"For me, the PROMISE consortium shows the strength that comes from working together with a diverse group of stakeholders, each bringing their unique expertise to achieve a common goal."

Published On: November 17, 2023

What started your scientific vocation?
During my medical studies, I developed an interest in pediatrics. My scientific journey started during my student years, when I became involved in research projects in pediatric endocrinology and cardiology. Following my graduation, I initially started working as a medical doctor on the pediatric ward, but after two years I made the deliberate choice to return to research, driven by the aspiration to make a lasting contribution to child healthcare.

What is your area od expertise? What drew you to this field of research?
What initially drew me to the field of RSV research was the major number of children being admitted with RSV during winter months, that I observed while working on the pediatric ward. For me, this experience highlighted the urgency of the issue and the potential for improvement through RSV immunization.

How did you get involved in PROMISE?

I became involved in PROMISE through because of the nature of my PhD project, but I think this question is not so relevant for readers.

What is your role in the project?
My primary focus of research is studying the burden of RSV infections, particularly outside the hospital setting. Recently, our team authored a paper focused on the burden of non-medically attended RSV infections during infancy, showing that even when medical attendance is not required, RSV poses a substantial burden to infants, families and society at large. Currently, I am working on a project aimed at quantifying the rate of RSV-related antibiotic use. Additional, I have been involved in recruitment and sample collection for the PROMISE case-control biomarker study, which seeks to validate biomarkers for predicting severe RSV infections.

Which main challenge are you contributing to address?
Historically, RSV burden studies have predominantly been focussed on severe RSV disease requiring hospitalization. However, the burden of RSV extends beyond hospitalization, as the majority of RSV infections are managed in outpatient settings or by parents at home. While RSV infections in these settings are generally relatively mild, they may still negatively affect infant and parental wellbeing, and may be associated with long-term consequences.

What impact will these outcomes have?
With preventive options against RSV coming within reach, it is key to capture the full burden that RSV disease imposes on children, their families, the healthcare system and society at large. Data on community-managed RSV infection and its consequences are important for guiding the optimal use of novel RSV immunizations, as well as for evaluation of their cost-effectiveness and monitoring outcomes following implementation.

Thinking about your personal experience in PROMISE, what learnings will you take away from your participation in the project?
For me, the PROMISE consortium shows the strength that comes from working together with a diverse group of stakeholders, each bringing their unique expertise to achieve a common goal. This experience has highlighted the importance of interdisciplinary teamwork in tackling health challenges.

“With preventive options against RSV coming within reach, it is key to capture the full burden that RSV disease imposes on children, their families, the healthcare system and society at large.”

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