The need for dedicated educational short programs in biomedical computing was identified by the Biomedical Information Science and Technology Initiative at the NIH, which stated an "extraordinary demand for people with good education in both biomedicine and computing" but "only a few cross-disciplinary training programs exist". Twelve years later and after some progress, the situation described in the report is essentially unchanged. The Scientific Computing and Imaging (SCI) Institute at the University of Utah (www.sci.utah.edu) houses programs that seek to meet the need for tools and education in biomedical computing. The Center for Integrative Biomedical Computing (CIBC, cibc.sci.utah.edu), an NIH funded center is dedicated to creating and freely disseminating software and knowledge that will enable biomedical scientists through computation software that supports a complete image based modeling and simulation pipeline. In a parallel development, the Musculoskeletal Research Laboratories (MRL, mrl.sci.utah.edu) have created under NIH funding the FEBio software suite to carry out patient specific simulations for biomechanical applications. By expanding 1-3 days workshops carried out by the SCI Institute over the past 10 years to a two weeks course, and holding it during the summer, a much deeper and lasting educational impact is possible. The goal of this proposed program is to expand the scope of current CIBC and MRL training to create a dedicated two-week course in the area of image based modeling and simulation applied to bioelectricity and biomechanics, providing a unique opportunity for students with background in mathematics, physics, and computer science to apply computing to biomedical science.
The specific aims are to 1. Build on the existing knowledge of the participants in mathematics and physics to create field specific expertise and hands-on experience in bioelectric or biomechanical problems that arise in current biomedical research and clinical practice. 2. With a strong emphasis on practical use cases, provide participants with training in the numerical methods, image analysis, and computational tools necessary to carry out end-to-end, image based, subject specific simulations in bioelectricity or orthopedic biomechanics, using freely available software. 3. By hosting the course in the Intermountain West, facilitate a cohesive and supportive learning environment, attractive and effective for students from underrepresented groups and institutions, whose participation we will support through travel fellowships and access to pre-configured, portable computers. To maximize the impact of this unique curriculum, and for participants unable to attend, Internet based dissemination and media tools will be used to provide lasting access to the course content. Program evaluation during, after, and at regular intervals over the following years will be pursued to continuously determine effectiveness of the program and enhance it.
The Image Based Modeling, Simulation, and Visualization Summer Course for Biomedical Researchers is a dedicated two-week training in the field of bioelectricity and orthopedic biomechanics, including didactic classes and hands-on experience using software freely available from the Scientific Computing and Imaging (SCI) Institute.