Pien Goldsteen received NRS Travel Grant
My name is Pien Goldsteen, I am working as a PhD student in the department of Molecular Pharmacology, University of Groningen. My work is focused on better understanding the mechanisms underlying neuroplasticity in asthma using a novel human in vitro system.
The NRS travel grant allowed me to present my most recent findings on a Young Investigator Meeting in Sydney, Australia. This international meeting is very small (~50 attendees) and very much focused on establishing close collaborations and networks between lung researchers globally. The 40 young researchers who where present were all given the opportunity to present their work. Since everybody studies the airways from a different discipline (cell biology, biophysics, clinicians etc.), the conference shows novel perspectives on ways the airways can be studied. These small conferences are playing a key role in bringing researchers from different field together and getting lung research to the next level.
Presenting my own work to this diverse audience certainly lead to out-of-the-box thinking of my project. I got to present my latest development on the in vitro human model. Interaction with both young and senior investigators during the conference lead to interesting perspectives, questioning the potential and limitations of human in vitro models. As I am focusing on understanding neuronal remodeling in asthma using this human model, questions were related to the onset of the remodeling process and interactions of neurons with other cell types in the lungs. We even speculated if the system can be used for understanding the mechanisms of nerve ablation. Furthermore, for me attending the presentations of other speakers also broadened my horizon. I have a better overview now of all different kinds of ways the airways and related diseases can be studied. Having personal interactions with lung researchers from different fields will definitely aid establishing future collaborations.