This resubmission application seeks renewed support for our postdoctoral training program, T32CA009502, now titled "Cancer Imaging". There is substantial need for highly trained scientists with technical skills to conduct clinical and basic cancer research using imaging. There is also substantial need within the cancer field for familiarity with imaging tools and expertise in order to thoroughly explore disease, experimentally and clinically, and to derive optimal treatment regimens. These needs converge in a need for instruction that aptly trains basic science and clinical investigators interested in research at the interface of translational cancer biology and biomedical imaging. The proposed training program will provide PhD and MD scientists interdisciplinary training in advanced methods for cancer imaging as it pertains to basic and translational research and clinical care of cancer patients. Trainees will complete didactic and practical training in the fundamentals of NMR-based imaging and cancer biology, and will carry out an individual cancer imaging research project jointly supervised by two faculty training mentors: one with a technical background, the other with clinical oncology expertise. The joint mentorship model enables the trainee to meld perspectives to better understand and thus better exploit and explore critical questions of cancer detection, diagnosis, and treatment monitoring. The training faculty includes MD and PhD scientists with extensive imaging and cancer research and/or clinical experience as well as experience in pre- and postdoctoral education. They arc skilled basic scientists, cancer-focused radiologists, and clinical oncologists who together lead 72 federally funded research projects. 15 of 24 faculty members conduct NCI-funded research to address a variety of cancer-related research questions. During the previous funding period, the program has been enhanced by the addition of new faculty members, new research support in a broad range of areas, and the availability of new state-of-the-art facilities at the Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging. The installation of new and ongoing upgrades to MR systems, including a new 15T MR spectroscopy/microscopy system, human MR-PET instrumentation, dedicated PET research facilities, new supercomputing facility, and expansion into new research space further fortify the unique resources at our institution and underscore its relevance for engaging in this type of advanced training. In addition to the scientific aspects of training, we continue to hone our practices for enhanced minority recruitment and training in the responsible conduct of research. We feel strongly that with our faculty, facilities, and scope of supported research, we will achieve our goal of training the next generation of highly qualified MD and PhD cancer imaging scientists.
Imaging plays an increasingly important role in medicine;its impact in the fight against cancer is especially significant. By training scientists in the technical bases of imaging, their relevance to biology and to clinical care, this program will help advance the standard of care for patients with cancer.
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