Andreea Milasan, currently a PhD student at the Montreal Heart Institute affiliated with Université de Montreal in Montreal, CA, and under the supervision of Dr. Catherine Martel, received a Travel Award from LE&RN to attend the 2017 Lymphatics Forum in Chicago. We asked Andreea Milasan to share her thoughts on that experience with us and to tell us a bit about her research and future plans.
What did you get out of the Forum? Why did you feel it was important to attend?
The Forum was a particularly important meeting that allowed me to discuss about my current projects with top experts in the field and get new ideas. The lectures were very diverse and managed to include most areas of lymphatic research. I learned new information that will expand on my current research.
What are your areas of interest in research?
Atherosclerosis is characterized by the accumulation of cholesterol in the walls of the heart arteries. Our team aims to better understand the interaction between lymphatic vessels and the progression of cardiovascular disease. We investigate the causes and consequences of poor lymphatic transport throughout the progression of atherosclerosis. Our goal is to identify strategies to potentiate lymphatic function at various stages of the disease, thereby promoting the regression of the atherosclerotic disease and ultimately one day, manage to prevent it.
What are your hopes and plans for your career and your research?
I hope my work during my graduate studies will make a difference and help advance the cardiovascular field. Fundamental research is crucial to better assess clinical care, and so, I hope that all the newly developed techniques in our laboratory will greatly help discover new avenues for potential treatments of cardiovascular disease.
Why do you believe that, in general, lymphatic research is important? What might the field accomplish within the next few years?
I believe the lymphatic system was, until recently, a greatly understudied system. Luckily, in recent years, a lot of progress in lymphatic biology has made possible the creation of new genetic mouse models and imaging tools pertinent to a broad array of study areas. The lymphatic system is implicated in most diseases and is clearly one of the most important players in our well-being. Soon, I am hoping there will be cures for many life-threatening lymphatic-associated illnesses. At the very least, I believe there will be new approaches that will relieve many patients from their daily complications due to improper lymphatic function.
Programs such as LE&RN's Travel Awards program advance the scientific community's understanding of lymphedema and lymphatic diseases, allows for increased communication between researchers, and raises the profile of lymphatic research. These programs are only possible as a result of the generosity and dedication of LE&RN's corporate sponsors and Supporting Members. If you are committed to LE&RN's mission of fighting lymphedema and lymphatic disease through education, research, and advocacy, become a LE&RN Supporting Member today.