Certificate Program in Translational Science (CPTS)

About the program

The Certificate Program in Translational Science (CPTS) is a formal 16-credit Emory Laney Graduate School program for trainees who seek to conduct research at the interface between basic and translational science and clinical medicine. Despite the explosive growth in biomedical knowledge, it has been increasingly difficult to translate this knowledge and discovery into applications for the treatment of disease and to benefit human health by addressing gaps between biology and medicine and promoting multidisciplinary team science. The CPTS enhances and transforms translational research training for predoctoral PhD students, postdoctoral fellows (PhD or MD) and junior faculty at Emory University (Emory), Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM), Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech), and the University of Georgia (UGA).

CPTS trainees may elect to take the course work over a single year or spread the work over two years (which is often a preferred option for PhD students or PhD postdocs to minimize time out of the laboratory).  The program was originally designed so that it would not add time to attain the degree for PhD graduate students, in contrast to the full MSCR, which adds an additional year to graduation for predoctoral students in the dual degree programs (PhD/MSCR or MD/MSCR).

More Information

CPTS Application Deadline: May 1, 2025 - 5:00 PM (EST)

  • Graduate students: PhD-level graduate students from all four Georgia CTSA partner institutions may apply in the subsequent year after passing comprehensive examinations at their institutions.

  • Postdoctoral fellows with PhD or equivalent degrees: Postdoctoral fellows from Emory, MSM, Georgia Tech and UGA may apply at any at any point in their postdoctoral training.
  • Physician postdoctoral fellows: Postdoctoral physicians, including senior residents and those in clinical/research specialty fellowship programs who will have protected time for CPTS may apply at any at any point in their postdoctoral training at Emory University School of Medicine and MSM.

  • Faculty:  Physician and non-physician faculty members of all academic levels from all four GaCTSA partner institutions who will have protected time and tuition support for CPTS training may apply.

CPTS required 16-credit curriculum:  The CPTS has a competency-based curriculum that requires 15 core and 1 or more elective credits. Please review the CPTS schedule to make sure that you have no time conflicts with the classes.

MSCR 761 Introduction to Clinical and Translational Science [CTS] (2 credits)

This course introduces the fundamentals of human subjects research in CTS. It begins with the building blocks of hypothesis development, population and study sample selection, defining study measures, and power and sample size calculations. The course then conducts a broad survey of observational and experimental study designs, including systematic review and meta-analysis. Throughout the semester the team science aspect of CTS is emphasized with students working together in groups in organized class and on-line activities.

CPTS 500 Fundamentals of Epidemiology (2 credits)

This course introduces the principles and methods of epidemiology; it also will include concepts and methods used for population-based research. Epidemiologic study designs and data collection methods are described as well as approaches to data analyses. The concepts of bias and confounding are explored with examples from the clinical epidemiology literature. 

MSCR 591 Community Engagement and Health Disparities in Clinical and Translational Research (1 credit)

Led by Emory University (EU) and Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM) faculty, this course is an introduction to the concepts, methods, and issues involved in community engaged research with communities. Special emphasis is given to social and behavioral science concepts and methods; principles and historical roots of community engagement; clinical and translational research partnerships, multidisciplinary research collaborations; ethical issues; and practical considerations in planning, implementing, evaluating, and disseminating community-engaged research. Case studies and course projects are shaped to accommodate students with diverse interests in health disparities, communities, and/or translational research. Students are assumed to have a general research and clinical background, but the course emphasizes research theory and concepts with a goal to encourage thoughtful and effective community-based research collaborations.

MSCR 595 Health Services Research (1 credit)

This course provides students with an understanding of the nature, methods, scope, magnitude, and impact of Health Services Research (HSR). Students gain a better appreciation for the importance and relevance of HSR in improving healthcare delivery as well as key tools employed in HSR and areas of funding. Classes are designed to demonstrate the broad scope and multi-disciplinary nature of HSR by providing lectures from experts on a wide variety of topics that also provide practical examples of HSR.

CPTS 501 Translation to Clinical Medicine (2 credits)

The Translation to Clinical Medicine course provides non-clinicians (e.g., PhD graduate students or those with a PhD degree) with a new set of experiences relevant to both their understanding of disease and their research interest(s). CPTS 501 illuminates the impact of high quality translational research on clinical outcomes of patients with disease and how discoveries can be translated from the laboratory to the bedside and into the community.  The course director is Matthew Collins, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Medicine at Emory.  Dr. Collins meets with each CPTS trainee upon enrollment into the program and designs a rotation plan based on individual training needs.  Trainees are linked with a funded physician-scientist working in their area of discipline who helps them navigate through the clinical enterprise (e.g., a trainee interested in neuroscience research may round with Neurology inpatient consult teams and observe outpatient clinic visits).  A series of didactic lectures on fundamentals of working with research subjects and a simulated informed consent process are also presented to the cohort.  Those with a clinical background (e.g., RN, MD or PharmD) may take an additional formal elective course in lieu of CPTS 501, or can fashion a personalized 2-credit elective experience that may include alternative mentored training related to clinical disorders relevant to their research needs, that may include, for example hands-on bench training (e.g. flow cytometry, genomics, transcriptionomics, epigenetics, proteomics and/or metabolomics). 

CPTS 502 Biostatistics for Translational Research (2 credits)

This course introduces statistical concepts and analytical methods with special attention to data encountered in the biomedical sciences and biotechnology as well as translational research. It emphasizes the basic concepts of study design including clinical trials, quantitative analysis of data, probability, and statistical inferences.

MSCR 592 Clinical and Translational Science Colloquium (1 credit)

Seminar-style course that covers a wide array of practical issues in CTS including: research administration and grants management; federal funding process; IRB and HIPAA; Conflict of Interests; Legal Aspects of Translational Research; Drug Discovery; Industry interactions (drug discovery and device development); Multidisciplinary research and Team Science; Mentor and mentee training; Translational Research Informatics, Health Services and Implementation Science Research

MSCR 593 Ethical, Legal, and Social Issues of Responsible Clinical and Translational Research (1 credit)

This course prepares students to engage in theoretically and practically based discourse and decision making in ethical issues involved in clinical and biomedical research.   The course will survey a variety of ethical issues occurring in basic and applied research settings and analyze approaches that seek to prevent or resolve them. Classes will primarily consist of the faculty and students leading discussions around various articles and case studies.

MSCR 594A&B Scientific and Grant Writing (2 credits)

The goal of this class is to help you become an excellent grant writer. Some students will work on grant proposals that will be submitted to funding agencies such as the NIH while others will write a ‘practice’ grant proposal that will be of the quality of an actual competitive grant proposal. The final product for this course is a grant proposal with all the required components outlined in the table below. You will receive feedback from the instructors on all your writing throughout the course. Certificate students may submit a pure cell and/or animal-based research grant proposal, but it must include details on the translational significance of the proposed work for potential human investigation. Certificate students may also submit a proposal that includes human subject research as part of or as the entire proposal, if they choose. MSCR students MUST submit a grant proposal that includes human subject research as part of or as the entire proposal. The grant may thus also include cell/animal research components. NIH defines translational/human subject research as studies involving data derived from identifiable human subjects, and thus can include databases, blood/tissue biobank material, work with cells isolated from identifiable humans, including primary culture, etc. The grant proposal cannot be based solely on work with human cell lines or animal model/primate research.

MSCR 598 Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) in CTS Research (1 credit)

The course will teach and expose students to fundamental data workflow principles universal to application of big data science in CTS.  The elements of this workflow comprise the Big Data Pipeline and concern the generation, acquisition, processing, analysis, and presentation of Big Data.  The application of this workflow will be taught through three extended case studies in the fields of clinical health informatics (electronic medical records), public health informatics, and “omics” with three corresponding projects to engage students in the acquisition and organization of data.

ELECTIVES (1-2-credit)

A 1-2 credit elective is required and may be taken at any of the Georgia CTSA institutions upon approval of the Georgia CTSA Research Education Executive Committee. 

MSCR 596 Advanced Data Management in R – ELECTIVE – NOT REQUIRED (2 credits)

This course prepares students to engage in theoretically and practically based discourse and decision making in ethical issues involved in clinical and biomedical research.   The course will survey a variety of ethical issues occurring in basic and applied research settings and analyze approaches that seek to prevent or resolve them. Classes will primarily consist of the faculty and students leading discussions around various articles and case studies.

Before applying, please review the CPTS schedule to make sure that you have no time conflicts with the classes.

Applicants should apply via the web-based CPTS application system.

The following items are required:

  1. Cover sheet (save link as document)
  2. NIH-style Biosketch from applicant and lead mentor/advisor
  3. Personal statement  (1-2 pages, single-spaced, 11 point font, 1 inch margins)
  4. Transcript from current program  (required of PhD students)
  5. Letter of recommendation from PhD Program Director  (not required of postdocs or faculty members)
  6. Letter of support from Lead Mentor  (not required of faculty members at Associate or full Professor level)
  7. MD fellows: Letter of support from Department or Division Chair - letter of support should include confirmation of protected time and tuition support to complete course requirements.
  8. Application fee in the amount of $75.00 payable to Emory University (if your application is successful). If you are currently enrolled at Emory University, no application fee is charged by the University. Deliver to the program office (see below)
  9. Original transcripts from every secondary institution you have attended except Emory. Once you are accepted into the program, your transcripts can be sent by the issuing institution directly to the Laney Graduate School.

Items 1-4 should be loaded into the web-based application form by you, while items 6 and 7 should come directly from the director and mentor, respectively.

A Committee consisting of the Georgia CTSA Research Education Executive Committee will review applications and acceptances will be based on candidates’ interest and potential for a translational research career.


We encourage interested CPTS candidates to contact the Georgia CTSA education program to discuss their interests, career goals, specific programs and for assistance with the application process. Questions on the application process can be directed to Rachel Hardison, Program Assistant Director (rachel.hardison@emory.edu or 770-927-7914). For questions, especially technical issues, or problems with the online submission website please contact Alexey Kurbatov (akurbat@emory.edu).


Jeremy Burton, BS
Gaea Daniel, PhD, MSN
Andrew McDonald, MD
David Parker, PhD
Jason Yu, MD
Denise Fahey, BS
Ava Reck Rognstad, MS


Gianna Branella, PhD
Juline Deppen, PhD
Lynnea Harris, PhD
Adam Dickey, MD, PhD
Kayla Fantone, PhD, MS
Crista Irwin, PhD, BSN
Marko Nedeljkovic, PhD, MS
Kathryn Oliver, PhD, MS
Katherine Ross-Driscoll, PhD, MPH
Liberty Strange, MD, MPH
Megan Urbanski, PhD, MSW
Sunil Agarwal, MD, MS


Trisha Lala, PhD, MS
Daniel Lustberg, PhD
Jessica Maples-Keller, PhD
Eleftheria Michalaki, PhD, MS
Carolina Montanez, PhD
Laren Narapareddy, PhD, MSN
Lisa Staimez, PhD, MPH
Rebekah Trotti, PhD
Hannah Viola, PhD
Jill Ward, PhD


Daniel Albaugh, PhD
Zakaria Almuwaqqat, MD, MPH
Maria Coronel, PhD
Kirsten Cottrill, PhD
Ronald Eldridge, PhD, MPH
Jennifer Frediani, PhD
Anna Knight, PhD
Pratik Patel, MD
Elizabeth Sinclair, MD
Samaah Sullivan, PhD, MPH
James Yarnall, MD, MPH


Moriah Bellissimo, PhD
Claire Galloway, PhD
Atlantis Hill, PhD
Rachel Pearcy, PhD
Michael Quach, PhD
Doris Jean Rodriguez, PhD, MSN
Megha Shah, MD, MS
Steve Yarmoska, MD, PhD


Nicole Carlson, PhD
Lynette Chea, PhD
Michael Ciaola, PhD
Lauren Fleischer, PhD
Elyse Morin, PhD
Nisha Raj, PhD
Elisabeth Sattler, PhD


Timothy Beaty, MD
Kelly Bijanki, PhD
Patrick Carriere, PhD
Erin Ferranti, PhD, MPH, MSN
Katherine Henry, PhD
Kevin Lindsay, MD, PhD
Josue Moran, MD
Anuradha Rao, MD
Eric Salgado, PhD


Tempanit Chalermpalanupap, PhD
Mary Findley, PhD
Hyacinth Hyacinth, MD, MPH
Arezou Khosroshahi, MD
Deepa Kodandera, PhD
Allison Lytle, PhD
Laura “Katie” Metrock, MD
Jasmine Miller-Kleinhenz, PhD
Mfon Umoh, MD, PhD


Kristina Clark, PhD
Shuyi Li, PhD
Colleen McGary, PhD
Amanda Mummert, PhD
Ellen Smith, PhD


Ana Monteiro, MD, PhD
Bethany Peterson, PhD


Jessica Alvarez, PhD
Osama Mohamad, MD, PhD
Fengiu Shu, PhD
Aubrey Tiernan, PhD
Hui Zhang, MD, PhD


Tameka Bythwood, PhD
Ritam Chowdhury, PhD, MPH
Kristina Clark, BS
Debra Cooper, PhD
Qiudong Deng, PhD
Maryam Doroudi, PhD
Nimita Fifadara, PhD
Yan Liang, PhD
William Petersen, MD
Wesley Solomon, PhD
Cuiling Yu, PhD


Chase Bourke, PhD
Linda Cendales, MD
Christina Gavegnano, PhD
Yan Li, MD


Ian Neeland, MD