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28 September 2018

Elizabeth Morris:
Passionate ISMRM Member, Culture Czar, Equity Officer

By Parshy Phillips
September 2018

The International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM) has appointed Elizabeth Morris, M.D., F.A.C.R., to the newly created position of Equity Officer.  This critical role will follow through with recent initiatives introduced at the Joint Annual Meeting ISMRM-ESMRMB to ensure the balance of gender bias and equality as it relates within ISMRM. I recently spoke with Dr. Morris regarding the position.  She touched on what the position is, how she was appointed, and why it was needed.

Tell us how this all started, why were you appointed to this position?

“I am thrilled to be a part of this pioneering position for our society.  I was in a committee meeting where one of the topics was the creation of an ad hoc group for women of ISMRM (WISMRM).  It was wonderful to see the support for such an initiative by everyone in the room – it was all men except for me!  As I was the only woman there, I became the co-chair of the committee and have been for the last two years.  I realized that women are one of many unrepresented groups within the society – but we have many other groups that are currently not recognized officially. ISMRM is one of the most unique societies I have been involved with – energetic, visionary, brilliant people – with real regard for equality and giving people a voice.  It is very unique and needs to be preserved.  The establishment of an Equity Officer by the ISMRM Board of Trustees is recognition of this ethos that has to me always been there – and is now a platform to see that all people have a voice and a home.”

Why is this role so important to the culture of ISMRM and how will you get member “buy-in”?

“First of all this isn’t just about gender, it starts with being open to the idea that all of us regardless of culture, gender, age, race, color, religion, sexual orientation, physical abilities, political beliefs, are valued.  We want to ensure everyone has equal opportunity and isn’t discriminated against or treated differently, taking into consideration differences between people and placing a positive value on the differences while also being inclusive by creating environments in which a person or group of persons can feel welcomed, respected, supported and valued to participate fully.”

It sounds like a big task, how will you get this started?

“I will develop an equity task force with representatives from various committees that are truly committed to the idea of creating equality, and these members will be the liaisons for individuals or groups of people.  We need to recruit diversity deliberately – committee members, speakers, moderators etc.  We will develop a Climate Survey that will ask questions to get a sense of what our membership feels about equity, diversity and inclusion.  We want to know what kinds of services/education people need to feel included.  We need to develop a mechanism for people to speak out if they feel not included.  I hope to have the equity task force serve this purpose.  In addition to the task force, I will be reaching out to industry professionals to help identify and use a web-based equity training program that can be used to help us with our efforts.”

You are a successful businesswomen, can you share any professional challenges you’ve had?

“I can recall some professional challenges when I started the breast MR program at MSK as a young attending.  The male chair gave me exactly one MR slot per week on the scanner.  Breast MR was a new application, and I was an untested junior attending so I am assuming he thought it might be a waste to give me more.  When the new chair came – who happened to be a woman – she lifted that restriction and said I could have as many slots as I could fill.  That’s when my research program started to take off, and we were able to establish a clinical and research service.  Also, the head of MR at the time wanted me to read out the exams with him even though I knew more about breast disease.  This went on for two years which was way too long.  None of the other attendings before or after me had to do this, so I assume this had to do with the fact that I was a young female junior faculty.  The challenge was that I was in for the long haul.  I did the best with what I was given at the time fully realizing the inequity of the situation.  At that time I bided my time patiently and tried to find ways to work around the situation.  Looking back I didn’t directly confront anyone as I would today, however at that time I didn’t have the confidence to fight for what I perceived to be an inequity.  I’m sure we all have our professional challenges that we have experienced, and this is why I am so passionate about the Equity Officer position.”

Will you be reaching out to other members or professionals for support?

“I’d like to put a call out to all members that want to get more involved to help create the best ISMRM equity culture we can have.  Get connected with our ISMRM Facebook page, Twitter feed, MR Pulse blog or the Women of ISMRM blog as we will start introducing announcements in these locations.  If interested, anyone can email me directly at equity@ismrm.org about specific areas of interest and ideas.  I would love people who are enthusiastic with lots of energy to participate in this.  There was much interest from the annual meeting, and we need to keep the momentum going.”

What are some of the checks and balances that any company could start implementing today?

“In any industry, leadership needs to set the tone.  Training staff and leadership in diversity will be important.  Equity begins with each of us.  This will need to be an inside-out type of analysis – not outside-in – we don’t want anyone to feel that there will be imposed external “rules”.  The Equity Officer position is not going to function as a policing force.  However, unacceptable environments will be brought to the Executive Committee, and consequences will be determined.”

What shift would you like to see at ISMRM?

“I’d like for the society leadership to embrace this idea and be the ones actively promoting Equity Diversity and Inclusion.  I want ISMRM to be an example of how a society can create environments for individuals or groups to feel respected, welcomed, supported and valued so that their voices can be heard and they can fully participate in the ISMRM.  We will be stronger for it.”

 

17 July 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Parshy Phillips, ISMRM
Phone: 510-841-1899
Email: parshy@ismrm.org

ISMRM PASSES GAVEL TO NEW PRESIDENT PIA C. MALY SUNDGREN, M.D., PH.D., PARIS, FRANCE

CONCORD, CA, USA, July 2018 - The International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM) concluded its Joint Annual Meeting in Paris, France, with the passing of the presidential gavel 21 June 2018 from Daniel K. Sodickson, M.D., Ph.D., to Pia C. Maly Sundgren, M.D., Ph.D., current Professor of Radiology at Lund University, Sweden.  This annual ritual provides a fresh look and leadership role for its dedicated members.

"As the newly appointed president, I want to bring the feeling of being proud to be a member of ISMRM, a philanthropic and humanitarian society that works to improve quality of life and health to people across the globe. One of my goals is to increase the number of M.D.'s as full members.  They have helped to build a solid, collaborative foundation for ISMRM and are an important partner for our society. It is also very important for the mainstream public to have a better understanding of ISMRM and the value of MR.  Our members do astonishing work in MR and we must make this life-changing work more visible to the public.”  Dr. Sundgren said.

Will you continue the conversation of gender bias within the MR community?  "I want to see our work on unconscious bias progress, and we will establish guidelines to handle any form of harassment within the Society. This is a very important matter for the Society and I will certainly continue the discussion about gender bias as well as other unconscious bias within the ISMRM. I know there is a lot we can do regarding this topic. As mentioned in my closing remarks, an equality officer will be appointed as soon as possible to help the leadership set key performance measures and to support our efforts.

"I will, of course, continue to have a close collaboration both with the past president Dan Sodickson as well as with the vice president Larry Wald to ensure that what we have planned in the ISMRM strategic planning process and our new initiatives continue to be implemented. I will seek support and advice for new ideas from both the past and present leadership team to ensure the best outcome for the Society.”

Are there any future plans to encourage more women to enter the field?  Pia said, "We will continue to support women that enter the field. However, the problem, as I see, is not so much that women do not enter the field but rather they leave after they are done with their training. I think we need to find out more about the reason behind women leaving. We need a better understanding so we can find ways to better support and increase the engagement from the Society to maintain women in the field. "

The Joint Annual Meeting ISMRM-ESMRMB was held at the Paris Expo Porte de Versailles, in Paris, France, with over 7,000 engaged attendees dedicated in the field of magnetic resonance participating.  The next ISMRM Annual Meeting will be held 11-16 May 2019 in Montréal, QC, Canada.

About ISMRM:

The International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine is an international, nonprofit, scientific association whose purpose is to promote communication, research, development, and applications in the field of magnetic resonance in medicine and biology and other related topics and to develop and provide channels and facilities for continuing education in the field. Its multidisciplinary membership of over 9,000 consists of clinicians, physicists, engineers, biochemists, and technologists. In addition to its large scientific meetings, the Society holds workshops and publishes two journals, Magnetic Resonance in Medicine and the Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging, and a virtual newsletter, MR Pulse. It also sponsors 27 study groups on specific areas of scientific interest and chapters based on geographical location.

To find out more about the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM), please call +1 510-841-1899, Fax +1 510-841-2340, or visit our website at www.ismrm.org.

ISMRM, One Concord Center, 2300 Clayton Road, Suite 620, Concord, CA 94520 USA

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Download a PDF of this press release ISMRM Passes Gavel to New President Pia C. Maly Sundgren, M.D., Ph.D.

 

21 June 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Parshy Phillips, ISMRM
Phone: 510-841-1899
Email: parshy@ismrm.org

SODICKSON: ISMRM CAN PLAY SHERIFF IN AI'S WILD WEST
By Philip Ward, AuntMinnie.com staff writer

PARIS, FRANCE, JUNE 19, 2018 – The imaging artificial intelligence (AI) landscape is like the Wild West right now, but the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM) can act as the sheriff by providing vital scientific rigor, balance, and a healthy dose of skepticism, according to Dr. Daniel Sodickson, PhD, the society's president.

"There's some lawlessness, but also a very wide frontier with many possibilities," he said in an interview on Monday with AuntMinnieEurope.com. "AI does not mean simply taking algorithms and applying them -- we need to tailor the algorithms to the individual clinical case."

Patients must not see MRI as a loud tunnel that brings bad news, Dr. Daniel Sodickson said.

Speaking in Paris from this week's joint congress of the ISMRM and the European Society of MR in Medicine and Biology (ESMRMB), Sodickson admitted there is a lot of hype and "creative ferment" about AI, but the technology does promise to change in fundamental ways how MR scanners are designed, built, and used clinically.

Because the society has a global, multidisciplinary membership of more than 7,400 people representing a diverse range of different stakeholders, he is convinced it is particularly well placed to challenge assumptions and cut through the hype.

"It gives me some heart that there are scientists out there who are asking, 'Are you sure about that?' " noted Sodickson, who is vice-chair for research in the department of radiology at New York University Langone Medical Center. "Our members tend to understand the biological context in which AI needs to be seen."

Paris draws the crowds

By the end of 17 June, 6,057 professional attendees had registered onsite at ISMRM/ESMRMB 2018, which is a new record high for the meeting, and the final figure, including exhibitors and others, is likely to approach 8,000, he added.

Gender equality and unconscious bias are important issues at the meeting, and will be addressed in the Presidential Lecture on 20 June by Curt Rice, PhD, head of the Committee for Gender Balance and Diversity in Research and president of Oslo Metropolitan University in Norway. Rice has advised members of the Nobel Foundation's committees on the challenges faced in moving toward better gender balance in the awarding of the Nobel Prizes.

One example of imbalance is the ISMRM's own list of gold medalists, Sodickson said. Although two women (Dr. Christiane Kuhl in 2015 and Sharmila Majumdar, PhD, in 2016) are among the recent recipients, only four of the total number of 80 award-winners are women.

"We know that women have played an essential role in the ongoing development of our field," he pointed out. "In a year marked by long-overdue upheavals in the global conversation about gender and diversity, we hope that attendees of our meeting will take full advantage of this opportunity to look inward, and forward, together."

Ironically, though, both gold medalists at ISMRM 2018 -- announced on 18 June -- are U.S.-based men: Susumu Mori, PhD, professor at the Center of MR Microimaging in Johns Hopkins University, and Dwight Nishimura, PhD, professor of electrical engineering at Stanford University.

Tariffs on China

Sodickson said it's too early yet to determine what impact, if any, the U.S. government's decision to impose tariffs on equipment from China is likely to have on the MRI market. This decision was confirmed by the Trump administration last Friday. The number of Chinese members of the ISMRM is rising fast and companies from China are among the exhibitors in Paris, but the emphasis is on displaying innovations rather than selling equipment, he noted.

Another unresolved issue is the safety of gadolinium-based contrast agents for MRI.

"This is area of ongoing interest for us, and there are sessions about it being held this week," he said. "It's important to remember the value of these agents and not to deny our patients of the potential benefits from using them."

Sodickson said ISMRM also is making a concerted effort to reach out to clinical radiologists and convince them the society is relevant for both them. His overall aim, though, is to tell the story of MRI in a more positive way to physicians from other medical disciplines, as well as patients and the media."

I want to avoid people thinking of MRI as a loud tunnel that my doctor says I must go into and will give me bad news," he said.

About ISMRM:

The International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine is an international, nonprofit, scientific association whose purpose is to promote communication, research, development, and applications in the field of magnetic resonance in medicine and biology and other related topics and to develop and provide channels and facilities for continuing education in the field. Its multidisciplinary membership of over 9,000 consists of clinicians, physicists, engineers, biochemists, and technologists. In addition to its large scientific meetings, the Society holds workshops and publishes two journals, Magnetic Resonance in Medicine and the Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging, and a virtual newsletter, MR Pulse. It also sponsors 27 study groups on specific areas of scientific interest and chapters based on geographical location.

To find out more about the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM), please call +1 510-841-1899, Fax +1 510-841-2340, or visit our website at www.ismrm.org.

ISMRM, One Concord Center, 2300 Clayton Road, Suite 620, Concord, CA 94520 USA

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Download a PDF of this press release on the 2018 Joint Annual Meeting featuring Dan Sodickson by AuntMinnieEurope.com

 

24 May 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Parshy Phillips, ISMRM
Phone: 510-841-1899
Email: parshy@ismrm.org

LEADING EXPERT AND RECTOR OF OSLO METROPOLITAN UNIVERSITY, CURT RICE, IS SET TO DISCUSS THE SCIENCE OF UNCONSCIOUS BIAS AT THE JOINT ANNUAL MEETING ISMRM-ESMRMB IN PARIS, 16 – 21 JUNE 2018.

CONCORD, CA, USA, MAY 2018 - The International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM) and the European Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine and Biology (ESMRMB) invite attendees at their joint annual meeting (www.ismrm.org) to attend the Presidential Lecture on 20 June featuring the leading expert on gender equality and unconscious bias, Curt Rice, Ph.D. The lecture is entitled "When the Right Thing to Do Is Also the Smart Thing to Do: Research & Results on Diversity in Research Organizations."

Rice is having the academic world rethink topics such as leadership development and gender balance as a tool to enhance and increase quality and performance as it applies to scientific results and research-based education. He leads Norway's Committee for Gender Balance and Diversity in Research and is heavily involved in many other leading organizations.

In a riveting post, Rice stated, "Gender equality has not yet been achieved in the workplaces of the western world. Research institutions have a special responsibility to contribute to progress. Knowledge gives insight as we identify the challenges that remain; our job is to deliver that knowledge. How will we know that gender equality has been achieved? One hallmark of true gender equality is that the sex of an employee does not affect processes such as hiring, evaluation, setting salaries, and other processes in the workplace."

ISMRM president Daniel K. Sodickson, M.D., Ph.D., says, "It is one of our Society's core values to connect diverse constituencies -- for example, clinicians and basic scientists from countries around the world -- and at this we truly excel. Nevertheless, we still have a long way to go in leveraging, and reflecting, the true diversity of our membership. To cite just one concrete example: of the 80 Gold Medals the ISMRM has conferred, only 4 have gone to women, though we know that women have played an essential role in the ongoing development of our field. For our inaugural President's Lecture at our Annual Meeting this year in Paris, we have sought out a true international leader to present to our evidence-based community with some of the emerging evidence about diversity, inclusion, and unconscious bias in scientific communities like ours. Curt Rice is just such a leader. The president of Oslo Metropolitan University and head of Norway's Committee on Gender Balance and Diversity in Research, Curt was recently invited by the Nobel Foundation to address the members of all the Nobel Committees regarding the challenges they face in moving towards better gender balance in the awarding of the Nobel Prizes. In a year marked by long-overdue upheavals in the global conversation about gender and diversity, we hope that attendees of our meeting will take full advantage of this opportunity to look inward, and forward, together."

The joint ISMRM-ESMRMB annual meeting with be held at the Paris Expo Porte de Versailles, in Paris, France. The meeting opens 16 June and will welcome over 6,000 attendees specializing in the field of magnetic resonance. If you are interested in attending, register today. You don't want to miss this informative meeting in this dream location.

About ISMRM:

The International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine is an international, nonprofit, scientific association whose purpose is to promote communication, research, development, and applications in the field of magnetic resonance in medicine and biology and other related topics and to develop and provide channels and facilities for continuing education in the field. Its multidisciplinary membership of over 9,000 consists of clinicians, physicists, engineers, biochemists, and technologists. In addition to its large scientific meetings, the Society holds workshops and publishes two journals, Magnetic Resonance in Medicine and the Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging, and a virtual newsletter, MR Pulse. It also sponsors 27 study groups on specific areas of scientific interest and chapters based on geographical location.

To find out more about the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM), please call +1 510-841-1899, Fax +1 510-841-2340, or visit our website at www.ismrm.org.

ISMRM, One Concord Center, 2300 Clayton Road, Suite 620, Concord, CA 94520 USA

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Download a PDF of this press release on the 2018 Joint Annual Meeting featuring Curt Rice and Dan Sodickson

 

25 April 2017

Press Release re Ferumoxytol
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