By Charlotte Rae, Nikhil Bhagwat, Peer Herholz, Irene Faiman, and Niall Duncan
FROM THE SUSTAINABILITY AND ENVIRONMENT ACTION SIG (SEA-SIG)
As we prepare for the 2023 annual meeting in Montreal, many of us have started looking into travel arrangements, accommodation, and generally getting ready for the annual meeting. From booking travel to planning your time in Montreal, there are lots of ways that you can make your 2023 meeting experience more sustainable. Here we highlight some often overlooked tips, from getting around the city to poster printing and more
A look back before moving forward to 2023 keynote interviews
Dr. Janaina [Jana-eena] Mourao-Miranda is a Professorial Research Associate within the Department of Computer Science at University College London (UCL). Dr. Mourao-Miranda leads the Machine Learning and Neuroimaging Lab within the UCL Centre for Medical Image Computing (CMIC), where she applies pattern recognition and machine learning techniques to neuroimaging data. A major theme within Dr. Mourao-Miranda’s research is uncovering the relationship between brain and behaviour.
At OHBM 2022, Dr. Mourao-Miranda gave a keynote lecture on machine learning in neuroimaging and psychiatry. You can find a recording of Dr. Mourao-Miranda’s talk here. Below is an edited transcript of an interview conducted with Dr. Mourao-Miranda on June 17, 2022.
On behalf of the Women in OHBM Special Interest Group
Over half of OHBM conference attendees are women scientists (according to data from OHBM Executive Staff), and many of them continue to face gender-specific barriers in their work as human brain mappers. To enable members to learn from one another and mutually support career success, we created the Women in OHBM Special Interest Group (SIG), officially recognized as of March 2023.
The product of a 2-year informal consultation process, the Women in OHBM SIG was motivated by a group of mid- and early-career OHBM women scientists with shared interests and challenges around gender equity in terms of scientific impact, career development and work-life balance, among other topics. The SIG aims to provide a community for OHBM women to network, promote mutual career development and facilitate scientific exchange amongst women scientists.
Looking at OHBM membership data and a new membership tier
OHBM transitioned to a scientific society in 2018 with the goal of delivering year-round engagement for the society’s members rather than being solely about the annual meeting. However, if one looks at the raw membership numbers over the last 17 years, the main perceived membership benefit remains connected to the annual meeting. In particular, yearly membership numbers fluctuate with meeting location, with highest membership numbers from the same geographic region.
Unfortunately, this means that the society-based aspects of OHBM and many of the benefits of being an OHBM member have been largely overlooked. Thus, OHBM leadership is introducing a new MEMBERSHIP+ initiative to create a greater engagement of members on top of the annual meeting, strengthening OHBM as a society.
On behalf of the OHBM Communications Committee Podcast Team
Naomi L. Gaggi
Beth Slater, with support from the OHBM Executive Office
Happy New Year and welcome to 2023, the year that OHBM will travel to Montréal for the 29th Annual Meeting. This meeting will be primarily held in person—but in a change from previous years, all members of OHBM can upload approved content and automatically have access to Annual Meeting content in a virtual space, regardless of registration status.
In previous years, presenters were required to register for the Annual Meeting prior to uploading their content. New this year, presenters who are unable to participate in person may upload content simply by being a member of OHBM. This shift will reduce the financial burden for individuals who cannot travel to Montréal. Membership can be renewed here at any time.
Xinhui Li, Lena Oestreich, Aman Badhwar, Sridar Narayanan, Gladys Heng, Robin Gutzen
On behalf of the OHBM Brain-Art Special Interest Group
OHBM Blog: 2022 roundup
OHBM Blog Team
Well, it’s here—the end of 2022. With OHBM’s first in-person annual meeting since before the COVID-19 pandemic, 2022 shaped up to be a busy year for the OHBM Communications Committee!
We gathered up the experiences and thoughts of this year’s OHBM blog contributors to hear how everyone’s doing and what they’re looking forward to in 2023. (For a blast from the past, here are the 2021, 2020, and 2019 posts.)
Kevin Sitek, Blog team lead and Committee chair-elect
I am very thankful that 2022 brought the return of mostly normal activities for me, particularly international travel and an in-person OHBM annual meeting! It was amazing seeing so many old friends and collaborators (and meeting plenty of new ones) in Glasgow. I was also able to visit a few other cities before and after the conference, which scratched a two-plus-year travel itch. Within the Communications Committee, I shifted to more behind-the-scenes activities in 2022, but not before flipping the microphone on the podcast host and interviewing Peter Bandettini on the Neurosalience podcast. As blog team lead, I know there’s a ton of great content coming in the next year. Thanks for reading and listening along with us, and we hope to see you in 2023!
OHBM Diversity and Inclusivity Committee
Every year the OHBM Program Committee takes on the challenging task of creating content for the annual meeting that appeals to the multifaceted, global OHBM community. One of the top priorities for the committee is to ensure diversity of presenters at the meeting. However, it may be unclear how to achieve this goal.
Currently, the submission guidelines for symposia and educational courses state that submissions should provide a “statement on presenter diversity.” We hope to provide a discussion of what the statement of presenter diversity means and how organizers can ensure that a symposium submission meets this requirement. The Diversity and Inclusivity Committee has some ideas that we hope will move this discussion forward and provide concrete guidelines.
Season 3 of Neurosalience has begun!
(new) Podcast team lead
Blog team lead and ComCom chair-elect
With such a dramatic change to the upcoming calendar, it’s critical for the human brain mapping community to know what to expect for OHBM 2023 so that they can plan for the new schedule. To that end, we communicated with Alex Shun (Communications Manager at the OHBM Executive Office), Michele Veldsman (OHBM Council Secretary), and Michel Thiebaut de Schotten (OHBM Council Chair) to discuss the reasons for the change, the decision-making process, and the issues and opportunities that arise from this date shift.
Why have the dates of OHBM 2023 in Montreal changed, and why was the decision made at this point?
Michel Thiebaut de Schotten (MTdS): The Canadian Grand Prix is typically held in June in Montreal, but until very recently we didn’t know dates—it’s usually earlier in the month. When the overlapping event dates were announced last week, we knew it would be a big problem for accommodations (since around 300,000 people visit Montreal for the Grand Prix).
Michele Veldsman (MV): The Grand Prix overlap pushed the prices of everything up three-fold—which makes it completely inaccessible for most people.
Alex Shun (AS): The overall attendee experience was the driving force behind the OHBM 2023 date change. The Executive Office was in close contact with our local vendors as we awaited the Grand Prix schedule to be publicized and worked to create a solution when we learned of the overlap. Accommodation prices, flights, social venue costs, and the overall ease of getting around the city would have hugely impacted our community and we wanted to ensure our attendees have a positive experience in Montreal.
Network Neuroscience for the Clinic: OHBM2022 Keynote Interview with Dr. Juan (Helen) Zhou
PhD Candidate at the Neural Systems and Behaviour Lab, Monash University, Australia
Dr. Juan (Helen) Zhou is an Associate Professor and Principal Investigator of the Multimodal Neuroimaging in Neuropsychiatric Disorders Laboratory in the Centre for Sleep and Cognition, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore (NUS). She also holds a joint appointment with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, NUS, and she currently serves as the Deputy Director for the Centre for Translational Magnetic Resonance Research at Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine. She recently finished her term as Council Secretary and a member of the Program Committee of the Organization for Human Brain Mapping.
Across these roles, Dr Zhou’s research focuses on the network-based vulnerability hypothesis in disease. Specifically, her lab studies the neural bases of human cognitive functions and the associated vulnerability patterns in ageing and neuropsychiatric disorders using multimodal neuroimaging methods, psychophysical techniques, and machine learning approaches.
Dr. Zhou presented a keynote address at OHBM 2022 in Glasgow—read on to learn about her research, career path, and hopes for the future of neuroimaging!
Alexander Holmes (AH): Welcome Dr. Zhou, thank you so much for joining us here—it is an honour to have you with us. Can you first tell us about your pathway into science and how you got to where you are now?
Helen Zhou (HZ): Ah, do you want the short answer or the long answer? When I was doing my undergraduate studies at the School of Computer Science and Engineering in Singapore, I was a part of this accelerated Masters program. During our final year, we needed to do some research, which was where I became interested in algorithms, neural networks, and image processing. When I tried these machine learning projects, it was my first hands-on experience using these algorithms to solve real problems. So, there were many ups and downs (Laughs).
PhD Candidate in Computational Neuroscience, Universitätsklinikum Hamburg Eppendorf
Yohan Yee, on behalf of the Communications Committee
Are you interested in sharing new research and ideas within (and beyond!) the human brain mapping community? Do you want to be more involved in OHBM and learn about the exciting research led by our community members?
Then apply to join the OHBM Communications Committee! We’re currently accepting applications for new team members through 15 August (5pm PDT). Read on to discover what the Communications Committee does and how you can get involved.
OHBM 2022 Keynote Interview with Jonathan R. Polimeni: Modeling to invert the fMRI signal
Assistant Professor of Radiology, Center for Biomedical Imaging, New York University
Dr. Jonathan Polimeni is Assistant Professor of Radiology at Harvard Medical School and of Biomedical Engineering at Massachusetts General Hospital, Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging. In his research, he focuses on the fundamental understanding of neural activity in the brain, often in the visual cortex. In pursuing this understanding, Dr. Polimeni has along the way pushed the boundaries of fMRI. His work has resulted in many contributions to both neuroscience and functional imaging science, both in insights gained and in technical advancements. We had the opportunity to chat with Dr. Polimeni about his experience as a scientist and his vision on functional imaging.
Steven Baete (SB): To start things off, if you were not talking to brain mappers or scientists, how would you describe your research and your most proud scientific accomplishment?
Jon Polimeni (JP): I would first say that MRI tracks brain function not by detecting neural activity directly. Instead, you can see where the blood flow is increased in the brain in order to deliver oxygen to where it is needed. And because of the magnetic properties of the blood, we can track this with MRI. The blood vessels of the brain are quite smart, and can deliver blood exactly to where it is needed, when it is needed. The goal of my work is to understand how the blood flow is delivered to the brain and to build technologies to image this delivery more clearly. To make functional MRI a better tool to see neural activity and brain function in working brains.
My proudest scientific accomplishment is just to be able to contribute. As a domain, I feel like we have been able to both develop technologies to improve our abilities to track brain function with fMRI and to shed a few insights into this blood flow regulation. I am not sure if I can point to a single achievement, I am just happy to be a part of this endeavor.
Movement, Investigations and Therapeutics (MOV'IT) team and the Center for NeuroImaging Research (CENIR) at the Paris Brain Institute (ICM - Institut du Cerveau), Sorbonne Université, INSERM U1127, CNRS UMR 7225, Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital, France.
Dr Lozano is a neurosurgeon and University Professor at the University of Toronto, where he is best known for his work in the field of Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) and Magnetic Resonance-guided Focused Ultrasound (MRgFUS). His team has mapped cortical and subcortical circuits in the human brain and has advanced novel treatments for Parkinson’s disease and for depression, dystonia, anorexia, Huntington’s, and Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Lozano has over 750 publications and serves on the boards of several international organizations. He has trained over 70 international postdoctoral fellows. He has received a number of honors including Doctor Honoris Causa from the University of Sevilla, the Olivecrona Medal, the Pioneer in Medicine Award, and the Dandy Medal. He has been elected to the Royal Society of Canada, has received the Order of Spain, and is an Officer of the Order of Canada. Here, he sits down to discuss his work and his OHBM2022 Talairach address.
OHBM2022 Keynote Interview with Sarah Genon: Mapping the steps in the brain-behavior tango
Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Auburn University
“I was a lifelong chain smoker. Nothing in the world could stop me from smoking. Then, one day I had brain injury and my Insula was damaged. When I woke up, it felt like the urge to smoke had suddenly disappeared. It was as if a switch had been turned off. I could not believe what I was experiencing”
- By an anonymous ex chain smoker
PhD student at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences
Diversity & Inclusivity Events at the 2022 OHBM Annual Meeting: If you want to go far, go together
Valentina Borghesani, Lucina Uddin, Kangjoo Lee, Aman Badwhar & Rosanna Olsen
On behalf of the OHBM Diversity & Inclusivity Committee
The last two years have brought new challenges for the members of our global OHBM community. In particular, the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted and exacerbated existing inequities in having access to healthcare, including vaccines. During this time, we have also witnessed persistent racial and/or ethnocultural discrimination, which continues to affect members of our Society around the globe. Finally, while our recent survey indicated that many of our members have reported positive changes that support Diversity and Inclusivity at OHBM in the past two years, there is still a major lack of geographical representation within our Council and at our annual meeting. We, the OHBM Diversity & Inclusivity Committee, will continue to shine a light on these issues by discussing existing barriers and proposing solutions at the OHBM meeting Diversity Symposium and Roundtable events. We also continue to engage the “scientists of the future” around the world in our 2nd annual multilingual Kids Live Review (virtual) events.
Niall Duncan and Charlotte Rae
Authored on behalf of SEA-SIG, with figures from SEA-SIG’s forthcoming Symposium and publication
One of the great things about science is that it brings people together from around the world. These international connections allow people to share information and perspectives, driving knowledge forward. They also give us opportunities to meet new, interesting people and in doing so perhaps understand the world a little better. Unfortunately though, the possibility for people to come together physically from long distances also has some downsides for this planet that we all share.
As we know, Earth is facing a climate crisis. Human-induced changes in the climate are already showing their effect and are only set to get worse in the coming years. One driver of this crisis has been greenhouse gas pollution from air transport, representing around 4% of total such emissions. Even though a relatively small part of this total, we all contribute to it when we fly to connect with other scientists.
Postdoctoral researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences. OHBM Communications Committee chair.
With the annual meeting coming up, it’s getting very busy around OHBM. If you’re wondering what some of our committees and special interest groups (SIGs) have been and are up to, read on!
Leadership of OHBM is the responsibility of a duly elected 15 member Council supported and extended by numerous committees, chapters, special interest groups (SIGs), and a professional Executive Office staff team. Have you ever wondered who the people running OHBM are and how they got there?
Alfie Wearn and Yohan Yee
It’s May already, and that means one thing: OHBM 2022 is less than two months away. After two years of virtual-only conferencing, we are ready and excited to return to an in-person meeting! We are extremely excited to augment the “in-person” meeting -- for the first time -- with an online hybrid experience that supports the many individuals who will participate remotely.