Travel award winner: Carmen Coxon
Back in April 2015, Carmen Coxon was one of our first Hello Bio travel award winners. We caught up with her to find out how she got on at her conference...
Name of event: International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis Conference (ISTH) 2015 Meeting
Date: July 2015
Location: Toronto, Canada
Why did you want to attend this event – what were you hoping to achieve?
The ISTH is one of the best conferences for people working in scientific disciplines relating to thrombosis and haemostasis. It is attended by people from a broad spectrum of fields and it promotes interaction between different scientific areas and disciplines, encouraging collaboration and information sharing. I felt that it was important for me to attend this conference as I wanted to contact other leading experts in the field and promote the work that I was doing. I believe that this was successful as the following year I was given the opportunity to orally communicate my work at two other international conferences. It was incredibly useful to get feedback on the work I had done, and also to help develop a strategy for moving forward.
Did you achieve everything that you wanted?
Yes! It was brilliant!
What would you say were the 3 main highlights of this conference / for you?
One highlight for me was a talk that described a new drug delivery technology. Antiplatelet drugs can cause unwanted bleeding side effects due to the nature of their action. This new technology allowed antiplatelet drugs to be packed into small artificial vesicles that only release their contents when under high pressure – i.e. at the site of thrombosis where the vessel narrows. This localised delivery of the drug attenuates thrombus formation while shielding the rest of the circulation from exposure to the compounds, and therefore prevents unwanted bleeding. I also got to speak with two leading groups working on oxidoreductases and catch up on what they are doing, as well ask speak to them about my own work and get some advice. This was a great opportunity for me. In addition, as well as being able to catch up with emerging work relating to platelet biology, I also attended a talk on regression of atherosclerotic plaques, which subsets of macrophages and is dependent on certain cytokines. I knew only a little about this before I went to the session, but I came away knowing a lot more about the immune cell contribution to the progression, and possible regression, of this disease.
Did you present at this conference (eg. poster, oral communication)?
Alas, at this conference I only had a poster presentation, but I did get more interest than usual, and I also got to speak to some leading oxidoreductase groups. I believe that my attendance at the ISTH 2015 underpinned by invitation to communicate the work orally at subsequent conferences.
If so, how did you feel about it, and how did it go - for example, were you nervous, did you have a lot of interest?
Poster presentations are fairly relaxed (usually in part due to the provision of alcohol), but they can be a bit demoralising if people don’t take an interest in the work. My poster at the ISTH 2015 did draw in people working in the field and I found these interactions very useful.
How would you sum up this conference if you just had to use 3 words?
‘Invaluable’, ‘exciting’, ‘enjoyable’
Would you recommend this conference / course to others?
Absolutely! The ISTH is one of my favourite conferences and I have always had a brilliant time!
Thanks for this Carmen - it's great that the conference was of such benefit to you and we are glad that the Hello Bio travel award has made such a difference! For anyone else interested in our travel awards - it's really easy to apply! Find out how and don't forget to share it with your colleagues!