CBR External Travel Awards: Earl W. Davie Symposium 2023 – Sarah Stucky

Award Recipient: Sarah Stucky, Research Coordinator, Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Washington-Seattle

Supervisor: Alexander St. John, M.D., M.S.

Conference: Earl W. Davie Symposium on November 16, 2023

Location: Vancouver, BC 

Oral/Poster Presentation Title: Extracellular actin potentiates platelet aggregation through collagen activation pathway  

Sarah presenting during her oral talk.

Sarah presenting during her oral talk.

I am so grateful to have received the Centre for Blood Research External Travel Award to attend the 2023 Earl W. Davie Symposium in Vancouver. This was my first time attending the EWD symposium and visiting the University of British Columbia. I learned a lot from both the scientist and patient presentations, gaining new insights into my own projects. I especially enjoyed learning about the clinical applications of platelet research. I networked with many leaders in the field at the speaker dinner and am inspired to continue coagulation research in my future career. Additionally, I had fun spending time with other trainees and exploring the city of Vancouver.

At the EWD symposium, I presented a poster and a talk titled “Extracellular actin potentiates platelet aggregation through the collagen activation pathway.” This is one of the projects I currently work on as a Research Coordinator in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. I am mentored by Dr. Alexander St John, an emergency medicine physician-scientist at the University of Washington. This project examines the role of cytoskeletal protein actin in increasing platelet aggregation through the collagen activation pathway. We are particularly interested in examining how actin release into the bloodstream alters the normal clotting process in trauma patients. We are also investigating whether the actin-scavenging protein gelsolin can reverse the increase in platelet aggregation we see when adding actin to whole blood.

Sarah with keynote speaker, Dr. Paul Bray.

Sarah with keynote speaker, Dr. Paul Bray.

I would not have been able to attend this conference without the support of the External Travel Award. I am very grateful for the opportunity to present my work and look forward to continuing my research as a medical student this fall. Finally, I am thankful to Dr. St John for encouraging me to apply for the scholarship and for all the staff who coordinated the EWD conference and made me feel welcome as a young scientist!

*With funding from the Sheldon Naiman and Linda Vickars Endowment Fund and Canadian Blood Services (CBS), the CBR supports travel and accommodation expenses for trainees to attend and present at the EWD symposium.