President's Message

Professor Jonathan Cole

President’s Letter December 2023

The year’s near end is a suitable time to look back over the year and consider whether we have managed any progress beyond the flurries of emails and committee work. Amongst achievements we have managed to create two committees for Guidelines and Research and we look forward to their flourishing in the future. Work was also done to standardize operating procedures of IFCN activities in their Special Interest Groups and in the processes for Society and ICNS application. This may sound dry, but it will allow improved access to, and interaction with, these and IFCN.

We have also continued to alter our Fellowship awards to become a little shorter in duration and more focused, and to widen their access, with three being awarded for research and six for education. Strides have been made to connect with younger Clinical Neurophysiologists through the work of YNN, which had a successful stall in Marseille for the ECCN and which will be present at next year’s ICCN. Work continues with our colleagues in Indonesia in preparation for this, and you are encouraged to keep on eye on their website and/or via our own.

Our two journals, Clinical Neurophysiology and Clinical Neurophysiology Practice, continue to improve their impact factors and Cite scores as well as serving our communities so well. We encourage colleagues to publish in our journals in the coming year. We are also working on a project considering the most exciting areas of Clinical Neurophysiology in the near future. Next year, you will also be able to enjoy a fresh new look to the IFCN website.

I am delighted to announce that IFCN ExCo decided at its last meeting to award Professor David Burke Honorary Fellowship of the IFCN and that this was confirmed by vote at our recent General Assembly. This is a very prestigious award, as you can see from past recipients on our website and is given for exceptional service to not only Clinical Neurophysiology but to the IFCN itself. Professor Burke has made an extraordinary contribution to our specialty in both education and research, as well as being adept at leadership both in Australia and abroad. His work was recognised by the Australian government with the award of Officer and then Commander of the Order of Australia. Amongst his many achievements for the IFCN he has been Editor-in-Chief of Clinical Neurophysiology and then Founding Editor of its sister journal Clinical Neurophysiology Practice. He also sat on our executive committee and could always relied on to give his view.

Professor David Burke

At the ExCo meeting we also welcomed Robert Chen as incoming Editor-in-Chief of Clinical Neurophysiology and said farewell to Ulf Ziemann, though the actual transition is at the end of this year. Ulf has served as EiC for the last eight years and during that time been available within 48 hours throughout. The photo shows Robert presenting Ulf with a certificate of excellence as a token of our gratitude, a tradition between editors as one hands over to the other.

Robert Chen

On 27th November IFCN held its annual General Assembly, which is a virtual event when we are not meeting face to face and a legal requirement. There were reports from our various committees. In my report I did mention that some of our SIGs may be recognised as being more established and active and given the new title of, ‘IFCN Societies of …’ so this name may become familiar in the coming years.

Before that, however, IFCN ExCo held one of its biannual face to face committee meetings, in conjunction with the Latin American Congress in Mexico City. Your diligent committee met for nearly nine hours one day with a short break for lunch and still had not covered all the agenda. Then its members were released to enjoy a great congress. In addition to highlighting Mexican and Latin American excellence, Alex Zavala, who convened it so well, had lured a great cohort of US speakers, including Team Mayo from Florida. The lectures were excellent and towards the end there was a plenary workshop on leadership, considering it in practice but also relating some of the extensive academic work in this area. This might be something to consider elsewhere too. The Mexican Society also made our past-president, Marc Nuwer, an Honorary Member to recognise all his assistance to education over many years.

But no congress is work alone. The Gala Dinner included a small theatre group, and it theme was the Mexican Day of the Dead, which is principally a way of honouring deceased relatives, but also seemed to involve a lot of face painting. Whether wise or not, your executive was game, as these photos attend.

Gala Dinner

(L to R) Kaz Ugawa, Walter Paulus, Hatice Tankisi, Tina Shahrizalla, Paulo Kimaid and Jonathan Cole, with convener Alex Zavala and Marc Nuwer.

If that wasn’t enough, the congress ended with an entertaining lecture on wine tasting from eminent clinical neurophysiologist Jaime Lopez from Standford. He explained the art and neurology of wine-tasting and invited us all to distinguish between glasses with different deep reds. The hall was undoubtedly filled with the most animated last day audience I have seen. Jaime was an expert oenophile and showman, even down to the socks.

Arnold Starr

Over the last year IFCN ExCo has met or been represented at the Marseille ECCN in May, then in August to Jakarta to assist with ICCN2024, with a short visit to Da Nang in Vietnam for the South East Asia Neurological Congress following, and then to Mexico City. Much travel, but the chance to meet colleagues and see their excellent work has been a privilege. Thanks to all for their hospitality. In between was lots of work and meetings, as you may imagine, all we hope enhancing IFCN and its service to our vibrant community. Onwards to more in 2024.

With best wishes New Year, and for Christmas and your other festivals,

Best wishes,
Jonathan Cole

 

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