On Thursday March 12th, our ESR Connect studio was the epicenter of an important discussion on COVID-19 as we had the privilege to host professor Josef Penninger, world-leading geneticist and immunologist. Prof. Penninger delivered a compelling and important lecture on ACE2 and its role in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The lecture focused on the discovery and importance of angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). Found in many organs, ACE2 positively affects blood pressure, kidney diseases, liver/lung fibrosis, and many other conditions. ACE creates angiotensin II which triggers angiotensin receptors AT1R and AT2R. This reaction can lead to lung edema and severe respiratory diseases, unless ACE2 is present. ACE2 molecules inactivate the bond between ACE and AngII and prevent the receptors from getting activated, thus protecting the organism from coming to harm. Read more…
For this month’s ESR News interview, we spoke to Prof. Laura Oleaga, from Barcelona, Spain, who serves on the ESR Executive Council as chair of the ESR Education Committee. She gave us an insight into the workings and recent achievements of her committee, as well as her own background within the ESR.
ESR News: What is the overall purpose of the ESR Education Committee and how does it operate?
Prof. Laura Oleaga: The purpose of the ESR Education Committee and its subcommittees is to promote education in radiology to achieve homogeneity in radiology education throughout Europe. To achieve this, the committee acts as a consultative body for all educational activities within the ESR and works closely with the European School of Radiology (ESOR), the European Board of Radiology (EBR), which organises the European Diploma in Radiology (EDiR), and the ESR’s e-Learning platform. The main objective of the committee is to achieve maximum quality in radiology training across Europe.
Prof. Laura Oleaga, chair of the ESR Education Committee
ESR: The committee interacts with a number of other groups and subcommittees. What roles do the European Training Assessment Programme Subcommittee (ETAP) and the Undergraduate Education Subcommittee play?
LO: Following the aim of harmonising the standards of radiology training in Europe, ETAP gives radiological institutions the opportunity to have their training programmes objectively assessed by external assessors nominated by the ESR, to guide their training in radiology according to the standards of the ESR European Training Curriculum for Radiology (ETC).
Moreover, it is important to promote the specialty of radiology in universities. In this regard the ESR Undergraduate Education Subcommittee is responsible for all activities aimed at the promotion of radiological education among medical students. The subcommittee has developed the paper Becoming a radiologist and is currently working on a guidance paper for all those interested or engaged in teaching radiology to medical undergraduates.
For this month’s ESR News interview, we spoke to Prof. Michael Fuchsjäger, from Graz, Austria, who serves on the ESR Executive Council as chair of the ESR Finance & Internal Affairs Committee. He gave us an insight into the workings and recent achievements of his committee, as well as his own background within the ESR.
ESR Office: What is the overall purpose of the ESR FIA Committee and how does it operate?
Prof. Michael Fuchsjäger: The Finance and Internal Affairs Committee is responsible for monitoring the ESR’s investments and preparing the society’s annual budget. It presents regular updates to the Executive Council for discussion and final approval. To set a good example and save both time and resources, most of the committee’s meetings are held as part of the Executive Council meetings rather than on separate occasions. Aside from budgetary questions, the committee is also responsible for membership issues. The ESR reached a record of 60,000 members in June last year, finally peaking at 62,934 individual members from 156 countries. Despite this huge number, which makes the ESR the world’s biggest radiological society, the ESR attaches great importance to maintaining a high professional standard of its member community. The FIA Committee receives reports from the ESR Office’s Membership Department at regular intervals, which is part of the mechanism to ensure that the application criteria for the various membership categories are met. Membership subscription for 2015 is still open until August 27, 2015. Before this deadline, there will be increased promotion especially among those who have not yet seized the opportunity to benefit from the numerous related benefits. I invite all of you to visit the ESR website for more information.
Prof. Michael Fuchsjäger, chair of the ESR Finance & Internal Affairs Committee
ESR: What are the main issues currently on the committee’s agenda, and how are they being tackled?
MF: The ESR’s budget is constantly monitored with the ultimate goal of achieving the best possible efficiency for the benefit of the society’s members. Each project proposed by any of the ESR’s numerous committees, subcommittees and other entities has an impact on the budget. When evaluating potential new activities in terms of cost efficiency, the ESR focuses on meeting the demands of its membership and the radiological scientific community. The evaluation is of course a constant process and continues for all established activities. The ESR committees and their sub-entities are structured in such a way as to create and permanently monitor synergies, for example by cross-representation of their members. The committee chairs, who attend all meetings of their sub-entities and coordinate their activities, regularly report to the Executive Council. This allows for quick decision making processes, also in terms of potential budgetary implications.
For this month’s ESR News interview we spoke to Prof. Hans-Ulrich Kauczor, from Heidelberg, Germany, who serves on the ESR Executive Council as chair of the ESR Research Committee. He gave us an insight into the workings and recent achievements of his committee, as well as his own background within the ESR.
ESR Office: What is the main purpose of the ESR Research Committee (RC) and how does it work in practice?
Hans-Ulrich Kauczor: The main purpose of the RC is strategic. The RC provides strategic recommendations to the ESR Executive Council. To do this properly, the RC surveys and supports the need of researchers in radiology. Also, the RC leverages the research-focused collaboration with other disciplines and their respective European societies.
One recent major achievement in this regard was the collaboration with the European Respiratory Society (ERS), where we agreed on joint recommendations on lung cancer screening in Europe, which we published in May 2015 simultaneously in European Radiology and the European Respiratory Journal.
Other major collaborations are in the field of imaging biomarkers together with the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) and the RSNA’s Quantitative Imaging Biomarkers Alliance (QIBA), as well as imaging biobanks with the Biobanking and BioMolecular Resources Research Infrastructure (BBMRI-ERIC).
Prof. Hans-Ulrich Kauczor, chair of the ESR Research Committee
ESR: Can you explain the role of the Research Committee’s subcommittees and the recent structural changes that have taken place?
HUK: Just over two years ago, three additional working groups were established under the umbrella of the RC. Working groups exist temporarily to accomplish a certain goal for the ESR. The main goal of each of these working groups was to write and publish an opinion or white paper in their field. The outcomes in each of these fields were as follows:
The Europen Society of Radiology works hard to represent radiologists throughout the continent. But Europe is a diverse place, and the support of European national radiological societies, most of which are institutional members of the ESR, is essential. The ESR National Societies Committee is our primary forum for communication and cooperation with those national societies. We spoke to the committee chairperson, Prof. Deniz Akata, to find out a little about the committee’s functions and her own role.
ESR Office: What is the main purpose of the National Societies Committee (NSC) and how is the committee composed?
Deniz Akata: The main purpose and continuous task of the NSC is to consolidate and strengthen relations with the ESR’s national institutional member societies. Regular communication between them and the ESR is very important, especially on matters regarding the ESR’s educational, research and professional policies. In a way, the ESR provides guidance and benefits to member countries in many professional issues. On the other hand, we need national societies to maximize the promotion of these activities. The presidents of the ESR’s 44 national Institutional Member Societies are ex-officio members of the committee.
Prof. Deniz Akata, chair of the ESR National Societies Committee
ESR: How does the committee work in practice? Where, when, and how do meetings take place?
DA: The ESR National Societies Committee officially meets in Vienna once a year, during the European Congress of Radiology, where the chairperson of the committee gives a brief report regarding the ESR’s annual activities and answers delegates’ questions and gets their feedback. On the other hand, we have continuous relationships with the national societies through mailings, surveys and newsletters throughout the year. The ESR Annual Leadership Meeting, usually held in November, is also an excellent official get-together with our institutional members. At the last meeting, which took place in Florence in November 2014, representatives of the institutional member societies actively enrolled and presented their points of view regarding some of the most common and challenging topics in our profession. All day long, the meeting was very well attended and very fruitful discussions were held.
We also try to get into personal contact with each national society during their national congresses or meetings. To this end, we started the initiative to hold “National Society meets ESR” sessions, which has been very welcomed by the national societies
ECR Today spoke with the incoming ESR President, Prof. Lluís Donoso Bach, Director of the Diagnostic Imaging Department of the Hospital Clínic of the University of Barcelona and Executive Director of the UDIAT Diagnostic Centre at the Health Corporation Parc Taulí, to find out about his plans for the ESR over the coming year.
New ESR President, Prof. Lluís Donoso Bach
ECR Today: What will be your priorities as ESR President?
Lluís Donoso Bach: The ESR has a good track record in education and we will continue to innovate through the ECR. We will also open new learning centres in Vienna and Bogotá and are planning a further centre in Moscow.
Because of the financial crisis, it is more important than ever that we develop efficient systems, so we will increasingly rely on electronic, web-based services for our members. This is why we decided to launch the ESR eLearning Platform. This represents a big challenge, and we will see how it works as a business model and how our members use the platform throughout the year. We will also try to offer an examination for the European Diploma in Radiology online. There are a lot of experiences and successful models to draw inspiration from.
We will also continue our efforts in research through the European Institute for Biomedical Imaging Research (EIBIR). The ESR Research Committee has been working a lot on the quantification of data using biomarkers and biobanks, focusing in particular on oncology and trying to have more influence in that area. Quality and safety is another very important issue for us. During ECR 2015, we launched ESR iGuide, a clinical decision support system for European imaging referral guidelines, following the example set by the American College of Radiology with ACR Select.
We also want to offer our members tools to improve quality in their departments. The ESR Quality, Safety and Standards Committee has thus created Level 1 clinical audit templates based on safety. We should also explore the possibility of performing quality controls at the level of department management.
Lobbying with European institutions has been an important field of battle for us in the past few years, and we will consolidate our action in this field keeping the momentum and relying on the personal contacts and networks established over the past years. We launched a Call for a European Action Plan for Medical Imaging in the European Parliament on November 4, to highlight existing heterogeneities in medical imaging in Europe in the areas of quality and safety, education and training, research, and eHealth, and to call for joint targeted actions to improve harmonisation in these areas.
Dear Friends of the ECR,
With the European Congress of Radiology 2015 now just around the corner, I hope you are looking forward to it as much as I am. As an attendee of every ECR over the last 25 years, I have seen the meeting evolve significantly. I have watched the crowds in the entrance hall and the audiences in the lecture rooms swell to a point where the ECR now regularly attracts more than 20,000 participants. I am confident that this year will be no exception, because the ECR’s deserved reputation is not only for high scientific quality but also for constant innovation in science, education, interactivity, and networking.
Many of you will already have received your congress badge in the post and will be patiently waiting for the moment you can proudly display it as you walk into the Austria Center Vienna. A lot of you have hopefully also made use of the Interactive Programme Planner to browse the sessions and posters on offer at ECR 2015 and to start planning your visit. If you’re not attending in person, you can still use it to start planning your online viewing, as most of the sessions will again be available on our streaming platform, ECR Live.
ECR 2015 Congress President, Prof. Bernd Hamm, from Berlin, Germany
An important development this year, which I hope will help to make that planning even easier, is the restructuring of the session formats. Most of the educational sessions at the ECR are now grouped under the heading of E³ – European Excellence in Education, and they are now arranged according to the different levels defined by the European Training Curriculum for Radiology. Here, I would like to introduce you to the five branches of the E³ programme, which reflect the different levels of education in radiology, as well as the different stages of an individual’s professional career:
The Rising Stars programme is already well established at the ECR; it is a series of sessions prepared especially for residents, medical students, and radiographers in training. This year there are six basic sessions, four student sessions and four different hands-on workshops on ultrasound within the Rising Stars programme.
View the Rising Stars programme in the Interactive Programme Planner > here
This month, the prize on offer is free registration for a course offered by the European School of Radiology (ESOR), anywhere in Europe. Simply leave your answer to the question below, as a comment on this post, before February 23 (comments now closed). All correct answers will be entered into a draw and a winner will be selected by the editor of ESR News. The answer and winner will be announced by the end of February.
Question: What is the most likely diagnosis?
A. Maxillary antroliths
B. Gardner syndrome
Click here to reveal the answer
Congratulations to the winner of this month’s competition, Helene Gimonet!
Thank you to all participants and well done to those who got the correct answer. Keep an eye out for the March issue of ESR News and your next chance to win registration for an ESOR course of your choice.
Please note that the competition is open to ESR members only. The choice of ESOR course is open, but the winner must fit any eligibility criteria for the chosen course. The prize must be claimed within 12 months.
Click here for a current overview of ESOR courses.
This month we’re offering you a third and final chance to win free registration for ECR 2015, Europe’s biggest and best imaging meeting. Simply leave your answer to the question below, as a comment on this post, before January 26 (comments now closed). All correct answers will be entered into a draw and a winner will be selected by the editor of ESR News. The answer and winner will be announced by the end of January. Please note that the competition is open to ESR members only.
Question: Which is the most likely diagnosis?
A: Partial tear anterior cruciate ligament
B: Mucoid degeneration anterior cruciate ligament
Click here to reveal the answer
Congratulations to the winner of this month’s competition, Dr. Victor Konikov, who recieves free registration for ECR 2015!
Thank you to all participants and well done to those who got the correct answer. Keep an eye out for the February issue of ESR News and your chance to win a new ESOR-related prize.
ESR Office: What is the main purpose of the ESR Publications Committee and how does it operate?
Lorenzo Derchi: The aim of the ESR Publications Committee is to coordinate the society’s many publications and to advance them. Our two journals, European Radiology and Insights into Imaging, as well as our two electronic databases EURORAD and EPOS, are the ESR’s most important scientific endeavours. The two newsletters, ESR@Work and ESR News, are the means through which the society keeps in touch with all its institutional and individual members.
Behind the success of these initiatives is the dedication of a large number of people. The first are the Editors-in-Chief of each publication. Their expertise in relating with the submitting authors, guiding the groups of section editors and scientific reviewers, and choosing the right directions for continuous increase of the standing of their journals are to be underlined. Then, all members of the Scientific Publications Department at the ESR office in Vienna have to be remembered. Their work is essential as they follow each submitted manuscript through the editorial process, ensure all deadlines are met to keep every issue on time, and maintain the house style that makes all ESR publications recognisable among all other publications.
Prof. Lorenzo Derchi, chair of the ESR Publications Committee
ESR: What are the main issues currently on the committee’s agenda, and how are they being tackled? What new issues or projects do you think the Publications Committee will be dealing with in the coming years?
LD: During 2014, together with Springer, we decided to start a new online-first textbook series based on the ESR European Training Curriculum for Radiology, which should help candidates preparing to take the European Diploma of Radiology. The books are in fact intended to be written by trainees under the supervision of a senior volume editor. There will be eleven volumes and all contributions will be invited and planned simultaneously, with a target completion date in late 2016 or early 2017. The Series Editor of the whole initiative will be Prof. Birgit Ertl-Wagner, from Munich. ESR members will have free access to the books through SpringerLink, via the ESR MyUserArea.