Authored by: Carmela Marino, and Meike Mevissen
Published on: Aug 05, 2013
The TPC Co-Chairs are very pleased to share with BEMS and EBEA members and BIOEM 2013 attendees our feelings on the successful BioEM2013 meeting held in Thessaloniki.
Dr. Theo Samaras, Chair of the Local Organizing Committee (LOC), deserves a large share of the credit for the success of this meeting. Theo, who is a great ambassador for his home city, proposed Thessaloniki as a venue back in 2010, and in 2011 he was ready with a plan and a budget. In February 2012, the BEMS Board and the EBEA Council enthusiastically accepted Theo’s proposal.
Theo also provided multi-dimensional support for the Co-Chairs of the Technical Program Committee (TPC) during the entire process of putting together the meeting program. He helped to resolve disagreements and different perspectives and pushed things along toward a program that we think (or at least hope) everyone liked.
The location for all sessions was the Thessaloniki Concert Hall Conference Center, an architectural jewel designed by the famous Japanese architect Arata Isozaki. The Hall sits a few meters away from the Thermaic Gulf, an arm of the Aegean Sea, the waters of the great port of Thessaloniki (Salonica). Many attendees spent some of their time out on the promenade, enjoying this beautiful setting while they discussed the hot topics of the various sessions… or just caught up with friends and colleagues. Although the elevators were sometimes challenged by the traffic, overall the building and the facilities formed a pleasant structural foundation for the meetings.
BioEM2013 attracted researchers from various scientific disciplines and from many different countries. The atmosphere was warm and friendly for students, new investigators, and seasoned veterans of bioelectromagnetics. Students reported specifically how much they enjoyed the icebreaker on Sunday evening.
The collective knowledge of Theo and his team, including his staff and Niki and her team, meant that there was a stimulating social program for participants and accompanying persons alike that allowed all of us an enjoyable visit to the region. For those who took advantage of the options, it was possible to take home unforgettable memories from Olympus (Mount of the Gods), Vergina (hosting the gold and tombs of the Macedonian kings, including that of Philip of Macedonia, Alexander the Great's father), Meteora, and Mount Athos in the Halkidiki (Byzantine cities of Orthodox monasteries). Theo even organized Sirtaki classes to enhance our appreciation for the professional dancers at the banquet, and Theo demonstrated his own dancing skills for us (see pictures).
Speaking as the Technical Program Chairs, we want to thank Theo for his support and hard work during the preparation of this meeting, and especially during the week of the conference. We especially want to thank Theo for the atmosphere during this exciting scientific and human experience. We could not have had a better local organizer than Theo.