Travel story: Kavita Panir

Kavita Panir from the Robinson Research Institute’s Endometriosis Research Group attended the 13th World Congress on Endometriosis in Vancouver, Canada in May 2017.

Kavita presented her research on An altered immune environment in microRNA-223 deficient mice may contribute to the development of endometriosis-like lesions.

This is what Kavita had to say about her experience:

What was a highlight of the conference?

A prevailing theme from the conference was the necessity for early detection of endometriosis, and the importance of educating young women about their menstrual cycles and healthy reproductive development.

Did you attend any workshops or satellite meetings associated with the conference?

I attended the satellite course “Empowering Patients and the Role of Allied Health Care”. This session highlighted the importance of communication, clarity and consideration when disseminating research findings into meaningful, accessible and useful information for the community.

Did you meet any researchers or collaborators of significance? Why are they important to your work?

Dr Erin Greaves from Edinburgh: she presented on the role of macrophage-derived insulin-like growth factor on the progression of endometriosis. She is a collaborator of the RRI, and her work on developing the menstrual mouse model for modelling endometriosis has been essential to my project.

Did you visit any other labs or research facilities? How these visits will be useful to your work and/or career development?

I visited the BC Women’s Hospital Centre for Pelvic Pain and Endometriosis, and met with Dr Paul Yong and his team. I was able to discuss aspects of my PhD project, with particular focus on the different animal models used. I toured the clinical facility and was given some insight into the rewards (and challenges) associated with establishing and running a clinical trial. I was also able to speak to fellow PhD students at the research centre about their projects and the possibility of future collaboration.

How will the experience support you and your research going forward?

Attending this conference was an extremely valuable experience. My presentation was well attended, and I received several insightful questions and comments regarding my PhD work. I gained valuable feedback on the direction of my project and learnt about different techniques and how to apply them to my work. This conference gave me the opportunity to learn about advancements within the endometriosis research field, by allowing me to listen to presentations and interact with leading international researchers and clinicians about their work.

What was the most exciting thing you learned/experienced at the Conference?

Multiple sessions centred on the emerging roles of non-coding RNA and epigenetic regulatory mechanisms in the pathophysiology of endometriosis, and highlighted the importance of understanding these elements in an attempt to develop biomarkers for disease detection.

What was the most interesting or unexpected moment of your travel?

I found the clinical presentations to be extremely interesting, especially with regard to establishing a consensus towards diagnosis and treatment of endometriosis.

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