A message from our Chairman
Welcome to the 7th International Symposium on Focused Ultrasound and our first meeting to be held in an entirely virtual format.
Let me start by saying we will sorely miss the opportunity to visit with you in person. While the scientific portion of the program is extremely robust, unfortunately the social portion is nearly nonexistent this year.
The Symposium has two intersecting purposes: the first is to share information and knowledge, and the second is to create new – and strengthen existing – relationships.
Regarding the first goal, we are optimistic that the virtual format will not only enhance our ability to share information and knowledge, but also enable us to reach a significantly larger audience. We have seen record registrations this year. Undoubtedly, the learning curve of hosting a virtual meeting will be steep, and we apologize in advance for any resulting inconvenience and appreciate your understanding. We are pioneering new territory together this year.
In contrast, the challenge of fostering personal relationships is one for which we do not yet have a solution. To rapidly advance the field, it is critical that we prioritize communication, cooperation, and collaboration of ideas. These values are the keystones to innovation and help to minimize duplication of effort across the field. We feel strongly that, to be most effective, this requires face-to-face interactions. We plan to build on the lessons learned at this year’s meeting to craft a hybrid model for future symposia, and we eagerly solicit your ideas to mitigate this gap.
We are enthusiastic about this year's scientific program which will include:
This year, we are also devoting portions of our program to the International Society for Therapeutic Ultrasound (ISTU) and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).
The Symposium is taking place in an unprecedented time of unrest and uncertainty as a result of the confluence of multiple threats to our pillars of society and our way of life. Many of the ensuing disruptions will be permanent, but on a positive note, many of the changes that would have been inevitable are simply being accelerated.
Fortunately, we in the focused ultrasound community are accustomed to working in a world of disruption. Our community is well positioned to not only survive the challenges currently confronting us but to thrive in this environment.
The important work of our valued community has not only been undiminished but enhanced. We observed a transient slowdown in the development and growth of the field in the early spring, but focused ultrasound is back on track to grow into a multibillion-dollar industry, providing solutions that improve the lives of millions of people around the world.
We appreciate your participation in the Symposium and are very grateful for the generous support of our donors and sponsors which have made it possible. We look forward to a wonderful week together.
A message from our Honorary President
Though the Symposium experience will be very different than what we imagined a year ago, I am pleased to gather – albeit virtually – with all of you this week. I am proud to be a part of the vast, international focused ultrasound community.