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Simonette, Gillian - Write Up

2009 Round 2 International

I am extremely grateful to have received the DHRN travel grant. The grant enabled me to attend the 48th annual International Spinal Cord Society (ISCoS) conference in beautiful Florence, Italy. This conference provides an opportunity for researchers around the world to report on studies on all aspects of spinal cord injury medicine including prevention, management of acute and chronic complications, improvement of quality of life issues, as well as continuing to look for reparative treatments. There was a great variety of participants which provided for a rich learning opportunity.

As a resident in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, I am particularly interested in improving function and quality of life in individuals with spinal cord injury. One common complication of such injury is chronic pain. Such pain can be difficult to treat and there is a growing interest in alternative therapies. The research I presented at the conference evaluated the safety of acupuncture for those with spinal cord injury. Having such a diverse gathering of researchers provided for international feedback and perspective to the research results.

Attending the conference also afforded the opportunity to meet and converse with some of the world's leading physicians and researchers in spinal cord medicine. Discussions ranged from technical research queries to further education and career enhancement recommendations.

As my career develops I look forward to being able to provide the same insight and encouragement I received from my international colleagues. In addition, I was proud to be part of a strong representation from British Columbia doing research in this area.

I feel fortunate to have attended the ISCoS conference and I thank the DHRN travel grant for providing the opportunity.


International Award Winners: Yiu, J., Zwicker, J., Chen, S.,  Faradaji, F., Gaudet, A., Hewapathirane, S., Inskip, J., Mikhail, D., Mills, P., Ramer, L.
National Award Winners: Beirnes, K., Bundon, A., Hume, A., Lige, S., Schiarti, V.