Establishment of the Iranian Chapter of ISMRM
The Iranian Chapter of the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM) has been founded with the motto of “One Community for Clinicians and Scientists”— said Hamidreza Saligheh Rad, the chairman of the ISMRM Iranian Chapter, in a press conference organized by public relations deputy of the Office of Vice-Chancellor for Global Strategies and International Affairs, Tehran University of Medical Sciences on May 11, 2015.
Dr. Saligheh Rad said that the mother ISMRM organization has initiated its activities as a nonprofit international association in 1994, when it held its first conference in Texas, trying to bring the two communities of clinicians and engineers in the field of MRI together. He mentioned that each year, ISMRM hosts about 5 to 8 thousand MRI researchers and scientists from multidisciplinary areas consisting of clinicians, physicists, engineers, biochemists, and technologists from all over the world, in its annual meeting and exhibition.
Saligheh Rad declared that “Iranian MRI scientists, from international institutions and universities, have pursued to submit a petition for the formation of an Iranian Chapter since 2011 and as of July 2014, Iran was granted the approval for becoming an official ISMRM chapter. The Iranian Chapter of ISMRM is established to fulfill the clinical needs, to develop technological solutions to the clinical problems, and to attract members from different related fields including radiology, neurosurgery, biology, physiology, engineering, medicine and chemistry. The main objectives of this organization is to bridge the needs of the two communities of MRI scientists and clinicians, encourage research and development in basic science and medical applications, create forums to upgrade the knowledge of MR imaging in medicine and biology, promote communication and mutual understanding of the parties involved in MR imaging clinics and development, provide high quality education and training in the field, and ultimately improve the healthcare outcome throughout the country.”
The chairman of ISMRM Iranian Chapter emphasized that this organization will strive to encourage the MR imaging centers and professionals to utilize the expensive MRI technology with accuracy and efficiency in diagnosis and management of diseases, for which he believes that high quality education in the field of MRI is crucial. He added: “Prior to any investment on new equipments in the field of MR medical imaging, research and education should be considered for all. To achieve this goal, we invite scholars and experts from all national universities, research and imaging centers, pharmaceutical and medical equipment companies, etc to cooperate with and to support the chapter.”
According to Saligheh Rad, there are around 130 MRI scanners with advanced features in Iran, but most of them are not being used efficiently. Therefore, structured training for clinicians and clinical scientists is an essential step in exploiting these devices effectively. He further described the functions of the ISMRM Iranian Chapter: “The chapter will operate to discover potential talents through holding seminars, scientific workshops, annual meetings, communicate effectively with professionals in the areas of medical and basic sciences, provide a complete list of job opportunities in the field of MRI, encourage and financially support talented students, researchers, and scientists who has no research support to participate in national and international seminars, and finally create a platform for public training for all students and researchers in the field.”
Dr. Saligheh Rad claimed that for initiating international collaborations, they are considering to plan regional and international workshops, and inviting influential people in research and development of modern MRI techniques starting from the Middle East and Asia region. He said that interacting with national institutions and organizations will illuminate paths towards achieving the ultimate goals of the Iranian chapter. He concluded: “So far, the Office of International Affairs of Tehran University of Medical Sciences has supported us, and in our future scope, we will seek to communicate with other organizations as well for their support.”