CARRA wants to congratulate CARRA Early Investigators Daniel Horton of Rutgers University and Natalie Rosenwasser of the Hospital for Special Surgery for being selected as this year’s recipients of the PReS (Pediatric Rheumatology European Society) Travel Award. Drs. Horton and Rosenwasser traveled to Madrid, Spain, to represent CARRA Early Investigators (along with Early Investigator Chair Erica Lawson and Vice Chair Kaveh Ardalan) to participate in the 2019 PReS Annual Meeting. Dr. Horton's abstract “Oral Glucocorticoids and Incident Diabetes Mellitus, Hypertension, and Thrombosis in Children with Chronic Diseases” and Dr. Rosenwasser’s abstract “Development of Novel Urinary Biomarkers for Lupus Nephritis” were both accepted. Through this award, CARRA provided each recipient with up to $2,500 in travel support.
It was an absolute pleasure to be able to attend the 2019 PReS EMERGE Young Investigators Meeting and EULAR-PReS Congress with generous support from the CARRA travel scholarship. At the YIM, I heard about exciting research going on in labs and clinics across several continents. Through oral presentations and posters, my colleagues taught me about novel scientific approaches and advances. Some raised intriguing possibilities for collaboration, including through combining CARRA registry data with European registries. I appreciated the chance to present in front of an audience with such diverse backgrounds and interests across the field of pediatric rheumatology. It was also valuable to learn more about PReS EMERGE and the programs that they offer young investigators, including traveling clinical and research fellowships to European countries and a peer review mentoring program.
The EULAR-PReS Congress itself was also impressive for its size and breadth – what a workout just getting around! I took a deeper dive into basic science than I normally do at the ACR. Sessions on "molecular fingerprinting" and big data made me even more aware of the power of systems biology and multi-omics to completely reorganize the way we think about diseases, diagnostics, and treatments. Another session taught me more about the global burdens of childhood rheumatic disease and developments in global health that are addressing them. While poster sessions always seem to be unpredictable, and sometimes lonely, I enjoyed presenting my poster on cardiometabolic steroid toxicities in children—taking part in a poster tour, chatting with several passersby, and even having a brief cameo on EULAR TV. I also appreciated learning more about exciting research ongoing in PReS and PRINTO.
An experience like this is great not just for opportunities for scientific growth but also for the chance for networking and cultural exchange. It was wonderful to get to know my fellow investigators, young and not as young, European and not so European. We chatted about our work and our aspirations, but also our families, hometowns, favorite foods and sports teams, and even some politics. It was also a pleasure to sample some fine Spanish beers and wines and delectable Spanish cuisine.
I’m so grateful to CARRA for the opportunity to attend the YIM and EULAR/PReS. I expect these experiences, lessons, and connections will continue to bear fruit in the years ahead.
Innovation thrives on connection and collaboration, but oftentimes, medical research communities work in silos. Attending the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) and Pediatric Rheumatology European Society (PReS) meeting was a step towards global collaboration of advancements in pediatric rheumatology.
Looking back, I found that the sessions at the congress as well as the PReS networking event were very relevant and allowed me to identify and meet with international leaders in the field. My discussion with young investigators during the congress further catalyzed ideas for continued collaboration. In addition to creating personal connections, I learned about different research tools and approaches used to investigate rheumatic disease. Gleaning these insights expanded the possibility of collaborating and improving our strategies in eliminating diseases together.
Connecting as a community on a global level is paramount to success. Thanks to the support of CARRA and The Arthritis Foundation, I was able to do my part to help build and be a part of this global community of champions in childhood health.