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Multidisciplinary Training in Image Guided Therapy

Fiona Fennessy

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National Institutes of Health (NIH)
We are requesting a continuation of R25 CA089017, Multidisciplinary Training in Image-guided Therapy (IGT) at the Brigham and Women's Hospital. As we close in on the end of the second cycle, we are eager to continue on a successful track record in training MD and PhD fellows in the principles and practices of image-guided therapy for the treatment of cancer and cancer- related illnesses. To this end, we have prepared an application that has retained the most successful features of the training program that includes the most recent research occurring within the National Center for Image Guided Therapy ( (P41 EB015898, previously P41 RR019703) as well as in other relevant areas of the hospital community. The NCIGT provides a unique centralized infrastructure for clinical investigators, biomedical engineers, and basic scientists in promoting and advancing IGT methods and related clinical applications primarily aimed at the detection, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer. Fellows have the NCIGT efforts and new innovative technologies made available to them through seven training units: 1) Imaging; 2) Computation; 3) Tumor Ablation; 4) Focused Ultrasound; 5) Image-guided Neurosurgery; 6) Image-guided Prostate Therapy; and 7) the Advanced Multimodality Image-Guided Operating (AMIGO) suite. The AMIGO, which is our new operating suite at the Brigham devoted to image-guided therapy, is a main area for Fellows to receive education and training and to initiate and complete cancer-focused research projects. At the outset of this two-year fellowship, trainees work with the PI, the Director of Education, and a senior faculty member/mentor to tailor an educational program that best meets the individual's needs and career goals. Fellows are exposed to both a specialized and a didactic curriculum, while concentrating on a specific area of cancer research. Additional mentors are assigned according to "Individual Training Plans." While each training program is unique, all fellows are required to engage in a research project of considerable duration and produce a "mock" or a real NIH grant application that is evaluated and reviewing internally. The PI, Advisory Committee, senior mentors, and other mentors, (depending on the research topic), take part in these reviews. The PI and Advisory Committee also provide oversight and strategic planning by 1) developing and refining a general recruitment plan and one targeted for underserved populations and women; 2) assessing curriculum design and content; 3) identifying trends in IGT research and training; and 4) making recommendations on the selection of fellows and placement in the program.

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