Elisabetta Palazzo

Elisabetta Palazzo from the University of Modena & Reggio Emilia was a recipient of a 2019 ESDR/SID Collegiality Award. The award helped her attend the 2019 SID meeting in Chicago and to present her work at NIH following the meeting. Here she reports on her experience:

Since the start of my career in research, I have been working on the pathways that regulate epidermal homeostasis and keratinocyte stem cell niche. After my PhD, I developed my interest in the mechanisms of carcinogenesis, with particular emphasis on squamous cell carcinoma. Therefore, being actively part of one of the most important dermatological meetings, such as the Society for Investigative Dermatology (SID) annual meeting, is of a great importance to get exposed to the best scientific developments in the field.

This year I was selected for an oral presentation (ePoster) at SID 2019 in Chicago. Thanks to the ESDR/SID Collegiality Award 2019, I had the opportunity to discuss my latest findings on squamous carcinogenesis with many distinguished researchers. Not only during my ePoster session, but also throughout the meeting I have been involved in several scientific discussions. Moreover, being awarded during the meeting was one of the most important events in my scientific career and a great stimulus to persist with my scientific projects.

After the SID, I had the opportunity to visit the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Diseases (NIAMS) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda (MD). In particular, I had the honour to be supported by Dr Maria Morasso, chief of the Laboratory of Skin Biology at the NIAMS. While there, I met up with the complete lab team and we had stimulating interactions, by talking of our projects and skills. This was a great chance of looking at similar research interests by different perspective and approaches.

I presented my current research on the neurotrophin network and squamous cell carcinoma and talked about my latest results. I think I received the best feedback on my recent work I could ever wish for, since we ranged from the technical questions to the clinical/translational point of view. This experience provided the basis for concrete collaborations. Indeed, thanks to Dr Morasso and Dr Gutierrez-Cruz from the Genomic Technology Section, Office of Science and Technology (NIAMS), I will have the opportunity to integrate my work with the most advanced transcriptomic technologies which will be used to clarify some aspects of my work.

In conclusion, the ESDR/SID Collegiality Award gave me the chance to improve my networking capabilities and to have the best professional interactions and collaborations which are milestones for the development of my scientific career.