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PhD in...?

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DrReo

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Those who have an interest in pursuing cardiology typically do a PhD in? and same for dermentalogy? I'm curious what a majority of the PhDs complete in?
 

dendro

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For cariology------I'd say a PhD in Molec. Bio would go good with the field.

For derm-----I've seen a lot of PhD's in immunology.
 

Maxprime

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+1 for molecular bio - most of the labs looking @ cardiac issues in my lab is the molecular department. As a student in the neuro dept, I'm obviously biased, but I think cardiac research is going to increasingly involve the interaction with the nervous system (just in case you're into neuro). Our dean is a big name in the cards field and just gave a big speech about how his career has moved into neuro more & more.

I also see a lot of groups working with the biomedical engineering depts to come up with new materials.
 

Wylde

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What about Radiology (diagnostic)
 

Neuronix

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What about Radiology (diagnostic)

Most of the MD/PhDs coming into Radiology did their PhD in some sort of cell and molecular biology. Radiology is something few students come into medical school thinking they will want to persue and strong, basic science, imaging labs are kind of rare.

If you want to do Biophysics/Bioengineering in an imaging related lab, that's up to you. Doing your PhD in imaging will provide you with an advantage I am told. Still, I hear over and over again that the PhD you have is secondary to Step I scores and med school grades, so I'm not sure it matters a huge amount.
 

Maxprime

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What about Radiology (diagnostic)

If your school has the equipment, you really just need to find someone interested in imaging to get started. It's not easy if you're the "expert" teaching yourself, but you get a lot more freedom in what you study. IMO, a lot of PIs aren't familiar with the possibilities and limitations of imaging technologies.

From an MD/PhD standpoint, I think imaging is a great road to go down. Once you get your knowledge base up to par, you can really crank out papers. Plus, odds are that no one in your department understands the more advanced techniques so it's really easy to defend. :)

A big caution: don't do imaging unless you love physics, math, and computer science. Techs can do scanning - the tough part is to understand and manipulate 3D images. My days consist of trying to figure out wtf all these flipping protons mean from a biological standpoint, writing code to do the manipulations & statistics that I need, etc. It's not a course of study where you do the MRI, get the results, and know 100% - you have to confirm your suspicions with traditional lab techniques, etc.

(Sorry for rambling) One more thing - combining your interests usually leads to interesting research. Example from this thread - cardiac MRI is a very useful tool that is giving new insight to the fluid movement in the heart.
 

Neuronix

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If your school has the equipment, you really just need to find someone interested in imaging to get started.

It's not that simple. You need someone with ample funding, which isn't as easy as it sounds in imaging. You have a lot of people playing around with scanners, and not that many who are R01 funded.

IMO, a lot of PIs aren't familiar with the possibilities and limitations of imaging technologies.

Agreed there, and a lot of these guys are R01 funded, which is a little frustrating if you want to know the basics.

Once you get your knowledge base up to par, you can really crank out papers.

I wish that were true. See my other thread. The field is crowded and much more demanding than it used to be. You don't see imaging papers hardly at all in the big name journals, and all the bread and butter imaging stuff is getting more niche and more crowded as far as I can tell. The quality of the papers in the journals I'm reading over the past even 5 years has gone up dramatically. It's much more competitive now.

Plus, odds are that no one in your department understands the more advanced techniques so it's really easy to defend. :)

Depends how many imaging guys are around...

A big caution: don't do imaging unless you love physics, math, and computer science.

That's true. Plan on about a year before you get much useful data. On the positive side, you don't have to do recipe-based cookbook science anymore!
 

Wylde

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You mentioned math/physics/comp sci, would I need a strong undergrad background in these areas to even think about imaging research?
 

Neuronix

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It depends on the lab. Some PIs are very hung up on you having background in one or more of these things. Other PIs don't really care.

It also depends on the type of imaging. For fMRI for example you really don't need to know much coming into your thesis. Forgive me for saying this anyone who does it, but really you can take a canned fMRI sequence and plug into SPM and bam there's your data. Then the info is in the paradigm which takes no special paradigm except maybe esoteric psychiatry/neurology type questions. I don't advocate this type of research to anyone who really wants to do "imaging" research, but it is quite common and pretty well funded.

For more basic engineering techniques you don't NEED background, but it's helpful. I have a strong background in computers (more progamming, but also some circuits) myself, which gave me a handle in my current lab. In my area you can't be an expert in everything, so it's ok if you're just an expert in one thing typically. Whether you have to be an expert or have some skills in one thing to join the lab is kind of up to the PI.

The more you know now the less you'll have to learn later. Also, it may impact how many courses you have to take and how long your PhD takes you because if you have to spend more time learning...
 
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