Meet the Scientist: Georgie Massen APF Conference Awardee for ATS

July 2023

We support scientists to rapidly share their research around the world. We funded Georgie Massen from Imperial College London, to talk about her cutting-edge research at the American Thoracic Society (ATS) conference in Washington DC.

Georgie wanted to share her experience with us and thank our incredible fundraisers for helping her to attend the conference.

I am extremely grateful to Action for Pulmonary Fibrosis for the opportunity to share my work with scientists from around the world

What is ATS?

ATS is the world’s largest respiratory conference with over 14,000 scientists and clinicians taking part. This year there were over 100 sessions catering to a variety of disciplines within the respiratory field. This included clinical sessions demonstrating case reports, sessions on respiratory pathophysiology, and epidemiological sessions.

Georgie’s Research:

Georgie had the opportunity to present findings from one of her ongoing projects looking at IPF and the effect of proton pump inhibitors, in a mini symposium on “Not just genes: Environment exposures and interstitial lung disease”.

The discussions and feedback around my research were extremely valuable and I returned with beneficial additions to add strength to my work.

Georgie's project investigated if people who were prescribed medications for acid reflux and had IPF, were more likely to get pneumonia. Routinely collected health records from 2010 to 2019 were used, including information collected by GPs and hospitals. This information looked at how many of people were taking medications for acid reflux in the year before they were diagnosed with IPF, and how many of these people developed pneumonia after being diagnosed.

What difference did attending the conference make?

To the research community

Other scientists and clinicians who attended from around the world, were able to learn from Georgie's research, ask questions and take home new insight that can help with their own research. Knowledge sharing at conferences is invaluable to the research community, enabling new perspectives to be gained and new connections to be made with other experts from different countries.

To Georgie

“During my time at the ATS, I was able to attend other interesting sessions on research topics including the monitoring of cough in IPF patients, and end points in therapeutic trials in interstitial lung disease. Attending these sessions helped me to understand what work is currently being conducted in the fibrotic lung disease field, allowing me to hear some of the leaders in the research area speak about their current projects and hear discussions regarding what work is yet to be done in the field.”

"I thoroughly enjoyed attending the ATS in Washington DC.  The conference provided an opportunity for me to connect with other researchers, who are at a variety of stages in their careers, as well as top respiratory epidemiologists and clinicians. This allowed me to immerse myself within the pulmonary research community, improve my communication skills and develop important connections for future research projects. I am thankful to Action for Pulmonary Fibrosis for awarding me this travel grant and getting the opportunity to attend ATS and explore the city of Washington DC."

If you are a student or early career researcher and interested in a Travel and Attendance Award, please keep your eye out on this page for the latest updates with when and how to apply.