The Public Health Certificate Program (PHCP) offers highly motivated, well-qualified doctoral candidates an opportunity to experience the relationship between public health and biomedical research. Public health can be defined as “the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life, and promoting physical health and efficiency” (E.A. Winslow, 1920). Public health relies on a variety of disciplines, but the foundation is biomedical research, whose fundamental goal is to acquire new knowledge about living things in order to help us understand how to treat diseases and improve health, with the ultimate goal of improving the public’s health.
PHCP produces scientists who can think about the “big picture”: how biomedical research directly impacts public health. PHCP students learn population-based approaches and applications as they are also gaining expertise in molecular, cellular, and biochemical sciences. This two-pronged approach prepares students for broad roles in academic, industrial, and government research.
PHCP provides supplemental training through three mechanisms: formal course work in public health, a bi-monthly PHCP seminar series, and a public health research experience. PHCP students interact with MPH faculty, as well as Penn’s public health community through the Center for Public Health Initiatives (CPHI).