BY CYRIL PERNET
The second meeting of the OHBM Alpine Chapter, with participants from Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, France and Great Britain, took place on November 25-26, 2016. Over 100 scientists spent the weekend in Salzburg discussing translational imaging and the applications of fMRI in the clinic. At the meeting, leading Alpine researchers discussed the clinical applications of MRI, such as fMRI in single patients, advancing presurgical applications in epilepsy, and diagnosing developmental abnormalities.
Cyril Pernet (CP): Could you tell us about the history of the Alpine OHBM Chapter?
Roland Beisteiner (RB): We started with functional MRI in 1992 at the Medical University of Vienna at the Department of Neurology. Interest spread throughout Austria and in 2004 we founded the Austrian Society for Functional MRI.
CP: Why did you decide to become an OHBM Chapter?
RB: Since the foundation of the Austrian Society, interest around functional MRI and clinical applications of new medical technologies grew continuously and collaborations with colleagues from Switzerland and Germany increased. The proposal from OHBM Council to form regional chapters was a perfect opportunity for us to reflect this regional growth.
CP: What are the benefits of becoming a Chapter?
RB: OHBM is a very well-known organization and it gave us immediate ‘brand’ recognition, increasing our visibility. Interestingly, this also attracted new members to OHBM.
CP: What is the mission of the Alpine Chapter?
RB: At its heart this is about scientific exchange and increase in collaborations oriented toward clinical research. We are however dedicated to have that exchange open not just to the clinicians but also to psychologists and methods-oriented people. Finally, we are also committed to education, and this annual symposium and our educational courses (e.g. regular courses on clinical functional imaging) are accredited for continuous medical education.
CP: To conclude this interview, could you tell us what do you see in the future of the Chapter?
RB: What I see immediately, is our next Alpine Chapter Symposium, Nov. 3-4, 2017 in Bern. Generally, it is our hope that we can push for greater visibility of translational imaging. We want to extend clinical applicability of brain mapping including new techniques, like brain stimulation. Beyond research on patient groups, this shall put these amazing technologies to use for the immediate benefits of patients in the clinic.
Further info on the OHBM Alpine Chapter meeting can be seen in these storified meeting details.
Follow us on Twitter: OHBMSciNews – the OHBM Alpine tweets were ‘storified’ by C Pernet: https://storify.com/CyrilRPernet/getting-started