This proposal is to establish the pre-doctoral Training Program for Translational Research in Imaging (TPTRI) at Johns Hopkins University. Innovation in imaging technology has transformed diagnostic and therapeutic medicine. In order continue the development and application of these technologies, a firm understanding of the underlying physics and engineering is required;also, in order to understand the primary clinical needs, an equally deep understanding of the practice of medicine is required. Most often, this combination of backgrounds and skills are found in a team of people rather than a single person. In this program, both clinical residents and pre-doctoral biomedical engineers will gain experience working together to become innovators in medical imaging. The purpose of this training program is to create mentorship teams for PhD trainees in Biomedical Engineering that will produce imaging scientists who are able to invent new techniques and translate those techniques into clinical use. The mentorship structure of this program will include three mentors for each PhD candidate: an Engineering Mentor (most likely from BME, EE, Comp Science, Radiology etc.), a Clinician Mentor who is a clinician scientist, and a Clinical Peer who is a resident or fellow in a department in which imaging is a core resource. A comprehensive list of courses is available, and a curriculum for each student will be crafted to teach the most advanced imaging and signal processing techniques. Trainees will also attend the introductory lecture courses given to new residents and fellows in Radiology, Cardiology, Oncology etc. The trainees will also obtain training in translational research techniques and cost containment from the Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (ICTR) at Johns Hopkins. The TPTRI program will build on the strong imaging research community that exists at Johns Hopkins, and the superb PhD program that currently exists at Hopkins BME. Many previous BME trainees have found successful careers in medical imaging sciences after pursuing a PhD at Johns Hopkins involving mentorship from both engineering and clinical investigators. This new TPTRI program will help in three ways: (1) galvanize the existing large research community into a coherent training program, (2) attract the top students into the imaging sciences, and (3) bring the attention of industrial partners onto the applications research carried out at JHU.
Imaging is becoming a necessary technique in an increasing number of fields within medicine, and a critical surrogate endpoint in otherwise prohibitively expensive clinical trials. It has never been more essential for imaging scientists and engineers to understand the subtleties of clinical needs;and to understand how engineering ingenuity and innovation can translate great ideas into practical techniques. This program will help accelerate the use of imaging in diagnosis treatment and therapy evaluation.
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