Dr Jodie Avery, Lloyd Cox Career Development Fellow, Robinson Research Institute
In late September I attended the 16th Annual Meeting Androgen Excess and PCOS (AEPCOS) Society at the Biomedicum, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden. A Healthy Development Adelaide Travel grant, as well as funding from the Robinson Research Institute and the University of Adelaide’s Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, enabled me to attend this meeting.
The Androgen Excess and PCOS Society is an international organisation dedicated to promoting the generation and dissemination of knowledge related to all aspects of androgen excess disorders including: Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, Adrenal Hyperplasia, Idiopathic Hirsutism, and Premature Adrenarche. Members include scientists and clinicians, whose major interests are the etiology, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of androgen excess disorders. The Society disseminates information to both the medical and scientific community and the general public.
I have also been a foundation member of the AEPCOS Early Career Special Interest Group so it was great to be able to me this group face to face. I have recently also become involved in the website committee for the organisation.
I was fortunate to be able present a paper on “Self-perceived health in women with PCOS and other chronic conditions, across the lifespan” which was well received and complemented a number of other presentations at the conference, as the PCOS community are placing much emphasis on this area of research – that is PCOS and psychosocial issues.
Whilst attending the conference at the Biomedicum, Karolinska Institute, I had lunch with Prof Marla Lujan, from Cornell University, US – an expert in PCOS diagnosis, and particularly interested in early career development. I spent time with Associate Professor Jacqueline Boyle from Monash University, with whom I am collaborating on a systematic review on Global prevalence of PCOS, and with Dr Alexia Pena Vargas from University of Adelaide, discussing adolescent PCOS and quality of life. I also reconnected with Prof Helen Teede, as well as Professor Joop Laven regarding the European PCOS support networks.
However, the main person I spent time discussing issues with was Caroline Andrews from the UK PCOS Support group “Verity” who was in attendance. I am very interest in co design of research so it is particularly necessary to engage with stakeholders such as Caroline.
Visiting the world renowned Karolinska Institutet, allowed me to meet and socialise with world experts in PCOS. It was a fairly small meeting so it was quite easy to access major players in the field. Also my presentation was very well received, and it was great to be able to present in a “plenary” setting due to the size of the meeting. I have engaged with potential collaborators and reinforced prior relationships. This will be invaluable if I am able to continue my research in PCOS.
Stockholm was not quite as cold this time of year as I expected. Alexia, Jacquie, Caroline and myself managed to go on a Ghost Tour of Gamla Stan – the old town in Stockholm. I also got a chance to visit ‘ABBA the Museum’ which, being a huge fan was a real highlight!