aging and dementia, critical care neurology), so that trainees exit the program with valuable research and clinical skills expertise. This exceptional opportunity to integrate clinical and methodological fellowship training is not available with any other program and affords NETP participants a distinct educational advantage. Trainees complete the program with the tools they need to design, implement, and independently investigate clinical and epidemiological studies on diseases of the nervous system.
Each year, two outstanding applicants are accepted to the program, so that there are four trainees in the NETP at any one time (i.e. two first-year and two second-year trainees). Candidates interested in environmental health sciences, health policy and management, and other areas of Public Health will be considered, and the opportunity to tailor their own program is a distinct possibility.
In addition to clinical training, which accounts for 20%-30% of the program, the stimulating, two-year Neuro-Epidemiology Training Program includes:
Structured, graduate level, didactic course work in epidemiology and biostatistics, leading to an MS degree from Columbia's Mailman School of Public Health (recommended but not required). For candidates with an MS or MPH, the opportunity exists for more advanced course work beyond that degree.
Hands-on mentored research projects, which can include work on large, on-going epidemiological studies utilizing multiple study designs, i.e. case-control and prospective cohort studies such as the Northern Manhattan Study (NOMAS) and Washington Heights–Inwood Columbia Aging Project (WHICAP), among others.
Many NETP graduates have made seminal contributions to neurological medicine, and have risen to the top of their field as clinicians and investigators at leading universities and the NIH. Faculty mentors transition as many graduates as possible into mentored (NIH K series) career development awards. Many graduates go on to successfully obtain independent funding from the NIH and other sources.
When applying to any of the clinical neurology fellowship programs at Columbia, notify the program director that you are interested in combining that fellowship with the NIH T32 Neuro-Epidemiology Training Program. This will launch the application process.
For more information, please contact NETP Director:
Mitchell S. V. Elkind, MD, MS, MPhil