Experiences of BALR Summer Meeting: Jodie Ackland

Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the BALR Summer Meeting 2021 was not in sunny Exeter, but instead online in a virtual format. Despite this, the meeting ran smoothly - from my perspective at least, I’m not sure how stressed the organisers on the other side of the screen were!

One of my highlights over the two days included the online poster session. The poster presenters each gave a flash talk explaining the concept of their poster, which provided a broad overview of the many diverse areas of lung research being undertaken by BALR members. Although my research interests are very much host-pathogen focussed, I found the numerous talks on air pollution and respiratory health absolutely fascinating (and perhaps, slightly scary!).

My presence at the summer meeting was not purely as a spectator. My submitted abstracted was selected for a presentation as part of the Early Career Research Competition. I presented part of my PhD work, which focussed on NTHi-macrophage interactions in asthma, and was fortunate to win the ECR Competition! I am extremely grateful to receive this prize, as it will help me to attend future respiratory conferences which provide crucial networking opportunities and exposure to cutting edge science and researchers at the forefront of their fields, all of which will further my career as a respiratory scientist.

I look forward to attending the BALR Summer meeting 2022 in person (fingers crossed!) and thoroughly recommend any early career researcher working in respiratory science to attend.

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