The Research Support Award granted by Doctoral Services allowed me to attend my first international EUPLAN conference, jointly held this year with the Platelet Society in Bristol. This was a large 3-day conference that covered various aspects of platelet biology, thrombosis, and Cardiovascular Disease. 

I had just flown into Manchester from a 10-hour long delayed flight from Milan and had to make my way down to Bristol for the conference, something I was not looking forward to. I travelled down and had breakfast with a few members of the Manchester Met Thrombosis Group before heading off to Bristol University for the conference. I had a chance to meet and speak to different people, visit the stands set up by industry professionals, and have a walk around and see the various posters that had been displayed, all before the first talk had started. There were several ‘selected oral presentations’ throughout the day along with key plenary talks and poster sessions, all of which were extremely novel in the field and thought-provoking.  

My abstract for a poster presentation had been accepted, allowing me to present my poster entitled ‘Pim kinase mediated regulation of platelet-leukocyte aggregate formation’ in the various ‘coffee and poster’ sessions. This was a great opportunity, allowing me to present and discuss my work from the first year of my PhD with other researchers in the field. I was given invaluable advice and suggestions for future work from excellent scientists across the world, introducing and bringing forward techniques that I was not familiar with but which were very relevant for my research, and I took a lot from. 

Attending this conference was a great opportunity to explore other potential areas in my PhD research, gain networks, and develop ideas with people across the globe with similar research interests. I always enjoy conferences as they are a great opportunity to network and interact with scientists in the field that you would not usually have a chance to. Attending this international conference was an amazing opportunity for me, presenting me with new ideas and concepts for my research going forward. 

Additionally, I attended the conference dinner at the end of the second day, held at ‘The Mount Without’, a beautifully restored church holding 900 years of history. This was a lovely evening to wind down and get to know everyone better and on a more personal level. There were great conversations had, laughs, and friends made, along with potential future collaborators, expanding and strengthening the future field of Cardiovascular Disease research.  

After the 3-day conference, I had some time to explore Bristol as it was my first time there. Bristol is a beautiful and vibrant city that has a lot to offer, a city that I would not considered visiting, and therefore I am extremely grateful that attending this conference gave me the chance to do so as I will definitely be going back! 

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