Dear Friends of WARMTH!
As the New Year 2016 has begun, I am looking forward to serving the WARMTH as its President for the two years (2016 /17). 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 excited to have been a part of such exciting teams and working with the exceptional people instrumental in directing WARMTH, and thus my goal is to continue to maintain our phenomenal success.
One of my missions has been to lead WARMTH in a position of prominence within the many nuclear medicine societies, in particular the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI), and help our members to achieve their goals at an international level; within the mainstream of nuclear medicine. I 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 an Association that serves as an umbrella for other nuclear medicine societies interested in all kinds of radiopharmaceutical therapies.
This began in 2011 at the SNMMI Annual meeting in Miami, Florida, when I along with Ajit Padhy and Patricia Bernal reached out to the SNMMI Leadership to propose some kind of a sponsorship or collaboration. We were able to impress them with WARMTH's goals and mission, and the rest is history. We are in!
In 2013 and 2014, we scheduled a number of joint WARMTH-SNMMI CME (Continuing Medical Education) sessions, during both the Mid-Winter and the Annual meetings, which were quite a success. In particular, our Categorical Seminar on Theragnostics in 2015 in Baltimore was unique and very successful. The meeting rooms have generally been full and for many of these sessions, I have been told that they 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 continue.
During this coming year, we have a number of stimulating events, including our participation last week in the SNMMI Mid-Winter meeting in Orlando, Florida, where we were able to organize three CME sessions with the co-sponsorship of WARMTH. For the Annual meeting of SNMMI in San Diego, California, I submitted a proposal to organize a Categorical Session entitled: “Theragnostics Beyond Neuroendocrine Tumors: Novel Applications of Targeted Radionuclide Therapy in Malignant and Nonmalignant Conditions”. This session was just recently approved by the SNMMI Scientific Committee and will be held on Saturday June 10, from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM. The sponsoring Council/Center/Committees are: SNMMI Therapy Center of Excellence, Pediatric Imaging Council, Correlative Imaging Council, and WARMTH. The twenty or so Co-Organizers / Moderators / Speakers for this session include Irene Virgolini, Patricia Bernal, Emerita Barrenechea, and myself from WARMTH.
Thus, I am readying WARMTH to find somewhat of a permanent place within the SNMMI, which also will have a 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 10th 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.
Our own 11thInternational Congress on Radiopharmaceutical Therapy, which will be held in November 2016 in in Kerala, India, will be our main spotlight, and I am very proud that our current WARMTH Secretary, Dr. Partha Choudhury, is the President of this Congress. He has already started the preparation for it with a great enthusiasm, and we can be assured that it will be a huge success.
In addition, as usual, we will be continuing 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 these International Societies and organizations, and will continue to be active in this fashion for everybody’s mutual success.
I encourage you, inasmuch as possible, to attend the ICRT and these 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) that we have initiated and promoted. 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. I will work hard, with your help, to obtain 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.
Lately, we have ended our relationship with Events-360 in Singapore (led by EeSia TAN, 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 in Innsbruck.
We are taking care of these responsibilities with and within the Governing Body members, in particular with the help of our newly appointed Chief Operational Officer Mr. Josh Mailman, until (hopefully soon) we can find a permanent “office” somewhere in Europe or USA. 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 created an “Ajit Padhy Memorial Oration” which will be held at future ICRT’s, starting this year in Kerala at the 11th ICRT. The nominations for this oration can be made by any member, with a proposer & seconder with the candidate’s bio-sketch to be submitted via this link no later than May 10, 2016 for this year's ICRT. From out of the nominated candidates, the Executive Board of our Governing Body will carry out the selection of the speaker.
As you know, we have gone totally electronic and have been constantly taking steps to improve our website with more interactive membership and payment opportunities, for our electronic elections, and for all kind of information and communications, etc., with the assistance of Mr. Josh Mailman (our Chief Operational Officer, who is a very competent IT specialist, and for everything else!). His help and commitment so far has been immeasurable, and more of this until we find a future new Secretariat, will be highly appreciated.
New directions for our World Journal will continue to be implemented, now with Prof John Buscombe having been selected as the new Editor-In-Chief at the past ICRT-2014 in Manila. More information on this and our other educational endeavors such as the WARMTH Theragnostic Academy (WTA), etc., will follow soon.
With an ever increasing membership, presently at over 500 members, I would like to again repeat what our Immediate Past President has 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. Although the present year requires us to face and resolve a number of difficult issues, I am sure that with the help of our new Governing Body, and all of our members, we will do very well again in the coming two years of my Presidency.
At last, I would like to thank each and every one of you members for your continued support, and for your help in maintaining a very positive future and outlook for WARMTH.
I as well as our President-Elect Dr. Irene Virgolini would like to take this opportunity to send you all our WARM wishes for a very Happy, Healthy and Peaceful Year 2016!
Prof. Dr. Suresh Srivastava, President WARMTH
Prof. Dr. Irene Virgolini, President Elect WARMTH