IASNM’s Chai with Scintillating Stars: Webcast Series #11 (Dr. Munir Ghesani)

We are back with a new episode of Chai with scintillating stars, with an inspirational global leader and visionary, Dr. Munir Ghesani. He is the chief of nuclear medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital at New York, former president of American college of nuclear medicine (ACNM) and current president of Society of nuclear medicine and molecular imaging (SNMMI). In 2020, he was awarded Personal best mentor award, have more than 80 peer review articles published, editor of the book: Nuclear medicine A case based approach, and has multiple leadership positions in the field of nuclear medicine.

Talking about his journey in the field of imaging he recalled that nuclear medicine training was very much an accident. He was trained in diagnostic radiology in India and worked on a project with MIBG in 1980. In USA, he wanted to study cardiology but later changed his mind after meeting Dr. Depuey, who convinced him that Nuclear Medicine is the way to go.

Speaking about the roles and responsibilities of society of nuclear medicine to ensure optimal and appropriate patient care and growth of the field, he mentioned about the work of Theranostic leadership and organization group that supports the centers and hospitals who would like to start nuclear medicine therapies and require more know-how about the procedures. He also encouraged involving residents in the daily clinical work and appropriate teaching of the medical students to be attracted towards the field. He mentioned about the initiative of the SNMMI technologist group that invited high school students to the annual meeting to provide them with first-hand information about the nuclear medicine technology.

Talking about the lag of USA competitiveness in production of novel radiopharmaceuticals and theranostic applications, Dr. Ghesani highlighted the role of FDA in formation and approval of novel radiopharmaceuticals and their applications. He encouraged the researchers to direct their scientific paper write-up in accordance with the expectations of the FDA to get faster approval. He also mentioned about the Mars shot funds that raised more than $4 million for research and growth of nuclear medicine and other capital investments which will put USA in forefront in coming years.

Responding to the challenges of the pandemic, Dr. Ghesani recalled having implementation of various guidelines under his leadership. He takes pride in the highest number of zoom attendees and registration (more than 800 registrations) for SNMMI presentation and credits his team for continued education and publication as well as patient care. He encouraged collective efforts and group approach during the adverse time. He took this opportunity to thank his family, faculty at work and people of the organization who extended their help and support during his time of presidency.

Speaking about his thoughts on AI task force In SNMMI which he thinks is very capable and play a remarkable role in various applications involving targeted therapy, report building, customizing the patient treatment plan, and assessing the response. He however also expressed his skepticism about the adverse effects of AI misuse and highlighted the need for safeguarding the patient data.

Lastly, he made a humble request to the younger physicians to get involved with organization and society work. He reiterated that what we accomplished as an individual or a group would complement the future growth of the field. The meeting ended with this inspiring message and a happy masala Chai.

Narrated by, Khushboo Gupta


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