International Psoriasis Council

Advancing Knowledge. Improving Care.

Advancing Knowledge. Improving Care.

Shining a Spotlight: Catching up with 2018 IPC Fellow Filip Rob, MD, PhD

Filip Rob, MD, PhD

Charles University

Prague, Czech Republic

The IPC Fellowship Experience

We were fortunate that our Fellowship occurred before the onset of COVID, allowing us more time at our mentor’s workplace—a significant advantage in my view. Initially, like everyone else, I approached the experience with immense respect and humility, given that one of the world’s leading medical experts was dedicating time to mentor me. However, Joel’s (IPC Board Member Joel Gelfand) friendly and personal approach made me realize that my questions and involvement were not only welcomed but encouraged.

Participating in other IPC events, such as congresses or annual meetings, provided opportunities to connect with other globally recognized experts and build professional networks that were beneficial for both me and my patients. However, the most profound realization is that even the world’s leading experts are genuinely approachable individuals who are always eager to offer assistance and guidance.

Post-Fellowship Achievements

In 2021, I assumed the role of the head of the Dermatovenerology Department at the Second Faculty of Medicine of Charles University in Prague. Drawing on the insights gained from IPC’s International Fellowship Program, I played a crucial role in forming a new multidisciplinary team comprising clinicians and scientists dedicated to advancing psoriasis research. The following year, in 2022, I secured a grant from the Ministry of Health of the Czech Republic to be the principal investigator. The grant focuses on exploring the effects of interleukin-17 blockers on the gut and skin microbiome in individuals with psoriasis.

Applying Knowledge in the Field

Upon my return, I leveraged the experiences acquired from my mentor, Dr. Gelfand, and my time at the University of Pennsylvania. Immersing myself in the day-to-day workings of one of the world’s premier psoriasis clinics was invaluable. I incorporated lessons learned into my own clinic, emphasizing close and regular communication with rheumatologists and other specialists regarding our patients. The pivotal aspect for me was mastering the art of effectively leading a multidisciplinary research team, ensuring the production of meaningful and high-quality research.

Navigating Career Challenges

The insights acquired from the IPC Fellowship Program proved to be immensely beneficial when I unexpectedly assumed the role of Head of Department, a responsibility that came several years earlier than anticipated. While I initially aimed to develop my knowledge and skills further for a few more years, circumstances dictated an immediate focus on overseeing the Department and, more importantly, the well-being of all team members. Drawing on the experiences gained from leading departments abroad, I gained a clearer understanding of the directions we could pursue to provide the highest quality care and research for the benefit of society.

“Participating in other IPC events, such as congresses or annual meetings, provided opportunities to connect with other globally recognized experts and build professional networks that were beneficial for both me and my patients. "

Evolving Perspectives on the Industry

As dermatologists, we find ourselves fortunate to live in an era where even severe forms of psoriasis, with a few exceptions, are highly treatable. The prospect of achieving further substantial increases in the speed of onset of effect or effectiveness presents significant challenges. Instead, the focus should shift towards expanding treatment options, encompassing contemporary local and systemic drugs like TYK2 inhibitors, along with exploring other promising drugs in research, including nanoantibodies. Our overarching goal is to discover drugs that are not only effective but also safe for challenging forms such as pustular psoriasis. Moreover, we aim to enhance the global availability of modern and effective treatments for patients. These objectives align with the mission of IPC, making its activity instrumental in their realization.

Advice for Future Fellowship Participants

Make the most of every moment during your Fellowship, especially the on-site visit. This is a unique opportunity to gain knowledge from the foremost experts in the field of psoriasis, an experience that may not come around again. Don’t hesitate to seek professional advice to enhance yourself as a physician, scientist, and individual. I consider myself fortunate to have Professor Gelfand as my mentor and continue to leverage this opportunity. Simultaneously, seize the chance to connect with passionate young colleagues from around the globe who share similar goals. It’s an excellent opportunity to build lasting connections in the international community.

If you are a young dermatologist or researcher passionate about improving the lives of people with psoriasis and want to expand your horizons, consider applying to participate in IPC’s International Fellowship Program. Applications for the 2025 program will open in September 2024.

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