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Experiences of BTS Winter Meeting 2019: Richard Allen

In December I attended the British Thoracic Society (BTS) 2019 winter meeting held at the Queen Elizabeth II conference centre in London. BTS is one of the largest lung research conferences in the country and consisted of three days of concurrent talks, posters and networking opportunities. On the first day I attended the Joint BTS/BALR symposium which involved two sessions of talks giving an introduction to different aspects of the biology of aging. In the afternoon, I presented my research at the BTS/BALR/BLF Early Career Investigator Award Symposium and was later awarded the British Lung Foundation Early Career Investigator Award.

My research involves large genetic studies of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and attending BTS allowed me to present and discuss my work with experts in the field as well as learning about the latest research being conducting into idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Much of my research involves collaborations with individuals from across the country and by attending BTS I was able to meet many of these researchers, including a number of individuals I had never actually met in person. This allowed me to talk about my current work as well as plan future research projects. I am also involved in recruiting individuals to a genetic study of pigeon fanciers and I was able to meet up with other researchers involved in this study to help discuss and plan future recruitment events.

My research is funded by the patient led charity Action for Pulmonary Fibrosis and attending the meeting also allowed me to meet up with many of the individuals who run and work for the charity. This allowed me to update them on my current research as well as learning about the latest work that the charity is conducting.

Overall, I found the three days at BTS incredibly useful in terms of networking and learning about the latest developments in the field. I am extremely grateful to BALR for awarding me a £100 travel bursary to attend the conference and for organising the joint symposium in which I learnt a lot.

Dr Richard Allen - Post-doctoral Scientist, University of Leicester

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