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Travel Story: Emily Bain

EmilyBainEmily Bain from the Robinson Research Institute’s Health of Women and Babies Research group attended Perinatal Society of Australia and New Zealand (PSANZ) 19th Annual Congress, Melbourne, in April.

Emily presented on her research Barriers and enablers to implementing antenatal magnesium sulphate for fetal neuroprotection guidelines: a study using the Theoretical Domains Framework .

This is what Emily had to say about her experience:

What was a highlight of the conference?
A highlight of the Congress was the plenary session ‘Better babies – the past, present and future of neuroprotection,’ with speakers including Professor Alastair MacLennan (genetics), Dr Suzie Miller (stem cells), Associate Professor David Walker (creatine) and Professor Alastair Gunn (hypothermia). Learning about recent advances in preterm and term neuroprotection was of great interest, and very valuable, as I begin to plan a project which will overview antenatal, intrapartum and neonatal interventions for cerebral palsy prevention.

Did you attend any satellite or special interest group meetings associated with the conference? If yes, please provide a brief summary.
Prior to the PSANZ Congress, I was fortunate to attend the Interdisciplinary Maternal Perinatal Australasian Collaborative Trials (IMPACT) Network Workshop: Improving health for mothers and babies through high quality, investigator-led, randomised trials. During the Congress I assisted in organising a lunch meeting for the Australasian Satellites of the Cochrane Collaboration’s Pregnancy and Childbirth and Neonatal Groups. I was also pleased to attend a breakfast meeting held by International Multidisciplinary Prevention and Cure Team (IMPACT) for Cerebral Palsy (CP).

Please provide details on any researchers or collaborators of significance that you met at the conference and why they are important to your work?
Throughout the PSANZ congress there were great opportunities to network and meet with current/future collaborators, and other researchers of significance. In particular, being able to catch up with Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Australasian Satellite collaborators, such as Professor Christine East (Monash University) and Dr Julie Brown (The University of Auckland), and Neonatal Group Australasian Satellite colleagues Lisa Jones and Associate Professor David Osborn (The University of Sydney) was really valuable. I also enjoyed the opportunity to meet with Dr Sarah McIntyre from the Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Institute, and other WISH Project collaborators, such as Dr Katie Groom (The University of Auckland), to discuss current/future projects.

How will the experience support you and your research going forward?
The PSANZ Congress provided a great opportunity for me to present and discuss recent findings from the WISH (Working to Improve Survival and Good Health for babies born very preterm) Project, to a diverse, interdisciplinary audience, and also learn about recent advances in my fields of interest (including preterm birth, gestational diabetes, and knowledge translation). Annual attendance at this meeting is extremely rewarding and has allowed me to build and sustain relationships with colleagues across Australia and New Zealand, and to network with research leaders and other students.

What was the most exciting thing you learned/experienced at the Conference?
Prior to the Congress, at the IMPACT Network meeting, I was excited to learn more from the PSANZ Maternal Perinatal Clinical Trials Networks Strategic Planning Working Party, who updated the group and facilitated discussion on directions for Clinical Trial Networks and the organisation and support for maternal and perinatal trials in Australia and New Zealand. I was also very excited to attend the IMPACT for CP breakfast meeting and hear about recent national and international efforts towards cerebral palsy prevention, treatment and (ultimately) cure.

What was the most interesting or unexpected moment of your travel?
An interesting and unexpected moment of the Congress was during the Welcome Reception. Guests were escorted to the Crown Conference Hall mid-way through the opening event, where we received a fabulous performance from Ms Deborah Cheetham, AO – an Aboriginal soprano, actor, composer and playwright.

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