The overall goal for the Career Development Program (CDP) is to provide broad multidisciplinary training support for two junior faculty per year. CDP trainees must have an outstanding academic track record as well as a desire to explore alternative research directions. The program is also appropriate for trainees who need additional time in a productive scientific environment in order to establish an independent research program in molecular imaging. The program emphasizes the education of basic (PhD) and/or clinical (MD or MD/PhD) scientists in the principles and applications of molecular techniques, to answer basic science or clinical questions through in vivo imaging. Several of the past trainees lead their own research programs in molecular imaging and play key roles in this submission, attesting to the efficacy of this CDP. Effective recruitment mechanisms, including several for underrepresented minorities, are in place. The program consists of multidisciplinary training by faculty mentors as well as lectures on individual research projects, the design of hypothesis-driven research, journal publication, and grant writing. There are a total of 27 teaching faculty members, all of whom receive NIH funding and all of whom have expressed significant interest in teaching. Individual faculty were selected based on their: a) research expertise and proven track record in mentoring, b) proven abilities to engage in collaborations, c) commitment to interdisciplinary work, d) national reputation, e) proven ability to attract research support, and e) established record of didactic and research training in the focus areas of the program.
The specific aims of the program are to 1) recruit two outstanding junior faculty per year from a larger applicant pool;2) provide broad training and research support to faculty trainees;and 3) provide continued mentoring and broad-based training in molecular imaging at all skill levels in order to promote excellence in science and medicine.
The future development and translation of molecular imaging into clinically useful tools is critically dependent on the next generation of scientists, who must be well trained in all aspects of imaging research.
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