International Psoriasis Council

Advancing Knowledge. Improving Care.

Advancing Knowledge. Improving Care.

Shining a Spotlight on our 2022 Fellows: Get to Know the Future Leaders in Psoriasis – Juul van den Reek, MD, PhD

Juul van den Reek, MD, PhD

Radboud University Medical Center

Nijmegen, Netherlands

Bio

Meet Juul van den Reek, MD, PhD, one of the promising future leaders in psoriasis research. Dr. van den Reek is an MD/epidemiologist at the Department of Dermatology, Radboud University Medical Center in the Netherlands. She combines research with patient care in the specialized psoriasis clinic. With over ten years of experience in psoriasis research, Dr. van den Reek has dedicated her career to evaluating real-world data of patients treated with biologics for inflammatory diseases, focusing on clinical epidemiology. She is also actively involved in various national and international psoriasis initiatives, such as the BioCAPTURE registry and the BeNeBio consortium. Dr. van den Reek was selected as a 2022 participant in IPC’s International Fellowship Program, which allowed her to expand her research on psoriasis and build valuable connections with experts in the field. In this exclusive interview, she shares her experience and insights from the program.

Can you tell us briefly about your background and what led you to apply for this program?

After a decade of extensive research in psoriasis, I really felt the urge to learn beyond the borders of my home country, particularly after the isolating COVID-19 period. I was curious about how psoriasis care is organized abroad and what clinical challenges apply there. When I saw the call for the IPC Fellowship, I immediately submitted my application.

How has this program helped you grow personally and professionally?

Professionally, it helped me to put my research in an international perspective.

Participating in the program helped me broaden my research perspective on a global level. It challenged me to think about global challenges that are present to improve patients’ lives on a broader scale. The program’s international setting allowed me to interact with experts from diverse backgrounds, such as Dr. Rajagopalan from India, whose expertise in managing psoriasis-related infections provided me with novel insights into the field. Additionally, my onsite visit with Prof. Joel Gelfand in the United States provided me with invaluable knowledge on managing cardiovascular comorbidities in people with psoriasis.

In addition to the clinical and scientific insights I gained, the program also invigorated me by connecting me with like-minded ‘psoriasiologists’ from all over the world who shared the same passion.

“The IPC Fellowship Program has been one of the most informative and inspiring experiences in my career.” 

How has the program prepared you for your future career goals?

My primary objective is to continue my academic pursuit and further advance my psoriasis research line, and I firmly believe that international collaborations are integral to achieving this goal. Research is more impactful for patients and society when you can work internationally.

How has the program fostered collaboration and networking among IPC Board, Councilors, and Fellows?

The Fellowship fostered collaboration/networking among the IPC board, Councilors, and Fellows in the multiple meetings organized in which all parties came together: Fellow’s classes, network meetings at congresses, and last – but not least- the Think Tank. Individual meetings between Fellows and their mentors led to more in-depth collaborations. We were also introduced to the Global Psoriasis Atlas and invited to participate in this important project, which I now do. With my co-fellow Albert Duvetorp, I am also trying to set up an exchange program.

Can you share a specific project or accomplishment you're proud of from your time in the program?

While the work on the initiated projects mentioned in the previous question is still in progress, I know their successful completion will be a source of immense pride for me.

Can you describe the mentorship and support you've received from the program faculty, IPC staff, and other IPC Fellows?

The mentorship of everyone involved in this Fellowship was fantastic. IPC’s support and facilitation played a crucial role in ensuring the program ran smoothly, from the onsite visit to the multiple meetings where we discussed relevant topics. The program was personalized to the unique interests of each Fellow. I was very pleased with my group of Fellows, which I met a few times a month virtually, and in-person at the 2022 IPC Think Tank Meeting in Miami. The entire program provided an open and collaborative atmosphere that fostered lively discussions.

What advice would you give to someone considering applying for this program?

I believe that this program is an exceptional opportunity for young dermatologists and researchers who are passionate about advancing psoriasis care and keen to learn from renowned leaders in the field.

In what ways do you think this program is unique and sets itself apart from other programs?

The IPC’s International Fellowship Program is a lively and engaging initiative that attracts many dedicated psoriasis professionals. It is intensive, well-rounded, and comprised of various elements such as Fellows’ meetings with renowned leaders, congress meetings, and a substantial onsite visit, which collectively form a complete and immersive program.

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

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