Travel Story: Tara Crawford

Tara Crawford from the Robinson Research Institute attended the Pediatric Academic Societies Conference in Toronto, Canada and a Transfusion Strategy Meeting in Philadelphia, USA in May 2018.

Tara presented her work, Effect of Red Blood Cell Washing on Transfusion-Related Immunomodulation in the Preterm Neonate: A Pilot Study.

This is what Tara had to say about her experience in Canada and the USA.

What was a highlight of the travel?

The highlight was seeing the Artificial Placenta. I doubt I will ever see something that fascinating again!

Did you attend any workshops, labs, research facilities or attend any meetings associated with your travel?

I attended a Transfusion Special Interest Group as well as a Neonatal Neurocritical Care Special Interest Group meeting. I visited The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Research Laboratory, ECMO team and neonatal unit. I was able to meet and network with the post doc team as well as discuss how we could both collaborate in the future.

Did you meet any researchers or collaborators of significance? Why are they important to your work?

I met with Marcus Davey, senior researcher in the Centre for Fetal Research at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. He specifically focuses on extra-uterine support. While Dr Davey’s research is not specifically the focus of my PhD, he is the leading researcher in cutting edge studies treating a variety of conditions prior to and following preterm birth. He is already planning on helping the WCH and the research team on a project that he has expertise in and wants to collaborate in the future.

How will the experience support you and your research going forward?

After every conference I am very excited and inspired to get back to work. The most important information that came from the travel this time was the interest we all have in the transfusion area and specifically the effect that donor gender may have on the transfused recipient.

What was the most exciting thing you learned/experienced whilst traveling?

The conference was the largest conference I have ever been to and probably will ever go to, with 7500 attendees. Seeing the very famous and leading researchers in person, getting to see them present and see what they are interested in now or still focused on was fascinating.

What was the most interesting or unexpected moment of your travel?

On a day trip a few of us went to Niagara Falls. It is just as big, loud and cold as everyone says it is.


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