President’s Corner #38: The Future of the ISMRM is Bright

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The Future of the ISMRM is Bright

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Happy New Year and best wishes to all of you! I hope that 2023 has started well for you and your loved ones, as we put some of the challenges from the past several years behind us. I look forward to new opportunities and a bright outlook for the coming year.

As I take measure of the events and challenges of the past three years, I find myself taking pause. Between the pandemic, economic hardship, social disruption and war, our personal and professional lives have been impacted in countless ways, including our ability to care for patients, perform cutting-edge research, and bring life-saving technologies to market.

Despite these challenges and hardships, I can’t help but feel a strong sense of gratitude for so many of the gifts that we have in our lives, and for this I am deeply thankful. Gifts such as friends and family and the opportunities to contribute to society through patient care and research are immense privileges we may have may have taken for granted in the past. As members of the ISMRM, we are also fortunate to be part of a larger community working together in a collaborative spirit to improve the future for others through magnetic resonance. I feel incredibly grateful to be part of something larger and sincerely hope that you share in this sense of good fortune despite the challenges the world continues to face.

This past November, the Board gathered in Chicago at the beginning of the RSNA Annual Meeting for a two-day board meeting. This included one day of business and new initiatives and a second full day of strategic planning led by a professional facilitator. It was a rewarding experience to bring the Board together after being apart for the past three years, especially our strategic planning, which allocated significant time, energy, and focus to think deeply about challenges and opportunities the ISMRM faces as we move into 2023 and beyond.

In my view, the ISMRM is at several important inflection points. Not only are we poised to gather in person again in Toronto, but I see a great deal of self-reflection in our fellow members about who we are as a society. How can we increase our global presence, not just in the developed world but also in the Global South? What are the next clinical and scientific frontiers, and what’s beyond artificial intelligence? Given the current stresses from dramatically increasingly clinical workloads and increasing difficulty to secure research funding, how will we continue to foster the unique collaboration among clinicians, scientists, engineers, and industry that makes our society so special?

I am glad to report that you, the membership, have elected a remarkable group of Board members to lead the society through these challenging times. I have been so taken by their dedication, energy and thoughtful approach to these difficult questions. I have also received a great deal of input from many of you over the past 6 months about how we can make the society better. This feedback has made a real difference and impacted numerous ongoing initiatives. I am grateful for your passion as dedicated members of the ISMRM. Thank you all.

I am also grateful for the generosity of our members. In particular, I would like to express my sincere thanks to Martin Prince MD, PhD, and James Meaney, MD, two of our longstanding radiologist-scientist members, who are well known for their pioneering work in MR angiography over the last three decades. I am pleased to announce Professors Martin and Meaney have made a significant ongoing financial gift to the ISMRM that will be allocated to support the Young Investigator Award (YIA) Program. As you know, the YIA Program is one of the “crown jewels” of our society, providing a center-stage venue for our youngest and most talented members to present their cutting-edge research. Through this support, I am also pleased to announce that the ISMRM will now expand the number of YIA awards from two to three, with the introduction of the Prince-Meaney Translational Science Award, given to the best paper on translational science presented at the YIA forum. This will add to the existing I.I. Rabi Award for the Best Scientific Paper and the W.S. Moore Award for the Best Clinical Research Paper. It is with my deepest gratitude that I thank Professor Prince and Professor Meaney for their ongoing support.

As I described in my most recent blog, the ISMRM was pleased to announce a $50 drop in our annual membership dues, after a successful renegotiation of our journal contract with Wiley. Serendipitously, did you know that the membership fees for trainee members of the society is $50? It is for this reason that we announced the “ISMRM+One” membership drive and asked you to consider donating your savings to support the membership of one trainee member. I am thrilled to announce 100% Board participation in the ISMRM+One initiative, and I would urge you to follow their example and the example of Professors Martin and Meaney to support our most valuable asset – our trainee members.

I look forward to a year of great positive change, healing, and reflection. I look forward to seeing you all at the Annual Meeting in Toronto as we come back together as the pandemic fades into the past and we look forward to a bright future.

With my deepest gratitude,

Scott B. Reeder, MD, PhD, FISMRM
2022-2023 ISMRM President

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