Multidisciplinary Training in Image-guided Therapy

Fiona Fennessy
Fiona Fennessy, MD, PhD

This program provides postdoctoral training to MD and PhD in the principles and practices of image-guided therapy for the treatment of cancer and cancer-related illnesses in partnership with the National Center for Image Guided Therapy. The Advanced Multimodality Image Guided Operating (AMIGO) suite at Brigham and Women's Hospital is the clinical testbed for research in NCIGT and is the main area where R25 Fellows receive education and training and to initiate and complete cancer-focused research projects. At the outset of this fellowship, trainees work with the PI Dr. Fennessy, the Director of Education, and a senior faculty 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. Fellows have the NCIGT efforts and new innovative technologies made available to them through training units in Imaging, Computation, Tumor Ablation, Focused Ultrasound, Image-guided Neurosurgery, Image-guided Prostate Therapy, and AMIGO.

Graduated R25 Fellows

Application to this Training Program

If you are a US citizen or permanent resident and interested in applying for this postdoctoral fellowship, please read this Job Description.

Outreach Event

Founded in 2005, the National Alliance for Medical Image Computing (NAMIC), was chartered with building a computational infrastructure to support biomedical research as part of the NIH funded National Centers for Biomedical Computing program. The work of this alliance has resulted in important progress in algorithmic research, an open source medical image computing platform 3D Slicer, built using VTK, ITK, CMake, and CDash, and the creation of a community of algorithm researchers, biomedical scientists and software engineers who are committed to open science. This community meets twice a year in an event called Project Week.

Project Week is a semi-annual event which draws 80-120 researchers. As of August 2014, it is a MICCAI endorsed event. As of January 2015, the NCI Funded R25 Fellowship Program in Image Guided Therapy is a part of this event. The participants work collaboratively on open-science solutions for problems that lie on the interfaces of the fields of computer science, mechanical engineering, biomedical engineering, and medicine. In contrast to conventional conferences and workshops the primary focus of the Project Weeks is to make progress in projects (as opposed to reporting about progress). The objective of the Project Weeks is to provide a venue for this community of medical open source software creators. Project Weeks are open to all, are publicly advertised, and are funded through fees paid by the attendees. Participants are encouraged to stay for the entire event.

Project Week activities: Everyone shows up with a project. Some people are working on the platform. Some people are developing algorithms. Some people are applying the tools to their research problems. We begin the week by introducing projects and connecting teams. We end the week by reporting progress. In addition to the ongoing working sessions, breakout sessions are organized ad-hoc on a variety of special topics. These topics include: discussions of software architecture, presentations of new features and approaches and topics such as Image-Guided Therapy.

Several funded projects use the Project Week as a place to convene and collaborate. These include NAC, NCIGT, QIICR, OCAIRO, and NCI Funded Image-Guided Fellowship Program.