This issue marks my final contribution to medical journalism as I retire after 25 years of service as Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Computer Assisted Tomography. And what an experience it hasbeen!
The JCAT was founded in 1977 by Giovanni Di Chiro, MD, an internationally recognized neuroradiologist and scientist at the National Institutes of Health. It was only 10 years previously that Sir Godfrey Hounsfield had invented the computed tomography (CT) scanner, and less than 5 years since the first CT scanners were beginning to be installed in the United States and Europe.
Giovanni's introduction of the journal to the world (on page 1 of Issue 1) was simply titled “Prologue” in which he laid out his vision for what the publication should aspire to be. In brief, Giovanni wanted the new journal to lead to the “enhancement of communication between clinicians and basic scientists” with a “strong emphasis on international contributions.” He envisioned that JCAT would contribute to the formation of a “new breed” of imaging scientists, “more at home with mathematics and physics than those of the past,” to facilitate the application of reconstructive tomography techniques. In addition, he insisted that the journal not only be restricted to transmission (x-ray) CT but also welcome emission-based techniques such as positron emission tomography (and in the future magnetic resonance imaging). In its inaugural year, the journal included papers on such forward-looking topics as dose reduction, dual-energy tissue characterization, and holographic visualization.
After an international search, I had the good fortune to be selected as successor Editor-in-Chief in 1995. I realized what an honor this was with what a unique treasure I had been entrusted. At all times, I tried to keep Giovanni's vision alive and continued to recruit and retain some of the finest minds in the world as reviewers, authors, and editorial board members. I am profoundly and forever grateful to all of them for helping and advising me during these past 25 years, allowing us to keep the JCAT successful and relevant for new generations.
If Giovanni could see the journal today I think he would be pleased but wonder what all these strange topics mean that fill its pages—like “radiomics,” “diffusion kurtosis,” “deep learning,” and “COVID.” Both JCAT and I have lived through exciting times for imaging. I cannot imagine a more interesting field to have been a part of and helped shape.
Long ago, I recognized that for the JCAT to rise to the next level, it was important to be linked to an international society. And last year, my final mission was fulfilled, as the JCAT became the official journal of the Society for Advanced Body Imaging (SABI).
Through SABI, I have had the pleasure to work closely with JCAT's new Editor-in-Chief, Dr Eric Tamm, who officially takes over on January 1. I truly believe that the journal will be in excellent hands and look forward to seeing all the great new directions he and SABI will take it.
With my sincerest gratitude and heartfelt thanks,
Allen D. Elster, MD