Using Web 2.0 to Promote Clinical Research Training

We planned our international training program using the concepts of Web 2.0 as to enhance learning, communication and collaboration.

Our collaborative distance-learning training program from the Department of Continuing Medical Education from Harvard Medical School is offered to participants from Boston and throughout the world. It is designed for individuals who wish to gain basic and advanced training in clinical trials before moving into the field and for those who have experience in this area and aim to broaden their role in the design, management, analysis, and reporting of clinical trials using innovative learning tools such as Wiki and web blogs.

"Centro de Capacitacion" in LATU (Technological Laboratory of Uruguay)

We are pleased to offer a new international site for our PPCR 2013 class at the “Centro de Capacitacion" in LATU (Technological Laboratory of Uruguay) in Montevideo, Uruguay. LATU was created in 1965 as a joint effort of the government and the private sector. Together with the ANII (National Agency for Research and Innovation) which is a government agency that promotes and encourages research and the application of new knowledge production and social reality of the country, LATU supported the start of PPCR in Uruguay. These two entities made this initiative possible and gave the course a national level framework. The University of La Republica, which is the largest University in Uruguay, sponsors the course. Our Site Director in Uruguay is Dr. Asadur Jorge Tchekmedyian, former Associate Professor of Gastroenterology, University of La Republica and Vice-president of the Uruguayan Society of Gastroenterology. This year we have three participants joining us from Uruguay from various specialties, including Oncology and Critical Care Medicine.

For further information regarding the Uruguay site center, please contact Dr. Tchekmedyian by email at

Welcome 2012 PPCR Students from 13 International Sites and 25 Countries

We would like to welcome the 300 participants for our 2012 Principles and Practice of Clinical Research course. This year we have 13 international sites (click here to see the list of sites) and students from 25 countries in all continents.

New International Site at University Hospital Dresden, Germany

We are pleased to offer a new international site for our PPCR 2012 class at the University Hospital Dresden "Carl Gustav Carus" in Dresden, Germany. This is the largest hospital in Dresden, Germany and is the teaching hospital of the Dresden University of Technology. Our Site Directors in Germany are Dr. Timo Siepmann, Clinical Research Collaborator, Harvard Medical School, and Dr. Ben Illigens, Instructor in Neurology, Harvard Medical School. This year we will have eight participants joining us from Dresden from various specialties, including Psychiatry, Pediatrics, and Neurology.
For further information regarding the German satellite center please contact Dr. Siepmann (Department of Neurology, Medical Faculty Carl Gustav Carus, Dresden University of Technology, Phone: +49 (0)351/458-35 65,


Course Director Meeting with PPCR Teaching Assistants from Saudi Arabia

The course director (prof. Fregni) together with two Harvard faculty who teach in the course (prof. Merabet and prof. Paulus) met the 2012 PPCR teaching assistants (Dr. Sherine Esmail, Dr. Zeyad Alzahrani and Dr. Mohamed Azfar) during a symposium of clinical research organized by King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University and chaired by Dr. Mujtaba Quadri - 2011 PPCR alumnus. "It was a great opportunity to meet in person our teaching assistants from Saudi Arabia and also welcome 2012 PPCR students as this year we have 9 participants from Saudi Arabia" - Prof Fregni's comments about this meeting.


Collaborative Learning

Collaborative learning is an educational technique in which learners/students work together to solve a problem, complete a task or discuss an idea. This method is based on the notion that learning occurs naturally during social interactions; it occurs during the communication of learners.

In a collaborative learning setting, learners have the opportunity to discuss and engage with their peers as to defend their ideas, beliefs and questions; therefore helping with engagement and learning. An important concept is that learners benefit when exposed to diverse viewpoints from students with different background.→ read more...

Principles and Practice of Clinical Research

Our 6-month collaborative distance-learning basic course on clinical research covers the basics of clinical research (such as: how to formulate a research question, select study population, randomization and blinding methods) to statistical methods (data distribution and classification, statistical tests, sample size calculation, survival analysis, missing data and meta-analysis); data collection, monitoring and reporting (include training in manuscript writing); and study designs (observational studies, non-inferior and adaptive designs and randomized clinical trials).

This course starts in February 2012.→

"How Seven Principles of Teaching Can Transform Education"

In his book, "Making Learning Whole: How Seven Principle of Teaching Can Transform Education", David Perkins, Professor of Education at Harvard Graduate School of Education, discusses the seven principles of learning. According to this author, learning should be a natural process as, for instance, when we learn how to play baseball. In order to achieve this, we should learn by "wholes" instead of learning by elements or parts. For instance, when one is learning how to play a song, one sings the entire song. Therefore, according to this Harvard educator, there are seven learning principles: "1. Play the whole game; 2. Make the game worth playing; 3. Work on the hard parts; 4. Play out of town; 5. Uncover the hidden game; 6. Learn from the team...and the other teams; Learn the game of learning".

We also believe that learning by wholes is a more natural and therefore efficient process. In particular, the item 6 ("Learn from the team....and the other teams") is aligned with our basic educational method of collaborative learning. In fact, collaboration might make the principle by wholes possible.