For more than eight years, the ACR has provided travel grants to outstanding rheumatology fellows or recently graduated fellows, who are passionate about research, to take part in the European Workshop for Rheumatology Research. This travel grant allows participants to share knowledge and experience—and creates opportunities for collaboration between colleagues overseas.
This year the ACR awarded five travel grants to the following recipients: April Barnado, MD (Medical University of South Carolina); Sarthak Gupta, MBBS (NIAMS); Evelyn Hsieh, MD, MPH (Yale University); Lindsay Lally, MD (Hospital for Special Surgery); and Gloria A. Salazar Cintora, MD (University of Texas–Houston).
These five individuals traveled thousands of miles away to Lisbon, Portugal, to hear leading experts address eight major topic areas: New Perspectives on Immunomodulation; Brain, Psychology and the Immune System; Looking at the Future; Understanding the Sexist Distribution of Auto-Immune Diseases; Scleroderma; Regenerative Medicine; Innate Immunology; and Rising Stars in the Biology of Inflammatory Rheumatic Disorders.
Scholarship recipients shared the following comments about their experience.
Dr. Salazar Cintora says, “Being chosen to represent the ACR in such a prestigious international setting was a great honor for me. This was an experience that I will treasure forever and [it] opened for me avenues of collaboration with our European colleagues. For me it was great to see how much the European research community has embraced this subject and made me feel a part of [the] effort.”
“I felt incredibly fortunate to have had the opportunity to attend the 34th European Workshop for Rheumatology Research,” says Dr. Lally. “As a senior fellow at Hospital for Special Surgery preparing for a career in academic rheumatology, [I felt] it was a wonderful experience to be immersed in the European rheumatology research community. The conference size allowed for an intimacy where ideas and experiences could be readily exchanged. It was exciting to listen to fascinating lectures from top leaders in the field and then interact with these scientists personally as they asked questions about my research.”
Dr. Lally continues, “A surprising highlight of attendance for me was the opportunity to connect with the other ACR fellows. As we were all at a similar level of training and shared similar career goals, the conversation was effortless. We were able to discuss triumphs and challenges in our individual research and share our experiences as we begin to navigate the next stage of our academic careers. Aside from finding possible future collaborators and clinical colleagues, friendships were forged. I look forward to seeing my co-attendees at future ACR events.”