Report from Amanda Goodwin attending the ICLAF conference in California
ICLAF Travel Award Report – Amanda Goodwin
Thank you, Action for Pulmonary Fibrosis, for this travel fellowship which allowed me to attend ICLAF 2018 in Asilomar, California. ICLAF was a fantastic conference, and will have a positive impact on myself personally and my research for years to come.
The ICLAF program included a wide variety of research, from laboratory-based scientific research on the molecular mechanisms that drive pulmonary fibrosis, to epidemiological studies and clinical aspects of the disease. I found the spoken sessions extremely interesting and informative, and the discussions that followed were lively debates that refined the way we consider fibrotic lung diseases.
Each day began with a patient perspective, where a patient with pulmonary fibrosis spoke about their experiences in the diagnosis of and living with the condition. These sessions were a sobering reminder of why it is essential for us to continue research into pulmonary fibrosis. The patients were truly inspirational, and their presentations motivated the room for the scientific discussions of the day. These patient perspectives united all of the attendees to our common aim – improving the lives of patients with pulmonary fibrosis and their families.
The poster discussion session at ICLAF was a unique and stimulating process which enabled me to present my work to fellow researchers working in similar areas. I found this session particularly informative and useful, as the small group format facilitated contribution to the discussion by early career researchers such as myself. I look forward to taking what I learned from this session and applying it to my own research.
The ICLAF conference was enormously inspirational, as I was able to meet world-leading researchers in the field of pulmonary fibrosis who I previously knew only from their published papers. I was excited to share my work with these experts, and my conversations with them provided valuable input to both my current research project and my career development. These meetings would not have been possible at a larger conference, therefore ICLAF represents a unique opportunity for professional networking.
Overall, ICLAF was an incredibly valuable conference, and my experiences there will shape my future professional development. This would not have been possible without the support of Action for Pulmonary Fibrosis, and I am incredibly grateful for this travel fellowship.