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New funds for Rice, M.D. Anderson program
Date:11/17/2009

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) today committed four years' worth of funding for an innovative biomedical training program between Rice University and the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.

The unique program -- founded with a 2006 HHMI grant -- capitalizes on the strengths of Rice's top-10-ranked bioengineering program and M.D. Anderson's internationally renowned clinical programs. The training gives incoming graduate students an early opportunity to see how laboratory research is translated into clinical practice. HHMI today pledged $700,000 to renew the program for four years, bringing its total commitment to just over $1.5 million.

"We've developed a summer 'boot camp' for Rice's incoming bioengineering students," said Rebecca Richards-Kortum, the program's principal investigator and the Stanley C. Moore Professor of Bioengineering at Rice. "They spend the summer before graduate school taking a course in anatomy and pathology, and going on clinical rounds in different specialties at M.D. Anderson. They get a firsthand look at what it's like to do translational research in a medical center, and they choose co-advisers for their own translational research thesis."

Richards-Kortum, an investigator in Rice's new BioScience Research Collaborative, said the HHMI funding renewal will allow Rice and M.D. Anderson to continue the existing program and to expand it to include students from M.D. Anderson's Department of Imaging Physics.

"We are very excited about continuing this program with our colleagues at Rice. These students are truly exceptional and this program provides them a head start on getting involved in translational research," said John Hazle, chairman of Imaging Physics at M. D. Anderson. "Expanding this program to include students from our world-class graduate program in medical physics with the Rice students combines our expertise in engineering and natural science to address translational
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Contact: David Ruth
druth@rice.edu
713-348-6327
Rice University
Source:Eurekalert

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