NISTP: NEUROIMAGING SCIENCES TRAINING PROGRAM This institutional grant requests funds for five postdoctoral positions for interdisciplinary training and research in neuroimaging. Two general classes of neuroimaging will be emphasized: radiotracer and nuclear magnetic resonance. The specific imaging methods are described by the following acronyms: PET (positron emission tomography, MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), including fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) and DTI (diffusion tensor imaging), and MRS (magnetic resonance spectroscopy). These imaging methodologies offer real promise for the expanded clinical utility of neuroimaging in the diagnosis, treatment, and understanding of the pathophysiology of substance abuse and dependence. However, these new methodologies typically derive from complex, multidisciplinary sciences, which thereby create a challenging information barrier to their further development and application in medical practice. The purposes of the proposed program are the following: - Provide formal course training to postdoctoral fellows, with an emphasis on imaging and clinical research methodology, and instruction in their underlying multidisciplinary sciences. - Provide mentored training for fellows to apply these new methods to the interdisciplinary advance of our understanding of the function of the brain in health, substance abuse, and other psychiatric diseases. - Provide an integrated research experience for the fellows both in imaging applications and in methodology. All postdoctoral fellows will be expected to complete at least one research project with an applications mentor and one with a methodology mentor during their training period. The integration of training in methodology and imaging applications will be enhanced by the organization of this program as two interactive tracks of approximately equal size: Methodology and Application. We expect that the majority of postdoctoral fellows in the Methodology track will have Ph.D. degrees, and those in the Application track, primarily M.D. degrees or Ph.D. in neurosciences or behavioral sciences. Each fellow will have a primary and secondary faculty mentor to represent the two tracks.
The Neuroimaging Sciences Training Program (NISTP) combines expertise in brain imaging technology with skill and knowledge in clinical applications for cross-training of postdoctoral trainees. The goal is to foster the development of interdisciplinary scientists who can comfortably apply complex imaging methods to understand the neuroscience of abuse and dependence of cocaine, smoking, alcohol, and other substances, as well as treatments for these problems.
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