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Essential components of a successful doctoral program in nanomedicine

Authors van de Ven A, Shann M, Sridhar S

Received 10 June 2014

Accepted for publication 27 October 2014

Published 19 December 2014 Volume 2015:10(1) Pages 23—30

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S69144

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Dr Thomas J. Webster


Anne L van de Ven,1,2 Mary H Shann,3 Srinivas Sridhar1,2

1Nanomedicine Science and Technology Center, 2Department of Physics, Northeastern University, Boston, MA, USA; 3School of Education, Boston University, Boston, MA, USA


Abstract: The Nanomedicine program at Northeastern University provides a unique interdisciplinary graduate education that combines experiential research, didactic learning, networking, and outreach. Students are taught how to apply nanoscience and nanotechnology to problems in medicine, translate basic research to the development of marketable products, negotiate ethical and social issues related to nanomedicine, and develop a strong sense of community involvement within a global perspective. Since 2006, the program has recruited 50 doctoral students from ten traditional science, technology, and engineering disciplines to participate in the 2-year specialization program. Each trainee received mentoring from two or more individuals, including faculty members outside the student’s home department and faculty members at other academic institutions, and/or clinicians. Both students and faculty members reported a significant increase in interdisciplinary scholarly activities, including publications, presentations, and funded research proposals, as a direct result of the program. Nearly 90% of students graduating with a specialization in nanomedicine have continued on to careers in the health care sector. Currently, 43% of graduates are performing research or developing products that directly involve nanomedicine. This article identifies some key elements of the Nanomedicine program, describes how they were implemented, and reports on the metrics of success.

Keywords: nanomedicine, IGERT, nanotechnology, nanoscience, education, graduate training

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