PhD students and other research fellows

Ashish Jacob Mathew

MD, PhD-student

Office location: Rigshospitalet Glostrup 


Read about Ashish Jacob Mathew's PhD-project

PhD Project

Title: Enthesitis in Psoriatic Arthritis – Utility of Magnetic Resonance Imaging 

Background: Enthesitis, an inflammation at the insertion site of tendon, ligament or joint capsule into bone, is an integral domain involved in the pathogenesis of psoriatic arthritis. MRI assessment of enthesitis remains superior to clinical indices used for detection considering its ability to detect soft tissue and intra-osseous abnormalities, thus aiding early diagnosis and outcome measures in PsA. 

Aim and design: This project aims to expand the knowledge on MRI in assessing enthesitis and to understand the burden of enthesitis in different populations of PsA patients. MRI scoring systems will be developed informed by a systematic review, in collaboration with the OMERACT MRI in arthritis working group and validated in clinical trials in two populations. Burden of enthesitis will be estimated using three registries – DANBIO registry, Vellore Inception Psoriatic diseasE Registry (VIPER) in India and Toronto Psoriatic Arthritis Clinic Registry. 

Supervisors: 
  • Professor Mikkel Østergaard MD, PhD, DMSc, Rigshospitalet, Glostrup, Denmark
  • Professor Debashish Danda MD, DM, FRCP, Christian Medical College, Vellore, India
  • Professor Vinod Chandran MD, DM, PhD, Toronto Western Hospital, Toronto, Canada
  • Professor Philip Conaghan FRACP, PhD, FRCP, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK



Christine Ballegaard

MD, PhD-student

Office location: Gentofte Hospital


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Kristian Zobbe

MD, PhD-student

Office location: Gentofte Hospital
E-mail: kristian.zobbe.01@regionh.dk


Read about Kristian Zobbe's PhD-project

PhD project

Title: Risk of mortality and co-morbidities as well as impact of weight loss in gout patients: a clinical and epidemiological research project

Aim and design: This PhD project aims to expand our basic knowledge of gouty arthritis regarding incidence, prevalence and mortality as well as co-morbidities such as cancer and overweight by doing a series of classic epidemiology studies in collaboration with Oxford University. The studies will be based on Danish and British national registries. The effect of weight loss on serum urate will be tested in a placebo controlled clinical trial on overweight patients with gout.

Perspectives: This study will broaden our basic understanding of the most common inflammatory arthritis in the western world and may contribute to a new treatment avenue.

Supervisors:

  • Senior lecturer, consultant Lars Erik Kristensen, PhD, MD, The Parker Institute, Denmark
  • Professor Lene Dreyer, PhD, MD, Aalborg University Hospital, Denmark
  • Private practicing rheumatologist Jens Skøt Hindrup, PhD, MD, Søborg, Denmark

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Kristine Marie Latocha

RN, PhD-student

Office location: Rigshospitalet Glostrup
E-mail: kristine.marie.latocha@regionh.dk


Read about Kristine Marie Latocha's PhD-project

PhD project

Title: The efficacy of cognitive behavioural therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) on sleep in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

Background: More than half of patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) also have insomnia, which can affect the level of pain, fatigue, quality of life and the risk of comorbidity. Initial treatment of insomnia is often based pharmacological drugs, however cognitive behavioural therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) has shown to have better effect in some patient populations. It remains to be determined whether CBT-I can also be effective on insomnia in patients with RA.

Aim and design: Kristine Marie Latocha’s PhD project aims to investigate the efficacy of CBT-I on sleep, impact of disease, pain, fatigue, physical function, depressive symptoms, health-related quality of life and disease activity. The project will be carried out as a randomized controlled trial with individually randomised assignment and two-group parallel design. In addition, a qualitative evaluation study will be conducted.

Perspectives: The project will contribute to the development of evidence-based opportunities of non-pharmacological treatment of insomnia in patients with RA.The project will contribute to the development of evidence-based opportunities of non-pharmacological treatment of insomnia in patients with RA.

Supervisors:

  • Research Manager, Associate Professor Bente Appel Esbensen, PhD, MSciN, RN, Rigshospitalet, Glostrup, Denmark
  • Professor Mikkel Østergaard, PhD, DMSc, Rigshospitalet, Glostrup, Denmark

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Marie Wetterslev

MD, PhD-student

Office location: Rigshospitalet Glostrup
Phone: +45 38 63 26 08
E-mail: marie.wetterslev@regionh.dk


Read about Marie Wetterslev's PhD-project

PhD project

Title: Dose adjustment of biological treatment in patients with spondyloarthritis (SpA)

Aim and design: This PhD study aims to treat patients with SpA with the lowest possible effective dose of biological therapy and to determine the overall proportion of patients that can have their biological therapy reduced. In this open label longitudinal quality control study, patients with SpA in remission will have their dose of biological treatment reduced according to a predefined treatment algorithm and have their dose increased in case of flare. Patient flare is assessed with patient-reported outcomes, clinical and imaging measures. In addition, blood samples will be collected to assess the predictive value of soluble biomarker for flare in patients with SpA.

Perspectives: Improved assessment and prediction of disease activity and flare.

Supervisors:

  • Professor Mikkel Østergaard, PhD, DMSc, Rigshospitalet, Glostrup, Denmark
  • Professor Merete Hetland, PhD, DMSc, Rigshospitalet, Glostrup, Denmark
  • Senior lecturer, consultant Inge Juul Sørensen, PhD, MD, Rigshospitalet, Glostrup, Denmark
  • Postdoc Susanne Juhl Pedersen, PhD, MD, Rigshospitalet, Glostrup, Denmark
  • Postdoc Cecilie Heegaard Brahe, PhD, MD, Rigsospitalet, Glostrup, Denmark

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Sabine Sparre Dieperink

MD, PhD-student

Office location: Rigshospitalet Glostrup
Phone: +45 38 63 22 99
E-mail: sabine.sparre.dieperink@regionh.dk

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Sara Helena Kamp Felbo

MD, PhD-student

Office location: Rigshospitalet Glostrup
Phone: +45 38 63 25 38
E-mail: sara.helena.kamp@regionh.dk

Read about Sara Helena Kamp Felbo's PhD-project

PhD project

Title: Characterization and monitoring of different phenotypes of peripheral psoriatic arthritis by modern imaging – and their impact on physical and psychological aspects of patients’ lives

Aim and design: The PhD project investigates the use of sensitive imaging methods (ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging) accompanied by patient reported outcome measures, in diagnosis and monitoring of peripheral manifestations of psoriatic arthritis. It is based on a series of sub-studies; 1) a methodological study examining elementary ultrasound components in dactylitis and enthesitis, 2) a population based multicentre cohort study investigating the prevalence of musculoskeletal pain and psoriatic arthritis among patients with psoriasis, evaluated by questionnaires, clinical, ultrasound and biochemical examination, and how these findings correlate and change during therapy and 3) longitudinal follow-up study of patients with psoriasis, initiating biological therapy for their skin disease at baseline, assessing effect of treatment on potential clinical and/or subclinical inflammatory changes in joints and entheses, by ultrasound and patient reported outcomes.

Perspectives: The project is expected to improve methods for diagnosis and monitoring of disease activity in psoriatic arthritis.

Supervisors:

  • Professor Mikkel Østergaard, PhD, DMSc, Rigshospitalet, Denmark
  • Consultalt, Lene Terslev, PhD, MD, Rigshospitalet, Denmark
  • Senior lecturer, consultant Inge Juul Sørensen, PhD, MD, Rigshospitalet, Denmark

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Sara Nysom Christiansen

MD, PhD-student

Office location: Rigshospitalet Glostrup
Phone: +45 38 63 30 75
E-mail: sara.nysom.christiansen@regionh.dk


Read about Sara Nysom Christiansen's PhD-project

PhD project

Title: Ultrasonography for optimized diagnosis and management of gout.

Background: Ultrasonography (US) is commonly used in inflammatory arthropathies, and in patients with gout US is able to visualize urate deposits. However, the utility of US in gout has only been examined in few studies.

Aim and design: This PhD study aims to further develop US for optimized diagnosis and management of gout. The study is divided into four sub-studies. In the first sub-study the utility of US as a diagnostic tool in gout is explored, and in the second sub-study US is used to monitor gout patients. In the third sub-study patients with rheumatoid arthritis, negative anti-CCP antibodies and poor effect of standard medicine are examined using US to observe if, in fact, they show signs of gout lesions. In the fourth sub-study, gout patients are scanned with a special type of CT scan (dual energy CT). This CT scan will be compared to US examination to compare, how the two different techniques visualize the same gout lesions.

Supervisors:

  • Consultant Lene Terslev, PhD, MD, Rigshospitalet, Glostrup, Denmark
  • Consultant Ole Slot, MD, Rigshospitalet, Glostrup, Denmark
  • Professor Mikkel Østergaard, PhD, DMSc, Rigshospitalet, Glostrup, Denmark

External assessor:

  • Private practicing rheumatologist Jens Skøt Hindrup, PhD, MD, Søborg, Denmark

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Sengül Seven 

MD, PhD-student 

Office location: Rigshospitalet Glostrup
Phone: +45 38 63 27 66 
E-mail: senguel.seven@regionh.dk


Read about Sengül Seven's PhD-project

PhD project

Title: How to differentiate between patients with axial spondyloarthritis and other conditions based on MRI findings in sacroiliac joints and spine

Aim and design: The main aim is to assess the value of different MRI findings in the sacroiliac joint and spine in the attempt to differentiate between axial spondyloarthritis and other conditions.

The PhD thesis is based on two investigator initiated studies, providing data from 204 participants (the MASH study) and an expected number of 88 participants (the TRACE study).

Perspectives: Improved diagnostics and assessment of treatment

Supervisors:

  • Professor Mikkel Østergaard, PhD, DMSc, MD Rigshospitalet, Glostrup, Denmark
  • Postdoc Susanne Juhl Pedersen, PhD, MD, Rigshospitalet, Glostrup, Denmark

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Simon Krabbe

MD, PhD-student

Office location: Rigshospitalet Glostrup
Phone: +45 38 63 22 99
E-mail: simon.krabbe@regionh.dk


Read about Simon Krabbe's PhD-project

PhD project

Title: Remission in patients with axial spondyloarthritis (SpA)

Aim and design: The project is based on Danish investigator initiated studies. The main aims are to define and test different criteria for remission of axial SpA by clinical measures of disease activity, conventional MRI/whole body MRI and several biomarkers, and to develop and validate prediction models for achieving remission in patients with axial SpA starting TNF inhibitor therapy.

Perspectives: Improved assessment and prediction of remission.

Supervisors:

  • Professor Mikkel Østergaard, PhD, DMSc, Rigshospitalet, Glostrup, Denmark
  • Postdoc Susanne Juhl Pedersen, PhD, MD, Rigshospitalet, Glostrup, Denmark
  • Professor Bent Deleuran, PhD, DMSc, Aarhus University, Denmark

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