This application seeks support for the renewal of a post-doctoral training program in Basic and Translational Imaging of Cancer at Vanderbilt University and Meharry Medical College. In vivo biomedical imaging has developed into a compendium of powerful techniques useful not only for the study of fundamental biological processes at the molecular level but also for patient care. Unfortunately, while there has been a steady increase in both the quality and quantity of imaging metrics that report on tumor status, these methods have not been moved effectively to clinical use. Thus, there is a critical need for scientists working at the interface of imaging and cancer biology/oncology to be trained in making the connections between imaging and basic molecular processes in cancer and then translating this knowledge into clinical practice. We propose to address this need with a comprehensive educational and research training program designed for 6 outstanding post-doctoral scientists. We will recruit trainees who have recently completed a graduate degree in a relevant area (particularly in Medicine, Biomedical Engineering, Physics, Chemistry, Molecular Biophysics, or Biology) who will pursue research focused on the basic and/or translational aspects of quantitative imaging of cancer. The didactic component of the proposed program will consist of seminars, relevant journal clubs, and the opportunity to take/audit a number of appropriate courses. The limited coursework will be organized so that those whose prior training emphasized the physical sciences can be trained in relevant aspects of biology/oncology and vice-versa so that all trainees, regardless of previous training, will be equipped with the necessary background to combine quantitative imaging and cancer biology/oncology at the highest levels. For the laboratory component, each trainee will have two mentors representing the disciplines of imaging science and cancer biology and/or oncology. All trainees will be mentored in the ethics of biomedical research as well as in grant writing. Trainees will be integrated into ongoing NIH funded studies within a leading biomedical imaging institute with strong connections to a leading cancer center. By combining the resources and programs of the Vanderbilt University Institute of Imaging Science, the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, and the Cancer Center at Meharry Medical College, we believe we have outstanding infrastructure and personnel to focus and continue our exemplary training program in basic and translational imaging of cancer.

Public Health Relevance

This application seeks support for the renewal of post-doctoral training program in Multidisciplinary Training in Basic and Translational Cancer Imaging at Vanderbilt University and Meharry Medical College. In vivo biomedical imaging has developed from early uses of X-rays for diagnosis into a compendium of powerful techniques useful not only for patient care but also for the study of fundamental biological processes at the cellular and molecular levels. There is a critical need for scientists working at the interface of the physical and biological sciences to be trained in the ability to make the connections between imaging and basic biological processes in cancer and then translate these insights into clinical care. This program is aimed at addressing this need.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Education Projects (R25)
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Subcommittee B - Comprehensiveness (NCI)
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Perkins, Susan N
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Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Schools of Medicine
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