International Psoriasis Council

Advancing Knowledge. Enhancing Care.

Advancing Knowledge. Enhancing Care.

A Year in the Life of IPC’s 2023 International Fellows

Embarking on a year-long journey with the International Psoriasis Council (IPC), the 2023 Fellows have dived into the world of global dermatology. From virtual masterclasses to connecting with leading experts, their experiences have been diverse and enlightening. In this blog post, we share the collective reflections and personal narratives of our eight exceptional Fellows, offering a glimpse into the challenges and triumphs they encountered throughout the year. Join us in celebrating the experiences of these dedicated dermatologists as they reflect on a year filled with learning, growth, and global collaboration.

Priscilla Angwenyi, MD

Kenyatta National Hospital

Nairobi, Kenya

Bio

My Fellowship began with an opportunity to attend and present at the Middle East/Africa IPC Virtual Masterclass in January 2023, which is always a delightful learning experience. There’s nothing better than having a front-row seat in the discussions between IPC Chief Medical Officer Professor Peter van de Kerkhof, IPC Board Member Professor Mahira el Sayed, and IPC Councilor Professor Mohammed El-Komy on a hot afternoon in Nairobi.

I had a series of classes with all the Fellows throughout the year. I was delighted to meet so many of them at various IPC events, the World Congress of Dermatology (WCD), and the 2023 Think Tank held on the magical Faroes Islands. Thanks to the IPC, I now have friends from all over the world!

My introduction to my mentors, IPC Councilor Dr. Satveer Mahil and IPC Councilor Dr. Andrew Pink, allowed me to attend several virtual courses held by the St. John’s Derm Academy courtesy of my mentors. My three weeks in London for my onsite mentorship at St. John’s Institute of Dermatology is the highlight of my Fellowship year. Having the privilege of observing IPC Past President Professor Jonathan Barker, IPC Board Member Professor Catherine Smith, Dr. Mahil, and Dr. Pink, as well as their fellow Consultant Dermatologists and Registrars, was absolutely brilliant. The entire team welcomed me warmly, and I joined all their clinics, including their clinical trial clinics. I can now say that I am ready to confidently give biologics to my psoriasis patients, thanks to my time at St. John’s Institute of Dermatology.

Lastly, my co-mentoring sessions with IPC Councilors Professor Nejib Doss, Dr. Kelly Cordoro, and Dr. Colby Evans have improved my understanding and approach to managing psoriasis patients.

Special thanks to IPC Staff Nicora Gardner and Maureen Hogle for coordinating all the Fellows. Your patience and kindness will never be forgotten.

I am grateful to the IPC for allowing me to be part of this Fellowship, and I look forward to continuing working with the IPC.

Netsanet Azene Gebeyehu, MD

St. Peter Specialized Hospital

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Bio

Throughout the IPC’s International Fellowship Program, I gained extensive knowledge and clinical experience through detailed lectures and meetings. I actively participated in the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) Annual Meeting and the National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) meeting and virtually attended the IPC Think Tank in the Faroe Islands. These meetings helped build and expand my professional network.

Meeting experts and engaging in discussions worldwide enriched my understanding of psoriasis. Under the guidance of my mentor, IPC Board Member and Treasurer Dr. Joel Gelfand, I completed a research project on psoriasis during the Fellowship. My onsite visit to the University of Pennsylvania allowed me to observe diverse outpatient and inpatient cases.

The IPC Fellowship, with its combination of in-person and virtual experiences, offered a comprehensive learning experience. It significantly broadened my knowledge and skills in diagnosing and managing psoriasis and expanded my professional network.

Finally, I thank IPC Board Members, Councilors, Staff, and past IPC Fellows for making my Fellowship year successful.

Rudi Chandra, MD

University of Prima – Medan

Medan, North Sumatera, Indonesia

Bio

As a last-minute registrant, I never anticipated being chosen as a 2023 International Fellow from Indonesia by the International Psoriasis Council (IPC). This program was a life-changing experience for my entire career. I participated in virtual classes on the latest psoriasis topics, had discussions with experts worldwide, and established friendships with Fellows globally. To have IPC Councilor Professor Curdin Conrad as my mentor was fortunate luck! The month spent at CHUV in Lausanne, Switzerland, went by surprisingly quickly. Shadowing Professor Conrad weekly in his specialized clinic, learning to personalize medicine for psoriasis patients, and actively engaging in case discussions have increased my confidence in managing psoriasis patients. Professor Conrad’s passion and dedication to patient care have left an enduring impression on me as a dermatologist.

During my Fellowship, I presented a poster on “Dermoscopic Features of Chronic Plaque Psoriasis Vulgaris based on The Severity of Psoriasis Disease” at the 2023 European Academy of Dermatology & Venereology (EADV) Congress in Berlin, Germany. Post-Fellowship, I am inspired to pursue a subspecialty in allergy and immunology or even a doctoral degree, realizing my research aspirations. Terima kasih (merci beaucoup) IPC, keep shining bright.

Sonia Chavez-Alvarez, MD

Hospital Universitario Dr. José Eleuterio Gonzalez – UANL

Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico

Bio

This year, I had the incredible privilege of being part of the IPC International Fellowship Program. Engaging in sessions with experts worldwide provided invaluable learning, with the added benefit of receiving personalized feedback and insights for our individual cases. A highlight was my visit to Copenhagen, Denmark, with IPC Board Member Dr. Lone Skov, who has been an incredible mentor from day one. She was always eager to help and guide me throughout the year.

In smaller groups and classes, IPC Councilor Dr. Colby Evans equipped us with tools to enhance our patient care strategies. Interacting with other Fellows allowed for meaningful conversations about their plans and projects, forming friendships from various corners of the globe. The overall experience has been incredibly enriching, and I sincerely hope that the IPC continues to provide this exceptional opportunity to many Fellows for years to come.

Maria-Angeliki Gkini, MD, MSc, PhD, FRCP

Barts Health NHS Trust, London, UK

London, United Kingdom

Bio

I am a Consultant Dermatologist splitting my time between the 401 General Army Hospital in Athens, Greece, and Barts Health NHS Trust in London, United Kingdom. As we near the end of 2023, concluding the IPC Fellowship is a milestone in my dermatology journey. The IPC Fellowship reshaped my approach to psoriasis, providing priceless insights from global experts, engaging with leaders in the field, forming collaborations, and forging lasting friendships defined my experience.

During my Fellowship, I accomplished and experienced many things. My co-fellow Mio Nakamura and I advanced a project on psoriasis in Skin of Color with IPC Board Members. I attended the ISID 2023 Meeting in Tokyo, supported by IPC funding, witnessing cutting-edge psoriasis research. The Think Tank Meeting in the Faroe Islands, marking the 60th anniversary of Gunnar Lomholt’s seminal psoriasis paper, offered a unique opportunity to engage with legends in the field.

Under IPC Councilor Professor Alice Gottlieb’s mentorship at Mount Sinai in New York City, I explored complex medical dermatology cases and initiated research projects. Gratitude also extends to IPC Staff, Board Members, and Co-Fellows. Transitioning to a Consultant Dermatologist in London, I aim to apply this experience to deliver optimal patient care, and I am eager to continue contributing to the IPC family’s initiatives.

Francis Lai, MBBS, FACD

Monash Health, Skin Health Institute

Melbourne, Australia

Bio

The IPC Fellowship has truly been an amazing experience. Over the past year, I have had the privilege to learn from world-leading experts and gain a deep understanding of psoriasis. This journey has fueled my passion and excitement for the breakthroughs we are achieving in the world of psoriasis for our patients.

The opportunity to attend major international meetings and regular online mentoring sessions fostered a close-knit feel with the Councilors and other IPC Fellows, allowing us to network, collaborate, and form friendships. As a Fellow, I felt welcomed into this community of renowned experts and included in the meetings and publications from the IPC. The onsite visit with IPC Board Member Ricardo Romiti was an invaluable learning experience, providing insights from a completely different health care environment and demographic. 

However, the most enjoyable aspect has been forming friendships and connections with my mentor, other Fellows, and the Councilors. As I conclude the Fellowship, I am confident that I am at the forefront of psoriasis knowledge, ready to contribute to the next advancements alongside my new colleagues.

Mio Nakamura, MD, MS, FAAD

University of Michigan

Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States

Bio

The IPC Fellowship Program allowed me to gain a deeper knowledge of psoriatic disease, opened my eyes to international perspectives on diagnosing and managing psoriatic disease, and helped me connect with international psoriasis experts. The Fellowship provided these robust opportunities through structured lectures, international dermatology conferences, one-on-one mentorship, and international observerships. The chance to serve on the IPC Skin of Color Working Group has also allowed me to participate in scholarly activities and work closely with experts. Various in-person and virtual socials have created friendships with the other Fellows, which will continue to be fostered throughout our careers. The Fellowship has had a tremendous positive impact on my future career, and I am incredibly thankful to the IPC for this irreplaceable opportunity.

Towhida Noor, MBBS, MD

Matador Diagnostic and Wellness Center

Dhaka, Bangladesh

Bio

Being selected as a 2023 IPC Fellow from Bangladesh is a career highlight. My mentor, IPC Councilor Professor Peter Foley from Melbourne, Australia, and I held regular Zoom meetings to discuss challenging psoriasis cases and share treatment options in our respective countries. Our planned research on psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis in skin of color is set to begin soon. I joined a valuable co-mentoring session on phototherapy with IPC Councilor Dr. Colby Evans and learned extensively from IPC Councilor Dr. Murlidhar Rajagopalan about managing tuberculosis and hepatitis in tuberculosis. The interactive pediatric psoriasis co-mentoring with IPC Councilor Professor Kelly Cordoro provided significant insights. Regular online classes with global experts enriched my knowledge and motivated me to contribute more to psoriasis patient care. Attending the International Society of Investigative Dermatology (ISID) inauguration conference in Japan was a unique experience. The IPC’s Think Tank Meeting featuring the Gunnar Lomholt Symposium in the Faroe Islands, a historically significant psoriasis location, was a lifetime experience, combining learning and enjoying the natural beauty. Finally, my onsite visit to Professor Foley’s site included exploring the dermatology departments of Royal Melbourne Hospital, St. Vincent’s Hospital, Royal Children’s Hospital, and Skin Health Institute. I am honored to be part of IPC and grateful for this excellent Fellowship opportunity.

The International Psoriasis Council (IPC) and our 2023 Fellows extend heartfelt gratitude to our sponsors, Bristol Myers Squibb and Janssen Biotech, Inc., for their generous support of the Fellowship Program this year. Their commitment has played a pivotal role in enabling a year of invaluable experiences, global collaboration, and professional growth for our Fellows. We deeply appreciate their dedication to advancing dermatological research and education.

Photos from IPC’s 2023 Fellows

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