Recap - 1st ISMRM Iberian Chapter Annual Meeting

Recap - 1st ISMRM Iberian Chapter Annual Meeting

📅 Day 1

The first day of the meeting started with a welcome reception  given by Dr. Nunes, the Chair of the ISMRM Iberian Chapter, and Dr. Hernando, the Chair of the 2021 Annual Meeting. 

After these exciting initial introductions, the first day was focused on pre-clinical MRI. Prof. Cerdán gave a fascinating overview of his personal recollection on the applications of MRI in biomedicine in his keynote lecture. This talk was inspiring on many levels, with great advice and comments from a pioneer and expert in the NMR and MRI field, including this great quote from Ray Freeman: “Old spectroscopists never die…, they simply lose coherence”.

The second plenary lecture was given by Dr. Shemesh. His talk highlighted the future of pre-clinical MRI, showcasing the many discoveries and developments made in MR imaging and highlighting the enormous potential of ultra-high field MR to gain specificity in different MR measures and revealing new insights in the brains’ functional dynamics and structure. This was a great follow-up to Dr Cerdan’s talk, clearly showing the great progress and future of pre-clinical MR imaging.

After these inspiring presentations, we had a very well-attended pre-clinical oral session covering a good range of topics (MRS, fMRI, diffusion, tumor imaging, renal imaging, and phantom design), followed by a lively clinical poster session in Gather.Town, where researchers were able to showcase their work in an informal and friendly virtual environment.

At the end of the day, researchers got together for an Iberian treasure hunt. This was a fun and collaborative event that brought together both early career and more senior MR researchers.

📅 Day 2

The insightful MR imaging lectures continued on the 2nd day, now focusing on clinical MR. We had great talks by Dr. Pedrosa and Dr. Figueiredo. The former emphasized the clinical aspect and recent progress of MRI in kidney cancer and highlighted how MRI can help to discern between different types of benign and malignant tumors, eventually improving clinical diagnosis. Next, Dr. Figueiredo showed how probing dynamics and using multimodal imaging allows us to better understand human brain function and physiology.

Once again, these lectures were followed by a clinical oral session covering good examples of the work done by the Iberian MR community (e.g. cardiac MRI, MRS, signal processing for fMRI and MRI-guided focused ultrasound) and an animated pre-clinical poster session. Both sessions were dynamic and interactive, with many attendees showing interest in the topics.

To finalise the meeting, awards were given to best talks and posters, as well as for outstanding volunteers and winners of the social events. The first meeting of the chapter finished with the now traditional of a virtual conga line to the social area in Gather.Town (which is still accessible with all the posters).

🏆 Awards

Congratulations to the winners of the GE Healthcare and Bruker best poster and oral presentation awards!

🏖️ Social Event

At the end of the first day of the congress, our social event took place through the Gather.Town platform. In this event we organized a gymkhana in which the attendees had to solve a series of challenges in a perhaps too short time of 5 minutes 😉. The tasks and questions covered gastronomic and cultural aspects of the Iberian Peninsula, historical notes on MRI or the ISMRM, or challenges in which the attendees were asked to prepare a cover song for the chapter, portray our chair, or explain to their grandmother the theoretical grounds of MRI in Portunhol. After that, we moved to another room where we made our digital version of the traditional game of chairs, which in my unbiased opinion was a total success. From the committee we would like to thank all the attendees for their motivation and desire to participate and of course congratulate the winner groups “Kirardo” and “MRI: Marvelous Researchers in Iberian”. We leave you a brief picto-summary of the event highlights.

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