Predoctoral training in medical imaging is a large and vigorous effort at Duke University, drawing chiefly on the resources of the Departments of Biomedical Engineering, Radiology, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Chemistry. The program has 49 current students and it has granted over 120 PhD's in the field over the past 35 years. These departments are poised for significant growth in medical imaging in the next 5 years. We propose a continued emphasis on molecular imaging during the proposed funding period, based on several new faculty hires in this area and our ongoing alliances with the Center for Molecular and Biomolecular Imaging and the Center for In Vivo Microscopy at Duke University. We propose the creation of a new annual Translation, Entrepreneurship, and Industry Relations (TEIR) Imaging Workshop based on our trainees strong interest in these topics and their relevance for future academic and industry careers in medical imaging research. We propose to integrate these new educational and research efforts into the Medical Imaging Training Program (MITP). The 29 current training faculty provide broad research opportunities with research interests in computer-aided diagnosis, x-ray, CT, MRI, ultrasound, nuclear medicine, optical imaging methods, small animal imaging, molecular imaging, and medical physics. Through the MITP, we supported six trainees each year for the past five years. In the same period, we have successfully recruited two minority students as trainees. Trainees are funded in the first 2 years of graduate study and undertake a comprehensive curriculum providing initially broad training in medical physics and instrumentation followed by increasingly focused coursework in the student's area of specialization. The development of all of the trainees as independent and successful researchers is strongly evidenced by their publication records and their receipt of competitive education funding awards. The training program has funded: 1) the development and continued availability of a Radiology in Practice course which pairs students with a series of practicing radiologists in various specialties; 2) a broad, continuing exposure to issues related to Responsible Conduct in Research, including two workshops on ethics related specifically to Biomedical Engineering; 3) a year-long continuing Visionary Speaker Series, taken by all trainees, that exposes students to the wide medical imaging research activities at Duke and other institutions; 4) sponsored student travel to scientific meetings on medical imaging; and 5) a bi-annual student luncheon. The training program has also facilitated development of an Industry Internship Program.
We propose to recruit well qualified applicants to Duke University to join our Medical Imaging Training Program. We have created a challenging curriculum, an internship program, and associated educational activities to provide these applicants and other students with a broad and challenging educational program and to foster their careers as independent researchers.
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