Niki Ubags received NRS Travel Grant (2)
Report Gordon Research Conference on “Biology of Acute Respiratory Infection”.
Recently I was given the opportunity by the NRS to attend the Gordon Research Seminar and Conference on “Biology of acute respiratory infection” in Galveston, Texas. Gordon conferences are known for their high quality and promote discussions and the free exchange of ideas since it is encouraged to only present unpublished data. Furthermore, the research seminar which takes place one day before the conference and is organized “by students for students”, allows for networking between junior investigators in an informal setting as well as interaction with selected leaders in the field.
During my PhD-project I focused on the mechanisms underlying the impairment of pulmonary host defense seen in obesity, and in particular the effects of obesity on neutrophil function. I presented part of this work during the Gordon conference and received critical but very positive feedback. My project now focusses more on understanding the effect of obesity on immune cell interactions in the lung and in particular epithelial barrier function. Interesting presentations were given on how lung macrophage-epithelial cell interactions can regulate alveolar inflammation as well as on the phenotyping of different immune cell population is the lung. These presentations were highly relevant for my current project and provided me with new insights on how to drive this project forward using novel techniques.
Besides gaining new scientific insights, attending this Gordon Conference was a unique opportunity to surround myself with renowned investigators in the field of respiratory infections, which also allowed me to expand my professional network.
In conclusion, the Gordon Research Conference provided me with new insights and possible collaborators which will allow me to boost my current research project.