Population Health Sciences Required Courses

PHS 6011 Research Rotation
This course allows a student, under faculty guidance, to engage in a limited research project unrelated to their thesis or dissertation, but concerned with their area of study (Population Health Sciences, Clinical Science, Rehabilitation Sciences, or Public Health).  Credit hours to be arranged.  Course grade will be based on satisfactory performance and accomplishments in the chosen research area.

PHS 6012 Topics in Public Health
Students will use basic public health skills to describe and explain population health problems and will identify and review the evidence for alternative policy responses. The course includes an introductory overview of concepts and methods used in public health followed by more in-depth consideration of current issues in the field. Issues are selected annually to focus on three key fields in public health: health policy, environmental health, and behavioral sciences. Through interactive lectures, small group sessions, and mentored team projects, students will practice the public health approach to protecting and promoting the health of populations.   

PHS 6396 Issues in Prevention

The fields of preventive medicine and public health both focus on disease prevention and health promotion.  The fields differ, however, in their traditional target groups and analytical and intervention approaches.  Preventive medicine activities typically target individuals with research and interventions taking place in clinical settings.  Public health, in contrast, is concerned with the health of populations and research and interventions are commonly set in communities or in community-based settings (e.g., worksites, schools).  This course will review both types of approaches with emphases on developing answerable research questions, identifying appropriate data sources, critiquing empirical articles, synthesizing research literature, and integrating quantitative skills with relevant concepts and theories to address specific questions.   

PHS 6014 Public Health Practice
The core functions of public health-assessment, policy development, and assurance - are met through the delivery of 10 essential services. This course provides students with applied experience in the delivery of those services through placements in public health practice settings, including governmental agencies, community based organizations, and work site health programs. At the host site, students will complete mentored projects that require them to put in practice knowledge and skills learned in their academic curricula.  

PHS 6601 Foundations in Public Health
Identifying and addressing public health problems, requires teams of professionals with a diverse set of skills. Public health professionals perform three core functions – assessment of public health problems, development of interventions and policy solutions, and assurance of service delivery and workforce performance. This public health course will introduce students to basic content and skills from the public health related disciplines of environmental health sciences, social and behavioral sciences and health policy and management.  Students will practice application of the core content and skills in case based exercises.

PHS 6056 Topics in Biostatistics
This is a reading course for students interested in particular areas of Biostatistics. The course changes from year to year depending on the needs of the individual students. The course will review material on graphical methods in categorical data analysis and other areas which include structural equations models and survey sampling. 

PHS 6097 Research
This course is designed to afford the student the opportunity to develop a thesis or dissertation proposal, under faculty guidance.  The proposal development may involve a literature search, preliminary experimentation, or pilot field study.  The research would be preliminary, but relevant to the thesis or dissertation.

PHS 6098 Thesis
Formal preparation and completion of the thesis for the Master of Science degree under the direction of the student supervisory committee.  Prerequisite: Admission to candidacy for the master's degree. 

PHS 6099 Dissertation
Formal preparation and completion of the dissertation for the Doctor of Philosophy degree under the direction of the student's supervisory committee. Prerequisite:  Admission to candidacy for the Ph.D. degree.  

PHS 6121 Public Health Colloquium
Public Health Colloquium is designed to integrate a variety of public health topics, issues, and skills.  It is a forum to discuss selected interdisciplinary, cross-cutting issues in public health, explain the interrelationships among the five core areas of public health and plan the capstone and public health practice and public health service experiences.  Students will be graded S/U based on attendance and participation. 

PHS 6135 Translational Research: Tools and Techniques
This course provides an overview of methods that are important in clinical research and is part of the Clinical Research Education Program at UTMB (NIH K30 funded). The course has two parts (Part I and Part II), offered in the fall and spring semesters for 1 credit hour each. Core Topics include basic concepts of study design, health services research, tracer methods, pharmacokinetics, nutritional and body composition assessments, bioinformatics tools, and clinical research ethics and regulation (Part I of the course). The remainder of the course (Part II) addresses epidemiological and statistical methods, writing research articles, molecular methodologies, proteomics and gene therapy.

PHS 6141 Rehabilitation Sciences Roundtable
This course is designed to be an open forum facilitated by the course instructor to discuss contemporary issues in the rehabilitation sciences field. Topics will include the current and projected states of the field, potential career options, skills necessary and resources available to pursue those options, including some of the pre-doctoral opportunities here at UTMB.  The course is designed to be a ‘blended’ format. The primary interaction will be bi-weekly in-class presentations and group discussions. The in-person learning activities will be supplemented by online readings and assignments including posting material and discussions on Blackboard. In general, the class sessions will begin with reports on and discussion of the prior online assignments. The remainder of the time will be used to discuss the background for and expectations of the subsequent assignment(s)
  
PHS 6195 Seminar
This course is used to survey of current problems, programs and needs in preventive medicine and community health. Seminar is intended to provide students with continuing education on issues and advances in the field; serve as a forum for the exchange of information about student research interests; and offer practical experience to prepare the student for research presentations.

PHS 6210 Introduction to Data Management
This course provides an introduction to the management of data using computer packages. The basics of data management language and data steps will be presented. The course also includes instruction in how to read, write, edit and stores data. Instruction is also provided on how to modify, combine, and update data sets as well as produce data summaries. Packages covered may include SAS, Minitab, or S+. 

PHS 6212 Translational Epidemiology: Patient Oriented Research
This course provides an introduction to the methods used in the design and implementation of studies aimed at assessing the effectiveness of medical interventions.  Its goal is to provide students with the means of applying epidemiologic concepts and methods to the measurement and analysis of health care outcomes.  The first part of the course will focus on alternative research designs, measurement issues, sources of data and analysis techniques for comparing patterns of care and assessing outcomes of preventive services and medical therapies. The components of a research protocol are reviewed with specific examples from funded studies in health care research. In the second part of the course, research design and measurement issues will be presented and evaluated in the context of specific public health and clinical examples. Students will be evaluated based on attendance, participation, case study analysis, and proposal. 

PHS 6213 Translational Epidemiology:

Population Oriented ResearchModels of translational research describe a process of translating: (1) basic science findings to clinical applications, (2) effective clinical applications to broader clinical practice, and (3) practice changes to improved population health. This course focuses on dissemination and implementation research and the translation of research from patients to practices and populations. The course briefly reviews the methods of knowledge synthesis (e.g., development of systematic reviews and evidence-based guidelines) and the conduct of research to build the evidence base for developing guidelines on effective clinical and public health interventions. Greater emphasis is placed on conducting research to promote use and institutionalization of guidelines and evidence-based interventions.

PHS 6214 Aircraft Mishap Investigation & Prevention
The Aircraft Mishap Investigation and Prevention Course (AMIP) prepares the student to effectively perform aircraft accident investigations with an emphasis on the Safety Investigation Board (SIB).  The course places particular emphasis on human and environmental factors which directly or indirectly contribute to aircraft (primarily USAF) mishaps.  Multiple scenarios based on actual aircraft mishaps are used to learn and apply the key components of a mishap investigation. Teams work together to study and analyze historical aircraft accident scenarios and develop preventive strategies for avoiding future mishaps.  This course takes place at the United States Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.  

PHS 6216 Injury Prevention & Control
Injury is the leading cause of death among persons under the age of 45 and injuries are a major cause of disability at all ages. The major contributors to accidental injury death and disability are motor vehicle incidents and falls. The prevalence of violence (intentional injury) is also significant, including homicide, assault, suicide, and suicide attempts. The causes of unintentional and intentional injury are largely preventable through clinical and public health interventions, physical environmental changes, and policy initiatives. This course will provide an epidemiological framework for prioritizing and planning injury prevention and control efforts. Course materials and assignments will review: injury surveillance; descriptive epidemiology of injury; examples of injury prevention and control initiatives, and steps for planning an injury prevention and control intervention.

PHS 6219 Stress Health
This course focuses on how stress “gets under the skin.” This course will examine four different aspects of stress research. First, discussion will focus on defining stress and theoretical models emphasizing pathways from exposure to stress to poor health outcomes. Second, we will discuss measurement issues through looking at the different ways in which stress is measured. Third, we will examine evidence from 50 years of stress research on the effects of stress on mental and physical health. Finally, we will discuss interventions related to the reduction of stress.

PHS 6227 Introduction to Occupational Injury & Illness
This course will be taught in lecture format, with handouts and slides, using one text as reference.  It will serve as an introduction to Occupational Medicine for the three residencies in Preventive Medicine (Aerospace, General Preventive Medicine, and Occupational Medicine) and will be open to 4th year medical students and residents at UTMB to take as an elective without credit. Students will learn the history of occupational medicine and get an overview of a variety of work and health related subjects. The course will be offered in the summer with an intensive five-day curriculum comprising a total of thirty hours of contact time.

PHS 6233 Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases
This course is designed as an introduction to the epidemiologic and public health aspects of infectious diseases of importance in the United States and globally. Emphasis will be placed on specific diseases and their etiology, distribution, determinants, prevention and control. After completing this course, students should be able to understand the epidemiologic characteristics of various infectious diseases, and how epidemiologic methods are applied to study these diseases. 

PHS 6234 Epidemiology of Chronic Disease
Chronic diseases are the leading causes of disease burden in the developed nations and an increasingly important contributor to disease burden in developing nations. Chronic conditions and diseases are characterized by their prolonged periods of development and progression, multi-factorial and sometimes uncertain causality, and, typically, lack of a complete cure. This course will provide an epidemiological framework for understanding and contributing to the research on chronic conditions and diseases. Course materials and assignments will review: chronic disease surveillance; descriptive epidemiology of chronic diseases; and analytical epidemiology on the causes of chronic diseases, including research examples from genetic epidemiology, molecular epidemiology, behavioral epidemiology, and social epidemiology. 

PHS 6250 Directed Studies in Metabolism
This course will introduce students to research in metabolism and keep them abreast of the latest developments in this field. 

PHS 6251 Burn Nutrition and Metabolism
The course will cover advanced nutrition and metabolism topics related to burn injury and burn-related complications. The following areas will be covered: The effect of burn injury on macro- and micronutrient metabolism. Organ-specific metabolic regulation in burn injury. Methodologies to study burn metabolism (e.g., stable isotopes, a-v balance, tissue biopsies). Nutrition needs of the burn patient. Burn-related metabolic abnormalities (e.g, insulin resistance, sepsis, hepatic steatosis).  Grades will be on an A-F basis with three graded components: 1) class participation 15%; 2) presentation in journal clubs 25% 3) 60% final paper and presentation of original research project. 

PHS 6280 Society and Health Care
A critical analysis of modern health care delivery systems, focusing on the United States and cross-national comparisons.  Topics include historical origins, organizational structure, utilization patterns, economic and political aspects and provider-consumer issues.  analysis of problems in providing care, professional socialization of healers, the sick role, patient role, health status, institutional functioning, and social policy will be addressed. 

PHS 6312 Minorities Aging and Health
This course provides students an opportunity to obtain an overview of issues related to the health of America’s elderly from different ethnic minorities. Special emphasis will be given to the mortality and life expectancy, chronic disease and disability, diet and nutrition, mental health, health services and long- term care, and health policy. 

PHS 6313 Longitudinal Data Analysis
This course will introduce students to the analysis of longitudinal data. The topics will be motivated by actual data sets, chosen by the instructor or possibly the students and cover both continuous and categorical outcomes. Statistical concepts and theory will be presented and related to applied settings where possible. Topics will include: a review of matrices; paired data; general linear models for longitudinal data; the mixed model; time varying covariates; general estimating equation (GEE) methods; weighted least squares.

PHS 6321 Survival Analysis
This course exposes students to the following: Scope of Survival Analysis; The Clinical Trial Environment; Define Failure Times; Left & Right Censoring; Accelerated Failure Time Testing; Distributions of Failure Times (particularly families of exponentially distributed failures); Hazard Functions; Survivorship Functions; Product Limits and Actuarial Estimators; Statistical Tests for Comparing Failure Time Distributions; Statistical Software for Survival Analysis; Competing Risks and Proportional Hazards; Time Dependent Covariates; Issues in Monitoring Clinical Trials, including Interim Analysis; Sequential Clinical Trials.

PHS 6322 Research Design
This class focuses on research design in clinical and population health sciences.  The course begins with an overview of steps in developing a research hypothesis and a review of the hierarchy of evidence provided by different research designs. In the second section, specific research designs are examined in detail, including the design of experiments (randomized controlled trials); quasi-experiments and cohort studies; and case-control and cross-sectional studies. Critique of journal articles is interspersed with researchers presenting examples of projects illustrating various research design and measurement issues. The course concludes with students designing individual research projects. The final project must include: a statement of purpose (research aims); a description of previous work relevant to the topic (literature review), culminating in a rationale for the proposed project; and a description of how the study is to be conducted (what the units of observation are why and how they will be selected; what materials will be used in the study; and how information will be analyzed to meet the aims of the project.). Students must also take and pass the university human subjects training course. 

PHS 6328 Environmental Health & Toxicology
The course is intended to provide students with knowledge about health effects which can be caused by exposure to environmental contaminants, e.g., air, water, and food borne biological and chemical agents. Students will be taught about how to recognize, document, diagnose and manage the problem. In addition, they will also be taught about the mechanisms involved in the development of environmental disease. 

PHS 6330 Introduction to Epidemiology
This course provides an introduction to the theory and practice of epidemiology. The historical development of epidemiologic research, theories of disease causation, epidemics and their prevention, measures of disease frequency, risk and other measures of effect, point and interval estimation, various epidemiologic study designs, confounding and effect modification, and an introduction to stratified analysis are covered in the lectures. Case studies that illustrate the application of epidemiologic principles to substantive issues of health and illness are discussed during the class. 

PHS 6331 Advanced Epidemiologic Methods
This lecture course is designed to provide a rigorous overview of epidemiologic methods in clinical and public health research. In view of the growing need for quantitative approaches in epidemiology, the main thrust of this course will be statistical methods and interpretations pertinent to practice of modern epidemiology. 

PHS 6333 Epidemiological Methods
This lecture course is designed to provide a rigorous overview of epidemiologic methods in clinical and public health research.  In view of the growing need for quantitative approaches in epidemiology, the main thrust of this course will be statistical methods and interpretations pertinent to practice of modern epidemiology.  Students will be evaluated based on class participation, homework assignments, mid-term exams and a final take home exam. 

PHS 6334 Field Epidemiology: Principles & Practices
This two-week course taught in Lima, Peru is designed to provide a comprehensive review of epidemiologic principles and practices applied to public health field studies. The course combines lectures, case study, and hands-on training in the design, conduct and publication of epidemiological field investigations. The fieldwork component includes specific abilities, such as household interviews, collection of biological specimens from humans and household animals, trapping small mammals, vector collection, and basic parasitology, bacteriology and virological techniques in BSL 2/3 laboratories. This course is directed to professionals who have completed at least an introductory course in epidemiology, have a basic understanding of field investigations and use epidemiologic methods in their work or study. 

PHS 6341 Categorical Data Analysis
This course provides researchers an introduction to some of the major techniques used in analyzing categorical data. This includes a review of probability and some common discrete distributions. Log- linear models, weighted least squares and logistic regression are presented. In addition, techniques for small samples and for survey samples are discussed. Most of the examples are drawn from published articles although occasionally an artificial data set is used to emphasize a particular point. For more than two variables most computations require the use of a computer. 

PHS 6343 Biostatistics
Course objective is to provide the student with a basic understanding of the use and interpretation of certain classical and state-of-the-art statistical techniques and in the study of health and biomedical problems. Topics to be covered are basic probability, sensitivity and specificity, Bayes Rule, population measures of location and dispersion, Gaussian distributions, point estimation, confidence intervals, classical and practical hypothesis testing, simple analysis of variance with mean separation tests, nonparametric procedures for one- and two-way classifications, least squares regression and correlation, including lack of fit tests, simple categorical data analysis including goodness of fit, and homogeneity of proportions. 

PHS 6344 Introduction to Linear Models
This course provides an introduction to the most common statistical model used in data analysis. The model has been adopted as a conceptual framework throughout the biomedical, public health and social sciences. It includes as special cases: simple regression and correlation, multiple regression, analysis of covariance and analysis of variance. The model is termed the liner model and with broad assumptions uses simple computational techniques known as: ordinary least squares. The course will cover assumptions and diagnostic methods of these models. Examples from the biomedical and socio-medical sciences will illustrate all of the techniques. Computations require using the computer package SAS. The interpretation and presentation of results are emphasized. 

PHS 6345 Introduction to Bioinformatics
This is an introduction to bioinformatics course.  There are no pre-requisites necessary for this course.  As much of bioinformatics builds on a solid understanding of biological experiments as well as statistics, the first half of the course will focus on basic “omic” experiments as well as the introductory statistical methods necessary for interpreting the bioinformatics literature.  The second half of the course will focus on the more advanced analytic techniques such as cluster analysis, bootstrapping procedures, how to best reduce the number of features used in modeling, various machine learning algorithms, predictive modeling, and ensemble methods.  We will end the semester with an overview of how to put together the results from the previously learned methods into Ingenuity Pathways Analysis tool.   We will also discuss Next Generation Sequencing analysis.  

PHS 6354 Linear Models
This course deals with statistical models for the analysis of quantitative data, of the types usually encountered in biomedical research. The statistical methods studied are the general linear model for continuous responses (including multiple regression, analysis of variance and analysis of covariance).  All of these techniques are covered as special cases of the General Linear Model, which provides a central unifying statistical framework for the entire course. The emphasis is on understanding and applying statistical concepts and techniques. Some familiarity with matrix algebra and calculus is necessary. Computer literacy is essential, as we make extensive use of the computer. 

PHS 6355 Tracer Methodology
All aspects of tracer methodology in metabolic research will be covered, particularly including stable isotope methodology. Analytical issues will include instrumentation, sample preparation and (primarily) calculation of results. General topics related to metabolic/nutrition research include the doubly labeled water technique to measure energy expenditure; substrate oxidation studies; specific labeling patterns in quantifying TCA cycle activity, glycolysis and gluconeogenesis; urea kinetics; glucose uptake and lactate/pyruvate kinetics; fat metabolism (particularly lipolysis and reesterification); and some basic aspects of compartmental modeling. 

PHS 6366 Aging and Health
This course provides an opportunity to obtain an overview of the influence of social and behavioral factors in the aging process and of the relationship between the aging process and health and disease. Emphasis is given to trends in mortality and longevity, leading causes of death and disability in old age, issues in prevention and health promotion, mental health, and institutionalization and its alternatives. In addition, the effect of demographic changes and changes in health of older people of social institutions and social and health policy are examined. 

PHS 6374 Applied Survey Methods
This course covers a mixed-methods approach to survey methods.  First, qualitative methods are used to develop content for questionnaires.  This phase of a study is important for focusing the study purpose, learning what questions are relevant, and obtaining content for subsequent systematic questions.  Second, interview materials and questionnaires are developed from responses to qualitative interviews and previous surveys.  We review best practices for writing clear questions, review several national surveys, and discuss scale development.  Third, a sampling plan is developed.  Sampling theory is reviewed as well as in-class exercises for drawing representative samples.  Fourth, data analysis techniques relevant to surveys are presented.  Tests can be used to compare sample results to national or census data, as well as evaluation of reliability and scale structure of scales. 

PHS 6379 Social Epidemiology
This course will develop and enhance students’ ability to gather, synthesize, and critically evaluate the research literature in social epidemiology. The course will also provide students with conceptual and methodological frameworks for conducting empirical research in the field. Health disparities will be described and theory and evidence addressing plausible causal pathways will be reviewed.

PHS 6390 Introduction to Rehabilitation Science
The purpose of this course is to provide an overview of the field of rehabilitation science, emphasizing its interdisciplinary nature.  It is designed to cover a board study of rehabilitation science relying on models of the enabling-disabling process and is divided into four modules that highlight research, evidence, and practice: 1) definitions and domains of rehabilitation science, and the dynamic interplay between disability and rehabilitation; 2) cognition; 3) motor function; and 4) psychosocial function.  Survey of recent scientific literature on rehabilitation and disability highlighting both qualitative and quantitative methods will be presented.    

PHS 6391 Evidence Based Health Care: Issues and Methods
The aim of this course is to introduce students and professionals to the concepts of evidence-based practice and outcome measurement in rehabilitation. The course will emphasize the growing need for evidence-based practice in rehabilitation and discuss how the methods and procedures developed in clinical medicine can be used to establish evidence-based strategies for persons with disability and/or chronic disease.

PHS 6410 Intensive Course in Tropical and Travel Medicine Infectious Diseases
Provide trainees with in-depth didactic training in tropical medicine, travel medicine, and issues related to global public health with a goal of preparing them for international work. This course is part of a global health program designed to satisfy the criteria for the American Society for Tropical Medicine Certificate of Knowledge in Tropical Medicine and Travel Health. This course is designed for physicians and medical students who anticipate working in less developed countries or with immigrants from those countries, but is taught at the level of graduate courses. 

PHS 6482 Principles of Aviation and Space Medicine
The objective of this course is to develop comprehension and appreciation of major contributions to the advancement of aviation and space flight by life science professionals, and awareness of current and future challenges.  Each course participant should demonstrate comprehension of the course objectives by writing a brief paper of research questions yet to be answered.
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