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Goal: Biomolecular Imaging Program

leading to a Ph.D. in Medical Biophysics


  1. Revision of the Medical Biophysics Curriculum

  2. Introduction of a Biomolecular Imaging Minor

  3. Course change requests for G613, G614 and F592 to provide appropriate core courses for the new program.

Call Hiedi Linder (8-3839) with any questions

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Table of Contents


Summary of Proposal 7

Major Program 9

1. Proposed Program and Stated Objectives 10

2. Admission Requirements, Anticipated Applicants, and Student Financial Support 13

3. Proposed Curriculum 14

4. Form of Recognition 18

5. Program Faculty and Administrators 19

6. Needed Learning Resources 22

1. Institutional Factors 26

2. Student Demand 26

3. Transferability 27

4. Access to graduate and professional programs 27

5. Demand and employment factors 27

6. Regional, state and national factors 27

1. Program Implementation 28

2. Program Evaluation 28

3. Trainee Evaluation 28

Appendices: Ph.D. in Medical Biophysics 30

Appendix A – Curriculum Vitae 32

Appendix B – Course Changes 108

Appendix C – Chairman Recommendations 109



Indiana University


School of Medicine



Administered by the Dept. of Cellular and Integrative Physiology


Degree in Medical Biophysics

Program focus in Biomolecular Imaging


Ph.D. or Minor


Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis





Summary of Proposal





Proposed Degree

Ph.D., Medical Biophysics


Projected date of implementation



List the major objectives of the proposed program, and describe its chief features.

The conceptual objective of the proposed program is to recognize that imaging plays a central role in modern biomedical and biophysical research. It is the discipline providing three-dimensional structures of individual proteins; as well as probing the heterogeneity of tissue, cellular and molecular function in living organs or whole organisms. The overall academic objective of the program is to generate scientists trained in the theory and application of imaging to the biomedical sciences. Our goal is to produce graduates that are capable of leading their research areas through the design and implementation of new approaches to probe biological functions, and solve biomedical questions.

The immediate objective of this application is to update the inter-departmental Medical Biophysics program to focus on Imaging, one of the most active areas of biophysical research. In overview, the revised curriculum includes a set of pre-existing courses at the Medical Center that teach the fundamentals of cell and molecular biology, and a group of three newly revised courses that build on the fundamentals of imaging science (Introduction to Introduction to Biomolecular Imaging: F592) to develop more specialized knowledge in Advanced Cellular Imaging (G613) and Advanced Molecular Imaging (G614). Please note that this application is bundled with the proposed syllabi for both G613 and G614 and seeks approval for these course changes as part of the curricular changes. Approval for F592 was requested earlier in anticipation of offering this course in Fall 2004.


Why is this revision of the degree program needed? (Rationale)

This program updates the existing Medical Biophysics Ph.D. program. The existing Ph.D. program in Medical Biophysics has attracted a unique pool of students from physical science backgrounds (e.g. physics and chemistry), but has suffered from lack of focus, few students applications, and thin faculty support. Several recent attempts to modestly revamp the program have failed to yield significant improvement. The program has needed a deep realignment to match emerging areas of biophysical research that closely reflect faculty research areas, and to broaden appeal of the program to undergraduates. This revision also serves to provide an academic focus for the cadre of faculty on the IUPUI campus who use advanced imaging methodologies as a central pillar of their research focus. We believe the new Biomolecular Imaging program meets these goals.


Describe the student population to be served.

A limitation of the existing Medical Biophysics program is that it has strong appeal only to the relatively few students in the physical sciences that are also attracted to biological sciences. One of the goals in our revised program is to have a curriculum that is attractive not only to these students, but also to the abundant undergraduates majoring in Cell Biology. These students are universally exposed to the power of imaging approaches (it is central to the field of Cell Biology). We will target the spark of interest and excitement related to that familiarity in our advertisements and recruitment.


How does this program complement the campus or departmental mission?

The IUPUI campus has developed a unique constellation of resources in the imaging sciences under the auspices of INGEN, and this new program is integrated with the faculty who are part of the INGEN imaging initiatives. At the level of faculty, a goal of this interdepartmental program is to bring together a diverse group of scientists in both the Basic and Engineering Sciences. Despite a broad interest in Imaging at IU and Purdue, there has been no structure to allowing or encouraging interested faculty to unite and pursue a common cause. We hope this program will serve this purpose in faculty development. The program has no significant overlap with existing programs on campus. The new program is perceived as complementing and enhancing Biomedical Engineering strengths on campus. Both Ed Berbari and George Wodoka (IUPUI and Purdue leaders of Biomedical Engineering) have expressed interest in participating in the program. In this first iteration of the revised program, we have developed the faculty resources only on the IUPUI campus. We plan to expand at a later point to include participation from the West Lafayette campus, but the logistics of needing frequent meetings to develop the program have encouraged a more local effort at first.


Describe any relationship to existing degree programs within the IU system.

As listed above, the new program provides a change in program emphasis for the pre-existing Medical Biophysics degree program. Student entering the new Biomolecular Imaging program will continue to receive the Ph.D. in Medical Biophysics. This program neither duplicates nor conflicts with any other degree program within the IU system.


List and indicate the sources (including reallocation) of any new resources (personnel, financial, learning, etc.) required to implement the proposed program.

The existing budget from the Graduate Office for the Medical Biophysics program will be used to support students and administer the program over the long-term.

Several new resources will be available to implement the program. As the department administering the program, the Department of Cellular and Integrative Physiology has agreed to provide 30% secretarial time to support the realignment and implementation of the program. To initiate the program, the Dean of Research (Dr. Pescovitz) has supported the use of INGEN funds to advertise the program. The Dean of Graduate Studies (Dr. Bosron) has submitted a block grant that has been funded and will provide stipends to support up to 3 first year students starting in 2003 in the new program.


Describe any innovative features of the program (e.g., involvement with local or regional agencies, offices, etc.; cooperative efforts with other institutions; opportunities for students, etc.)

Biomedical imaging sciences have recently been recognized as part of the national research mission. The crucial role of this scientific domain has now been formally recognized by the creation of a new NIH institute, the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Biomedical Engineering (NIBIB). The mandate of this new institute is to provide state of the art training and research opportunities for biomedical research in the imaging and Biomedical Engineering sciences.

There are very few degree programs (less than a dozen) in the country directly related to biomedical imaging sciences. The IUPUI campus and the proposed program have a marked advantage because of the availability of an unusually broad array of imaging expertise. This will translate to expansive and unusual opportunities for students that should ultimately provide great job and research opportunities as the NIBIB continues to support the field.

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