Productivity in basic and clinical neuroscience research is accelerating due to technological advances in the area of biomedical imaging. These new technologies have the potential to advance knowledge about the underlying etiology of brain-based disorders, mechanisms of treatment, and predictors of response. This competing renewal grant proposal describes a Neuroimaging Training Program (NTP) established in 2003 within the framework of the longstanding and highly successful doctoral programs offered by the Harvard- MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology (HST). HST is an ideal home for the NTP. The sponsoring institutions, MIT and Harvard, and the affiliated teaching hospitals, have been and continue to be at the forefront of the development and application of biomedical imaging technologies. The faculty has consistently mentored leaders in the fields of biomedical imaging and clinical neuroscience. The integrated, interdisciplinary educational program trains students to meet the scientific, engineering, and clinical challenges posed by this area of investigation. Importantly, the curriculum creates a cohesive environment in which educators from both neuroscience and technology based domains of knowledge work and teach together effectively. The environment, mentorship and formal didactic training attract exceptional individuals to the pursuit of clinical neuroimaging research. In the first funding cycle, the NTP developed a comprehensive core curriculum and became established as an exceptional program for those wishing to pursue advanced training in neuroimaging. This renewal application builds on the initial success of the program and extends the program's positive impact. Specifically, the program is now available to doctoral students in a wider variety of degree programs, thereby enriching the candidate pool and extending the benefits of NTP to students working in a wider variety of application areas. In addition, the faculty roster now includes expertise in the domain of molecular imaging, in recognition of the exceptional promise of that emerging field.
Project Narrative Investment in training of biomedical engineers to become experts in the development of new non-invasive imaging tools and their use in patients with brain diseases such as schizophrenia and Alzheimer's Disease will greatly advance the ability to provide good medical care. The trainees from this program make significant contributions to medical technologies that enable accurate diagnosis of illnesses and determination of responses to treatments.
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