“Translational research... fosters the multidirectional integration of basic research, patient-oriented, and population-based research, with the long-term aim of improving the health care of the public.”
Defining Translational Research: Implications for Training, Academic Medicine, March 2010, 85(3); 472
CURT, established as a collaborative research forum for physicians, engineers, computational scientists, and industry, embodies these elements of the National Institutes of Health working definition of translational research. Our research improves diagnosis through invention and exploration of novel engineering and analytics. As part of our patient–oriented research, we conduct clinical studies and clinical trials with industry and academic partners to validate and improve medical ultrasound technology.
Every trainee receives training in the core components of clinical and translational research, which include study design, data collection and management, statistical analysis, ethics, research integrity, protection of subjects, and regulatory compliance. In addition, the diverse background and interests of translational research trainees mandates a customized training curriculum. To facilitate this, every trainee prepares a customized self-study program, ensuring the acquisition of working knowledge of complementary disciplines and allowing trainees to experience the dynamics of collaborative research.
The CURT Translational Research Training Program comprises an internal lecture series, exposure to the numerous educational opportunities available at Harvard and the Massachusetts General Hospital, and a mentored program of self-study and research. This is a modular design allowing trainees to join the program at any time.
The CURT Foundations of Translational Imaging Research lecture series, combines an introduction to basic research skills, with lectures in biostatistics, clinical epidemiology and study design, with an overview of current CURT research areas of study. Later sessions are devoted to updates in the latest technology development in various imaging modalities. The final lectures focus on the emerging technologies, such as machine learning. The Foundations lecture series, held every 2 weeks, introduces the range of disciplines and skills required to conduct translational imaging research.
Augmenting the lecture series are numerous educational and professional development opportunities within MGH and the greater Harvard community. These free short courses are available to fellows, including further training in statistics, translational research, and medical device development.
Mentored self-study and research: When joining, each fellow is asked to develop an individualized study plan incorporating these courses and workshops and an independent reading list. The fellowship director reviews these plans and assists the fellow with customization.
Experiential learning includes actively engaging in patient-oriented studies. Upon completion of key course work and the independent study plan, the trainee begins to participate with the study team to draft study design, to conduct the study, and make modifications as needed. The trainee will assist with hypothesis development, data analysis plans, clinical trial planning, regulatory documentation IRB filings, and will have the opportunity to participate in the authorship of research papers, where the trainee has contributed and is able to do so. These mentored research activities are critical part of developing the trainee’s abilities to succeed in collaborative research environments.
In addition, translational research trainees can attend numerous daily clinical imaging conferences and lecture series and can arrange to observe clinical care at the MGH.
We are fortunate to have numerous educational resources in addition to the lab’s Foundations Lecture Series and mentored self-study and research program. Trainees are encouraged to enroll in courses and workshops provided at MGH and in the larger Harvard community.
Clinical Research Program at MGH. Link: http://www.massgeneral.org/research/
This MGH Clinical Research Program provides comprehensive mini courses/workshops addressing the full range of ethics, research integrity, assistance in writing human subjects protocols and informed consent as well as assistance with research compliance issues. There are also short courses in research methodology, biostatistics, eIRB, and scientific writing.
Harvard Catalyst. Link: http://catalyst.harvard.edu/education.html
The Harvard Catalyst mission is to enhance and integrate the clinical and translational research efforts across the Harvard community. Educating and training is a key component of this important cross-institutional program. The Harvard Catalyst offers excellent courses and workshops, and an extensive video library where previous Catalyst courses are maintained. Another excellent resource is the Advanced Curriculum which allows trainees to access courses conducted at other Harvard affiliated hospitals and Harvard School of Public Health courses.
MGH Office for Research Career Development (ORCD). Link: http://facultydevelopment.massgeneral.org/orcd/
ORCD assists the research community with career development skills workshops on public speaking, scientific presentations, creating posters, and authorships guidelines.
The trainees are welcome to apply for a one or two year training program. The diagram illustrates the model of a 'one year' program; however, a longer commitment allows for a trainee to obtain a stronger background in the core disciplines and to participate in additional research studies with the potential of more publications and/or presentations.
- Applicants must have a medical degree or doctoral degree in engineering, applied mathematics, computational sciences, or other related discipline with an interest in ultrasound or medical imaging.
- It is desirable for the person to have prior research experience.
- Applicants must be able to read, speak and learn in English.
- Collaborative research is a dynamic, collective effort. It is important that an applicant is able to communicate successfully and will be an enthusiastic member of the team.
Step 2: After all the materials have been received and reviewed, applicants will have an interview, online or in person, before being accepted to the program.
Step 3: Applicants will be notified of the decision by email.
The CURT Translational Imaging Research Training Program is at capacity until spring of 2021. While applications for the program may be submitted at any time, they will not be reviewed until July of 2020 for training program starting in early 2021. Please feel free to submit inquiries about the program to CURT@mgh.harvard.edu.
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