Training Requirements

The overall goal of the training program is to provide broad exposure to relevant topics in neurotechnology while highlighting processes, opportunities, and obstacles relevant to translating technology from lab to bedside through first hand experiences. Requirements are detailed below:

TNT Fellow Requirements

1. TNT Seminar Series (2 year curriculum, 80 sessions) – Seminars will be hosted on Wednesdays at 11am

  • TNT Faculty Seminars (17 total) - Research lectures focusing on: disease-relevance, translational-potential, funding mechanisms, and the multidisciplinary collaborations underlying their work
  • Research Seminars (16 total) – Intra- and extra-mural speakers, including industry guests, lectures will focus on various neurotechnology fields with the goal of exposing trainees to different career environments
  • Journal Clubs (10 total) - Review of recently published papers relevant to neurotechnology
  • Clinical Integration Seminars (3 total) – Trainees will discuss their experience from clinical immersion requirement (see below)
  • Entrepreneurship Lectures (10 total) - led by George Abe from Anderson School of Management, with topics including:
    1. Perspectives on Entrepreneurship
    2. Risk Management
    3. Legal Formation and Setup
    4. Fundraising
    5. Term Sheet, Series A, and Convertible Notes
    6. Intellectual Property Management
    7. Product Definition; Sample Business Plan
    8. Marketing and Competition
    9. Sales and Business Development
    10. Elevator Pitch and Financials Regulatory Landscape in Translational Sciences
  • Regulatory Landscape in Translational Sciences Lectures (4 total) - led by Dr. Nader Pouratian, to expose trainees to regulatory landscape for translational science (IRB, FDA, CMS)
  • Experimental Design and Statistical Methodology Seminars (10 total), led by Dr Xiaoyan Wang, with topics including
    1. The role of the statistician in translational research
    2. Hypothesis fonting vs. hypothesis generating trials: Design and Statistical Considerations
    3. Experimental design: Defining objectives, controls, and outcomes
    4. Experimental design: Methods of randomization and blinding
    5. Sample size determination
    6. Pre- planned vs. post-hoc analyses: Statistical implication s
    7. Statistical approaches to inclusion/exclusion of data analysis
    8. Accounting for incomplete datasets
    9. fonting multiple hypotheses, adjusting for multiplicities
    10. Writing synopsis and protocol for clinical trial Professional Skills
  • Professional Skills Seminars (6 total) – led by Dr Nanthia Suthana, to provide training in interviewing, networking, and oral/written presentation skills
  • Semi-Annual Data Blitz and Program Wide Meeting (4 total) – with a goal of discussing and evaluation statistical and experimental approaches

2. Annual CENT Symposium

  • Presentations will highlight translational neurotechnology work being conducted at, or in collaboration with, investigators at UCLA
  • Internal and external speakers
  • Usually occurs in the Spring quarter

3. Triple Mentorship – (1) scientific/engineering (2) clinician (3) statistical

  • Each trainee must be advised by a scientific/engineering advisor, a clinician-scientist advisor, and a statistical advisor
  • Trainee: attend lab meetings and participate in laboratory events of both mentors
  • Statistical Mentorship: Provided by Dr Xiaoyan Wang
  • Science/engineering/clinical mentors: open door policy to meet with trainee at least 1/week, will serve on a minimum 4-member Training Advisory Committee (TAC)
    • TAC: will be formed through consultation between trainees’ three mentors and the IAB members to ensure trainees will benefit from expertise in full translational process
      • Will meet with trainees at least once per year as a committee
      • For pre-doctoral trainees: TAC will serve as Ph.D. dissertation committee

4. Clinical Immersion

  • Time commitment: 1 full week plus at least one half day/week for the next 3 months
  • Embed with a clinician in one of the following clinical neuroscience departments: neurology, neurosurgery, psychiatry, or rehabilitation
  • Goal: to better understand how care is delivered, the practicality of integrating technology into the continuum of care, and how to define clinical needs /opportunities for neurotechnology translation
  • Trainees will present on their experience during Clinical Integration TNT Seminars
    • Identify at least 3 neurotechnology opportunities
    • Define rationale, obstacles, and potential regulatory hurdles

5. Campus Based Innovation and/or Translational Activity

  • Each trainee is required to participate in at least one of the following entrepreneurship-oriented activities provided at UCLA
  • Business of Science Center
    • Multi-disciplinary group of students and professionals committed to developing university discoveries into problem solving commercial products
    • 3 opportunities to be involved in the innovation and translational process: (1) Venture Team Competition (2) MEdTech Innovation Program (3) Inventathon
  • UCLA Technology and Development Group (TDG)
    • UCLA Innovation Fund: to advance therapeutics, medical devices/diagnostics, and digital health technologies across campus – trainees would participate with a faculty member
    • Kairos Gift: working with local VC who has a call for proposals and offering gifts of $50K-100K – interaction with local venture group that would provide feedback and word with PI on translational potential for project
  • UCLA BioDesign Program
    • Pioneer healthcare innovation and transform medicine through development of novel technologies
    • Works with industry partners and medical community to advance solutions that deliver improved value and outcomes to patients worldwide

6. C234: Ethics and Accountability in Biomedical Research

  • Required course for all trainees – post doctoral trainees have option to audit
  • Course will cover:
    • Misconduct and malfeasance, whistle-blowing. mentorship, data treatment, and scientific record keeping
    • Collaborative research, authorship, and peer review
    • Conflicts of interest , ownership of data and intellectual property
    • Animal subject welfare, human subject protection, and ethical issues related to research in emerging fields
    • Wellness, combatting discrimination, bias, and harassment

7. Training in Scientific Rigor

  • NIH requirement: training in Rigorous Experimental Design and Transparency to Enhance Reproducibility
  • Four 2 hour workshops required by both pre and post doctoral trainees
    1. Premise: scientific premise of forming the basis of proposed research
    2. Design: rigorous experimental design for robust and unbiased results
    3. Statistics and Probability: appropriate application of statistical fonts for data analysis
    4. Variables and Authentication: consideration of relevant biological variables and of key biological/chemical resources
  • Lecture on Data Archiving and Sharing - to be provided by Dr Pouratian during TNT Research Seminar Series (considerations, limitations, opportunities, requirements, and obligations for data archiving and sharing)
  • Lecture on Decision Making and Bias - by Drs Eugene Caruso or Craig Fox during TNT Research Seminar Series

8. Submission of individual funding application

  • Each trainee must submit funding applications for fellowships or foundation award by completion of TNT training