International Psoriasis Council

Advancing Knowledge. Improving Care.

Advancing Knowledge. Improving Care.

Shining a Spotlight: Catching up with 2021 IPC Fellow Álvaro González-Cantero MD, PhD

Álvaro González-Cantero, MD, PhD

Hospital Ramón y Cajal University Hospital

Madrid, Spain


The IPC Fellowship Experience

Participating in the IPC International Fellowship Program has profoundly influenced my career trajectory. Under the mentorship of IPC Board Member Dr. Joel Gelfand, an esteemed figure in dermatology, I examined the intricacies of psoriasis research. Despite the challenges posed by COVID-19, my on-site visit with Dr. Gelfand’s team in 2022 proved invaluable. Beyond academic pursuits, Dr. Gelfand exemplified the importance of compassion and mentorship, dedicating time to guide me through career-building endeavors. Our collaboration extended beyond the fellowship, fostering a lasting mentorship that continues to shape my professional journey.

During the Fellowship, Dr. Gelfand and I collaborated on numerous projects, including a systematic review and meta-analysis on biologics’ impact on cardiovascular disease, published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology. Furthermore, our partnership led to a cohort study evaluating cardiovascular disease in psoriasis, utilizing advanced imaging techniques. These experiences marked the beginning of a fruitful collaboration facilitated by the IPC Fellowship.

Post-Fellowship Achievements

Reflecting on my journey since completing the Fellowship Program in 2021, I realize that significant milestones have punctuated my career progression. Leveraging insights gained during the Fellowship and Dr. Gelfand’s mentorship, we secured a Spanish public grant, enabling the establishment of one of the largest psoriasis cohorts globally. Our collaborative efforts have resulted in nearly four publications in high-impact dermatology journals. Inspired by the Fellowship’s collaborative spirit, I founded the International Center for Medical Research (ICMR), a clinical trial site that provides innovative treatment options to psoriasis patients in Madrid.

“Driven by the mission and values of IPC, I am dedicated to improving access to innovative drugs for psoriasis patients. I firmly believe that everyone deserves the opportunity to lead a fulfilling life regardless of their disease status.”

Applying Knowledge in the Field

Thanks to the knowledge gained during my Fellowship, I built a robust clinical research team specializing in psoriasis at Ramón y Cajal University Hospital. Comprising over ten professionals from diverse backgrounds, such as doctors, biotechnologists, and biostatisticians, our interdisciplinary collaboration fosters a dynamic environment conducive to advancing psoriasis research.

Additionally, I’ve established a prominent private unit dedicated to psoriasis and inflammatory skin diseases. Renowned as one of the leading facilities in my country, this unit offers a comprehensive range of treatment options for patients, including systemic drugs, biologics, and participation in clinical trials.

Navigating Career Challenges

I am advancing my career in research and patient care under the mentorship of Dr. Gelfand. His steadfast support and guidance have remained pivotal throughout my professional journey, and I deeply appreciate his friendship and valuable advice.

Establishing the clinical research unit and the ICMR clinical trials center from inception has presented challenges and rewards. Despite encountering numerous obstacles, the support of my team, mentors, and personal determination have propelled me forward. I am particularly grateful for the generous advice and support of the IPC community, especially IPC Board Member Dr. Andrew Blauvelt, whose contributions have significantly contributed to my success.

Evolving Perspectives on the Industry

In recent years, there has been significant progress in psoriasis treatment. While new biologic drugs have shown incredible results, their high cost and limited accessibility pose challenges for many patients. I believe the primary challenge in psoriasis care today lies in ensuring access to innovative drugs and effectively managing comorbidities, which remain unmet needs in the field.

Driven by the mission and values of IPC, I am dedicated to improving access to innovative drugs for psoriasis patients. I firmly believe that everyone deserves the opportunity to lead a fulfilling life regardless of their disease status. Currently, I am actively involved in various initiatives to enhance the management of comorbidities, particularly cardiovascular disease, and expand access to psoriasis treatment. This involves participating in promising new clinical trials, such as developing anti-IL-23 inhibitors and researching the cost-effectiveness of psoriasis treatments. I am confident that these efforts will significantly impact the lives of patients with psoriasis.

Advice for Future Fellowship Participants

Reflecting on my Fellowship experience, I would advise my younger self not to fear failure but rather embrace it as a learning opportunity. I would encourage seeking knowledge from mentors and peers and actively engaging in any project presented. Building a solid professional network is essential for growth and development.

To fellow professionals, I urge you to pursue fellowship-like opportunities actively. Stepping out of your comfort zone and collaborating with experts in research or development programs can be incredibly enriching. Remember, sharing knowledge and experiences benefits your community and advances your field.

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Recent Posts

IPC Joins IFPA to Mark the Tenth Anniversary of the World Health Assembly Resolution on Psoriasis

Focus on Psoriasis: A Report from the 2024 American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) Annual Meeting

Psoriasis in Older Patients: Epidemiology, Clinical Features, and Treatment Discussion

Also Read

Learning and Growth

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

Explore the global dermatological journey of the 2023 IPC International Fellows. Learn about their diverse experiences, challenges, and triumphs as they reflect on a year of learning, growth, and collaboration in psoriasis care.

Read More

Subscribe to the IPC Newsletter

Stay up-to-date on the latest research, news, and upcoming events right in your inbox.