Updates from a very busy year

Now that we can safely travel again, there’s some catching up due for PersonalizeAF members!

Okay, let’s take this out of the way from the git-go: this blog has been a bit silent for quite a while. I have no excuse for that except to say that I and the other ESRs have been anything but quiet this year. I cannot speak for everyone, but me I certainly underestimated the time I would spend outside of my office and city due to the amazing opportunities that a Marie Curie network provides. The pandemic got us used to a relatively slow rhythm when it comes to traveling and taking part in meetings, but so far this year has been absolutely different from the experience in our first PhD months.

It has been an amazing year for networking and understanding better where my work fits in the scientific community. I participated for the first time at a clinical conference, presenting my modelling work at the Heart Rhythm meeting in San Francisco to a very different audience than I am used to. We finally had an [in-person Personalize AF meeting] where we got to present our progress at the amazing Lyric Institute in Bordeaux. And now I am in the middle of my first in-person secondment in the beautiful city of Barcelona. Carbon footprints aside, this has been an incredibly unique and involving year.

Being at HRS was incredible in so many ways: the beautiful city of San Francisco, meeting colleagues, and the contact with the most current clinical issues!

Speaking of secondments, I have been for the last month working at Adas3D, one of our industry partners in PersonalizeAF. It is my first time working in this kind of environment, away from the typical workflow and relationships of academia. While different, Adas was born from cutting-edge innovations in the cardiac imaging field, and science is a part of their daily work there, so I feel quite at home. I am also having my first direct contact with the clinics at the Hospital Clinic in Barcelona, understanding better how to handle patient data and the ethics requirements.

In my secondment, I am working with MRI images to bring the structural information we can get from them into our modeling work here in Maastricht. I personally find MRI one of the most fascinating technologies available for medicine, and directly working with these images is very exciting. How cool is it that you can get a 3D shape from an organ without harming the patient in any way? Amazing.

This is me learning how to segment atria. Adas make the first steps really easy, but getting really good takes practice

And what do the next months hold? Well, my favorite time of the year is upon us, with September bringing two of the most exciting events for me: my birthday and Computing in Cardiology! This time we cardiac people will meet in Tampere, in Finland, a country I have been dreaming to visit since I was a teenager. I am looking forward to great posters, presentations, and rowing in a lake (which will hopefully not “generate too severe blisters”).

I won’t promise a new blog post soon (I have to be honest with you!), but this site is updated with our news, and the social media accounts from PersonalizeAF are constantly giving updates on our whereabouts and the latest developments of our work. Don’t forget to follow us there!

See you next time!