Neuroimaging Sciences Training Program at Yale (NISTP), funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), Training a New Generation of Interdisciplinary Scientists
The Neuroimaging Sciences Training Program (NISTP) trains scientists in technological aspects of brain and nerve imaging data acquisition and analysis, clinical and biological fundamentals in areas of interest to each trainee as related to substance abuse and dependence, development of research proposals, and generation of documentation to navigate today’s administrative requirements for imaging research.
Cross-disciplinary training to create a new generation of imaging scientists - The rapid advance in imaging technology over the last decade provides unparalleled opportunities to research the biological basis of brain function and disease. Examples of recent advances in neuroimaging technology include PET neuroreceptor imaging, magnetic resonance spectroscopic studies of neurotransmitter kinetics and fMRI mapping of brain function. Even more recently molecular imaging has been introduced to the armamentarium of researchers using imaging technology. Together, neuroimaging tools offer great promise for the expanded clinical utility of imaging in the diagnosis, treatment, and enhancement of knowledge of the pathophysiology of substance abuse disorders.
The program is designed to last 2-3 years, and the purposes of the 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 fellows in both imaging applications and methodology. All fellows will be expected to complete at least one research project with an applications and one with a methodology mentor during their training period.
Each fellow will work on two projects: one focused on methodology and one focused on an application. There will be two mentors, one for each of the projects, and it is the fellow's choice which will be the primary mentor and associated area of work.
To ensure a solid background in appropriate areas, there is a recommended core curriculum, with courses defined according to the choice of methodological or applications emphasis. For the methodological track those include methodology of PET, MRI, and MRS, including image processing; other courses are available, including statistics for clinical studies and pharmacokinetic modeling (which is one of the required courses for the applications track).
Second Year Grant Proposal - n the second year of the program, trainees write a grant proposal to be critiqued by the steering committee as if being reviewed by NIH. The purpose of this step is two-fold. First, there is the opportunity to gain experience in competitive grant writing with the advantage of a thorough critique by a home crowd. Second, the resulting product will ideally be a grant proposal that can be submitted for competitive funding and help the trainee obtain a faculty position at Yale or elsewhere for the next career stage.
Go to http://mrrc.yale.edu/education/grants/ to download the one-page application sheet and instructions. To apply, gather a summary of your research goals (up to one page), your CV, and two letters of reference, and e-mail those to firstname.lastname@example.org
*See the attached brochure for a list of potential mentors and their areas of expertise.
**Applicants from minority backgrounds are highly encouraged to apply. In addition to this training program, Yale has various programs to promote diversity in the sciences that could be of interest to prospective applicants.