The diagnosis and management of CV disease relies on non-invasive testing to enhance the identification of high risk patients and optimize management strategies. Molecular imaging is a key tool to improve risk assessment and lead to more individualized approaches to diagnosing and treating disease. Our objective is to produce CV imaging specialists with the clinical and investigative skills to establish independent careers, mentor others, and lead their own CV Imaging programs. We designed a comprehensive curriculum-based training program in multi-modality CV Imaging research that includes: (1) a 2-year training program in translational research taught by a multidisciplinary faculty of MD and/or PhD scientists;(2) an extended didactic clinical and basic science research curriculum consisting of orientation lectures;basic analytic and bioethics courses, advanced course work (including two program-specific advanced courses);and ongoing learning opportunities;and (3) a mentored clinical or translational research experience that includes formal training in research methodology, and the development of a research project including protocol development, experimental execution, critical data analysis, oral presentation, manuscript writing, and grant preparation. We seek NIH support for research training in imaging science for 2 fellows (MD or MD PhD) annually. Our program is opened to cardiologists, radiologists and other imaging specialists. We have assembled a group of 12 outstanding faculty mentors, each of whom are pursuing research at the cutting-edge of cardiac imaging science. Collectively, they have over 50 active extramural grants and have mentored over 170 pre/post doctoral fellows in various aspects of basic and clinical cardiac imaging research. Extensive collaboration among the faculty, trainees, and other investigators throughout the BWH, MGH, and Harvard Medical School communities, further increase the Program's scientific impact. We anticipate that our trainees will fulfill our overall objectives and that our graduates will disseminate CV Imaging training, ultimately creating a critical mass of imaging scientists to meet the health care needs of our population.
There is a severe shortage of trained individuals with the knowledge and skills to bridge the gap between imaging technology and the evidence to support the use of such technology. The proposed training program is particularly valuable now that cardiovascular imaging has become the 'hot button'for policy makers because of its effect on costs.
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