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  • Kylie Belchamber

Experiences of BALR Summer Meeting: Anna Duckworth

I am a mature student, with a non-medical background, carrying out a part-time PhD at the University of Exeter. My PhD is looking at epigenetic profiling of blood biomarkers for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). I was lucky enough to be invited to present some of my early work on telomere causality in IPF at the BALR summer meeting this year and even luckier to receive a travel award.

This was the first time that I had shared my work with the lung research community and it felt like a great privilege to present to such an experienced and knowledgeable audience, without it being too large and daunting. The venue was fantastic (Selwyn College in Cambridge - although I might be a bit biased with my undergraduate college from a long time ago just over the road!) and it was great to spend time with fellow respiratory researchers there. It was also really good to meet some of the people who have been names on papers until now and I hope to work together with them where there are synergies in the future. I love my work, am a big believer in collaboration and am keen to make a lasting positive different for patients and their families. On the return journey to Bristol I described this sociable and friendly conference on Twitter as a #GatewayToOpportunity, with this lovely photo of the venue before breakfast attached to my post! I hope to be back next year…

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