SMRT 1st Singapore Radiographers MRI Symposium
held in collaboration with the Clinical Imaging Research Centre (CIRC)
at the National University of Singapore Centre for Translational Medicine


Violet Chua GE, Msc (Medical Imaging)
Senior Principal Radiographer
National Neuroscience Institute, Singapore

The Section for Magnetic Resonance Technologists (SMRT), in collaboration with the Clinical Imaging Research Centre (CIRC) at the National University of Singapore Centre for Translational Medicine, organized its maiden scientific meeting in Singapore on 2 February 2013. The turnout at the one-day event was impressive, attracting 80 local MRI radiographers.

The day’s proceedings comprised enlightening lectures, interesting questions and lively discussions on recent developments in key areas of MR imaging such as sequence optimization and safety protocols. 

The line-up of speakers, all experts in their niche area no doubt, dazzled us with their brilliant presentations and insightful anecdotes:   

MRI safety, a topic of considerable concern for MRI users given the risk of harm and equipment failure associated with violation of safety protocols was addressed by Dr. Trina Kok.  Her emphasis on the establishment of safety guidelines, regular reviews and updating of these guidelines resonated with the views of many MRI users.   

Dr. Fatima ‘s presentation on “Sequence Optimization” was spellbinding as she shared her expertise on selection of imaging parameters, pulse sequences and parallel imaging techniques.  She enthralled the audience with her insightful experiences in imaging quality issues.

 The “Advanced Sequences Optimisation” lecture was presented by Dr. Philip Lee. His talk was comprehensive, providing valuable insights to the building blocks of a MRI pulse sequence, navigation in k-space, advanced sequences (like EPI, parallel imaging and ultra-short TE) and their clinical applications. In particular, the in vivo application of hyperpolarized carbon-13 MR spectroscopic imaging was especially fascinating.

Dr John Totman (Head of Clinical Imaging Research Centre Imaging Operations) provided an enlightening spiel on the history of MRI, giving credits to Paul C. Lauterbur (known as Father of MRI) and great physicists who have contributed to MRI technology and advances in MR imaging.  The highlight of the day was perhaps his fascinating lecture on artefact recognition and prevention, where we were also treated to a titillating array of images of artefacts.  We thought his style of following up with a quiz to consolidate our learning was fun and refreshing.  Congratulations to 3 of our participants who found fame that day as the top scorers in the quiz:

1)    Inainee Abu Baker

2)    Serena Teo

3)    Chen Wei

A brilliant lecture was delivered by Dr. Helmut Rumple (Singapore General Hospital) on “Advances in Imaging” where he talked about the progress in MRI protocols, parallel imaging, single voxel spectroscopy versus chemical shift imaging and sequence related pitfalls in TSE, FLASH, SSFP and EPI.

Professor David Townsend (Clinical Imaging Research Centre), the last speaker, wrapped up the day’s proceedings with his authoritative lecture on PET principles, software and hardware system designs and multi-modality image fusion capabilities. 

During lunch break, we found time to enjoy the nourishment, to network and to share experiences with each other. Many also took the opportunity to visit the Clinical Imaging Research Centre Facility in National University of Singapore Centre for Translational Medicine.

Overall, the symposium was well organised – from the selection of the speakers and topics of interest to the logistical arrangements.  Kudos to the team (Dr John Totman, Christopher Au, Omar Mahmood, Goh Li Ping, Lee Lee Lian, Inainee Binte Abu Bakar and Michael Chin) whose commitments and efforts made the event possible. 

Appreciation is also expressed to the sponsors and the Clinical Imaging Research Centre for hosting the meeting.  Last but not least, a big thank-you to all speakers and attendees for their enthusiastic participation which made this symposium such a great success. 

We look forward to meeting all of you again next year.


Dr. John Totman speaks at the Symposium

Dr. Trina Kok is introduced by Christopher Au

Dr. Fatima Nasrallah listens to questions following her presentation

Dr. Philip Lee answers questions while Dr. John Totman readies the podium

Dr. Helmut Rumpel shows high resolution brain images during his lecture

Prof. David Townsend lectures at the symposium

The audience had an opportunity to ask questions of the speakers

Participants were offered a tour of the facility

Attendees settle in to listen to the speakers

The lunch break was an opportunity to share ideas

Attendees pose for a group photograph