Special Symposium on "Advanced MR Applications" and
14th National Magnetic Resonance Society Meeting

January 16-19, 2008

The 14th annual meeting of the National magnetic resonance society (NMRS-2008) is being organized by Institute of Nuclear Medicine & Allied Sciences (INMAS) at Dr. S Bhagwantam Auditorium, Metcalfe House, Civil Lines, Delhi from 16th to 19th January 2008. During this meeting a special international symposium on "Advanced MR Applications” is being held during the first two days. The symposium will deal with the developments and advancements in the frontier areas of biomedical magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy with special emphasis on functional, metabolic and neuro-imaging.

The meeting is being attended by about 250 Indian and 25 international delegates from national and international academic and research institutes with several of them legends in their area of work. The event will be inaugurated on 16th January 2008 at 0930 hrs by Dr T Ramasami, Secretary, Department of Science and Technology, Govt. of India and Lt. Gen. Yogender Singh VSM, PHS Director General Armed Force Medical Services (DGAFMS) will be the guest of honor. Prof Seiji Ogawa, the inventor of the Blood Oxygenation Level Dependent (BOLD) signal based MR contrast which forms the basis of functional MRI, one of the the most upcoming and promising application of MRI will also be present in the inauguration. The other eminent scientist present will include Dr W Selvamurthy, distinguished scientist and Chief Controller (LS&HR) DRDO, Prof K V Ramanathan, President NMR Society and Dr R P Tripathi, Director, INMAS. During the inauguration session Maj Gen (Retd) Dr N Lakshmipathi, VSM, Former Director of INMAS will be felicitated by the Society for bringing in the first MRI in the country. Dr Subash Khushu and Dr Namita Singh of INMAS are the convener and the organizing secretary of the meeting.

National Magnetic Resonance Society (NMRS) of India was established in the year 1995, with the aim of bringing together scientists working in the different areas of magnetic resonance on one plateform. The major participating institutes from India include Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, Tata Institute of fundamental research (TIFR) Mumbai, Centre of Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad, Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT) Hyderabad, National chemical Laboratory (NCL) Pune, IIT Chennai, All India Institute of medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, Centre for Biomedical Magnetic Resonance (CBMR), SGPGI Lucknow, Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS), Delhi.

INMAS, one of the life sciences laboratories of the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO), was established in the year 1961. Life sciences laboratories of DRDO are engaged in the research and development of products for the physical and mental health of the man behind the machine in armed forces.

INMAS has the distinction of setting up the first ever Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Centre in South East Asia way back in 1986 and use it in its clinical and biomedical research programme. In the initial years, being the only MRI centre in this sub-continent, INMAS not only catered to the diagnostic needs of armed forces but also to civilian population in India and neighboring countries besides developing human resource for the country in this emerging field. Important contributions in neuro-infection imaging, brain tumors and other neurological disorders was made and broad-based research experience using MRI and MRS in this institute made the medical community confident about the sophisticated technology, which resulted in the opening of several new advanced medical imaging centres in the country. The centre has now established an excellent functional MRI (fMRI) facility wherein clinical and applied cognitive research is being actively pursued. Cognitive studies related to short-term memory, multilingual complexity, visuo-spatial judgment skill impairments in alcoholism, mapping of socially relevant negative emotions and meditation are also being conducted. The combined fMRI and voxel based Morphometry (VBM) studies on alcoholism suggest possibly weakened visuo-perceptual and memory encoding ability resulting in diminished symmetry decision making skills due to an effected parieto-limbic and frontal network. The assessment of cognitive functioning in deficient and efficient human models by fMRI will go a long way in the diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of patients with cognitive impairment and improvement in the performance of man behind the machine under stressful working conditions. INMAS has developed several products for armed forces including MRI coils for human applications.

The international delegates of the symposium include Prof Seiji Ogawa from Japan, Prof. David G Gadian from University College London, Prof Elaine Holmes Imperial College London, Prof Uwe Klose and Dr Michael Erb from University of Tuebingen Germany, Dr Stefan Posse, University of New Maxico, Prof Veena Kumari from Kings College London, Dr Kohkan Shamsi, Acunova life sciences USA, Dr Tony Stocker from Research centre Juelich Germany.

The meeting promises to be an interesting event, providing an opportunity for the Radiologists, Clinicians, Physicists and Chemists, Biomedical Scientists, Biotechnologist, Biochemist and Engineers to interact and to know first hand about the developments at the national and international level in the area of magnetic resonance imaging. Holding of such an exhaustive event would be a great opportunity for the entire scientist community in the country to meet the experts and learn about the advanced techniques and applications of MR. The event has a special significance for INMAS and DRDO as it coincides with Golden Jubilee celebrations of the DRDO.