News at Medicine - June 2019 - Travel Award provides learning opportunity

Travel Award provides learning opportunity
August 2, 2019
Salem Werdyani, a PhD student at the Zhai Lab in the Discipline of Genetics, won the Canadian Connective Tissue Society (CCTS) Travel Award to attend and give an oral presentation during the Canadian Connective Tissue Conference (CCTC2019), May 29-31 at McGill University, Montreal.
The Canadian Connective Tissue Conference (CCTC) is organized annually by the Canadian Connective Tissue Society (CCTS) to advance the scientific and clinical understanding of connective tissues in both health and disease. The conference brings together Canadian basic scientists, clinicians, biopharmaceutical enterprises, and patient advocate groups to communicate and exchange the experiences in the field of connective tissues research.

His project titled Endotypes of primary osteoarthritis identified by a metabolomics approach, involved a group of osteoarthritis patients that went through metabolites concentration (162 metabolites) analysis. These patients were then classified and categorized in sub-groups based on the metabolite concentration differences. The identified metabolites can be used as bio-markers for osteoarthritis patients and can be used to establish the suitable management strategies and treatments.
Mr. Werdyani is supervised by Dr. Guangju Zhai, Professor, Discipline of Genetics. Dr. Zhai is the Principal Investigator for the Newfoundland Osteoarthritis Study (NFOAS) team.

One significant benefit of attending the conference is the opportunity for researchers to discuss their findings and have them reviewed by fellow researchers in their field.
 “My research was a great interest to the other conference participants,” said Mr. Werdyani. “I was able to connect with Canada-wide researchers in the connective tissues domain and obtain feedback, ideas and suggestions on my research project from other investigators in field.”

In addition to presenting and discussing his own research, he too was able to provide feedback and learn from other researcher’s discoveries.
 “Meeting with peers at the conference has led to new opportunities for collaborative efforts with other researchers in our field. It was inspiring to hear new ideas for future steps in my PhD project.”