MD, PhD, Dr(hc)
The Academy Today and Tomorrow
As the voice representing the concerns of the medical imaging research community in Washington, DC, the Academy has had a significant impact for more than two decades. The Academy is the only organization that brings together representatives from the medical imaging community, industry and agencies from across the federal government, and strives to facilitate collaboration and advocacy efforts to garner federal funding for critically important biomedical imaging research. The Academy’s accomplishments have included numerous collaborations with federal agencies and patient advocacy groups to raise both awareness of important issues concerning biomedical imaging and support for funding of biomedical imaging research. One of the most recent achievements was the formation of the Interagency Working Group on Medical Imaging (IWGMI), which aims to accelerate imaging research by coordinating relevant efforts across the federal government. With a continuously growing membership, the Academy voice is now stronger and more diverse than ever.
I look forward to leading the Academy’s efforts to support vital collaborations, such as the IWGMI, and to cultivate new Congressional champions and develop and strengthen relationships within the Administration and across government agencies.
An important task of the Academy is engaging our early and mid-career investigators in advocacy, which includes educating them about the legislative process, its potential effects on their research careers, and their own power to influence that process. We are very proud of the Academy’s growing Council of Early Career Investigators in Imaging (CECI2), as well as our Council of Distinguished Investigators. I look forward to expanding initiatives that will increase investigators’ awareness and participation, enabling them to better communicate the importance of their research to policy makers.
For years, the Academy has been an important supporter of the National Institute for Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) and worked closely with its director, Dr. Rod Pettigrew. NIBIB has grown and is stronger than ever; we are looking forward to welcoming the new director of NIBIB and continuing our strong working relationship.
In the last 17 years, funding for biomedical science has enjoyed tremendous success (there has been 311% increase in research funding from $121,729,225 in 2000 to $500,850,376). In the last 12 months, while NIH funding increases were moderate at best, funding for biomedical research has increased 17.40% in FY 2017 as compared to 2016; this is a tremendous testament to our field of innovations and vision. Congratulations to all! We can never rest on our laurels, and the Academy advocacy on the “Hill” is essential to ensure that the funding is not only maintained but increased in years to come.
Academy efforts are a critical investment in the future of radiology research. By further enhancing our ability to illustrate its value to policy makers, we hope our initiatives will lead to continued and growing investments in such research. In my role as President, I will strive to ensure that the work of the Academy not only continues but also extends to new horizons, particularly at a time when the intersection of intelligent technology and human ingenuity is creating an unprecedented array of opportunities to advance medical imaging for the benefit of patient care.
Hedvig Hricak, MD, PhD
The Academy for Radiology & Biomedical Imaging Research