Abstract Review is Underway

Aloha and welcome back to “Riding the Wave to Honolulu 2017.”

Already, as I type this, abstract reviewers and members of the AMPC are hard at work reviewing the scientific abstracts submitted on 9 November. Can you believe it – a total of 6781 abstracts were submitted! This is a new record and up by 18% from last year!

A few minor glitches aside, the online abstract submission process went very smoothly, many thanks to Mira and the hard work of Sally Moran and her colleagues at the ISMRM Central Office. Thank you, Sally!

Soon the AMPC will be hard at work. After receiving scores from the reviewers, the 78-member AMPC will travel from all reaches of the world this January to Jekyll Island, Georgia, USA, for an intensive 3-day “Construction Meeting” to finalize the program for Honolulu 2017. This will be my 5th Construction Meeting – these are very intense meetings. Starting on Friday evening, Karla Miller, PhD, Vice-Chair of the AMPC, will lead the committee in a brainstorming session to select the named lectures (Lauterbur, Mansfield, NIBIB) and plenary sessions for Paris 2018. If you have suggestions, please feel free to forward these to Karla or to other committee members. Please do so as soon as possible so these suggestions can be collated.

On Saturday, the most intense day of the Construction Meeting, the committee will start at approximately 7:00 AM and work until late into the evening, sorting abstracts into scientific oral and poster sessions. The AMPC, comprised of experts from all facets of MR, will use the abstract reviewer scores and their expertise to design and plan scientific sessions, including Power Pitches, oral scientific sessions, electronic posters and traditional posters. This is an incredible amount of work, which is why it requires such a large committee to sort 6781 abstracts!

On Sunday, the committee meets again to design the Educational Program, this time for Paris 2018. AMPC Vice-Chair Elect and Educational Chair, John Port, MD, PhD, will lead the AMPC to design a state-of-the-art Educational Program for Paris. Although the educational planning will not be finalized in Jekyll Island, the majority of the planning will be completed before the committee flies home. The committee will continue to work through the spring and summer to identify speakers and moderators for the best Educational Program possible.

The Construction Meeting is one of the most intense but fun experiences one can have as part of the Society. It is both energizing and exhausting at the same time.

I am sure that many of have are already making your travel and housing plans for Honolulu. If you have not yet, please do so as soon as possible – hotels are filling up quickly, over 60% of the rooms booked! Please visit the ISMRM official website to register, book your hotels and plan childcare. Please be sure to make your housing arrangements through the website – the ISMRM is able to secure excellent room rates, but only through a significant commitment by the ISMRM to fill these rooms. Booking rooms outside of these websites may put the Society at significant financial risk. Thank you for your help in this regard.

Remember, childcare has been arranged by the ISMRM to help members with childcare needs participate in the Annual Meeting. Information is available on the meeting website.

I hope that everyone is able to relax and take a break after a busy abstract season and spend some restful time with friends and family over the holidays.

Hau’oli Lanui, Happy Holidays!