Meet the Scientist: Dr Laura Fabbri - APF Research Conference Awardee

November 2023

Laura is an early career researcher, currently working at Imperial College London. Her research to date has focused on defining stakeholders’ research priorities for pulmonary fibrosis, and she is now addressing the acceptability of screening and early treatment for Pulmonary Fibrosis. APF supported Laura to attend a research conference in September. Read on to find out about Laura's experience.

Laura's Research

Laura has recently focused on looking at the different healthcare professionals perspectives for screening and early treatment for pulmonary fibrosis (POSTPF study). Laura interviewed 39 different healthcare professionals to understand what they thought about interstitial lung abnormalities (ILAs). These are incidental findings can be seen on some scans. Some people with ILAs later develop pulmonary fibrosis; however, not all patients do. Laura has explored what healthcare professionals think the best course of action would be and if healthcare professionals think that people with ILAs should receive treatment.

Q&A with Laura

What event did APF support you to attend?

The European Respiratory Society (ERS) is one of the most important respiratory societies, and its Congress is a not-to-miss event. In particular, for interstitial lung disease, which is a niche among all respiratory conditions, it's crucial to participate in this international event to network and connect with colleagues from around the world.

What was it like to attend a conference in Italy?

As an Italian, I couldn't miss the Milan edition, held at Milanofiere near CityLife. The venue was sprawling, featuring a spacious exhibitor area at the entrance. However, the congress rooms, meetings, and poster areas were spread across three floors and various buildings. Navigating the space required referring to the map, but it was more accommodating this year, ensuring everyone had enough room.

What did you do whilst at the conference?

My days were packed with activities, from attending intriguing ILD sessions, to presenting my poster featuring information about the POSTPF study. I also delivered an oral presentation on behalf of the Royal Brompton psychology team. The oral presentation session was a particular highlight for me, and I was able to share the information about research that included an online psychological group intervention for ILD patients. As a result, we are following this up by building a new network of support for patients and shared projects with other clinical psychology services.

I am particularly proud of this project, which is led by Dr. Victoria Singh and Melissa Creese at the Royal Brompton Hospital. The lack of clear psychological support was one of the priorities we highlighted with our Priority Setting Partnership for progressive pulmonary fibrosis.

I was also delighted to see dedicated sessions on the program, in collaboration with patient charities, focusing on the quality of life and stakeholders' needs.

Is there anything else that you would like to share with our community?

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to attend this conference. I look forward to further sharing my research with the pulmonary fibrosis community in the future.

Action for Pulmonary Fibrosis would like to thank Laura for her research and sharing her experience of the conference. We would also like to thank our amazing supporters, without your generosity and kind donations, we would not be able to support researchers to pave the way in helping to find better and more effective treatment options. Ultimately helping to create a brighter future for those affected by pulmonary fibrosis.

If you are interested in finding out more about the way that APF supports pulmonary fibrosis research, please take a look at Our Research page.

If you would like to make a donation to directly fund pulmonary fibrosis research, please take a look at Our Hope for All Research Appeal page.