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Irma Tindemans received NRS Travel Grant (2)

Travel grants March 2017
Irma Tindemans received NRS Travel Grant (2)

Keystone meeting on Asthma: from pathway biology to precision therapeutics, February 12-16, 2017, Keystone, USA

From February 12-16, I attended the Keystone meeting on Asthma: from pathway biology to precision therapeutics, February 12-16 2017 in Keystone, USA. During the conference there were only plenary sessions, with many invited speakers with outstanding knowledge in the field of asthma. The meeting was small which made the conference very informative and encouraged interaction. Within the conference program, there was a strong focus on studies that concern clustering of asthma patients based on their immune phenotype and various other factors including age of onset, steroid resistance and lung function. This was in particularly useful for me since we recently started to explore immune cells in blood from asthma patients. In addition, there were many talks focusing on immune mechanisms that underlie type 2 inflammation in allergic asthma, including talks  on inflammatory cytokines, T cells and goblet cell differentiation.  Moreover, several speakers talked about the role of microbiome and infections during the development of asthma and the influence on asthma exacerbations. Lastly, I attended some talks about how to treat patients using targeted therapeutics. Attending those talks helped me increase my overall knowledge regarding immune mechanisms underlying asthma.

This program was very interesting to me since during my PhD project, I focus on the role of Notch signaling in the activation and differentiation of Th2 cells in asthma. My abstract was selected for an oral and a poster presentation, whereby I showed the results of interfering with several components of the Notch signaling pathway (including RBPJ or Notch receptors in T cells and Jagged molecules on dendritic cells) on the pathogenesis of house-dust mite induced allergic airway inflammation in mice. During the poster session, I had the opportunity to discuss the results on my poster with many experts in the field of asthma who suggested several molecules and cell types that I could look at. In addition, by visiting other poster presentations, I learned a lot about other mechanisms and signaling cascades that are important for the induction of Th2 cells in allergic asthma.

In conclusion, participating in the Keystone meeting on Asthma was a great experience. Therefore, I would like to thank the NRS young investigators committee for giving me the opportunity to attend this conference. 

Irma Tindemans
Pulmonary Medicine 
Erasmus MC, Rotterdam