ECR's first Austrian president relishes hosting duties

March 1, 2007

outh will be to the fore at March's European Congress of Radiology. At just 51 years of age, Prof. Christian Herold is one of the youngest ECR presidents, and the first to come from Austria. He admits that he represents the new generation of leaders.

Youth will be to the fore at March's European Congress of Radiology. At just 51 years of age, Prof. Christian Herold is one of the youngest ECR presidents, and the first to come from Austria. He admits that he represents the new generation of leaders.

"In industry, 35 to 40 years would be the right age to be the CEO of a large company, so why should radiology be different?" he said. "Finding the time to run a meeting like this is not easy, but I'm not intimidated by a big workload, and it's essential to find some balance in your life between work, sports, lifestyle, and family. It's also important to remember there's only so much you can do in a 48-hour day!"

Herold is director of the department of diagnostic radiology at the Medical University of Vienna and its university hospital, Allgemeines Krankenhaus. He is also a part-time faculty member in the radiology department at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. He unwinds by jogging for one hour every other day and by playing golf, tennis, and soccer. Herold is also an avid reader of newspapers and magazines, and he enjoys the theater and opera, although he admits that his season ticket to the National Opera House has not been used much over the past year.

Herold is sure that ECR delegates will appreciate the quality of this year's scientific program. He singles out the new categorical course on multislice CT for a special mention. Eight separate sessions will focus on implementation, heart, chest, bowel/colon/rectum, abdomen, bones/joints, brain and head and neck, and angiography. Minicourses on women's imaging and molecular imaging are also likely to prove popular. Three 90-minute sessions on these two subjects will be held on the first three mornings of the congress.

Austria, the Czech Republic, and China will be the host countries at this year's congress.

"We wanted to recognize that China has become such an important partner with ECR, with an increasing number of presentations and attendees coming from there," he said. "Many Chinese people are trying so hard to improve their English, and they're really making a national effort to ensure they're better understood."

Herold attended the Chinese radiological congress in Wuhan in October. He gave lectures on how to make presentations at international meetings and was impressed by attendees' immense enthusiasm and eagerness to learn. During 2006, he also attended the Czech, Hungarian, and Croatian national meetings, as well as several subspecialty conferences during his spell as president of the Fleischner Society for Thoracic Imaging and Diagnosis.

He would like to see an end to turf battles between meetings, arguing that the common goal of radiologists is to improve the discipline, raise standards in training and education, and meet the expectations of clinical colleagues. That should be everybody's driving force, he said.

At ECR 2007, the largest number of accepted abstracts was submitted by researchers in Italy (278), followed by Germany (263), Spain (152), Japan (139), South Korea (104), the U.K. (97), China (81), the U.S. (74), Greece (66), Austria (63), France (54), and the Netherlands (45).

The rejection rate was 61.6% for scientific papers and for scientific and educational exhibits. Of the accepted abstracts, 153 are in neuroimaging, 147 in abdominal viscera, 147 in cardiac, 142 in intervention, 141 in musculoskeletal, 120 in genitourinary, 118 in chest, 115 in breast, 109 in vascular, 108 in gastrointestinal tract, and 88 in head and neck.

Special sessions from the European Society of Radiology will focus on the management of change, the European Directive on MR Safety, biomedical imaging research, cancer therapy and follow-up, and coping with new challenges in radiology. In the April edition of DI Europe, a wide-ranging article with ESR president, Prof. Nicholas Gourtsoyiannis, will discuss the Society's current and future activities.

The ECR Today newspaper will make a comeback at this year's congress. Copies will be published on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday/Tuesday, and DI Europe's editors will contribute articles. From 9 March, you can also log on to our ECR 2007 Webcast from Vienna at DiagnosticImaging.com.