This is an application for renewal of a highly successful, competitive and comprehensive institutional postbox- total training program in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and spectroscopy (MRS) that has been in place at Vanderbilt University since 2003. The 21 preceptor faculty comprises an experienced and expert group of re- search scientists engaged in the development and application of MR methods in several different important research areas and across different scales. MR methods serve not only as the single most important modality in diagnostic imaging but also provide crucial insights into biological processes and structure to address fun- demented questions in biomedical research. Despite continuing advances in MR technology, there is a short- age and a critical need for appropriately trained scientists capable of fully exploiting the potential of MR tech- inquest. We have developed a comprehensive training program in biomedical MRI and MRS designed for out- standing postdoctoral scientists from different backgrounds. Some have been exposed to imaging and MR methods before, but others have had little previous significant experience in biomedical MRI and MRS. Post- doctoral trainees from physics, chemistry, biology, engineering or medicine may receive thorough and exam- play instruction in all of the cognate areas relevant to biomedical NMR in a coherent and comprehensive pro- gram. In addition, trainees pursue applications (mainly) in neuroscience, radiology, cancer and metabolic dis- orders and are co-mentored by collaborators from relevant clinical departments. The formal training includes an educational program, consisting of courses, seminars, and journal clubs;a practical program, consisting of faculty-led tutorials and practical training;and a research program, in which trainees are integrated into an active research program. These programs illustrate most major aspects of the applications of MR methods in humans and animals. Trainees have access to outstanding facilities including three research-dedicated human MR systems (2 at 3T and one 7T);animal MR systems at 4.7T, 7T, 9.4T and 15.2T;and other imaging modalities (including X-ray, ultrasound, optical imaging, micros, microSPECT and micro PET). Trainees are mentored in the ethics and methods of biomedical research, as well as in grant writing and other important career skills. Our previous trainees have been very successful in their careers after leaving our program. The programs, personnel, and facilities at Vanderbilt provide outstanding opportunities for advanced training in biomedical NMR of the highest caliber, and will ensure that the remarkable insights into biology and disease that are possible with MRI and MRS will be realized.

Public Health Relevance

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and spectroscopy (MRS) are very important methods for the non-invasive diagnosis of diseases and monitoring of treatment in clinical practice. In addition, MRI and MRS provide vital information for a wide range of other biomedical research applications. However, there is a shortage of suitably qualified postdoctoral scientists able to contribute to the further development of MR methods or to apply them effectively. This application is for support of a comprehensive training program for postdoctoral trainees to become experts in different aspects of MR methods and able to contribute to translational applications of MRI and MRS.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZEB1)
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Baird, Richard A
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Vanderbilt University Medical Center
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United States
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