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Thanks to your generous support, each year The Hospital Research Foundation (THRF) funds travel grants to support researchers and students to attend various conferences and meetings relevant to their field of research, having the opportunity to network with fellow researchers around the globe.

PhD student Alexandra (Alex) Shoubridge from the Breast Cancer Research Unit at the Basil Hetzel Institute for Translational Health Research recently attended the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research 2017 Annual Meeting (ASBMR). The meeting was held in Colorado, USA in September. Below is Alex’s personal reflection of her trip which includes exciting insights and opportunities from attending.

The ASBMR annual meeting is one of few international gatherings for orthopaedic surgeons and researchers. The meeting this year had a strong focus on cell degeneration and how this could affect poor bone health in the elderly.

This meeting was a fantastic opportunity to hear from current major clinical trials and results of these studies, particularly the recently completed study looking at fracture risk in post-menopausal women. Although this was not directly in my area of work, these meetings are an important opportunity to be updated on the progress which is being made in all aspects of orthopaedic research.

I was given the opportunity to present a poster which highlighted my findings from my PhD and I was able to discuss my thought process through my PhD and the approaches I took as well as my aims.

Making sure I made the most of my trip I had the opportunity to catch up with orthopaedic lab heads from Adelaide, including Professor Gerald Atkins, Associate Professor Paul Anderson and Professor David Findlay where we discussed potential post-doctoral positions after the completion of my PhD, which is expected to be finished in 2018.

The opportunities didn’t stop there and I was also able to briefly reconnect with international researchers I had met at previous conferences in both South Australia and Queensland which is important if I choose to remain in the field of orthopaedics.

In addition to attending the conference, I was fortunate to visit the Centre for Life Sciences, based within the Harvard Medical School. This was a fantastic opportunity to catch up with Dr Kahn whom I met at the 2016 Australian and New Zealand Bone and Mineral Society in Queensland where she granted me the opportunity to meet her in the USA and discuss potential projects.

Personally, it was a fantastic opportunity to observe how a lab runs so efficiently which differs from labs based in Adelaide. I was also invited to give an oral presentation to Dr Kahn and her lab discussing our labs recent studies and my PhD project.

It was a pleasure to receive such interest in my work from the lab and I also received some interesting comments as some of the researchers had previously worked in the field of orthopaedics.

Overall, I found this trip a fantastic opportunity to broaden my knowledge in the field of orthopaedics and to see how other international research organisations conduct research.

I have greatly appreciated the funding support by THRF and their donors for allowing me the opportunity to travel overseas and gain these experiences. I am so grateful to be given several career opportunities available to be as a result of this trip.

Please donate today and give our researchers and students the opportunities to learn the insights in their fields.

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