|The goal of the Training
Program in Neuroimaging is to train basic researchers and physician/
scientists in the rigorous scientific application of neuroimaging,
to provide leadership to academic programs and advance the understanding
of brain structure/function/behavior relationships. Trainees receive
in-depth laboratory experience in neuroimaging strategy, physics,
instrumentation and application. All students also participate in
course work and attend seminars concerning functional neuroanatomy,
digital imaging and the theory and practice of neuroimaging. They
are trained in the development of testable hypotheses and the creation
of grant applications.
pre-doctoral candidates write a thesis and produce a NRSA (or equivalent)
post-doctoral fellows develop a CIDA or FIRST award proposal).
This training program is focused on the basic science of neuroimaging
and use of neuroimaging in the pursuit of basic neurobiological
results, yet it still provides a broad based exposure to many
of the modern experimental and applied approaches to the study
of behavior and brain structure and function. While the focus
of this training program is in neuroimaging, the breadth of its
domain covers brain anatomy and brain physiology, in a range of
spatial (m - cm) and temporal resolutions, from events that occur
on a millisecond level to the process of aging and evolution.
The aim of this
program include efforts to:
- provide trainees with those skills necessary to conduct neuroimaging
research studies of brain structure and function in experimental
animals and humans. Trainees are provided with hands-on laboratory
experience in combination with seminars and course work devoted
to the science of neuroimaging, hypothesis formulation and testing
and ethical issues of scientific conduct;
- provide breadth of understanding, incorporating the full
spectrum of currently used neuroimaging techniques, including
wet bench imaging techniques such as optical intrinsic signal
imaging to tomographic methods like structural and functional
MR, MR angiography and positron emission tomography;
- provide trainees with the knowledge of research design, statistics
and interpretation of the relative types of imaging information
derived using the different imaging protocols;
- prepare trainees to establish their own laboratories and
career paths in neuroimaging and thus, a portion of the training
experience includes preparation to enable them to become independent
and productive scientists. Trainees will leave this program
having conducted their own research projects, written manuscripts,
participated in the development of research proposals and prepared
research support documentation for animal research approval,
human subject committee (IRB) and controlled substances (FDA,
IND, etc.). They will give their own seminars and present their
results at scientific meetings.
The Training Program
in Neuroimaging prepares students in all aspects of neuroimaging
following their core curriculum training from the Biomedical Physics
Program, the Neuroscience Program, the MSTP Program, or following
residency training in a psychiatry, neurology, neurosurgery, radiology
or related discipline (click to view graphic overview). The training
from this program includes rotations through the core courses
from respective programs, seminars and an intensive laboratory
rotation through clinical and basic science facilities devoted
to one of many aspects of neuroimaging. All trainees take the
required neuroimaging courses, as well as, a self paced reading
The required courses are
(1) Digital Techniques in Radiological Sciences, which covers
the basic principles of the digital technology used in radiological
sciences and discusses the relationship between computers and
diagnostic equipment with regard to data acquisition, equipment
interfacing and data analysis;
(2) Neuroanatomy: Structure of the Nervous System, which teaches
the anatomy of central and peripheral nervous system at the cellular
histological and regional systems level; and
(3) Neuroimaging: Theory and Practice, which covers various imaging
techniques; data collection, analysis and reconstruction, assessment
of what is measured, and applications of the various methodologies
to the study of sensory, motor and integrated responses in animal
Trainees participate in a well-established productive research
program of sufficient breadth to prepare them as competitive investigators.
The first year is primarily devoted to course work and 10 week (10 hr/week) laboratory rotations.
Post doctoral trainees take a minimum of 3 courses, including
the required neuroimaging course. Pre doctoral students must satisfy
the requirements of their respective graduate training program,
in addition. The second and third years are devoted to focused research in an individual laboratory. During
these years, trainees participate in "affinity groups"
of individuals from different laboratories that hold common interests.
Collaborative arrangements at other institutions, including the
commercial sector, provide visiting opportunities for trainees.
These short training sessions provide trainees with opportunities
to present their research findings and gain exposure to other
Arthur W. Toga, Ph.D
John C. Mazziotta, MD, Ph.D.
Jeffry R. Alger, Ph.D.
Robert Asarnow, Ph.D.
Susan Y. Bookheimer, Ph.D.
Mark S. Cohen, Ph.D.
A selection committee,
comprised of co-directors and all core faculty, review applicants
to the training program at two separate meetings. Applications
are reviewed separately for predoctoral and postdoctoral candidates.
Applicants are extensively evaluated based upon standardized tests
(GRE, MCAT, etc.), undergraduate and graduate scholastic achievement,
letters of recommendation, past research experience, personal
statement and personal interview by core faculty. All applicants
are interviewed prior to acceptance into the program. Interviewees
are selected by ranking their dossiers on the above listed criteria.
Predoctoral candidatesfirst have to be admitted into the degree granting program
(Biomedical Physics, Neuroscience, medical school- MSTP). Their
dossier is evaluated on both a quantitative metric as well as
the interview. Scholastic performance in any postgraduate course
work is weighted more heavily than undergraduate work. An applicants
graduate standing should be academically superior and they should
have uniformly excellent to outstanding recommendations. Appropriate
laboratory experience and commitment to neuroimaging must be in
Equivalent criteria is used for postdoctoral fellows with the
additional requirement that the applicant demonstrate productivity
in the form of quality publications, presentations and other evidence
of professional achievement. Postdoctoral MD trainees must have
evidence of commitment and demonstrate sufficient interest in
science and academic medicine. Residency training in Neuroimaging,
Psychiatry, Radiology and related subspecialties is a particular
Please contact Dr. Arthur
W. Toga at the Laboratory of Neuro Imaging.
Include a CV, letter of intent, copy of transcripts, standardized
test scores, and letters of recommendation.
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