Research and Education: The Cornerstones of Our Mission

Roberto M. Lang, MD, FASE
Throughout its history, ASE has consistently emphasized education and research in cardiovascular ultrasound as cornerstones of our mission as a Society. In keeping with that mission, the ASE Education and Research Foundation have awarded almost $4 million for echocardiographic research activities since 1996. Even in the face of a tightening economy, fostering and promoting research on advances in cardiovascular ultrasound will continue to remain our fundamental goals moving forward. Due to the decreasing availability of funds provided by industry to support research, it is now the responsibility of our Foundation to raise funds to support our research efforts. We need our membership to actively join and support the activities of the Foundation. In order to help raise money in 2010, we’ve organized what we hope will be a long-standing annual fundraising event—the ASEF Awards Gala. The ASEF Awards Gala will take place on June 12, 2010 in San Diego and will honor the winners of the Society’s most distinguished awards. All proceeds from the event will directly benefit the Foundation’s research grant program. If you are interested in attending or giving a donation to support research grants, please visit . Seating at this event is limited to 200 people. We hope to see you there!

The ASE’s Research Committee annually reviews applications for innovative echocardiographic research activities that demonstrate the key role cardiovascular ultrasound plays in the diagnosis and management of patients with cardiovascular diseases. Our 2009 Award recipients will study the echocardiographic assessment of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy induced by overexpression of C-Myc (Ann Liner, RDCS, FASE, University Hospitals of Cleveland), while Jeanne De Cara, MD, FASE from the University of Chicago will study how to determine the genetics of atherosclerosis using a novel vascular ultrasound phenotype. In addition, Judy Hung, MD, FASE from Massachusetts General Hospital will assess the value of polymer injection therapy for treatment of ischemic mitral regurgitation. We are proud to support these studies and look forward to the important findings that will result.

The Society will continue to fund hypothesis-driven studies in the future, but is also looking at different ways it can sponsor clinical research protocols to enhance the credibility and validity of cardiovascular ultrasound as a clinical research tool. The newly appointed Extra-Mural Research Committee first met in November, and is working to develop a set of research priorities for our Society. These efforts are designed to keep echocardiography at the forefront of imaging, and help secure extra-mural funding for projects that demonstrate its value. Comprised of established investigators with experience in both core labs and clinical trials, the committee is chaired by Dr. Pamela Douglas, ASE past president and director of the CV imaging program at the Duke Clinical Research Institute.

This committee is thinking “outside the box,” identifying clinical situations wherein echocardiography changes clinical practice and patient outcomes. The capabilities of cardiovascular ultrasound are unique to other imaging technologies, and this committee will try to identify and emphasize these capabilities. By simultaneously creating projects under our own umbrella and continuing to engage the external scientific community, such as the NIH and NHLBI, we aim to raise the research profile of echocardiography in a way that highlights the credibility and validity of cardiovascular ultrasound as a research and clinical tool in the broader scientific context.

Over the past year, ASE has embraced our strategic goal to be its members’ primary resource for education, knowledge exchange, and professional development with a number of noteworthy milestones.

Last fall, ASE held a course dedicated to vascular medicine. The Vascular Imaging Symposium, a one-day course held in Philadelphia, brought together an exciting group of medical professionals, under the direction of Drs. Mohler and Olin to broaden the scope of our educational offerings to the vascular community.

At the beginning of this year ASE, in partnership with the Mayo Clinic, successfully ran the ECHO Hawaii and State-of-the-Art courses. We appreciate the long tradition these courses have enjoyed with Mayo, and with ASE leadership we will continue this success, with record numbers of attendees. Both courses were offered under the ASE banner in January and February, 2010.

With the coming of spring, we all begin to think about the Annual Scientific Sessions, to be held in sunny San Diego, CA on June 12–15, 2010. Of special note this year is ASE’s first “Imaging Village,” a special venue located adjacent to the exhibit area which will feature hands-on and product demonstrations by our corporate partners. It is an excellent opportunity to see the latest advancements and talk to leading faculty and corporate representatives. Throughout the week, numerous sessions are being offered for both general audiences and specific specialties. Please see the Scientific Sessions Website for more details.

While we look forward to the Scientific Sessions, we are equally excited about a new initiative ASE launched this spring. In March, the ASE Foundation sponsored the first in a series of Learning Labs, hands-on courses held in a dedicated space near the ASE Headquarters in the Research Triangle Park area of North Carolina. Space is limited to approximately 40 participants who will use the latest technology in a hands-on learning environment. Our first course, Fundamentals in Echocardiography: A Road to Comprehensive Quantification Using ASE Guidelines , sold out well in advance, and additional courses are being scheduled in this series of Learning Labs. Please visit the ASE Foundation Website, , for a list of future lab sessions.

As we launch these new and exciting courses, we are continuing to offer two successful ASE meetings. E3 2010 – Essential Echocardiography with Experts was again held as a symposium in preface to the annual ACC meeting in Atlanta, and offered a comprehensive multi-disciplinary approach to the integrated imaging of cardiovascular interventions. An international expert faculty presented the very latest in a format of case studies and mini-lectures. This month, we will again hold the Chicago Sonographer Update, where a leading group of faculty will provide sonographers with theoretical and practical knowledge for the workplace.

Both of these traditional areas of focus for ASE continue to benefit from careful strategic planning and integration of the latest technology. Watch for next month’s President’s Communication for details of the outcome of our board retreat, where we will examine the external environment, talk with representatives of related subspecialty organizations, and continue to fine-tune our programs for education, research and a number of other areas of importance to our members.

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Jun 16, 2018 | Posted by in CARDIOLOGY | Comments Off on Research and Education: The Cornerstones of Our Mission

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