It is my sincere pleasure to welcome you to the 25th Annual International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine Meeting to be held in Honolulu in 22-27 April 2017. As the Chair of the Annual Meeting Program Committee, it is my honor and privilege to provide the membership with a preview of our society’s most important annual event. I am pleased to share with you several new and exciting initiatives that we have in store for you!
We are fortunate to be returning to the beautiful Hawai’i Convention Center located in downtown Honolulu, where the ISMRM was held in 2002 and later in 2009. This state-of-the-art facility provides beautiful open-air common areas and modern meeting rooms to host our educational and scientific meetings. Ideally located within central Honolulu and adjacent to the world famous Waikiki beaches, I can’t think of a better place to hold the ISMRM Annual Meeting.
There are some important changes to the annual meeting format. The most notable change is that the program is shifting from the traditional 6.5-day format to a new 6-day format, running from Saturday morning (22 April 2017) through Thursday evening (27 April 2017). The Opening Ceremonies, including the Gold Medal Presentations and the Lauterbur Lecture, will be held late Sunday afternoon, 23 April. The Closing Ceremonies and Mansfield Lecture will be held on the afternoon of Thursday, 27 April, immediately prior to the Closing Party. In addition there have some been other small changes to the schedule, all of which are detailed on the preliminary program found at www.ismrm.org/17/. Mark your calendars!!
As part of the schedule reorganization, we are pleased to be able to increase the opportunities for our members to share their research results with the international community. Although there are no longer scientific presentations on Friday morning, the overall number of scientific presentations has increased by 12%. In addition, the educational program has been enhanced with four weekday Sunrise Courses (Monday-Thursday) rather than just three. Ever popular, the Power Pitches are not only back, but we are adding a second Power Pitch Theatre to the conference hall, doubling the number of Power Pitches.
The AMPC has already been hard at work, preparing both the educational and scientific content of the meeting. Karla Miller (Vice Chair of the AMPC) and the AMPC have done an outstanding job putting together a superb Educational Program with cutting edge material to be delivered by the most dynamic speakers in our society. It is not to be missed! The Educational Program will provide a comprehensive review of everything from basic MR physics, advanced engineering principles, translational scientific topics, and state of the art clinical MRI and MRI safety. The breadth and depth of the Educational Program is unparalleled and provides the best in MR education anywhere in the world. Many thanks to Karla and the AMPC for their months of hard work pulling this program together!
I am incredibly excited to announce our Named Lectures for Honolulu 2017. These lectures will be delivered by three of our most distinguished and talented members and are sure to be thought provoking and inspiring. The first named lecture will be delivered by Leon Axel, MD, PhD, from New York University, who will deliver the Lauterbur Lecture on the afternoon of Sunday, 23 April, as part of the opening ceremony. Penny Gowland, PhD, from the University of Nottingham, will wrap up the meeting with the Mansfield Lecture on Thursday afternoon as part of the Closing Ceremonies. The NIBIB New Horizons Lecture, which features a rising star from ISMRM’s junior faculty membership, will be delivered by Nicole Seiberlich, PhD, from Case Western Reserve University, on the morning of Tuesday, 25 April. These lectures are sure to be a highlight of the meeting.
We also have several special sessions that I am pleased to announce. These include the next generation “Game Show”, and our past president Jim Pipe, will introduce the next phase of the MR Value Initiative, with a special session on Monday, 24 April, on “The Targeted High-Value MRI Exam”. Be sure to submit your abstracts to this important initiative and to attend what will certainly be an innovative and impactful session (www.ismrm.org/the-mr-value-initiative/). Our Honolulu meeting will also feature the inaugural Junior Fellow Symposium, a session highlighting the future of Machine Learning techniques in medical imaging, which has been organized by the 2016 ISMRM Junior Fellows.
New this year: Live web streaming! For the first time, the ISMRM will stream key lectures, live to the world. These will include the three Named Lectures by Drs. Axel, Gowland and Seiberlich, all plenary lectures and the Young Investigator Award Scientific Session. Live streaming is an important strategic initiative for the society, and I am pleased that its launch will take place in Honolulu 2017.
When you submit your abstracts this year, you will again find the electronic abstract HTML format that was introduced last year by Dr. Mark Griswold, Chair of Singapore 2016. Mark did an amazing job transitioning the society from the old PDF format into HTML abstracts. This was a tremendous success, and I am pleased to announce that the ISMRM will continue with this format. Not only does this improve the readability and portability of abstracts to allow easy review of abstracts on portable devices, but it also dramatically reduces the burden on the wifi bandwidth at the annual meeting. Huge thanks are due to Mark for this major contribution to the society.
I would like to extend my deepest gratitude and thanks to the AMPC for the incredible work that they have done organizing this meeting. These 83 committee members (https://www.ismrm.org/members-only/committee-directory/#annmtg) have spent countless hours to make Honolulu 2017 a success, so please be sure to thank them for their hard work. I would also like to extend special thanks to Mark Griswold for his sage advice and amazing contributions to the AMPC, and to Karla Miller for the incredible job she has to bring you the best ISMRM Educational Program ever. Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Roberta Kravitz and her team from the Central ISMRM Office. The Annual Meeting would not be possible without the dedication and hard work from this incredibly talented team. There are too many to name here but when you meet them whether in person or electronically, be sure to thank them – we couldn’t do it without them!
When Felix Bloch and Edward Purcell first discovered nuclear magnetic resonance in 1945, I can’t help but wonder if they ever imagined how their discovery would change the world. When I think about the incredible advances in science, engineering, and medicine that have arisen from this single discovery, it boggles my mind. The ability to peer inside the human body and probe molecular mechanisms, anatomy, and disease processes in unprecedented ways is the stuff of science fiction, and it is you, the membership of the ISMRM, who continue to push the field forward and advance the boundaries of this extraordinary technology. It is a great honor and privilege to be a part of this amazing international society that continues to move this tradition forward into the future.
And so on behalf of the AMPC I invite you to Honolulu 2017 to join us for the Annual Meeting where we will move forward together with this incredible tradition. I look forward to seeing you all there!
Best Wishes and Mahalo!
PS Be sure to follow my blog “Riding the Wave to Honolulu 2017”!