Joint Annual Meeting ISMRM-ESMRMB ~ 19-25 May 2007

Message from Georg Bongartz, M.D., Program Chair

The preparation of the upcoming Joint Annual Meeting ISMRM-ESMRMB was already confronted with unexpected events, of which the most important one was the transfer of the congress venue from Barcelona to Berlin. Initially several members of the program committee were unhappy with the decision of the Board to exchange the Mediterranean atmosphere of Barcelona to a technical capitol like Berlin. But Berlin is more than only a second choice for us:  The exploding German capital, with unique new and old architecture, offers a mixture of modern and traditional art; it is a melting pot of various cultures; and it is another city that never sleeps…

Even more important is the huge and flexible congress center, ICC (International Congress Center) in the “Messe Berlin” area, which will easily host the Joint Annual Meeting of the world’s two most important MR societies.  The ICC, reflecting the 1970’s and resembling a landed UFO, contains many architectural surprises and is absolutely stylish again today. 

For the first time in 2007, the Annual Meeting Program Committee (AMPC) works in its new constitution as a complete merger of the Scientific and Educational Program Committees in order to improve the coordination of both program blocks.  A new tenure of the AMPC Chair allows for improved continuity over the years, with Kim Butts, PhD, incoming AMPC Chair for 2008 coordinating the educational initiatives in 2007.

Early this year the AMPC revised the abstract submission categories aiming to better separate abstracts according to their clinical or basic science content and to avoid redundancies. The focus was not to facilitate the composition of the scientific meeting program but to
unambiguously allocate topics to reviewers for better score comparability.

I am extremely happy to announce two outstanding Honorary Lecturers for the Berlin 2007 meeting: Sir Peter Mansfield accepted the invitation to give “his” honorary lecture, while the Lauterbur Lecture will be held by Prof. Hedvig Hricak on Thursday.  Around this, we established a framework of Plenary Lectures on Neuro-Imaging, Interventional Imaging, Control of Treatment Response, Recent Developments in Signal Transmission and Reception, and on Hybrid MR Systems.  We are looking forward to excellent presentations by leaders in their respective research fields, interesting to both clinical and basic scientists.

It has always been a primary concern to attract clinicians by offering unique Educational Activities.  The educational program spreads out through the entire week as in the previous Annual Meetings.  The weekend educational program consists of a huge variety in clinical and technical education with up to nine parallel offerings. Thirteen full weekend courses, six half-day weekend courses, 15 Clinical Categoricals, and eight Morning Categoricals will meet the needs of participants and reflect the comments from previous meetings.  Beside “standard” MRI topics, some new initiatives will be started, like sessions on Multicenter Trials, Industrial Perspectives, Socio-economic Issues, and Safety.  Last year’s successful program on “Unsolved Needs” will be continued in a slightly different format than 2006. Also, the video captures of most lectures will be continued since the hit-count demonstrates broad interest on re-visiting the educational sessions via the Internet.

In 2007, more electronic posters will be displayed – since this is the standard poster format at the ESMRMB Annual Meetings. Nevertheless, standard posters will be exhibited in a large hall with sufficient space for discussion rounds.

Also adopted from ESMRMB is the Hot Topic Debate, in which the critical question: “MR is INCAPABLE for Clinical Molecular Imaging - Yes or No?” will find its ultimate answer.

As a successor of the Sound and Vision contest as in 2006, we would like to foster the artistic and humoristic sense of the MR Community.  Announced as “Art ‘n’ Artifacts,” we will promote a *lighter* variant of a scientific poster exhibition for Berlin.  All you ever wanted to bring closer to an interested audience and, of course, has at least some inherent connection to MR can be demonstrated as a traditional poster or as an e-poster.  One of the major central foyers at the ICC will be reserved entirely for this event.  
Click here for more information about this program.  The best contribution(s) will be awarded with a “Magnetic Art Award” during the Closing Ceremony.   Therefore, find the artist in yourself and submit your most spectacular MR Art ‘n’ Artifacts!

I am hoping that this short outline will increase your interest, and I am looking forward to meeting you in Berlin, 19-25 May 2007.  Let’s have a record breaking Joint Annual Meeting of the ISMRM and the ESMRMB.