During my residency, I worked in the rheumatology department of Gasthuisberg University Hospital of Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. KU Leuven is one of the top European universities and the rheumatology department is highly reputed for its research, particularly in the field of spondylarthritis and psoriatic arthritis. Prof. Lories and his team encouraged my scientific curiosity and motivated me to pursue my education beyond a residency program. Finding funding after finishing my residency however, proved to be a difficult task.
Hence, I am very grateful to Celgene and the PARTNER program for the opportunity to pursue my aspirations in the field of research, for psoriatic arthritis in particular.
The first few months were quite challenging as I had to acquire several new skills such as statistics, informatics and data management in a short period of time. However, stepping out of your comfort zone can boost your scientific creativity and performance and I see it as a very positive experience. Thanks to help and support from my supervisor and co-supervisor I made considerable progress. Currently I continue the research in the team of Prof. Lories.
Together with other PARTNER program researchers I hope to contribute to a better understanding of pathophysiology of psoriatic arthritis and help patients with this chronic condition.
Dr. Alla Ishchenko