Warm and inviting. Plenty of engagement at each presentation. A straightforward format that allows everyone to participate at all presentations. Sense of unity. Great support for young researchers. And the ability to talk with prominent scientific leaders.
That’s how Carson Hoffmann, MD, describes his experience as a presenter at the 2022 Vascular Research Initiatives Conference (VRIC). Scientists judged his abstract as one of the four top-scoring submissions, and all four trainees received the SVS Foundation’s Vascular Research Initiatives Conference Vascular Trainee Award and the opportunity to present at the conference.
His presentation was “Modifiable mesenchymal stem cell defects in veterans with diabetes mellitus.” His mentor is Luke Brewster, MD, former chair of the SVS Basic and Translational Research Committee, which oversees VRIC.
This year’s conference, held in conjunction with the American Heart Association’s Vascular Discovery Scientific Sessions, will be May 10 in Boston. Registration for VRIC—which emphasizes basic and translational vascular science—opened Feb. 1.
After being part of past academic meetings, Hoffmann thought he knew what to expect from conference. He was wrong and, in fact, pleasantly surprised.
“Being a newcomer and mostly a stranger, I was received with a warm welcome and invited to participate as if I had attended for many years,” he said.
“I found this to be a very accepting and close-knit group of scientists that sought each other’s opinions and feedback to advance their academic pursuits just as much as they enjoyed the opportunity to gather as friends.”
Besides being an honor, his selection for the Trainee Award provided “a fantastic introduction with this scientific community,” Hoffmann said, further explaining: “To be recognized in such a big manner for work done in the lab revealed the commitment of this group to fostering scientific research from up-and-coming researchers and wanting to get their efforts acknowledged.
“It was readily apparent that a high value was placed on supporting young researchers by the opportunity to be present for both the VRIC and the Vascular Discovery conference and to interact with highly esteemed and prominent scientific leaders in their respective fields.”