20th of June 2022 – First blog
Meet your next program chair: Nivedita Agarwal Baroldi.
In the midst of the COVID pandemic in June 2020, Scott Reeder entrusted me with the task of chairing the 2023 ISMRM Annual Meeting in Toronto. Being program chair is an absolute honor for me, and I will put in every effort to make sure the 32nd Annual Meeting is a huge success.
As the Education Chair for the Joint Annual Meeting ISMRM-ESMRMB in London, I worked closely with Steven Sourbron, and I now look forward to chairing the Annual Meeting in Toronto with Brian Hargreaves serving as the Education Chair.
Over this year, I will be writing regular short blogs to keep you all updated on the planning progress of the meeting. But first, a little about me.
I was born a few years ago (!) in Tokyo, Japan. My parents come from very small and poor villages in the state of Uttar Pradesh in India. My father, the seventh child of eight, made his way out of poverty to serve the Indian government abroad. His humble beginnings, his tenacity, and his willingness to risk and make sacrifices have been fundamental to his rise out of adversity. He is my role model together with the undying support of my mother. I am a lucky daughter!
I traveled with him to new countries every three to four years, totaling six different countries both in the East and the West. This allowed me to appreciate many different cultures as well as be exposed to different languages and ways of thinking. I love meeting people, getting involved, and making things happen.
The downside of traveling so much is that I grew up without solid roots. I did not belong to any one country or culture. I desired a “home” to which to go back. People often would ask me if I dreamt in Hindi, English or Italian. My answer to them is “it depends on which country I am in.”
In 1992, my dad was posted to Rome, and I traveled with him, of course. I started my medical degree at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Rome, and little did I realize then that Italy would become my home. It has been thirty years, and I love the country, the people, and of course the wine and cheese!
After my graduation, I started my residency in neurology at the University of Udine, which is in the northeast of Italy, after which I continued to pursue a second residency in radiology and neuroradiology at the same university. I spent a year at McLean Hospital in Boston where I was trained in high-field proton and phosphorous spectroscopy. Results of my studies were discussed at an ISMRM workshop on MR spectroscopy in Quebec in 2010, my first ISMRM meeting!
I went to Salt Lake City where I continued to learn acquisition and editing of proton spectra but also spent time learning clinical neuroradiology with eminent neuroradiologists such as Anne Osborn. In 2010, I was offered a job in Trento, Italy, and I didn’t think twice! I was going back home. My family had concerns about my leaving the US for Italy, but I followed my gut and moved.
It has not been an easy ride, but today I can safely say that it was the best choice I made. I am Director of Neuroradiology at a scientific research pediatric institute, I had met the love of my life, and just a couple of weeks ago, we were married. I had not realized until the day I got married that it would change my life radically. Marriage is responsibility, it is dedication, it requires an enormous amount of work, but it is very worth it. Silvio, my husband, is a solid rock in my life, giving me the wings to fly far and high, but also the roots to remain firm on the ground.
There are several parallelisms that can be drawn between marriage and my love for ISMRM. ISMRM provides me with the roots to which I go back to when I am craving to meet with my scientific family and wings to fly far and high.
I was introduced to the ISMRM in 2010 and became a regular attendee of ISMRM meetings starting in 2015. This is a society that gives everyone a chance to rise and shine because the ISMRM is the Society of its members. I have volunteered for committees and I have shared my ideas and opinions with the leadership—always working to contribute my very best in every meaningful way possible. I was asked to be a member of one of the most sought-after committees of the ISMRM—the Annual Meeting Program Committee—in 2018.
It was the most wonderful experience, allowing me to help create sessions and shape our Annual Meetings alongside a talented and distinguished group of ISMRM colleagues from around the world.
Being actively involved in the ISMRM gives you a chance to fully participate in your community: be proactive and volunteer for abstract review and/or committee assignments; don’t worry about language barriers, don’t be shy, just reach out! ISMRM is an international society and truly appreciates and welcomes the input and engagement from all. I know it can be a bit daunting to think of working alongside giants in our field, or when you have an already busy schedule, but it is so rewarding, adding enormous value to your professional and often your personal life. Start today by updating your membership profile. What are your research interests? What are your clinical and educational interests? Who are you? We access the membership database to find speakers and moderators for the Annual Meeting. Make sure we have your most current information! Please log in today at https://www.ismrm.org and update your profile!
My next blog will touch on the format of the Annual Meeting and some important deadlines.
Program Chair 2023
Please email me with your suggestions at firstname.lastname@example.org or feel free to write your comments below.