Under PAR-06-511, we are requesting a continuation of R25 CA089017,"Multidisciplinary Training in Image-guided Therapy," at the Brigham and Women's Hospital. As we have passed our fifth and final year of funding, we are very eager to continue on a successful track record in training MD and PhD fellows in the principles and current practices of image-guided therapy for the treatment of cancer and cancer-related illnesses. To this end, we have prepared an application that has retained the most successful features of the current training program, combining them with a new teaching/learning paradigm driven by the recently funded Biomedical Resource Center in Image-guided Therapy (U41 RR019703-02). This National Resource, which serves as the scientific and pedagogical underpinning of this application, will provide a unique, centralized infrastructure for clinical investigators, biomedical engineers, and basic scientists in promoting and advancing IGT methods and related clinical applications, primarily aimed at the detection, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer. We will develop and make available new innovative technologies in seven discrete Core Projects: 1) the Imaging Core;2) the Computational Core;3) the Tumor Ablation Core;4) the Focused Ultrasound Core;5) the Image-guided Neurosurgery Core;6) Image-guided Prostate Therapy Core;and 7) the Advanced Multimodality Image-Guided Operating Room (AMIGO). The AMIGO Project nears completion and will form the technology focus through which the seven Core Projects conduct experiments and achieve validation. With the AMIGO serving as the essential "training backdrop," the seven Core Projects will produce a dynamic training curriculum that is continuously updated as breakthrough technologies are discovered and brought into clinical translation. At the outset of this two-year fellowship, trainees work with the PI, the Director of Education, and a senior mentor to tailor an educational program that best meets individual needs and career goals. Over the course of training, fellows are exposed to both a specialized and a didactic curriculum, while concentrating on a specific area of cancer research within the IGTC. Additional mentors will be assigned according to "Individual Training Plans." While each training program is unique, all fellows are required to engage in a research project of considerable duration and produce a "mock" NIH grant application in the second half of the second year of training. The PI, Advisory Committee, senior mentors, and other mentors, (depending on the research topic), review and score the grant. The PI and Advisory Committee also provide critical oversight and strategic planning by 1) developing and refining a general recruitment plan as well as one targeted for underserved populations and women;2) assessing curriculum design and content;3) identifying trends in IGT research and training;and 4) making overall recommendations regarding the final selection of fellows and placement within the training program.
This training grant provides a unique program to allow for the expansion and learning of image guided therapy of cancer for the broad healthcare community. Image-guided therapy of cancer requires the training of medical doctors and scientists who can work with the complex advanced technology that can diagnose, localize and treat tumors in the same clinical setting. By providing multidisciplinary training to many different individuals, we can expand the pool of experts with new treatment modalities in IGT across other centers and various clinical settings.
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