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Mirjam van Manen received NRS Travel Grant

Travel grants July 2016
Mirjam van Manen received NRS Travel Grant

I am a PhD-student at the Department of Respiratory Medicine of the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam. My research is focused on developing clinical outcome measures and improving quality of life in Interstitial Lung Diseases (ILD), especially in sarcoidosis and Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF).

The NRS travel grand enabled me to attend the American Thoracic Society (ATS) conference in San Francisco, USA. The American Thoracic Society (ATS) is one of the world's leading medical associations with as goal to improve clinical and scientific understanding of pulmonary diseases. The ATS conference is visited by doctors, scientists and researcher from all over the world and focusses on general, but also more specific pulmonary diseases, such as ILD.
At the conference I presented two of my studies in poster discussion sessions. The first study was on the effect of an anti-fibrotic drug on cough in IPF patients. Cough is one of the major symptoms in IPF with a huge negative impact on patients’ quality of life. The session on ‘IPF: more about therapy and outcome’ was a well-attended session with all of the main researchers and doctors specialized in IPF. I was happy to see that my poster received a great amount of attention and learnt a lot from the interaction with the various pulmonologists and scientists.
The second study assessed whether chronic disturbances in hair steroid hormones are related to psychological distress and fatigue in patients with sarcoidosis. Again I had meaningful discussions with people attending the session, which led to new insights on my study and valuable new contacts. To experience that people find my research important, is very motivating and stimulates me to continue my research, and work even harder to find ways to improve quality of life of patients with IPF and sarcoidosis.
Both sessions consisted of many abstracts on the particular themes, which improved my understanding of the work of other researches in this field, but I also enjoyed the various sessions of other disciplines to get new ideas.
I thank you for the opportunity to attend the ATS conference.  A conference where I learnt about new developments in and outside the ILD world, gained new insights on my studies and met a lot of inspiring people. I much look forward to the new collaborations coming from these encounters.

Mirjam J.G. van Manen
Department of Respiratory Medicine
Erasmus Medical Center, University Hospital Rotterdam