Collaborative Programs at Western

The Collaborative Graduate Program in Molecular Imaging at The University of Western Ontario brings together graduate students and faculty from disciplines around campus. The collaborative experience for students is an add-on to existing well-established graduate programs in Biochemistry, Chemistry, Medical Biophysics, Anatomy & Cell Biology, and Pathology.

Students register in and meet the requirements of one of the participating discipline-specific graduate programs, as well as having the opportunity to participate in the collaborative program in Molecular Imaging. The combination of solid disciplinary training with advanced interdisciplinary training provides students with the tools necessary to better understand and conduct research in the area of Molecular Imaging.  

The result of the collaboration is a degree in your participating program (Molecular Imaging) example: Master of Science in Chemistry (Molecular Imaging).

Collaborative Program Requirements

Requirements for the Collaborative Graduate Program in Molecular Imaging will be the same for both MSc and PhD students. In addition to the thesis, comprehensive exams and additional courses that may be required by the graduate program of the home department, all MSc and PhD students will be required to participate in the following course and activities:

a) MBP 9518A: Molecular Imaging, a one-term course to be taken in the first year of the program.  There are three components to this course:

  • Lectures on molecular and cell biology (11), development of chemical probes (4) and micro-imaging modalities to meet the challenges of small animal imaging (5). Total: 20 lectures@1.5h each.
  • Active participation in the discussion of relevant published articles
  • Presentation (20 min) of a recent article that addresses all three facets of molecular imaging, and submission of a 5-page mini-review on the article and related literature

b) Presentation of research, either orally or as a poster, at the annual London Imaging Discovery Symposium. This annual workshop began two years ago as an extension of the existing Radiology Residents Research Day. With the support of Dr. Rethy Chhem, Chair of the Department of Diagnostic Radiology and Medical Imaging, an invitation to participate in this research day was extended to the Imaging scientists in London. This workshop therefore became the first of its kind to provide a collaborative forum in which both graduate students in Imaging and medical residents in Radiology and Medical Imaging could exchange their ideas for discovery and innovation in Imaging. This unique forum that brings together clinical imaging and basic science will provide our graduate students with a translational perspective to their work and enhance their educational experience in accordance with the mandate of the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry.

c) Participation in the monthly journal club meetings of the Program. Once every month, all graduate students will meet to discuss recent papers in the field of molecular imaging. One of the strengths of our Imaging program is that most faculty members hold cross-appointments to the clinical departments of Medicine or Diagnostic Radiology and Medical Imaging. We will reach out to the resident programs in these clinical departments and include them in our journal club meetings. In this way, residents can be exposed to the most recent, state-of-the-art imaging research that is ongoing both in London and elsewhere. In the same vein, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows will be able to see how their research can be translated to clinical applications. We will use this opportunity to develop closer collaborations between the clinical and basic science departments with active programs in Imaging.

d) Attendance at and participation in the Molecular Imaging Seminar Series. Four times per year, an invited speaker in the field of molecular imaging will give a talk that all students will attend. The speaker will be from outside The University of Western Ontario, and will have the opportunity to meet and interact with the students. These talks will be integrated with the journal club meetings, such that the invited speaker and students would meet and discuss their work, to be followed by the invited speaker’s presentation to the larger research community. Two such seminar/journal club meetings have already been held, one in November 2007 with Dr. Youssef Wadghiri, Rockefeller University, and the other in January 2008 with Dr. Julie Sutcliffe, UCSD. 

Western provides the best student experience among Canada's leading research-intensive universities.