Biomedical Imaging (BIO) is the newest graduate program at the NYU School of Medicine, training doctoral candidates in the area of in vivo imaging, with an emphasis on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). MRI has revolutionized the way in which clinical medicine and biomedical research are performed, enabling noninvasive assessment of anatomical, functional and even molecular changes associated with the broadest spectrum of human diseases. By scaling the instrumentation and acquisition methods, MRI also provides an almost seamless approach for translational studies linking critical animal models to human patients, allowing the same methods to be employed from mouse to man. The program is designed for a select group of students with strong backgrounds in physics, chemistry and/or engineering, and a desire to apply their skills in the radiological and biomedical sciences. An individually tailored program of study is designed for each student, specific to his or her undergraduate background and research interests. Throughout the program, students participate actively in research seminars and a journal club in which graduate students present their own research as well as that from the current literature and laboratory group meetings. Faculty members in BIO are leaders in many areas of MR research. Currently, each faculty member holds an appointment in both Radiology and a basic science department most closely related to their research area. Thesis research can be done in a number of areas of advanced imaging including MRI, magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS), MR engineering and technology, small animal imaging and in vivo molecular and cellular imaging.
The curriculum starts with coursework to provide a strong background in the fundamentals and more advanced MRI methods, as well as a firm foundation in modern biomedical sciences through a set of required and elective courses tailored to strengthen the student’s background in areas most relevant to their chosen research area. Most of the coursework is completed during the first academic year, during which time the students also gain their initial research experience through a series of lab “rotations”. The lab rotations will be primarily with faculty members in BIO, but students are also encouraged to rotate in other Sackler labs to broaden their experience. First year lab rotations at the Washington Square campus can be arranged, with prior permission from the Sackler Institute and the Program Directors. After completing the first year courses and lab rotations, students select a faculty supervisor for thesis research beginning in the second academic year. At the end of the second year, the student writes a proposal on their thesis topic, and defends their proposal in an oral exam. After passing the qualification oral, the student proceeds to work on their thesis research, guided by committees composed of faculty in the BIO program, and other faculty with expertise in the student’s research area. After completion of all required coursework and a successful thesis defense, students will be awarded a doctoral degree by the Graduate School of Arts & Science of New York University.