Roundup Q3 2022 - R21 Trailblazer, MRS Workshop 2022, HBCD study

Three months in review.

The third quarter of 2022 was off to a fantastic start when we got a notice of award for a three-year R21 Trailblazer award from NIBIB to develop multi-spectrum modeling methods - something we’ve long been interested in, and can now direct a strong focus on! Yay us! We used the momentum to follow-up with a head-in-the-sky application for NIH Director’s New Innovator award… nothing will probably come of it, but you gotta aim high, don’t you?

In August, our group had the honor of representing at the ISMRM-endorsed MRS Workshop 2022 in Lausanne. Georg opened the program with a quick introduction to the basics of single-voxel and MRSI localization (video and slides available for free without registration). The program was fantastic, with a diverse speaker line-up and strong attention towards students, trainees, and postdocs. We formed many new connections during our time at Lac Leman and renewed old friendships during the social outings at The Great Escape and the Olympic Museum - an unforgettable experience.

The Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland.

We put a few papers under our belts, at the time of writing, Helge has another one pretty much accepted, one under review, and another one in preparation, all while putting together a blockbuster re-submission of a K99/R00 application. Chris has made massive progress on the analysis of a multi-modal dataset of MRS and PET data from mild cognitive impairment patients, and is inching closer to a fully-prepared manuscript as well.

At the same time, they are preparing our Osprey open-source analysis software for its large-scale deployment in the HBCD study, a nation-wide multi-center investigation to understand the impact of prenatal opioid exposure on cognitive development. HBCD will generate the largest MRS dataset ever. Not stressful at all for us… but what an honor! We are learning a ton from the neuroimaging data wrangling geniuses that are involved in pulling this immense effort together, and we are making strides to share some of this learning in the form of improved automated MRS analysis workflows! In the meantime, Helge and Chris are tirelessly squashing little bugs and responding to questions and requests from the community. It is a joy to see that people like what we do, and even find it helpful.

We also had a few lovely little group outings. After many small and big delays, we finally gathered for Chris’ official welcome dinner at Mera Kitchen, a local worker-owned restaurant in Midtown. Helge also showed off his cooking skills when he invited the group for Ruby Chicken - delicious!