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NIBIB and HHMI announce graduate biomedical training awards

Three projects aimed at enhancing interdisciplinary training for graduate students have won awards from the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB), part of the National Institutes of Health, and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI).The awards are part of a joint Interfaces Initiative partnership program that recognizes the importance of interdisciplinary research for the advancement of biomedical science.

These Training Innovation Program supplements (TIPs) are part of the HHMI-NIBIB Interfaces Initiative partnership program. The supplements respond to the growing need to share successful training strategies among biomedical research institutions developing graduate-level research training programs in emerging fields at the intersection of the life and physical sciences. The resources developed through the grants will be disseminated to the broader research community.

The Interfaces Initiative Program was founded in 2005, providing grants to train biomedical investigators to conduct research across disciplines. In the first phase, HHMI provided 10 $1 million awards. In 2008, NIBIB continued support with 10 more grants worth $16 million over five years.

The following TIPs awardees were selected for their innovative concepts to capitalize on successful aspects of their existing programs and to make them useful to the greater scientific training community:

1. Dr. El Fakhri, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston (plus Harvard Medical School, Boston Children's Hospital, Brigham & Women's Hospital, Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology)
Project title: Interactive Web-based Training in Biomedical Imaging Physics
Project overview: Development of free, web-based video lectures that provide the basics on bioimaging and serve as an online reference manual describing recent developments in the field.

2. Arthur Lander, University of California, Irvine (UCI)
Project title: Teaching Systems BiologyA regional Workshop
Project overview: Oral presentations, discussions, and small group sessions to articulate and disseminate strategies on effective Systems Biology education, including white papers, videos, and teaching materials that will be available free from the National Centers for Systems Biology at UCI.

3. Andrew McCulloch, University of California, San Diego
Project title: Disseminating Hands-on Training Experiences in Multi-Scale Biology
Project overview: Development of Web-based training materials for seven labs that will incorporate the web tools and multimedia resources and make them available via YouTube.

"NIBIB continues to work in close partnership with HHMI to further the training of engineers, and biological, computational, and physical scientists," said Dr. William Heetderks, NIBIB associate director. "These awardees' innovative efforts will impact the broader interdisciplinary training community."

In addition to the proposed distribution plans for each of the above projects, HHMI and NIBIB will collaborate with each institution as part of a larger outreach effort to share the resources. It is also anticipated that other Interfaces Initiative programs will create additional material that will become part of the broader HHMI-NIBIB dissemination strategy.

Contact: Marilyn Daly
NIH/National Institute of Biomedical Imaging & Bioengineering

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