SIR Annual Scientific Meeting (2015)

The Society of Interventional Radiology’s (SIR) Annual Scientific Meeting highlights collaboration in interventional radiology (IR) and addresses bold strides in patient care. SIR 2015 is the world’s most comprehensive IR educational experience where interventional radiologists, diagnostic radiologists, fellows, trainees, clinical associates and other medical professionals will find the most current science being presented, discussed and tested.

SIR 2015 takes place Saturday, Feb. 28, through Thursday, March 5, 2015, at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. Visit for more information. With more than 400 scientific presentations and 250-plus hours of programming—including an array of new workshop formats, more interactivity, hands-on learning and unparalleled access to experts across the specialty—attendees will be able to design a fully customized experience.

SIR has built a reputation for delivering world-class interventional radiology education through a well-rounded program that addresses all facets of the specialty. SIR traditionally provides attendees with up-to-the-minute information in basic and clinical research, opportunities to experience techniques and technologies utilized by interventional radiologists around the world and the chance to see the latest interventional radiology equipment.

The scientific sessions feature premier blind peer-reviewed abstracts, showcasing cutting-edge, high-quality research from around the globe. In fact, the number of abstracts submitted this year is the second-highest submission total— indicating that the process remains increasingly competitive.

The learning model has been re-envisioned on the basis of attendees’ needs and desires to bring more interactivity to the sessions. In-the-Clinic, In-the-Lab and Learning Labs sessions will offer distinct educational experiences that reflect the diverse practice environments of the specialty. The SIR Expo environment has been refreshed; the scientific poster program has been expanded and will be moved into this exhibit area to better showcase this research.

SIR 2015 offers many opportunities to network and connect with colleagues and friends, including the opening reception, SIR Expo networking reception, medical student breakfast, Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology (JVIR) reviewer reception, the SIR Foundation Gala and scientific poster reception.

General Sessions

These exciting sessions (formerly called plenary sessions) are the linchpins of SIR 2015. They feature the specialty’s top thought leaders on major, often controversial, issues in interventional radiology. Here are this year’s topics.

  • Innovation, Macroeconomics and the Future of Minimally Invasive Therapies (session includes the Dr. Charles T. Dotter Lecture): Sunday, March 1, 10:00 a.m.–12 p.m. (Eastern)
  • Perspectives in Global IR (session includes the presentation of the SIR Gold Medals): Monday, March 2, 10:00 a.m.–12 p.m. (Eastern)
  • Film Panel session includes the JVIR Editor’s Best awards presentation Tuesday, March 3, 10:00 a.m.–12 p.m. (Eastern)
  • Debates and Controversies (session includes SIR Abstract of the Year presentation): Wednesday, March 4, 10:00 a.m.–12 p.m. (Eastern)

Scientific Sessions

The scientific sessions are the heart of the Annual Scientific Meeting, and this year’s sessions feature moderated, peer-reviewed abstract presentations grouped into related categories.

Abstracts presented during the scientific sessions span many categories, including arterial interventions (aneurysm/ dissection, angioplasty/stent placement and embolization); interventional oncology (ablation, biopsies, chemoembolization and radioembolization); venous interventions (angioplasty/stent placement, embolization, inferior vena cava [IVC] filters and thrombolysis/thrombectomy); nonvascular interventions (abscess and fluid drainage, biliary, chest, gastrointestinal, genitourinary, gynecology, musculoskeletal and spine); dialysis interventions; education and training; practice management; health care policy; and quality improvement.

“Many of the procedures that interventional radiologists perform today were initially introduced as presentations in scientific sessions at past SIR annual meetings,” said Robert J. Lewandowski, M.D., FSIR, SIR 2015’s scientific program chair. “This year, SIR has expanded the scope of the scientific program, broadening the range of the educational content. Physicians and trainees from more than 24 countries will be submitting scientific abstracts,” said Lewandowski, an associate professor of radiology at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. Scientific sessions are where attendees will learn about current clinical trials, technical innovations, and the basic science shaping the foundation of the specialty. A few select scientific abstracts will be highlighted and integrated into relevant courses.

SIR Gold Medals

The SIR Gold Medal is awarded to an individual with continued distinguished service to SIR or to the discipline of cardiovascular and interventional radiology. Gold Medal recipients for 2015 are Johannes Lammer, M.D., FSIR, EBIR, FCIRSE, a corresponding member of SIR and professor emeritus of the Medical University Vienna, Austria, serving until last year as chair of its department of cardiovascular and interventional radiology; Harvey L. Neiman, M.D., FSIR, FACR, who led the American College of Radiology first as chair of the Board of Chancellors and then as chief executive officer, retiring in 2013 after more than 20 years of dedicated service (to be awarded posthumously); and Anne C. Roberts, M.D., FSIR, a past president of SIR and chief of vascular and interventional radiology at the University of California at San Diego (UCSD) Thornton Hospital. The Gold Medal presentation takes place during the general session on Monday, March 2.

Dr. Charles T. Dotter Lecture

This year’s Dr. Charles T. Dotter Lecturer is Robert Kerlan, M.D., FSIR, chief of interventional radiology and a professor of clinical radiology and surgery at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Medical Center. The lecture honors one of the founding fathers of interventional radiology. Kerlan will deliver the lecture during the meeting’s opening general session on Sunday, March 1.


This half-day learning experience exploring morbidity and mortality will kick off the meeting on Saturday, Feb. 28.

The workshop program will offer three distinct types of workshop designed to address each topic area’s needs.

  • In-the-Clinic: These cross-sectional imaging-heavy sessions will focus on consults and follow-up visits.
  • In-the-Lab: These workshops on procedure technique and pitfalls will feature a case-based teaching focus.
  • Learning Lab: Faculty will proctor attendees during hands-on device use.
  • Fee and preregistration are required.
  • New: Learning Lab workshops will take place within SIR Expo.

In-the-Clinic and In-the-Lab sessions are image-based, practical sessions.
Workshop descriptions will define basic and advanced sessions so attendees can find those that best meet their educational needs.

In-the-Classroom Sessions

What were once SIR’s traditional categorical courses are now “In-the-Classroom” sessions. These sessions will appeal to attendees who want to take a deeper dive into the exhilarating nature of the practice of interventional radiology. Attendees will explore the problem-solving character of interventional radiology while discovering the latest research in venous disease, sitting in on a vascular lab, studying a complex aortic aneurysm repair, practicing the ABCs of PAD, discussing the ramifications of the Affordable Care Act on practice models and learning what’s coming down the pike in pediatric IR.

Meet the Experts

SIR’s “Meet the Experts” sessions will provide the unique opportunity for informal, thought-provoking discussion with interventional radiology thought leaders across practice areas. Interested in what those at the top of the field see for specialty’s future? Want to learn more about collaboration and clinical care? Here is a sampling of those experts who’ll be holding court during SIR 2015.

Special Events

Throughout the meeting attendees will be encouraged to attend “Compelling Conversations,” a series of informal Q&A sessions on timely topics, which will be held at SIR Central in SIR Expo. See for a listing of topics.

SIR Foundation Gala

SIR members, industry supporters and friends will descend (maybe not 20,000 leagues) under the sea to the world-famous Georgia Aquarium to celebrate the specialty and raise funds leading to a bright future for innovative patient care. Gala guests will explore a setting of sea life vistas, enjoy award-winning cuisine from the Wolfgang Puck Company and bid on luxurious auction items—all in support of IR research. More information and tickets are available at or by calling (703) 460-5598.

SIR Expo

The SIR 2015 exhibit hall at the Georgia World Congress Center is open to registered attendees and guests who present a badge. The new SIR Bistro, which is adjacent to SIR Expo, features an all-inclusive buffet lunch including beverages and dessert designed to meet the unique dietary needs of meeting attendees. The Bistro space provides a comfortable setting for exhibitors and attendees to eat, meet and network. Attendees should watch for hands-on and “Eat and Be Educated” sessions at select booths.

SIR Mobile App

The SIR 2015 mobile app will be available in all app stores and through a mobile-device-compatible website starting in January. Attendees will be able to use the personal planner, access the SIR Expo floor plans and visit the New Product Showcase™ directly from the app. The app also allows attendees to receive up-to-the-minute alerts and submit session evaluations (lose the pencil and paper). Sharing will be available for photos and posting to social media networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

About Atlanta

Atlanta, Georgia’s largest city and capital, is a thriving business center that also offers a wide selection of museums, classical music venues and a thriving theatre scene. Atlanta has distinguished itself as a national center of commerce and international prominence. The primary transportation hub of the southeastern United States, Atlanta has premium access via highway, railroad and air, with Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport being the world’s busiest airport since 1998. While visitors will find that traditional Southern culture is certainly part of the city’s fabric, Atlanta is one of the nation’s most cosmopolitan cities. In fact, it is among those U.S. cities with permanent, professional, resident companies in each of the major performing arts disciplines: opera, ballet, music and theater.