MECOR Program

HomeAboutGlobal Public HealthMECOR Program ▶ PATS MECOR

“Methods in Epidemiologic, Clinical and Operations Research"

10 October – 14 October  2011
Brackenhurst International Convention Center
Nairobi, Kenya


The Pan African Thoracic Society MECOR Program in collaboration with the American Thoracic Society began in 2007.  The specific needs identified in sub-Saharan Africa by the Pan Africa Thoracic Society and its partners, the University of Malawi, College of Medicine and the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, are the same as those identified in Latin America at the outset of the ATS MECOR Latin America program including

  • Insufficient research capacity
  • Insufficient understanding of research appraisal of the literature
  • Insufficient numbers of public health, academic and clinical leaders to support and facilitate research and its application to public health and health care related to respiratory diseases and critical care medicine.

The PATS MEOCR Program is conducted as a series of one week intensive courses or “levels”.  The program is supported in Africa with a grant from the Nuffield Foundation in the UK.  The specific objectives are to develop independent researchers in respiratory medicine in Africa using the ATS MECOR model and to develop a research network of independent researchers.

The ATS MECOR Program model is based upon the concept that all clinicians can benefit from basic training in clinical research methods, regardless of their ultimate career choices. The first two levels are recommended for all clinicians. The more advanced courses are intended for physicians who are interested in doing research, and for physicians who are in an academic setting. The courses are conducted by visiting ATS faculty from North America and the United Kingdom as well as from Africa.  The courses have had lasting impact as course graduates have gained specialized knowledge not readily available locally, have translated their knowledge into local research studies which has resulted in presentations at major international meetings and publications in high-quality, peer-reviewed journals.  In addition course graduates have gained valuable colleagues and friends within the larger ATS scientific community as they participate in the ongoing mentoring program within the MECOR program.

The ultimate goal of the ATS MECOR Program is to improve global lung health through the development of local and regional research capacity.  This, in turn, will provide the capacity for collaboration in clinical and epidemiologic projects and a cadre of trained physicians and scientists.  With this in mind, the content of the ATS MECOR Program has been carefully chosen to emphasize local and regional problems that are of public health importance.

Level 1: Measuring the Burden of Disease
This level is appropriate for clinicians and academicians who are engaged in the clinical practice of respiratory and sleep medicine, public health, allergy and critical care and wish to improve their skills in clinical research and investigation. No prior experience with research is needed. The textbooks used are Epidemiology by Leon Gordis (2nd Edition, Saunders) and Research Methods for Promotion of Lung Health, published by the Union (previously the International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease).

Level 2: Advanced Clinical Research Methods
This level is a continuation of the Level 1 Course and focuses on clinical epidemiology and advanced clinical research methods. Level 2 is recommended for anyone interested in advancing their skills in clinical research. It is also appropriate for individuals who wish to improve their skills in reading the literature and research design. A prerequisite is MECOR Level 1 or equivalent in experience in basic research methods. The textbook used is Designing Clinical Research by Stephen Hulley (3rd Edition, Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins).

Level 3: Further Research Skills
This level is a continuation of the Level 2 Course and focuses on study design, data analysis and scientific paper development.  It is appropriate for the individual who would like to do clinical research or has collected some research data and is ready to analyze their data or begin development of their paper for publication. A prerequisite is MECOR Level 2 or equivalent in experience.  

ATS MECOR Program Director:  A. Sonia Buist, M.D.
PATS MECOR Course Director:   Stephen Gordon, M.D.
Staff Director:  Fran Du Melle

Registration inquiries should be directed to:
Jane Ardrey, PATS Administrator at

Applications available at DEADLINE 21 April 2011