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PUBLIC RELEASE DATE:
28-Aug-2012

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Contact: Ellen Acconcia
eacconcia@sirweb.org
703-460-5582
Society of Interventional Radiology

Society of Interventional Radiology Foundation: Medical students will make a difference

Funding provides opportunity to engage in IR research in the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Medical Fellows Research Program

FAIRFAX, Va.--The Society of Interventional Radiology (SIR) Foundation announced the second year of collaboration with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's (HHMI) prestigious Medical Research Fellows Program. Created with an eye toward the future of the specialty, SIR Foundation will provide funding for one medical student conducting preclinical research in interventional radiology during 2013. The online application is available at http://www.hhmi.org/grants/individuals/medical-fellows/.

"The SIR Foundation places great emphasis on this kind of high-quality, focused research that nurtures future physician-scientists and is so beneficial to the specialty," said John A. Kaufman, M.D., FSIR, SIR Foundation chair. "By funding this initiative, SIR Foundation provides an opportunity for students who seek to make a difference in medicine and reinforces the importance of following in the footsteps of our specialty's founders," added Kaufman, an interventional radiologist and professor of radiology, medicine and surgery at Oregon Health and Sciences University in Portland and chief of vascular and interventional radiology and director of the Dotter Interventional Institute, Portland, Ore.

HHMI funds up to 66 applicants, and SIR Foundation's commitment allows for the funding of one high-achieving, medical student engaged in full-time research at the interface of the disciplines of science, medicine and engineering. HHMI also has collaborations with other organizations to fund additional students.

"Interventional radiologists consistently design and improve on innovative treatments that lead to improved patient care and quality of life," said SIR President Marshall Hicks, M.D., FSIR, head of the division of diagnostic imaging at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. "This highly competitive and prestigious award will help cultivate future interventional radiology leaders and reinforce our commitment to evidence-based medicine," noted Hicks, who represents the national society of nearly 5,000 doctors, scientists and allied health professionals dedicated to improving health care through minimally invasive treatments.

"SIR Foundation, which is already playing a key role in the development of new knowledge about the specialty, supports promising young scientists with this introduction to research and academic opportunities," said Filip Banovac, M.D., the SIR Foundation research policy division chair. "SIR Foundation's commitment will encourage budding researchers by providing mentors and hands-on experience in the lab where students will develop transferable, real-world research skills," added Banovac, an interventional radiologist with Georgetown University Hospitals in Washington, D.C.

The HHMI Medical Research Fellows Program enables medical, dental and veterinary students from schools in the United States to spend a year conducting basic, translational or applied biomedical research full time at any school or nonprofit research institution in the United States--except at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md.

Research may be conducted abroad if the fellow's mentor is affiliated with a U.S. institution. Selected fellows receive a stipend and fellow's and research allowances.

The HHMI fellowship application process requires that applicants have selected a solid biomedical research project (either new or ongoing) and established a relationship with a mentor who has strong grant support and a solid training and publications track record. The application deadline is Jan. 11, 2013. A multilevel evaluation and review process will determine the program's final awardees.

Acceptance letters are expected to be sent out in March 2013; the year-long fellowship will begin in the summer of 2013. Students may apply during any year of medical school; however, applicants in the last year of medical school must defer graduation until completion of the fellowship.

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For more information on eligibility and to review the application requirements and procedures, visit www.hhmi.org/medfellowships or e-mail medfellows@hhmi.org. SIR has identified a number of investigators in interventional radiology who have existing research efforts and could serve as mentors to medical students. To find mentors, visit www.SIRFoundation.org/HHMImentors. To learn more about the SIR Foundation's funding support, contact Carolyn Strain, SIR Foundation executive director, by phone at (703) 460-5567 or by email at cstrain@SIRweb.org.

About the Society of Interventional Radiology Foundation

SIR Foundation is a scientific foundation dedicated to fostering research and education in interventional radiology for the purposes of advancing scientific knowledge, increasing the number of skilled investigators in interventional radiology and developing innovative therapies that lead to improved patient care and quality of life. Visit www.SIRFoundation.org.

About the Society of Interventional Radiology

Interventional radiologists are physicians who specialize in minimally invasive, targeted treatments. They offer the most in-depth knowledge of the least invasive treatments available coupled with diagnostic and clinical experience across all specialties. They use X-ray, MRI and other imaging to advance a catheter in the body, such as in an artery, to treat at the source of the disease internally. As the inventors of angioplasty and the catheter-delivered stent, which were first used in the legs to treat peripheral arterial disease, interventional radiologists pioneered minimally invasive modern medicine. Today, interventional oncology is a growing specialty area of interventional radiology. Interventional radiologists can deliver treatments for cancer directly to the tumor without significant side effects or damage to nearby normal tissue.

Many conditions that once required surgery can be treated less invasively by interventional radiologists. Interventional radiology treatments offer less risk, less pain and less recovery time compared to open surgery. Visit www.SIRweb.org.



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