RSNA Press Release

RSNA Announces Honored Lectures and Annual Orations

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Released: November 29, 2015

CHICAGO — The Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) annually invites eminent researchers and leaders to deliver honored lectures during the RSNA Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting. RSNA 2015 will feature honored lectures by these esteemed leaders: Darrell G. Kirch, M.D., Jeffrey R. Immelt, James H. Thrall, M.D., Walter J. Curran, M.D., Jonathan E. McConathy, M.D., Ph.D., and Bruce R. Rosen, M.D., Ph.D.

Special Lecture: Sunday, Nov. 29

In this Special Lecture, Darrell G. Kirch, M.D., the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), will highlight the political and economic realities facing U.S. healthcare, including the shift from fee-for-service toward population-based payments in healthcare financing, reductions in clinical revenue, stagnant research funding and a demand for new approaches in medical education.

Dr. Kirch's talk will spotlight the critical success factors for healthcare leaders in this transformative period. Clinical care in the 21st century requires new leaders who will foster a culture that is collaborative, team-based, service-based, mutually accountable and patient centered. Tomorrow's physicians will need to adapt to—and even create—disruptive innovations in operating models, clinical care, education and technology.

As AAMC president, Dr. Kirch speaks and publishes widely on the need for transformation in the nation's healthcare system and about how academic medicine can lead that change across medical education, medical research and patient care. His career spans all aspects of academic medicine and includes leadership positions at two medical schools and academic health systems, as well as at the National Institutes of Health.

Before becoming AAMC president in 2006, Dr. Kirch was selected as chair-elect of the association, and co-chaired the AAMC Liaison Committee on Medical Education, the accreditation body for medical schools. He also has served as chair of the AAMC Council of Deans Administrative Board and chair of the American Medical Association Section on Medical Schools.

His present post followed six years as senior vice president for health affairs, dean of the college of medicine and CEO of the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center at Pennsylvania State University. Before joining Penn State, Dr. Kirch held a number of leadership positions at the Medical College of Georgia from 1994 to 2000, including serving as dean of the medical school, senior vice president for clinical activities and dean of the school of graduate studies.

New Horizons Lecture: Monday, Nov. 30

For the last 100 years, innovation has been synonymous with technological advancements. In healthcare, innovation was realized with the first X-ray machine, first multi-slice CT scanner and first silent MRI. However, it's no longer enough to develop advanced medical technologies with a high IQ—it's what we do with those images, how we share, how we diagnose and how we drive better outcomes—that really matters.

It is becoming increasingly important in the healthcare industry to think about investments and offerings in new ways, moving away from creating technology just for the sake of technology, according to Jeffrey R. Immelt, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of General Electric (GE). Researchers and manufacturers need to concentrate their efforts to deliver the type of innovation that will truly improve the health of millions of people around the world.

Immelt held several global leadership positions since joining GE in 1982, including roles in plastics, appliances and healthcare business. Immelt became a GE officer in 1989 and joined the GE Capital Board in 1997. He has served as GE's Chairman and CEO since 2001.

Immelt has been named one of the World's Best CEOs three times by Barron's. Since Immelt began serving as CEO, GE has been named "America's Most Admired Company" in a poll conducted by Fortune magazine and one of the World's Most Respected Companies in polls by Barron's and the Financial Times.

In other roles, Immelt served as chair of President Obama's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness and as a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.

Annual Oration in Diagnostic Radiology: Tuesday, Dec. 1

Three categories of innovation will shape the future of radiology: imaging technologies, infrastructure and information/communications systems, and the application of the imaging correlates of precision medicine, according to James H. Thrall, M.D.

On the horizon, X-ray based imaging will reduce radiation exposure to the point that dose will no longer be a topic of concern or controversy, and phase contrast imaging with X-rays—which has the potential to reduce radiation doses by 10- to 100-fold or more—is likely to be the next entirely new imaging method in clinical practice. Data will drive development of better appropriateness criteria, which will be immediately available to ordering providers and their patients, Dr. Thrall says. And radiology will play a critical role in precision medicine by establishing links between patient genotype and imaging phenotypes for surveillance of disease manifestation, assessment of disease extent and discovery of genetic polymorphisms.

But the future holds challenges for the specialty as well. New developments will lead to vastly increased complexity in radiology practice with associated increased educational requirements especially in parametric imaging. And radiology will face an unremitting competition for "ownership" of imaging methods between specialties in clinical practice and in research, Dr. Thrall says.

Dr. Thrall is chairman emeritus, Department of Radiology, at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston. Dr. Thrall served as chairman of the Department of Radiology at Massachusetts General Hospital Chairman from 1988 until 2013 while holding the Juan M. Taveras Professorship of Radiology at Harvard Medical School.

Annual Oration in Radiation Oncology: Wednesday, Dec. 2

In 2014, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) transformed its longstanding cooperative group program into the new National Clinical Trials Network (NCTN).

NCTN then created five new groups including NRG Oncology, a non-profit research organization formed to conduct oncologic clinical research and to broadly disseminate study results for informing clinical decision making and healthcare policy, according to Walter J. Curran, M.D., Chairman of NRG Oncology.

NRG Oncology brings together the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project, the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group and the Gynecologic Oncology Group, each recognized internationally as a research leader. The organization focuses its clinical and translational research efforts on patients afflicted with malignant brain tumors, head and neck cancers, lung cancers, breast cancers, gastrointestinal cancers, genitourinary cancers and gynecologic cancers. Dr. Curran will discuss the means by which NRG Oncology develops and executes practice-defining research for these patients on a global basis.

Dr. Curran is the executive director of Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University, Atlanta, and the Georgia Research Alliance Scholar and Chair in Cancer Research. Dr. Curran also serves as the Lawrence W. David Professor and Chairman of the Department of Radiation Oncology at Emory School of Medicine. He served as chairman and principal investigator of the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group, an NCI-funded cooperative group.

RSNA/AAPM Symposium: PET/MR Imaging: Translation to Practice - Thursday, Dec. 3

In this symposium presented in conjunction with the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM), Jonathan E. McConathy, M.D., Ph.D., and Bruce R. Rosen, M.D., Ph.D., will describe the motivations underlying dual-modality PET/MRI systems and the role of PET/MRI in clinical practice and research studies. The lecturers will also address the challenges and potential solutions of advanced PET/MR imaging.

Dr. McConathy's presentation, "PET/MR Imaging in Practice: A Clinical Perspective," will provide an update and overview of current and potential future uses of clinical PET/MRI with a focus on oncology. Dr. Rosen's presentation, "PET/MR Imaging in Practice: A Research Perspective," will discuss the revolutionary role of PET/MR in yielding new insights that expand the type of physiological information that can be gained from in-vivo imaging.

Dr. McConathy is an assistant professor of radiology at the Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology in St. Louis, Mo. His research focuses on the development and translational application of PET tracers for oncology and neuroscience through multi-modality imaging with PET/CT and PET/MRI. For over a decade, Dr. McConathy has been involved in the development and evaluation of radiolabeled amino acids for tumor imaging.

A 2008 recipient of the RSNA Roentgen Resident/Fellow Research Award, Dr. McConathy serves on the RSNA Education Exhibits Awards Committee and as chair of the RSNA Scientific Program Committee's Nuclear Medicine Subcommittee.

Dr. Rosen is the Laurence Lamson Robbins Professor of Radiology at Harvard Medical School and a professor of health sciences and technology at the Harvard Medical School-Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston. He serves as director of the Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), MIT and Harvard Medical School. Dr. Rosen was named the 2011 RSNA Outstanding Researcher.

Over the past 30 years, Dr. Rosen's research has focused on the development and application of physiological and functional nuclear MRI techniques. He leads several large interdisciplinary and inter-institutional research and training programs focusing on the development of novel biomedical imaging technologies and their applications to diverse programs of basic and clinical research.

Note: Copies of RSNA 2015 news releases and electronic images will be available online at beginning Monday, Nov. 30.

RSNA is an association of more than 54,000 radiologists, radiation oncologists, medical physicists and related scientists, promoting excellence in patient care and health care delivery through education, research and technologic innovation. The Society is based in Oak Brook, Ill. (