Kim To, currently a post-doctoral fellow at Georgia Institute of Technology, under the supervision of Dr. Brandon Dixon, received a Travel Award from LE&RN to attend the Lymphatic Forum in Austin, TX. We asked Kim 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 Lymphatic Forum? Why did you feel it was important to attend?
First and foremost, I was able to meet and interact with many experts in the lymphatic field and learn about their research. Secondly, I learned about the efforts that have been made to promote public awareness of the lymphatic system and lymphatic diseases. Last but not least, I was shown a bigger picture of current lymphatic research. It was encouraging to be able to attend Lymphatic Forum 2019.
What are your areas of interest in research?
I am interested in pharmacology of the contractile function of collecting lymphatic vessels and its application in lymphatic-related diseases (e.g. lipedema, lymphedema). By increasing collecting lymphatic function, we can increase transport of lymph/interstitial fluid away from the peripheral interstitial space or promote drug delivery specific to the lymphatic network.
What are your hopes and plans for your career and your research?
I hope to optimize a drug delivery through lymphatic vessels to specifically improve the transport function of collecting lymphatic vessels.
Why do you believe that, in general, lymphatic research is important? What might the field accomplish within the next few years?
Lymphatic research is important because lymphatic-related diseases can be very debilitating and negatively affect patients’ quality of life, especially cancer patients after lymph node removal. In the next few years, I hope the FDA will approve a drug with a lymphedema indication.