The Interdisciplinary Biomedical Imaging Training Program will prepare predoctoral trainees to become leaders in organism-level, biomedical imaging research. Multi-disciplinary teams of engineers, physicists, biologists, and clinicians are required to advance biomedical imaging, especially with the advent of in vivo cellular and molecular imaging. We will create the next generation of interdisciplinary biomedical imaging scientists and engineers who will contribute to and lead such teams. Our training program will build upon continuing, significant institutional, state, federal, and commercial investment in faculty and imaging infrastructure. A training grant award will place students squarely in the center of on-going interdisciplinary/multidisciplinary research programs. Trainees will use imaging facilities in the Case Center for Imaging Research which includes state-of- the-art clinical and small animal imaging systems, along with labs of mentoring faculty. Predoctoral trainees will be from the highly-rated departments of Biomedical Engineering and Physics, both of which have a long history of training in biomedical imaging. Trainees will conduct research projects combining enabling technologies in imaging with biomedical research. Each trainee will have two or more mentors representing both imaging technology and biological/clinical applications of imaging. Our educational program includes a portfolio of imaging courses, including ones focusing on imaging physics, image analysis, and reconstruction, as well as Cellular and Molecular Imaging and Nanomedicine (Nanosized Therapeutics and Imaging Agents), a new course specially designed for interdisciplinary training in nanoparticle theranostics. We will promote a culture of inter- disciplinary research in a series of diverse activities during a designated Imaging Hour. Training funds are mostly used to recruit first year graduate students, a significant need at our institution. Our T32 has enabled us to increase recruitment of women and under-represented minorities. In general, it has helped make graduate students cost effective as compared to post docs and ensured training of domestic PhD's in this area of critical need. In less than four years, our T32 program has already successfully trained four graduates, all with exemplary training records and with a trajectory towards success. Other trainees are moving through the program focusing on exciting interdisciplinary imaging research and with excellent research productivity.
Biomedical imaging enables early detection, assessment of therapy, and minimally-invasive treatment of disease. Especially with the advent of cellular and molecular imaging, biomedical imaging research requires persons with strong interdisciplinary training.
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