Friemds of WARMTH
As 2016 has been rolling on, I am looking forward to continue serving WARMTH as its President for the remaining part of 2016, and 2017. I must again repeat what I said in my initial letter when I took my office that I greatly appreciate my predecessors (Richard Baum, the Late Ajit Padhy, and Harvey Turner) who have provided excellent examples of leadership of WARMTH. I am fortunate to have been a part of such exciting teams, working with exceptional people instrumental in directing WARMTH, and thus my goal would be to keep maintaining our phenomenal success.
One of my missions has been to continue to lead WARMTH in a position of prominence within the various nuclear medicine societies, in particular the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (US) (SNMMI), and help our members achieve their goals at an international level within the mainstream of nuclear medicine. I will always welcome and appreciate any suggestions or comments that any of you may have in this regard, so please do not hesitate to contact me so we work together to improve and maintain the standing of WARMTH as the Association that serves as an umbrella for other nuclear medicine societies interested in all kinds of radiopharmaceutical therapies.
You may know that this started with the 2011 SNMMI Annual meeting in Miami, Florida, when I along with Ajit Padhy and Patricia Bernal reached out to the SNMMI Leadership to propose a sponsorship or collaboration. We were able to impress them with WARMTH's goals and missions, and the rest is history. We are in!
During 2013 and 2014, we co-sponsored a number of joint WARMTH-SNMMI CME (Continuing Medical Education) sessions, during both SNMMI Mid-Winter and the Annual meetings, and those were quite a success. In addition, our participation in the Categorical Seminars on Theragnostics at the 2015 Annual SNMMI meeting in Baltimore and this year’s Annual meeting in San Diego (“Theragnostics Beyond Neuroendocrine Tumors: Novel Applications of Targeted Radionuclide Therapy in Malignant and Nonmalignant Conditions”), were unique and very successful. The sponsoring Council/Center/Committees were: the new SNMMI Therapy Center of Excellence, Pediatric Imaging Council, Correlative Imaging Council, and World Association of Radiopharmaceutical and Molecular Therapy (WARMTH). The twenty or so Co-Organizers/Moderators/Speakers for this session included Irene Virgolini, Patricia Bernal, Emerita Barrenechea, and myself from the WARMTH side. Also, earlier in the year, we had participated in the SNMMI Mid-Winter meeting in Orlando, Florida, during the last week of January, where were able to organize three CME sessions with the co-sponsorship of WARMTH. These sessions have generally been full and many of these our co-sponsored sessions, were some of the best-attended sessions within the SNMMI meetings. These have been great beginnings for us in terms of the collaboration between WARMTH and SNMMI, and hopefully, this will flourish and continue to prevail.
Thus, I am readying our WARMTH to find a more permanent relationshinp with SNMMI, where we would have representation within the new SNMMI “Therapy Center of Excellence” as well, for which I feel very humbled and honored to have recently been appointed as the President by the SNMMI Leadership.
We had an extremely successful tenth ICRT-2015 in Innsbruck, Austria in May 2015. Irene Virgolini and her wonderful team did an absolutely superb job in organizing this congress. We had an outstanding local and international faculty and excellent attendance from participants from all over the world.
During this remaining year we have a number of stimulating occasions coming up, including our own Eleventh International Congress on Radiopharmaceutical Therapy (ICRT-2016), which will be held in November 2016 in Kerala, India. This will be our main yearly spotlight, and I am very proud that our current WARMTH Secretary, Dr. Partha Choudhury, is the President of this Congress. He started the preparation for it early this year with great enthusiasm, and we are looking forward to wellocoming you to India this November. We can be assured that it will be a huge success. For those of you not in attendance we have posted the abstracts online. The 2017 ICRT has yet to be decided.
In addition, as usual, we will continue to keep our collaboration and participation with other international Nuclear Medicine societies and organizations, such as WFNMB, AOFNMB, ARCCNM, AIPES and IRE, and others. I will continue further discussions with the Governing Board Members of the International Societies and organizations, and will continue to be active in this fashion for everybody’s mutual success.
I encourage you all, inasmuch as possible, to attend our ICRTs and ISRTs and the other nuclear medicine meetings and symposia and thus maintain our global recognition and presence in the field of ‘Theragnostics’, the soul of targeted radiopharmaceutical therapy (TRT), which we have initiated and promoted from the very beginning. In addition, I recommend that your Young Investigators and students also attend, as and when possible. These all are exciting forums for young scientists to present their results, network, and interact with other fellow nuclear society members. I will make sure that the WARMTH leadership will continue its efforts, with your help, to set aside a separate “Educational Fund” in its coffers to support these activities.
I will also assure that as in the past, IAEA support continues to be offered for our ICRT meetings. Unfortunately, this year they will not be able to attend, as before. I will work hard, with your help, to continue obtaining sponsorship of as many industrial companies as possible to support us for our various endeavors, in particular for our yearly ICRT’s. In addition, I will continue to attract additional WARMTH corporate members, who can support our specific needs for particular projects, such as our ongoing Re-188 clinical trials, and others in the future.
As a reminder we no longer use the services of Events-360 for performing our day-to-day business activities and communicate with our membership, as well as manage our membership database. This was agreed upon at the last Members Assembly at the ICRT-2015 in Innsbruck. At the moment, we are taking care of these responsibilities within the Governing Body members, in particular with the help of our Chief Operational Officer Mr. Josh Mailman, until we can find a permanent “office” hopefully in the USA or Europe. We are continuing to work on this important issue. We are a family and thus any help or suggestions from you, the members, will be highly appreciated.
I am pleased to state that in recognition of our Late Ajit Padhy’s contributions to WARMTH, we have decided to create an “Ajit Padhy Memorial Oration” the first of which will be held at our ICRT-2016 in Kerala, India. This Oration will continue at our future yearly ICRT’s. As it was for this coming ICRT, the nominations for the future Orations can be made by any WARMTH member, with a proposer & seconder with the candidate’s CV to be submitted to our WARMTH Administrator, at least 6 months before the meeting. From out of the nominated candidates, the Executive Board of our Governing Body will be carrying out the selection of the speaker. I am proud to tell you that Professor Hossein Jadvar (the SNMMI’s Immediate Past President) has accepted to be our First “Ajit Padhy Orator” at the ICRT-2016 in Kerala.
As you already realize, for some time now, we have gone totally electronic and have been constantly taking steps to improve our website with more interactive membership and payment opportunities for our members, for electronic elections, and for all kind of information and communications, etc. We all must again thank our current COO (Chief Operational Officer, Mr. Josh Mailman, who has extensive competence in IT and various other matters of administration). Despite his other very busy schedules, he has managed to be extremely helpful to WARMTH. His help and commitment to WARMTH thus far have been immeasurable, and hopefully would continue until we can find and appoint a new Secretariat.
New directions for our WJNM (World Journal of Nuclear Medicine) will continue to be implemented, with the help of our Editor in Chief, Prof John Buscombe, who has kindly accepted to continue this in his role, which he accepted during the ICRT-2014 in Manila. For this, I am very grateful to him and appreciate his loyalty, despite his many other extremely heavy responsibilities. More information on this and our other educational endeavors such as the WARMTH Theragnostic Academy (WTA), etc., will continue, and be announced from time to time.
With an ever-increasing WARMTH membership, presently at over 450 members, I would like to again repeat what has been repeatedly said, that we (desperately!) urge each of you to engage one single new member by the end of this year 2016. If we all do this, there is no reason for our membership not to leap to 1000 or more!
Finally, thanks to all of you, our last year 2015 was a very successful year for WARMTH, and it continues this year as well. However, we still require to face and resolve a number of difficult issues, which will be shared with you as time progresses. I am sure that with the help of our new Governing Body, and all of you, our members, we will do very well again in the coming term of my Presidency and beyond.
At last, I would like to thank each and every one of our members for your continued support, and for your help in maintaining a very positive future and outlook for WARMTH.
Prof. Dr. Suresh Srivastava
Prof. Dr. Irene Virgolini