Message from Scientific Program Committee

On behalf of the Scientific Program Committee, I invite you to join us at our 12th ISMRM Scientific Meeting and Exhibition to be held 15-21 May 2004 in Kyoto, Japan.

The ISMRM is a multi-faceted multi-disciplinary society with a worldwide membership of over 5,000 dedicated to the development and application of all aspects of magnetic resonance to medicine.  Our 2004 meeting will build on the successful framework established previously at our meetings in Glasgow, Honolulu, and Toronto, each that have provided their own unique cultural flavor to the meeting.  This year will be no different as the ISMRM returns to the Far East for the first time since Sydney in 1998 and our first visit ever to Asia.

The SPC has created a balanced and attractive program with broad coverage of new developments, emerging trends and applications, and the unique contributions of magnetic resonance throughout medicine.  The extensive program provides a balance between opportunities for education and presentation of the latest developments in magnetic resonance research, both technically and clinically.

The ISMRM membership is filled with expert scientists and clinicians willing to lend their experience and skills to the SPC.  This year, we are thankful that we can continue to draw upon them to support the educational sessions during the scientific program.  For Kyoto, the expanded and refreshed morning and clinical categorical courses cover the breadth of cutting-edge research topics and real-world clinical applications, including a topical forum with the SMRT on Artifacts and Corrections.  The many sessions during the week are designed to complement the highly successful weekend teaching programs that provide both basic and advanced teaching across a wide range of topics.  As in previous years, up to 50 continuing medical education (CME) credits will be available across the program; as in the past, the ISMRM intends to offer credit to physicians from Asia and Europe, in cooperation with national accrediting programs.

The scientific component includes the plenary talks, poster and scientific sessions, as well as both clinical and basic science focus sessions.  There will be the usual comprehensive coverage of all areas of scientific inquiry in magnetic resonance and a focus on key areas including how MR can be used to assess efficacy of therapy, proteomics/genomics, new contrast mechanisms and contrast agents, the role of MR in screening for disease, and the limits of MR sensitivity.

Our 2004 meeting in Kyoto will be unlike any other.  From a cultural perspective, Kyoto is home to over 1500 Buddhist and Shaolin temples, beautiful gardens, bamboo forests, and numerous other traditional Japanese events and experiences.  Hotel costs will be comparable to those in Toronto and less than Honolulu (price range of $28-200 USD); all are within easy reach of the Kyoto International Convention Hall by foot or short subway ride.  The KICH convention center, while not as spacious as those in Toronto and Honolulu, provides new opportunities for the SPC.  For example, the vast poster hall will be replaced by poster rooms which focus on more specific topics with related themes nearby.

We will build on the Toronto experience of increased utilization of electronic technologies with pre-meeting access to the Proceedings, PDA meeting planning, wireless internet/e-mail, with plans for real-time updates of ongoing talks in each session, and possibly streaming video from selected meeting rooms.  We are confident that you will enjoy and benefit from these.  None of these program enhancements could occur without the significant assistance and tireless dedication of the ISMRM Central Office.

Our objective in creating this program is to provide you with the best possible forum for magnetic resonance scientific education and communication in an environment conducive to productive high-level and clinical interaction and debate.  I invite you to contact me if you have any suggestions or ideas on how we can improve our 2004 meeting.  We look forward to your participation and invite you to enjoy the meeting in Kyoto with us.

Jeffrey L. Duerk, Ph.D.
Chair, Scientific Program Committee