Advanced White Matter Imaging Workshop 2011 - Recap
Quoting Alex MacKay:
[This is] a brief report on our recent Advanced White Matter Imaging Workshop which was held in Reykjavik, Iceland from August 21 to August 26, 2011.
The workshop had about 80 participants, including 16 invited speakers and 6 tutorial leaders. The first day focused on applications of white matter imaging, including neurodevelopment, white matter diseases and plasticity. The second day was dedicated to relaxation, the third to diffusion and the fourth to magnetization transfer techniques. A novel aspect of the meeting was the inclusion of tutorials on each of the three above techniques.
In my opinion, and that of many I have talked to, this was an outstanding workshop. The talks and posters were, without exception, excellent and the Hilton Nordica provided us with very good facilities and superb food. What made this an outstanding event for me were 1) the lengthy and productive discussion periods and 2) the tutorial sessions.
The tutorial sessions were designed to have experts explain what is required to acquire and analyze results from relaxation, diffusion and magnetization transfer measurements. We heard important details that are generally not mentioned in papers, but are required knowledge for those who wish to use these advanced MR techniques. These sessions also included ‘hands on’ instruction; participants were given Matlab code written for simulations and for analysis of data from advanced MR techniques. Those with Matlab installed on their laptops computers could actually run the code during the tutorials; others can run the code when they get back to their labs. This code will give participants a substantial headstart if they are not already well set up for these techniques.
I would like to express my sincere thanks to Sean Deoni, the chairman of this wonderful meeting; his choice of speakers and organization of the program, including tutorials and circulation of software played a key role on the success of the workshop. Corree Laule did an incredible amount of work for this meeting; she assembled the abstracts, chaired the abstract review team, made many adjustments to the program and created the program booklet. Shannon Kolind was closely involved with much of the workshop; in particular she carried out many organizational tasks on site. Roland Henry and I joined Corree on the poster review committee. Linda Chandler worked hard to find meeting sponsors. The rest of the organizing committee were also very active and they included Charles Guttman, Bruce Pike and Greg Stanisz. Greg deserves special mention for not only suggesting Iceland for the venue but also suggesting the idea of tutorials. Finally we are grateful to the MR manufacturers, Bruker, General Electric, Philips and Siemens, to GlaxoSmithKline, to the Montreal Neurological Institute and to the Brown University Institute for Brain Science for their generous financial and in kind support of this meeting.