Why Study a PhD at the Second Faculty?
They began with their doctoral studies at the Second Faculty this academic year. Why have they decided to do their PhD here and what do they expect from it? Are they planning to focus exclusively on research or also on clinical medicine? Read the stories of four fresh PhD students.
MUDr. Adam Whitley, United Kingdom
Originally from the United Kingdom, I moved to Prague to study medicine at the Second Faculty of Medicine, Charles University. After finishing my studies, I decided to pursue a career in Prague. Here, I have the amazing opportunities to work in surgery, do clinical research (PhD), teach anatomy and continue learning Czech. I would not have had these opportunities in the United Kingdom.
I am doing my doctoral studies at the Department of Anatomy at the Second Faculty of Medicine and the Department of Surgery in the Royal Vinohrady Teaching Hospital. My supervisor is Prof. David Kachlík. My research is on the blood supply of the pancreas. Its clinical impact will be in pancreatic surgery, which is a very demanding field of surgery because of frequent bleeding complications. Better understanding of the branching pattern of the pancreatic vessels and its variation is crucial for improving pancreatic surgery. I have been teaching at the Department of Anatomy since the 2nd year of my medical studies and my interest in research in clinical anatomy stems from this.
Since September I have been working in the Department of Surgery in the Royal Vinohrady Teaching Hospital. It is quite challenging, especially due to my Czech (I am not a native speaker and before moving to Prague for my medical studies I could not speak a word), but I am improving and learning all the time. At the moment I am focusing mainly on the clinical work and once I am able to work independently, I will spend more time on research.
Natividad Alquézar Artieda, Spain
I have started my PhD in CLIP – Childhood Leukaemia Investigation Prague, Laboratory of Molecular Genetics, Department of Paediatric Haematology and Oncology. I chose Molecular and Cell Biology, Genetics and Virology as my study program. My supervisor is Júlia Starková and my project is ‘Cancer metabolism and its role in the sensitivity of leukaemia cells to L-asparginase’. I have always been interested in cell run. It is amazing how the pathways are connected to each other, and how a little difference can activate or deactivate pathways. This knowledge is overall very important in cancer.
I hold a Master's Degree in Biomedicine at the University of Barcelona. Before that, I studied for a Biotechnology Bachelor Degree at the University of Vic (Barcelona). I was attracted to many fields during my graduate years. Of course, I had my favourites and one of them was cancer research.
I finished my degree in 2012, and then I took a break from science because I wanted to make sure that I want to do the PhD. I knew a lot of people that they left their PhD because they did not have enough motivation. I worked in different industrial areas and I realised that where I was the happiest was in research world. In Spain the situation is not ideal for researchers at the moment, that is why I encouraged myself to leave my native country, my family and friends, and of course, start Czech lessons.
MUDr. Bassel El-Osta, United Kingdom
I am doing my doctoral studies in the Department of Orthopaedics, my supervisor will be prof. MUDr. Tomáš Trč, CSc., MBA, and my topic will be the invention of new endoprosthesis for foot drop.
I am a graduate originally from Russia and I have done my postgraduate studies in the UK, but my fellowship was in FN Motol and the Second Faculty, therefore I decided to do my PhD there. I decided to do my PhD at the Czech Republic because during my fellowship I very much enjoyed working with my colleagues and in Motol. I am expecting to move forward in my research.
I will be doing both research and clinical medicine as much as possible, because PhD is not something easy and it requires a lot of time.
MUDr. Emanuel C. Marques, Portugal
The story of my doctoral studies is not recent, I have been considering it since the time I began studying medicine. I moved to Czech Republic right after high school, aiming to pursue my dream: to become a Medical Doctor. For 6 years I studied at Masaryk University in the beautiful city of Brno, concretely in the English programme.
It was during the fourth year of my medical studies that I first came in contact with the field of Dermatology and Venerology. Since then I practically did not consider any other specialisation for my future. After graduating in 2015, I started to search for a job: I was decided to go as far as it would take to achieve my goal, keeping in mind that, above all, I wanted my five-year training to be in a serious place that preserves the quality of education. This is when I realized that I probably did not have to travel that far: right in the country I once graduated as a doctor was a clinic that did not only treat patients, but also produced science. Headed by prof. MUDr. Jana Hercogová, CSc. (formal ex-leader of the European Academy of Dermatology), Department of Dermatology of Bulovka Hospital actively cooperates with other clinics from all over the world, constantly providing the scientific community with relevant clinical cases and studies. It was hard not to picture myself specializing and doing research next to those who daily contribute to the development of this challenging field of Medicine!
Expectedly, it was nerve-racking to first meet Professor Hercogová. After all, it was my first job interview. However, I quickly realized I had no reason to be that nervous – she cordially welcomed me in her office and after a couple of meetings we agreed that starting doctoral studies would be beneficial for both: that I would be delighted to dedicate myself to science, while, simultaneously, the department would have one more person to continue their research work. It was at this point that I was introduced to my second supervisor, doc. MUDr. Zoltán Paluch, Ph.D., MBA, from the Department of Pharmacology, who was as enthusiastic as I was to help people with psoriasis (one of the most common dermatological diseases in our population). Nowadays, when most therapeutic options have failed, patients with such condition are offered biological therapy. Biological agents are relatively recent drugs which have conquered the trust of dermatologists thanks to their great results, but little is yet known on their possible side-effects. Therefore, the topic ‘Side-effects of biological therapy in the treatment of psoriasis’ was selected for my research work, as such an actual and important subject clearly deserves a better insight. After following three groups of patients (some on biologics, others on classical systemic therapy and a placebo group), we are hoping to come to a conclusion on whether these revolutionary drugs are as safe as we think.