By Martin Sherriff, B.App.Sc., R.T. (MR), 2019 Annual Meeting Program Committee Chair

This blog will highlight the new additions to this year’s program and some other great announcements pertinent to the SMRT 2019 Annual Meeting. And it might be a little long… it certainly is for me, so I hope you read it all…

One of the firsts for 2019, is the Friday afternoon session before the Poster presentations and Welcome ceremony. We have four great speakers to kick off the meeting, starting with our past president and first European president, Titti Owman, and finally some guy named Bill… never heard of him myself… (Seriously though, Bill Faulkner is a ‘legendary’ MRI Technologist, and his presentations are always highly informative and entertaining).

Traditionally the poster presentations are held in the exhibit room, but typically, only a handful of people can see the presentation and the speaker. Therefore, we have instituted another change; the poster presenters will showcase their posters via PowerPoint with five slides. This allows everyone to see the great works that MRI Technologists and Radiographers are doing throughout the world. In saying that, I would like to congratulate the poster winners Kristina Pelkola, Pradeep Negi, Ilse Patterson, Vahid Ravanfar, Ilse Patterson and Vicky Liao on their achievement.

Also, it would be remiss not to mention at this time the winner of the John A. Koveleski Award for Professional Development, Jason Ortman who will be presenting on ‘Whole Body Non-contrast Fresh Blood Imaging (FBI) using 3T MRI’. Congratulations to Jason for receiving such a prodigious award of the SMRT.

Saturday and Sunday are the tried and tested format of the past few years of the Annual Meeting. There will be multiple sessions each day with the late morning being parallel sessions to appeal to as many varieties of Radiographers and Technologists as possible. Throughout the weekend there will be a total of 12 forums. On Saturday the forums include Body imaging, PET-MR, Interventional, Neuro and CNS imaging as well as the SMRT Business meeting. I’m sure some of you are like great, as in great… and others are like great… yeah not so much; honestly, I used to think that. However, this is one of the most important parts of the Meeting (and as a not for profit society we have to do it!).

Yet, more importantly, the incoming President, Shawna Farquharson, is inducted as the current President, Chris Kokkinos hands over the gavel. New Policy Board members are introduced – Erin Gray, Thao Tran, Brandy Willis & Allison Epstein. And in these fiscal times, the importance of the Financial report cannot be understated, it illustrates how your (and my) membership dollars are used and accounted for. The SMRT, others and I serving on the Policy Board, want to make this organization better for you, the members. It is critical that you understand and know who we are and where we are going. Your help is needed, and we want to hear from you!

The other tradition of the SMRT Meeting is the Saturday Welcome Reception. This year’s event is being held at Scena, a short walk (~1100m from the Palais des Congrès de Montréal) through the beautiful cobbled streets of Old Montréal to the Old Port of Montréal on the banks of the St. Lawrence River. It’s a great evening to discuss the day’s proceedings, chat with invited speakers and of course, meet with the many great people from throughout the world.

Sunday has seven forums, which include MSK, Management, Advanced Applications and, last but certainly not least, MR Safety. The other three forums on Sunday are new for this year.

First, the Neuro Proffered Papers forum. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate each of the six proffered paper winners (4 of which will present in this session). This is a fantastic achievement and honor to be recognized at an international meeting. Congratulations to Yasuo Takatsu, Patricia Maishi, Erin Gray, Rebecca Glarin, Petronella Samuels and Kim Hin Lo. Also, this year, each of the proffered paper presentations is available for .25 CE/CPD credits. It’s an absolute win-win, you can support your peers and get credit for it as well.

Sunday wouldn’t be Sunday without a little ‘fun’ included in the ‘day’… So rather than have a monotone presenter talk on artifacts and remedies/compensation etc… we thought we’d liven it up a little this year. Hence, we have the Artifact Game show. This is your opportunity to be part of the meeting, without even having to be on stage. So have you experienced an artifact that was cool looking or something you haven’t seen before? How did you correct for it (or not)? Was the artifact beneficial to diagnosis or not…? This can be hugely fun and even educational, so please, submit your artifacts to They’ll forward it on to the Artifact Game Show judges, and maybe yours will make the cut… there might even be a prize for the ‘best or most original’ artifact submission

This year also marks the first SMRT President’s Lecture on Sunday. This is also significant as this will be the inaugural President’s session. It marks the highest proffered paper award winner, the Presidents Award. My congratulations to Julia Watson for her submission on “Monitoring Acute Low Back Pain using 2D Correlated Spectroscopy of the Brain at 3T: A Case Study.” This will be followed by the Presidential Lecturer. It is a great honor for Chris Kokkinos and me to introduce the inaugural Presidential Lecturer, Dr. Denis Le Bihan, who is the ‘b’ in b-value and an absolute legend in the world of MRI. Dr. Le Bihan is a world-leading expert in MR diffusion and is credited with inventing, developing and introducing into research and clinical practice the concept of Diffusion MRI. He is also the founding Director of France’s NeuroSpin, an internationally renowned, Ultrahigh Field MRI Neuroimaging Center, and the site of an 11.7T full body MRI scanner. This is one presentation that you absolutely should NOT miss.

Monday is the Joint Forum of the SMRT & ISMRM. All 3-day, 4-day, and 7-day registrants are welcome to attend this forum, which has been coordinated and organized by Claire Mulcahy, SMRT and Doug Noll, ISMRM. This year’s forum is titled “Chasing Speed & Spatial Resolution: At What Point Is Enough?” I am really looking forward to the debate on this topic between Radiologists, Scientists, Radiographers/Technologists and also from the audience during the discussion period.

I hope this has whetted your appetite for Montréal. A city that’s in love with festivals, the arts, good food, living well and enjoying life to the hilt. Montréal has one of the most exciting food scenes in North America, and it’s known as a foodie city for a good reason. With such a multicultural population, French history, magnificent food markets reminiscent of Paris, neighborhoods from Little Italy, to Chinatown, to a Little Maghreb, the cuisine from just about every country under the sun can be found here. For those looking for the authentic Montréal experience, poutine, smoked sandwiches and bagels should definitely be on your radar.

Registration is open. The early bird deadline is closing soon, real soon. So get in ASAP and save your dollars for the poutine. There are several options to choose from – single day (onsite only), 3-day, 4-day, and 7-day registrations. Both the 3 and 4-day registrations are a great value. The 3-day registration provides access to all the SMRT lectures from Friday to Sunday and the Joint Forum on Monday morning. The 4-day registration includes access to the full SMRT meeting and full access to the “ISMRM Monday Program,” which includes an additional four sessions accredited for a total of 7.75 CE/CPD credits.

Speaking of CE credits, we are trying to maximize the available credits for this meeting. Provisionally, there are 14.75 credits for the 3-day registration and another 7.75 credits for the 4-day registration. So depending on your requirements, we are hoping that this will help towards meeting your expectations and requirements for your continuing educational needs.

I hope many of you have secured your travel plans or the process. Here are some websites that might help you finalize your arrangements and some tips:

For accommodation assistance, please visit the official housing company for the SMRT & ISMRM meeting. Honestly, the prices available from the CHM, partner to the ISMRM, offers some of the best prices ever. I have spent many hours, on many websites (Expedia, Momondo, Kayak, Bookings…) and have yet to find anything that is even close to the prices they offer. They’re great deals…

Discount airfare code available for the meeting.

Traveling internationally, please refer to the Canadian Immigration website for Visa details.

And lastly, what sport is Canada famous for? If you said Lacrosse, you’d be correct, but most likely you said Hockey. Ice Hockey for some of us. The NHL (National Hockey League) regular season is drawing to a close which leads to play-offs and the Stanley Cup. Currently, the Montréal Canadiens (who have more Stanley Cups than anyone (34) and are the last Canadian Team to win the Stanley in 1993) are sitting in 8th position in the Eastern Conference. And with the Winnipeg Jets playing well, the Toronto Maple Leafs, who last won the Stanley Cup in 1967 also playing really well, and my home team the Calgary Flames having their best year since 1989… early/mid-May in Canada might be a little crazy, and it’ll be awesome!!!

Looking forward to meeting so many of you in Montréal.


2019 SMRT Program Chair