Pediatric Pharmacoepidemiology Training Program (PPTP)

  • About the program

    The Pediatric Pharmacoepidemiology Training Program (PPTP) is a two-year research fellowship designed to train pediatricians to be rigorous, independent academic investigators. Fellows will also learn to use the range of approaches available in epidemiology to study the use and effects of medications in pediatric patients. PPTP is funded by a Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development training grant.

    This multidisciplinary training program consists of:

    • Core courses in epidemiology, clinical research methodology, and biostatistics
    • Required courses in pharmacoepidemiology and pharmacokinetics
    • Elective courses in advanced methods for epidemiology and biostatistics, and/or pharmacology
    • A required clinical experience in pediatric pharmacoepidemiology
    • A teaching seminar series
    • Instruction in the responsible conduct of research and regulatory affairs
    • Extensive independent readings and attendance at research seminars at CHOP and the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics (CCEB)
    • Applied research in pediatric pharmacoepidemiology under the close supervision of a senior mentor

    Trainees will benefit from the combined resources of the CHOP Division of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, the CCEB and the Center for Pediatric Clinical Effectiveness (CPCE), as well as a rich array of additional CHOP and Penn assets. These include the Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA), which funds the Clinical and Translational Research Centers at CHOP and Penn, and a wealth of databases available for pharmacoepidemiologic analysis.

    All PPTP fellows will complete Masters level coursework in study design and biostatistics as part of the Masters of Science in Clinical Epidemiology (MSCE) degree offered through the CCEB. PPTP fellows will also benefit from a host of professional development activities, including works-in-progress sessions, a seminar series to teach academic medicine skills, and opportunities to present research at national meetings.

    Training program co-directors

    Peter Adamson, MD
    Professor of Pediatrics and Pharmacology, CHOP
    Chief, Division of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, CHOP
    Director, Office of Clinical and Translational Research
    Room 9161, Abramson Research Center
    3615 Civic Center Blvd
    Philadelphia PA

    Sean Hennessy, PharmD, PhD
    Associate Professor of Epidemiology, University of Penn
    423 Guardian Drive
    803 Blockley Hall
    Philadelphia, PA 19104

    Theoklis Zaoutis, MD, MSCE
    Professor of Pediatrics and Epidemiology
    Director, Center for Pediatric Clinical Effectiveness
    Chief, Division of Infectious Diseases
    Room 1514, 3535 Market Street
    Philadelphia PA 19104

  • Master of Science in Clinical Epidemiology Program

    The Master of Science in Clinical Epidemiology (MSCE) degree program provides comprehensive clinical research training. Students enrolled in the MSCE degree program are assigned to a faculty mentor at the CCEB based on the student's research interest. The mentor will act in an advisory capacity throughout that student's course of study, particularly regarding the development of the required research project.

    All students must complete a required core of courses, generally taken in the first year of study. The core of required courses for the MSCE degree program is as follows:

    • Introduction to epidemiology
    • Biostatistics for epidemiologic methods I
    • Biostatistics for epidemiologic methods II
    • Database management
    • Measurement of health in epidemiology
    • Issues in research protocol development
    • Critical appraisal of epidemiologic methods

    Additional courses are required, some of which may be electives, depending on the track in which the student is enrolled (epidemiology, clinical trials, human genetics, bioethics or pharmacoepidemiology). In total, 14 course units of credit are required for the completion of the MSCE degree.

    Students also are required to plan a research project in detail, complete this project and write up the results in the form of a thesis. Finally, students are required to participate in a series of programs for which course unit credits are not awarded. These requirements include: participation for at least one year in the weekly CCEB Research Seminar, which runs from September through June annually; completion of an online seminar on the ethics of biomedical research and completion of the School of Medicine's online Patient Oriented Certification Program.

  • Other conferences for PPTP trainees

    PPTP fellows will join academic general pediatric and Pediatric Epidemiology and Outcomes Research Training Program (PHEOT) fellows in the Fellows’ Seminar Series, which offers practical lectures on the “nuts and bolts” of academic medicine, covering topics such as writing and presenting scientific abstracts, writing scientific papers and responding to reviewer comments, funding streams for junior investigators, funding and negotiating for an academic job; and time management and managerial skills.

    In addition, PPTP fellows will be required to attend CPCE works-in-progress sessions held Friday afternoons from noon to 1 p.m. approximately two to three times each month. At these sessions, researchers present their projects in various stages of development before their peers, mentors and faculty in an environment conducive to constructive criticism and learning. Research methods are discussed and suggestions are made to further the fellow’s knowledge and enhance his/her project. Each PPTP fellow will be required to present at a works-in-progress session twice per academic year.

  • Clinical responsibilities

    In order to maintain their clinical skills and continue to practice in the setting where their research ideas arise and protocols may be implemented, the PPTP trainees will participate in clinical activities comprising no more than one half day per week or the equivalent.

  • Underrepresented minority recruitment

    In keeping with CHOP’s commitment to building and maintaining a diverse research community, PHEOT/PPTP welcomes and encourages underrepresented minorities to apply. Underrepresented minorities include the following:

    • Individuals from racial and ethnic groups such as American Indians or Alaska Natives, Blacks or African Americans, Hispanics or Latinos, Native Hawaiians or Other Pacific Islanders.
    • Those with a disability such as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits major life activities
    • Individuals from families with an annual income below federally established low-income thresholds.
    • Those from rural or inner city environments that have directly experienced social, cultural, or educational barriers to obtaining the knowledge or skills to participate in a research career.

    PHEOT/PPTP maintains a Minority Recruitment Panel that consists of prominent underrepresented minority faculty members and former trainees. These panel members serve as a valuable asset to potential recruits and accepted fellows as they share their experiences and familiarize them with the resources available at CHOP. In addition, the Minority Recruitment Panel advises the PHEOT/PPTP Executive Committee on recruitment issues. 

    CHOP also maintains an Office of Diversity and Inclusion and a Multicultural Physician’s Alliance which works to ensure that CHOP’s vision is upheld and interwoven into all facets of its work environment. You can find us at the Race in Medicine Special Interest Group Meeting at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting and the Disparities Panels at the Academy Health Annual Research Meeting. Please contact Holly Burnside, CPCE Program Manager, if you would like to get in contact with one of the Minority Recruitment Panel members.

  • Research partners at CHOP and the University of Pennsylvania
  • How to apply

    Applications will be accepted starting July 1 for the academic year. The deadline for applications is Nov. 15, but interviews and acceptance will be granted on a rolling basis.

    You may apply by downloading the PPTP application. Please print and complete the appropriate fields and mail the application to the address listed at the end of the form. We also ask you to consider completing the optional diversity addendum.

    Instructions for application

    Physicians who are United States citizens or permanent residents and have at least two years of postgraduate training are eligible to apply.

    The following should be sent to Holly Burnside, CPCE Program Manager:

    1. Completed application with photograph
    2. A personal statement, no longer than two pages, describing your research interests, career goals and how the PPTP program will help to achieve your goals
    3. Three supporting letters of reference
    4. A letter from your residency program or subspecialty fellowship director
    5. Your Curriculum Vitae including a list of publications (if applicable)
    6. Official transcripts from all degree granting institutions you have attended. These must be sent directly from the institution to our office
    7. Parts 1, 2 and 3 of the USMLE, taken within the seven year time frame as required by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, or equivalent scores
    8. If a graduate of a medical school outside the United States, Canada or Puerto Rico, a valid ECFMG certificate or one that does not expire prior to the start of the fellowship
    9. If not a citizen or non-citizen national of the United States, verification of permanent residency status.
    10. You must simultaneously apply to the University of Pennsylvania MSCE program.