The Stanford Molecular Imaging Scholars (SMIS) program is an integrated, cross-disciplinary postdoctoral training program at Stanford University that brings together 45 faculty mentors from 15 departments in the Schools of Medicine, Engineering, and Humanities and Sciences. Molecular imaging, the non-invasive monitoring of specific molecular and biochemical processes in living organisms, continues to expand its applications in the detection and management of cancer. We train, on average, ~7 postdoctoral trainees per year. SMIS faculty mentors provide a diverse training environment spanning biology, physics, mathematics/biocomputation/ biomedical informatics, engineering, chemistry, biochemistry, cancer biology, immunology, and medical sciences. The centerpiece of the SMIS program is the opportunity for trainees (PhD or MD with an emphasis on PhD) to conduct innovative molecular imaging research that is co-mentored by faculty in complementary disciplines. SMIS trainees also engage in specialized coursework, seminars, national conferences, clinical rounds, including ethics training and the responsible conduct of research. The three-year program culminates with the preparation and review of a mock grant, in support of trainee transition to an independent career in cancer molecular imaging. During this initial 3.7 year period, 14 trainees have entered the SMIS program;8 are currently enrolled and 6 have completed the program as of this writing. Two additional trainees will complete in August, 2010, bringing the total number of "SMIS graduates" to 8. Those who have moved on are either in faculty positions, other academic positions, or working in biotechnology. Demand for the SMIS training is high;we now receive, on average, more than 20 applications per year from qualified candidates seeking placement in our program, which can accommodate only 2-4 new trainees per year. For the upcoming cycle, we propose an enriched SMIS program that achieves the following: expands our recently added Program Area in Nanotechnology;strategically selects additional faculty mentors;presents improvement in all other training and career development components;expands leadership for our mock grant program and our clinical exposure component;and pursues rigorous recruitment of underrepresented minority candidates. The goal of the SMIS program is to continue to provide talented young investigators with the scientific and professional education/career development opportunities to become leaders in the field of molecular imaging of cancer.

Public Health Relevance

The Stanford Molecular Imaging Scholars (SMIS) program is an integrated, cross-disciplinary postdoctoral training program that prepares young investigators for research careers in the field of molecular imaging of cancer. Molecular imaging is a science that allows visualization of specific molecules and biochemical processes in intact living organisms, and provides powerful tools for the study of disease. SMIS trainees develop innovative molecular imaging approaches for the diagnosis and management of cancer, including treatment selection and evaluation of therapy response.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Education Projects (R25)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Subcommittee B - Comprehensiveness (NCI)
Program Officer
Perkins, Susan N
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Stanford University
Schools of Medicine
United States
Zip Code
Pu, Kanyi; Shuhendler, Adam J; Jokerst, Jesse V et al. (2014) Semiconducting polymer nanoparticles as photoacoustic molecular imaging probes in living mice. Nat Nanotechnol 9:233-9
Ahmad, Moiz; Bazalova, Magdalena; Xiang, Liangzhong et al. (2014) Order of magnitude sensitivity increase in X-ray Fluorescence Computed Tomography (XFCT) imaging with an optimized spectro-spatial detector configuration: theory and simulation. IEEE Trans Med Imaging 33:1119-28
Osakada, Yasuko; Pratx, Guillem; Sun, Conroy et al. (2014) Hard X-ray-induced optical luminescence via biomolecule-directed metal clusters. Chem Commun (Camb) 50:3549-51
Bazalova, Magdalena; Ahmad, Moiz; Pratx, Guillem et al. (2014) L-shell x-ray fluorescence computed tomography (XFCT) imaging of Cisplatin. Phys Med Biol 59:219-32
Smith, Bryan Ronain; Ghosn, Eliver Eid Bou; Rallapalli, Harikrishna et al. (2014) Selective uptake of single-walled carbon nanotubes by circulating monocytes for enhanced tumour delivery. Nat Nanotechnol 9:481-7
Jokerst, Jesse V; Van de Sompel, Dominique; Bohndiek, Sarah E et al. (2014) Cellulose Nanoparticles are a Biodegradable Photoacoustic Contrast Agent for Use in Living Mice. Photoacoustics 2:119-127
Angelo, Michael; Bendall, Sean C; Finck, Rachel et al. (2014) Multiplexed ion beam imaging of human breast tumors. Nat Med 20:436-42
Cosgrove, Benjamin D; Gilbert, Penney M; Porpiglia, Ermelinda et al. (2014) Rejuvenation of the muscle stem cell population restores strength to injured aged muscles. Nat Med 20:255-64
Wilson, Katheryne E; Bachawal, Sunitha V; Tian, Lu et al. (2014) Multiparametric spectroscopic photoacoustic imaging of breast cancer development in a transgenic mouse model. Theranostics 4:1062-71
Wang, Cheng; Volotskova, Olga; Lu, Kuangda et al. (2014) Synergistic assembly of heavy metal clusters and luminescent organic bridging ligands in metal-organic frameworks for highly efficient X-ray scintillation. J Am Chem Soc 136:6171-4

Showing the most recent 10 out of 26 publications