Wayne State University

Aim Higher

FALL 2017


Wayne State University is pleased to offer her students the opportunity to explore the medical imaging field, through the new DUAL TITLE PROGRAM IN BIOMEDICAL IMAGING, housed in and currently adopted by the Biomedical Engineering Department.

During the last ten years, a major effort has been undertaken at Wayne State University to provide a broad range of imaging related courses for all Schools on campus. Some years ago, a number of departments approved a special PhD curriculum focused on imaging by requiring 18 credits from the courses provide in the imaging specialty outline. Today, we are happy to offer the imaging specialization as a formal secondary degree focus in the dual degree program concept. This program will provide a major attraction to new graduate students and at the same time promote interdisciplinary research efforts bringing faculty across departments together.

What is the Dual Title Program in Biomedical Imaging?

Dual-title areas of study typically are interdisciplinary with courses and faculty housed in various departments. When incorporated into an existing program, they provide students with knowledge and skills that graduates of traditional programs do not have. Dual-title areas often exist in new and emerging fields, such as medical imaging, generally where the most significant advances in research occur. Adding such a dual-title area to an existing program will produces PhDs who can learn the most current knowledge and who have cutting edge research skills.

In addition, the dual-title degree program is different from a degree program with a minor. The minor can be accomplished by choosing a sufficient number of courses in the minor topic. In the case of a dual-title degree program, the student is accepted by the graduate committee, since this is a specialized imaging program. However, as the dual-title area of study does not exist as a separate (graduate) degree program, a student can apply for a dual-title degree only after being enrolled in an existing graduate program, such as Biomedical Engineering. The dual-title area of study requires a substantial amount of course work (in this case in imaging) carried out under the supervision of a faculty advisor from the dual-title area and approved by the special committee. The student should have the dual-title focus as part of (if not the major part of) his/her thesis.

Why choose to join the dual title program in Biomedical Imaging?

The degree program gains an advantage in recruiting because it can offer, in addition to its regular program, the dual-title option that likely is not available in competing programs. Students will make faculty contacts outside their home department and will gain knowledge in the intellectual content and research methodologies of the dual-title area. They will also become familiar with professional organizations and funding mechanisms outside their department. As graduates of the dual-title degree program, they will gain a competitive edge in the job market and will enhance the reputation of the degree program. Finally, the dual-title area will be strengthened by the demand for its courses and faculty from the degree program(s) with which it is associated.

E. Mark Haacke, PhD
Program Director
Department of Radiology
Vice-Chairman, Biomedical Engineering, SOM
808 West Hancock Street, Detroit, MI 48201
Phone: (313) 577-1344
Fax: (313) 577-8333

The WSU Program for Traumatic Brain Injury would like to thank the Office of Vice President for Research for supporting this program.


Students accepted into the dual title program will be required to take at least 18 credits as part of their Ph.D. program as follows: (Click HERE for the list of available courses.)

Core Courses (16-18 credits):
The student should select 16 to 18 credits (5 or 6 courses) from the course list below. Note that these courses can be counted as part of the PhD requirement (given departmental approval).

Seminar Courses (0-1 credits):
Doctoral seminar series related to imaging can be taken by the student and counted toward 1 credit for the dual title program (i.e. BME 8710: Seminars in Biomedical Imaging, etc)

Special Laboratory Rotation (2-3 credits):
The student will be expected to gain at least one semester's experience in an imaging laboratory, different from their advisor's laboratory, to broaden their imaging experience.


Students who have been admitted to any biomedical related Ph.D. program are eligible to apply for admission to the Biomedical Imaging Dual-Title program. These students should apply to the Dual-Title program at the end of their first year by submitting a written request to the adopting department to add the Biomedical Imaging dual-title program to their plan of study. The application should be accompanied by the following documents:

1) Cover letter
2) Word/pdf document containing:
     a) A statement of the student's interest in imaging.
     b) A description of the student's imaging related course work and research and/or the study program.
     c) A description on how this dual title program will facilitate the student's own research and enhance
         his future career path.
3) A copy of the student's most recent plan of work.
4) Dual Title Program Minimum Requirement Checklist. (Click HERE to download file.)

A three person (or greater) committee will review the applications and decide whether the applicant is eligible to join the program. Upon acceptance, the student has to choose at least one faculty member who has imaging experience to act as either his research advisor or a co-advisor and who will serve as one member of his/her dissertation committee. The student should incorporate imaging in a major way in their thesis research.

All the required documents should be emailed to Sean Sethi at dx3892@wayne.edu

Admission Committee Members
E. Mark Haacke, PhD, Program Director, Professor of Radiology and Biomedical Engineering

Zhifeng Kou, PhD, Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Radiology
Mohammad Mehrmohammadi, PhD, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering

I. A description of the area, courses available and participating faculty

Description of the area: The use of imaging, particularly non-destructive biological and medical imaging, increased dramatically in the 20th century, with applications from imaging the human body to investigating the sources of oil and gas in the earth. There are numerous methods used for imaging humans: magnetic resonance, ultrasound, computed tomography, optical, electro-encephalography, and magnetoencephalography to name a few. Imaging methods are developed and used both in academia and industry. Our dual-title imaging program would consist of several core elements independent of the focus. Specifically, and depending on the current program enrollment (engineering, arts and science or the medical school), students will choose to gain experience in one or more of the following areas: image/signal/data processing, mathematical/numerical analysis, the physics of imaging, and their corresponding medical applications in anatomy and physiology in healthy and diseased states.

Courses Available: Currently, many departments offer imaging related courses and are listed at the end of this document. These courses cover all aspects of imaging including basic physics, image acquisition, signal processing and image processing, which meet the students' interest regardless of their educational background, whether being engineering, computer science, biological sciences and physics. Click HERE for the list of available courses.

Faculty: Current participating faculty include Ewart Mark Haacke (Biomedical Engineering (BME and Radiology), Zhifeng Kou (BME), Mohammad Mehrmohammadi (BME), Jay Burmeister (Medical Physics), Ming Dong (Computer Science), Jing Hua (Computer Science), Otto Muzik (Pediatrics), Noa Ofen (Pediatrics), Donald Peck (Radiation Oncology), Jeffrey Stanley (Psychiatry), King Yang, PhD (BME) and Liying Zhang (BME).

II. The rationale for the creation of the area
At Wayne State University, we have the expertise in all the modalities used in medical imaging, however, the faculty are spread along many departments but brought together under the dual title program. This will provide our students with a clear idea of what is available, giving them the opportunity to explore all these modalities and help them choose what best fit their imaging interest. The broad interest in imaging from cancer research to traumatic brain injury provides an excellent opportunity for students to perform research in engineering on medically related research projects thereby increasing the interactions across campus and between Schools. A scientist who is trained in imaging and another major would have both avenues open for future employment.

III. Advantages and value to students
The objective of this program is to prepare students who are currently enrolled in any biomedical related PhD program or in an MD/PhD program to become strong imaging researchers. With an excellent imaging background, they have the potential to obtain positions in either industry or academia and tackle problems in engineering and science with new insights and new equipment.

IV. Enhanced employment opportunities for students
In this tough economy, students are always looking for multidisciplinary programs to join, which expose them to a wide range of information within their topic of interest, and increase their employment opportunities. A PhD student who spends five to seven years of his education studying one topic might have limited options post graduation, while seeking non-academic jobs. Therefore, it became a necessity to offer the students the best training to prepare them excel in any future career paths they decide to pursue.

V. Demand by students
Over the last 12 years, the imaging lab at WSU has trained more than 30 students including master's and PhD students. Post graduation, students were able to find jobs in leading companies in the USA as well as academic positions including assistant professors right out of this training. Currently, we have 6 students with imaging concentration, from Biomedical Engineering and Medical Physics departments.


For more information, please contact the dual title program coordinator, Dr. Mark Haacke at haacke@wayne.edu