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Experiences of ERS 2023: Katie Horton

Updated: Oct 18, 2023

I was delighted to receive a BALR travel award for attendance at the ERS International Congress 2023 in Milan. I work on primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD); an inherited ciliopathy. This year at the ERS, there were over fifty presentations/posters on PCD, so it was a fantastic opportunity to understand the breadth of research happening in the field, and to make connections for future collaborations.

During my doctoral studies, I worked on host-pathogen interactions in PCD and I presented some of this work at the ERS. I had some really useful discussions which helped me to consider future experiments and potential publications. It was beneficial to network with scientists, clinicians, physiotherapists and people with PCD (and more!) at the interactive sessions and during breaks. A direct output from this is that more early career researchers have signed up to the BEAT-PCD (an ERS clinical research collaboration for which I am a work package lead) mailing list, expanding the network and potential for collaborative studies.

Starting my post-doctoral journey, I am still working on host-pathogen interactions in PCD, but moving into investigating different pathogens and using new techniques. I was able to attend relevant sessions covering virus infection, emerging disease models and bioinformatics approaches, further expanding my knowledge in these areas. With the arrival of new equipment at my institution to do spatial transcriptomics, I particularly enjoyed talks on this topic and am keen to learn more about how we can utilise this technology in lung research.

I highly recommend attending the ERS. Thank you to the BALR, I now have a renewed enthusiasm for lung research!

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