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Thijs Hoffman received NRS Travel Grant

Travel grants August 2018
Thijs Hoffman received NRS Travel Grant

My research project is based at the Department of Pulmonology at St. Antonius Hospital in Nieuwegein. It focuses on the role of telomeres in the pathogenesis of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, and on the concept of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis as a telomere syndrome, where patients with telomere dysfunction might also have extrapulmonary manifestations of a telomere syndrome.

The NRS Young Investigator Travel Grant supported my attendance at the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) Workshop on telomere biology in health and human disease from 1 to 6 May 2018 in Troia, Portugal. The EMBO workshop attracted basic scientists and clinicians interested in telomere biology from all over the world. The scheduled talks allowed me to get a good overview of what is currently happening in the field, and have also impressed on me the importance (and difficulty) of translating basic research to a clinical setting in the telomere biology field. Conference highlights included a talk on the discovery of the structure of the active telomerase complex, an overview of emerging treatment implications of patients diagnosed with telomere dysfunction as the cause of their primary disease, and a study of telomere dynamics in relation to the environment in different species.

Additionally, I got to present my abstract at the poster session, which allowed me to discuss my research with other junior researchers, as well as several established senior researchers. This gave me some interesting new perspectives, as most other researchers were from outside the field of pulmonology, and view telomere syndromes more as a systemic disease.

All in all, this conference gave me a great insight into the state of worldwide telomere biology research. I have been able to get some useful new perspectives on my own research. Furthermore, the conference has stimulated my thoughts on the future of translational research in telomere biology, and on what our center can contribute to the field.

Thijs Willem Hoffman 
Interstitial Lung Diseases Center of Excellence, Department of Pulmonology,
St. Antonius Hospital, Nieuwegein