It is increasingly true that solving the most pressing environmental public health problems requires professionals highly trained in quantitative reasoning. While it is crucial to study the biological mechanisms underlying environmentally-related diseases at the molecular level, it is also important to study the effects of environmental exposures that occur at the population level using epidemiological approaches. Both approaches provide insight into disease causation and often lead to the collection of very large data sets that require increasingly sophisticated quantitative (bioinformatic and statistical) tools to analyze. The BEBTEH Training Program is uniquely positioned to bridge this gap by combining quantitative training with environmental health sciences (EHS) applications.
Trainees in the BEBTEH program represent PhD programs from three UW departments: Biostatistics, Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences (EOHS), and Epidemiology. Every student follows one of two pathways, the laboratory-based pathway or the population-based pathway. Trainees in quantitative disciplines (e.g., biostatistics, statistical genetics) emphasize quantitative training and receive enhanced training in EHS, while for students from life sciences disciplines (e.g., epidemiology, EOHS) the converse is true.
Every BEBTEH trainee is assigned mentors from a pool of mentors representing eight UW departments. Mentors provide expertise across a wide range of topics, including biostatistics, statistical genetics, epidemiology, genome sciences, computer science, medicine, and EHS. Mentors help the trainees craft individualized training plans and identify cross-disciplinary research opportunities relevant to their areas of interest.