In this edition of our Fellows Spotlight, we reconnect and catch up with 2018 IPC Fellow, Dr. Jia Qi Chen. Dr. Chen is a dermatologic fellow at the Second Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University School of Medicine. Holding a PhD in Dermatology from Zhejiang University, she completed her residency at the same institution. Dr. Chen is an accomplished lead author of three peer-reviewed manuscripts. Her expertise lies in investigating the pathogenesis of psoriasis, showcasing a dedicated focus in her dermatology education.
As a 2018 Fellow, she studied with IPC Councilor Dr. Curdin Conrad, MD, at the University Hospital of Lausanne (CHUV) in Switzerland and attended the 27th European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (EADV) Congress in Paris. Dr. Chen now shares her reflections on the IPC International Fellowship Program experience and its impact on her career.
Having Curdin Conrad as my mentor was such a stroke of luck! I spent a month at CHUV, in Lausanne, Switzerland. Dr. Conrad took me through his specialized clinic every week, demonstrating how he approaches patient care. His profound respect for patients left a lasting impression on me, shaping my approach as a dermatologist in the clinic. Additionally, I had around 15 days in his lab, providing me with a preliminary understanding of his research field.
“I owe a special thanks to the IPC Fellowship Program, as I believe I wouldn’t have secured the scholarship without its valuable support.”
Winning the Swiss Government Excellence Scholarship (FCS) for the academic year 2020/2021 was a significant achievement for me. Throughout that academic year, I spent an entire year in CHUV in Dr. Conrad’s lab, creating lasting memories. I owe a special thanks to the IPC Fellowship Program, as I believe I wouldn’t have secured the scholarship without its valuable support.
During the program, I acquired valuable research skills, such as independently conducting FISH in situ. This year, I went further and applied for the National Natural Science Foundation of China. Fortunately, I secured a grant, which will significantly enhance my research on the pathogenesis of psoriasis, with a particular focus on pustular psoriasis.
After the Fellowship, I encountered several career challenges. I vividly recall the nervous moments during the application for the FCS. Thankfully, Dr. Conrad provided support through communications and a stellar recommendation letter. This assistance alleviated my anxiety, and eventually, I received the good news!
Biological agents have rapidly gained prominence worldwide, simplifying the treatment of moderate to severe psoriasis. However, this widespread use has introduced new challenges, such as paradoxical psoriasis. In our department, we’ve initiated using FACS to identify potential abnormal cytokines in patients’ lesions. This allows us to tailor treatment by selecting the appropriate biologics or small molecular inhibitors for each patient.
Staying on-site for more than a month – no matter what – would be my top tip! It’s essential to connect with other professionals—it sparks fresh ideas, streamlines work, and clears up any misunderstandings. Being proactive during the program is also crucial, and trust me, the rewards will follow.
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.