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Experiences of BTS Winter Meeting 2019: Kirsty McCallum

The BTS winter meeting 2019 took place in the Queen Elizabeth II conference centre in London. I was kindly awarded the BALR travel grant which allowed me to attend and present my work as an oral presentation titled ‘PAR2 induced autophagy dysregulation’. The meeting took place across three days which included presentations and lectures both clinical and scientific, of outstanding quality.

On the 5th December, the highlight for me was the BTS/BALR joint symposium titled “The sliver tsunami: Lung disease in an ageing population”. This session gave an extensive evaluation of ageing in terms of history and clinical significance. Presenter Professor Peter Barnes was a highlight of this session regarding his work on senescence and mitochondrial dysfunction in the ageing lung. Other highlights included: “inflammation and the microbiome” presented by Dr Dawn Bowdish ,“potential of senolytics as disease-modifiers in IPF presented by Professor James L Kirkland.

On the 6th December, the highlight was the keynote scientific BTS lecture by Professor Elizabeth Kovacs on “Microbiome and effect on the lungs”. At 3:05pm I presented my research in the session titled ‘Translational science in COPD’ to an audience consisting of both scientists and clinicians. I thoroughly enjoyed presenting my work to such an esteemed audience whereby the questions that followed gave me some excellent food for thought.

Further, the quality of the poster presentations was admirable with some thoroughly interesting work being done particularly in the field of asthma and IPF research. Overall, I was able to experience some excellent symposia sessions as well as short oral presentations and posters on a range of subjects.  This was my first time at BTS and I was thankfully able to expand my network though having fantastic discussions with researchers and clinicians in the respiratory field that can only serve to benefit me and my work in the future.

Thank you to BALR for funding my trip.

Kirsty McCallum - PhD Student, University of the West of Scotland

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