A guest blog post by Yeo Kim Pin, Ph.D., 2018 GRC Travel Award Winner
My name is Yeo Kim Pin, I am currently a Postdoc at the National University of Singapore, Singapore, under the supervision of Dr. Veronique Angeli. I received a travel award from LE&RN to attend the 20th International Vascular Biology Meeting (IVBM) in Helsinki, Finland.
Experience at IVBM
I am grateful to LE&RN for this travel award. It was truly an incredible experience for me to be among more than one thousand delegates, encountering diverse research topics and workshop on cutting-edge technology in the field of vascular biology. Exposure to this research those five days was mind-blowing for me as it expanded my knowledge and understanding in vascular biology. Indeed, some aspects from other areas of research can be borrowed and incorporated into lymphatics. Overall, I felt that it was an important event because the friendly environment provided a perfect platform for me to interact with leading scientists in the field, discussing and exchanging valuable feedback for my research. I was greatly inspired by many passionate and dedicated scientists.
In a strongly collaborative laboratory, I currently have the opportunity to be involved in studies in which we have shown how impaired skin lymphatic function leads to tissue remodeling including accumulation of lipid and immune cells. Interestingly, atherosclerosis is characterized by lipid and immune cell accumulation in the aorta. Extending knowledge from the skin, I evaluated changes of lymphatic vasculature during atherosclerosis development and developed a novel functional assay to directly measure aortic lymphatic transport in experimental models. Using surgical manipulation, I am currently studying the consequences of disrupting aortic lymphatic drainage on atherosclerosis.
Roles of lymphatic in physiological and pathological conditions have been under-studied and research related to lymphatic has been underfunded. With increasing awareness and recent research advancements in the lymphatic field, I hope there will be more funding agencies to fund basic lymphatic research that will eventually address clinically unanswered questions and seemingly hopeless medical conditions. I wish to complete my current project in a year and then expose myself to overseas postdoctoral training and ultimately becoming an independent group leader.
Evidence through research and clinical cases have shown that the lymphatic system plays critical roles in tissue homeostasis and overall body health. With increasing awareness, funding, and research advancement using cutting-edge technologies, I believe that disease treatments incorporating the improvement of lymphatic functions will be the focus in the near future.