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EBMT Young Ambassadors 2019

We have asked this year's EBMT Young Ambassadors what they learned during the EBMT 2019 and their take home messages. They also give a glimpse of the “EBMT Young Community” initiative. See what they say and view the EBMT TV video.

Charlotte Brierley

Academic clinical fellow in Clinical Haematology, Oxford University Hospitals, UK - @charlottekb1

Attending #EBMT19 as a young ambassador was a real privilege. Alongside fantastic learning opportunities attending many scientific sessions, it was great to meet the other young ambassadors from all across the globe, share experiences and discuss how the "EBMT Young Community" could help contribute to the future of EBMT.

Having returned from Frankfurt, I am left with the thought of how lucky we are to be trained in haematology in this era of rapid advancement, where scientific progress is translated to clinical advances at an unprecedented rate. The molecular fine-tuning of CAR T therapy, new applications of HSCT, increasing understanding of the influence of our microbiome,  evolving treatment regimens and supportive care protocols - and, of course, the ability to communicate advances immediately via Twitter - these are times of extraordinary innovation and progress. Still, there is work to be done - as the overflowing session of management of steroid-refractory aGvHD proved, which perhaps raised more questions than answers!

Back home, I have renewed motivation to apply my newly gained knowledge to delivering the best possible care for our patients - and look forward to working together with my fellow young ambassadors in planning the inaugural "EBMT Young Community" session for #EBMT20: Watch this space!

Alessandro Di Gangi

Paediatrics resident, University of Pisa, Italy - @digangiale92

Being an EBMT young ambassador was such a privilege! I had the possibility to enjoy the Annual Meeting on a different perspective with a really “active” position that goes far beyond the simple use of twitter to share information about the meeting. I met with many people from different backgrounds and cultures and I shared with them a common objective: the creation of the EBMT young community! Furthermore, I think this is the meeting in which I’ve learned the most.  It was full of interesting events and I was really inspired by all the sessions about cellular therapies and immunotherapies. I gained knowledge on how the role of bone marrow transplantation is evolving in relation to these novel therapeutic strategies, how to manage difficult GVHD cases, how the gene therapy will change the history of SCD patients and much more. Most important, I heard about how biological and clinical research should “walk hand in hand” and how amazing is sharing new ideas with friends from all over the world. I learned that the development of a research for the “patient’s sake” needs much more than lab skills, clinical skills and personal fulfilment; it needs also two simple words: empathy and collaboration.

Kateryna Filonenko

Haematologist, Oncohaematology department, National Cancer Institute in Kiev, Ukraine - @KaterynaFilone1

It’s a difficult task to say what the best was during EBMT19! Each minute was fantastic. I can definitely say that it was my best conference experience. Crowded areas, going from one room to another, following really busy schedule – such an impressive and inspiring time. What to emphasis?

Educational sessions are a brilliant chance for young (and not only) specialists. The topics covered during these sessions were amazing. Data were presented at a number of sessions. The world steps very fast. GVHD sessions were breathtaking. A lot to catch!

One of the most emotional sessions was dedicated to the development of transplant programs in LMIC. I found a big pack of information there, some is already implemented in my hospital.

EBMT19 was full of meetings with old and new friends. I met amazing, bright and open people. Of course and especially among Young Ambassadors. That was a unique experience of collaboration, brainstorming and relaxed communication. I am so thankful for these days.

Sagar S Patel

Department of Haematology & Oncology and Department of Medicine, Cleveland Clinic, USA - @sagarpatel

Now that the EBMT 2019 Annual Meeting has ended, I have been able to finally digest the wonderful experience I had both as a first-time EBMT participant in addition to my role as a Young Ambassador. I enjoyed attending sessions that provided the latest updates on CAR T-cell therapies, novel strategies to treat GVHD, and developments to optimize conditioning regimens. I was particularly struck by the session led by Professor Mosbrugger, a paleontologist, on the threats to Earth’s biodiversity by climate change. He clearly demonstrated the impact the erosion of ecosystems will have not only on human health, but even to our food supply.

A particularly enjoyable aspect of this meeting for me was being able to spend time connecting with my fellow Young Ambassadors. Collectively, we come from different countries, with different backgrounds and roles in medicine - yet we are united in our mission to improve the outcomes of patients requiring a bone marrow transplant. In addition, the various other roles represented at EBMT - pharmacists, nurses, data managers, etc - highlights the team-based nature of our speciality and the critical roles fulfilled by each member. Finally, I enjoyed spending a few moments to explore Frankfurt as it was my first time in the city. That being said, we started work on planning next year’s trainee focused events at EBMT 2020 in Madrid!

Zhemal Rakhmanova

2nd year resident, R.M. Gorbacheva Memorial Institute of Children Hematology and Transplantation, St. Petersburg, Russia - @ZhemalR

Going to Frankfurt, I had no idea how valuable the EBMT 2019 Annual Meeting would be for me. This meeting was full of new knowledge, experience, emotions and impressions. I was amazed by the hugeness of this event!

First of all, I want to highlight the importance of the educational role of EBMT. For a young specialist, it is vital to attend such meetings because you can hear the latest information first-hand on almost every topic in hematology and bone marrow transplantation that interest you.

Another important opportunity for attendees is an international communication in various ways, such as interactive sessions, poster sessions and even by using social media where you can freely share your ideas.

And of course, the most delightful thing for me was a privilege of being one of the young ambassadors. What an amazing experience! I never lost the feeling of full involvement during this meeting and it helped to take more benefits from this trip. Surely, I will never forget the new friends with whom I was connected during this short but bright period of time.

Thank you, #EBMT2019 for such a marvelous experience!

Sylvia (Shuk-Yin) Tsang

Registered Nurse, Haematology and Bone Marrow Transplant Unit, The Royal Melbourne Hospital, Australia - @tsyx

#EBMT19 has been an amazing experience where I have gained both personal and professional growth. It has been my great honour to be this year's EBMT Young Ambassador, and the Program has created a community for young individuals to network and build a global network, as well as learning and sharing ideas with everyone.

While the Annual Meeting was full of interesting topics, some of them were real highlights for me: CAR-T therapy and toxicity management, treosulfan-based conditioning, and providing treatment in lower income countries. These topics prompted me to think about how we can bring in different approaches and perspectives to better utilise our old and new resources in attempt to improve patient experience and treatment outcome. I also enjoyed the special session on Social Media by Dr Mohty and Dr Majhail, which motivated me to promote the idea of using Twitter as a platform for knowledge sharing and learning from other leading health care professional and organisation.

As part of our future #EBMTYC initiatives, we highly encourage other nurses and doctors to take part in the future Young Ambassador Program. I hope #EBMTYC can continue to support the young generation to be creative and innovative in this advancing field of haematology and stem cell transplantation!

Sabine Valenta

3rd year PhD Student and Research Assistant at the Institute of Nursing Science (INS), Department of Public Health, University Basel, Switzerland & Professional Nurse at the Department of Haematology, University Hospital Basel, Switzerland - @SabineValenta

Serving as a Young Ambassador for EBMT 2019 was an educational and professional privilege and an amazing experience! What impressed me the most at the congress was the excellent organization with rich content, impressive presentations as well as professional lectures and workshops: Whether it was about CAR T-Cell therapies, new effective strategies in preventing and managing GvHD, or state-of-the art guidelines in treating haematological malignancies – all presentations and lecturers have been impressive and valuable. To attend the Nursing Education Day as well as several presentations during the Psy Day was also an outstanding experience.  

During this meeting, I found out that the EBMT is not only a European but also a global meeting receiving attendees and speakers from all over the world. Further, the EBMT 2019 was a great opportunity to meet with other Young Ambassadors and to share experiences, future plans, and professional opportunities. We also met pioneers from the field and the EBMT leadership. It was also a great experience promoting the event on social media while meeting new potential colleagues and following their updates.

I can truly say that I wouldn’t want to miss any future EBMT events! I am really looking forward to meeting everybody again at the next EBMT 2020 in Madrid!