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FNNDSC Weekly Newsletter - Week 77

Upcoming Events

November 23: FNNDSC Friendsgiving, 12 PM

MICCAI Conference: The deadline for submission of workshop proposals is 20 December 2021

Organization for Human Brain Mapping: OHBM 2022 is scheduled to take place in Glasgow, Scotland from June 19, 2022 - June 23, 2022! The deadline to submit an Abstract for OHBM 2022 is: Friday, December 17, 2021 at 11:59 PM EST. (Under no circumstances will this deadline be extended).

Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS): Abstract Submission Important Dates

Call for Abstracts: November 10, 2021, – January 5, 2022

Brain & Brain PET 2022: Abstract Submission due January 2022

Clearwater Beach, Florida; hybrid event

The 22nd International Conference on Biomagnetism: August 28 – September 1, 2022

University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK

Call for Abstracts/Posters submissions has been extended to Friday March 18, 2022


FNNDSC Project Update(s):


This week, the NIRS team completed two pre-op and two post-ops measurements​ on a newly enrolled baby in one of their NICU studies. They also enrolled and completed a measurement on a newly enrolled patient in their Sickle Cell study. Aside from new study subjects, they also obtained four post-op measurements on a baby previously enrolled in one of their NICU studies, and another two measurements on a patient already enrolled in their Sickle Cell study.

The team looks forward to another productive week next week!


Last Week's Fun Fact Friday: Borjan Gagoski, PhD!

Hi folks!

And the series continues, Fun Fact Fridays, episode III: "The MRI physicists strike back". I am certain I won't match the length of Rudolph's from last week (which I honestly enjoyed quite a bit over TWO cups of coffee!), but I nevertheless hope you'll enjoy this read as you get to know a bit about me.

I am a faculty in our Center and have been here for almost 10 years (~1.5 months shy from this milestone). So I am not as senior as Rudolph, Kiho or Banu, but I am up there, and consider myself a proud FNNDSC lifer :) I did my PhD in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science just across the river, and throughout my academic career I have been doing research related to MRI acquisition methods. I am interested in improving the MRI data at the time of the scan by acquiring it faster and making it more resilient to motion, while still having it be of high quality. I tell people that "I code the MRI scanner to do what we want", and once we see the images, my job is done - it is then when my dear friends who do MR image analysis and processing take over :) My other role is also to help out the research and clinical folks at BCH with all the questions that they might have related to specific MRI protocols, issues they might experience with the data they are acquiring, problems with installing software, weird scanners' crashing, etc. Although not directly related to development of novel MRI methods, I really do like this part of my job, as I get to meet, hang out and chat with lots of different people on a regular basis all the time!

I was born and raised in Macedonia (now called North Macedonia - we had to change our name recently, but I won't bore you with Balkan's politics and history, as this is Fun Facts Friday), where I finished high school. My mom is a professor teaching electromagnetics, and my dad has his company selling MRIs (among other things)!!! I guess MRI-related things tend to "pull the Gagoski's in" ! After high school I "got shipped" to the US and studied EE&CS at RPI in Troy, NY. Living in Troy for 4 years was a bit, how should I say this .... - different! - especially for a young adult coming from a lively and big city! Definitely not the USA that I have been seeing in the movies. The lack of excitement in Troy at least made me do decent at school, which brought me to MIT, where I spent 6.5 years during which time I quickly fell in love with the unique, cool and diverse Boston/Cambridge/Somerville area, met tons of people, and of course enjoyed being a grad student in an awesome lab. It was a time when I had lots of hair on my head and (and always somewhere different) on my face (see top left of collage attached!). My wife Lepka always tells me that she is glad she has not met me around the time this picture was taken, otherwise ....

While I was in school in the US, I was able to spend big chunks of my summer breaks back in Macedonia. All these trips were super exciting and fun, and allowed me to wind back, charge my batteries, hang out with my friends and families there and enjoy all the yummy food, wine and rakija all around our tiny country. It was during one of those trips in the beautiful town of Ohrid that I met my future wife Lepka, and after three years of meeting around the world every chance we had, we decided to get married and have been living in Cambridge ever since! Aside from being married to this super awesome lady, I am also so fortunate that we have two healthy, super active, always fun, but sometimes pretty-hard-to-be-around boys - Marko (9) and Filip (5). Bottom left of the collage attached has the Gagoski's clan "conquering" the streets of Malta a couple of years ago. :)

In our spare time as a family, as a general rule of thumb, we are always outside of the house whenever possible!! We do like literally being anywhere outside with large open spaces that does not involve long car rides. We are regular at the local parks, but also enjoy taking a stroll with the bikes down to say, the Esplanade, where Lepka and I would enjoy a pint or two at the Owl's Nest with other parents, while the kids run around. The boys are into every sport imaginable (and not so much into school!!), which lines up perfectly with our informal "spend less time at home" rule. When we are inside our house though, we do like to watch and follow Boston sports teams and cheer for them enthusiastically. We also really like the mountains and the snow, and with the boys liking to ski (score!), we are looking forward to the years ahead spending a lot of time on the ski slopes. I am a huge fan of Vermont in general, not only because of the skiing and little lakes that you can relax at, but also because of how green and cool it is, with Burlington being such a nice vibrant town with chill people and lots of nice restaurants and breweries.

While the pandemic has prevented us from being physically together, I do hope to come to the office more often and meet many of the new folks in the Center in person, and obviously spend time with the "oldies". I do think that FNNDSC is a unique and awesome place to be part of, and I really enjoyed compiling this email for people to get to know me and my family better. Once we are truly back to normal and in the office, I am upvoting any idea that involves social gathering with everyone, so that we get to hang out more!! :)

Until Episode IV, whoever the screen writer might be...



Please see attached photo:


Brain Games



If you have something that you would like to see featured in the next newsletter, please contact Winona Bruce-Baiden at:

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