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Travel Award Winner Bo Li

Travel Award Winner Bo Li
By Sam Roome 2 months ago 799 Views No comments

Bo Li is a Research Fellow at the Hospital for Sick Children, Translational Medicine Program, Division of General and Thoracic Surgery in Toronto, and is researching neonatal intestinal disorders and tissue regeneration. The award will help to fund his trip to ISSCR2019.

This is an amazing opportunity to network and exchange ideas with other scientists. I feel glad to have received this award as it helps supplement my research funding and provides me with the ability to continue to pursue doing the research I enjoy. Bo Li, Hospital for Sick Children, Canada, Hello Bio travel award winner

Congratulations Bo. First, can you tell us a bit more about what you're working on at the moment?

Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is the most common intestinal emergency in premature babies and a leading cause of death in these tiny and fragile lives. The outcome of NEC remains very poor (mental handicap, blindness, repeated hospitalization or death) and has not changed during the last 2 decades, indicating the need for new treatment. Over those years I have been able to help progress the field of NEC research by investigating some of the potential mechanisms, and associated risk factors that can better prepare medical and surgical staff understand and managing NEC. I have also dedicated myself to pursuing treatments that can reduce the associated morbidity and mortality. My commitment to basic science research particularly with respect to NEC has allowed me to develop a wide understanding of the disease and keep up-to-date with the latest findings in both disease pathogenesis and management.

What is it about your field of research that gets you most excited?

I believe that most of medical research is greatly improved by having both a basic science approach to understanding the mechanisms involved in disease development, and a clinical understanding that provides context and application. Ultimately, the end goal of medical research both in clinical and basic science is to better the quality of life and reduce the mortality of patients. As medicine and basic research evolve, so too should our ability to combine the two to enrich our research. Our united front in tackling the obstacles provided by the disease allows for the best outlook for patients, and I strongly believe that NEC research can benefit from translational science.

Which scientists working today do you most admire, and why?

Hans Clevers, a scientist who was the first to identify stem cells in the intestine and is one of the world's leading researchers on normal stem cells and their potential for regenerative therapy. He was also the first to establish organoids as a potential platform to study organ development, patient specific drug testing, and the development of personalized medicine.


What do you think are the biggest challenges currently facing life scientists and their work?

The disease I am current working with is Necrotizing Enterocolitis, which has been very difficult to manage from a medical and surgical point-of-view in large due to a lack of understanding of the underlying pathogenesis, an inability to appropriately screen for or follow disease progression, and finally not having a full appreciation of associated risk factors and respective outcomes for differing medical management options.

What’s your favorite science quote?

No try, no know.

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Thank you Bo - we hope you enjoy LA!

Click here to read about our past winners or why not apply for the grant yourself?

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