How did you get involved in migraine research and what does your research focus on?
At present, I am a PhD candidate at the Leiden Headache Center in the group of Prof. Gisela Terwindt. During my medicine degree, I quickly realized that I wanted to understand the biological mechanisms underlying (neurological) disorders. I wanted to contribute to further understanding the pathogenesis of disorders with the purpose to ultimately find a cure. I therefore also completed a biomedical science degree and during my education I started to contribute to research projects at the Leiden Headache Center. My interests in neurology and genetics led me to finding a PhD project in this group located at the crossroad between these fields. My research mainly focusses on gaining insight into the genetics of migraine and the clinical spectrum of associated hereditary disorders, such as hemiplegic migraine and Retinal Vasculopathy with Cerebral Leukoencephalopathy and Systemic manifestations (RVCL-S).
Which impact has your involvement in migraine research had on your career so far?
My involvement in migraine research has given me the opportunity to learn new skills, meet many interesting people, expand my (inter)national network and attend several interesting congresses. My involvement in research has taught me to always keep an open mind and to critically assess myself and situations. I believe this does not only make me a better researcher, but also a better physician.
What has been the main factor for your continuous engagement in migraine research?
My strongest motivator are the patients. Their stories, in both clinical practice and in a research setting, are an inspiration and motivate me to strive to be the best researcher and physician I can be. My continuous engagement has led me to pursue further funding opportunities to continue my research after my PhD and has resulted in me obtaining a personal grant to support this.