This first year seminar surveys the methods of modern medical imaging for clinical and scientific purposes, highlighting basic concepts in chemistry, physics, and biochemistry and especially the biophysical foundations upon which all current tools for biomedical imaging rest. Topics include the underlying science of radiography, computed tomography (X-rays of a selected plane of the body), diagnostic ultrasound, and nuclear medicine. We study magnetic resonance imaging in the context of its historical development and through “reverse engineering.” i.e., understanding how the images are created. This seminar also touches on the societal implications of imaging such as radiation risks, health care costs, and future directions in medical research.
Two 7-10 page papers written in the class, one at mid-term and one as final exam. First would be technical in nature and require students to explain either the historical or technical development of one aspect of imaging. Second would require students to examine the social, ethical, or financial implications of different imaging methods. Students would also give a short class presentation on the topic chosen for this social/ ethical paper. Eleven 10-minute quizzes at the start of the second class each week) covering material in the preceding lectures/demonstrations. They would be alternate between technical (given these initial conditions, calculate the image resolution and field-of-view) and essay type questions (discuss the importance of ... in relation to ultrasound development). Grade would be based on the highest 10 scores.
This course is designed for first-year students interested in natural science, medicine, and the development of imaging technologies.
3 hours weekly seminar format including short lectures, discussions, and lab demonstrations.