Supporting networking and collaborative research among early career scientists and clinicians.

Psychiatric symptoms in endocrine disorders – a research project and clinical visit to Leiden University Medical Center

Antonia Gherlan, CI Parhon National Institute of Endocrinology, Bucharest Romania



I am a Resident Doctor working at CI Parhon National Institute of Endocrinology in Romania aiming to develop my professional skills and knowledge by studying and working as a fellow for 3 months at Leiden University Medical Center, a modern center for research/clinical profile treating a wide variety of endocrine disease including rare genetic disorders.

My goal is to start my research career and learn lab techniques, new clinical approaches and conduct my first research project with the help of a science-oriented group of medical professionals at LUMC. I have a particular interest in psychiatric disorders and psychiatric-related endocrine disease as I am seeing more and more patients who address these problems.

Coming from a Eastern European country with less economical resources and a slower developing health system, me and my team from CI Parhon Institute would benefit from this collaboration as well as our patients. The Endocrinology Clinic of LUMC was kind to offer me this opportunity and I am looking forward to going there.

Bioscientifica’s support would encourage me in this journey as I have to temporary suspend my residency in my home country.


  • Establishing relationships with medical professionals at LUMC
  • Working as a fellow resident in the Endocrinology department and starting my research career by getting familiar with the lab
  • Conducting a small research project and learning how to access, search, use European Registry data (I have a particular interest in the psychiatric manifestations of the endocrine disease)



The 3-month experience at Leiden University Medical Center was both a professional and personal success.

The clinical part consisted of attending outpatient clinic were I got to prepare patient files and understand the management of the cases and also assist other doctors during the consults. Being a rare bone disease medical center I was also invited to do a visit at VU Medical Center and see how bone biopsies are handled. I also assisted in microindentation sampling, a procedure new to me that is not used in my hospital yet. Furthermore, I had the chance to see rare disease and learned a lot of new things that I will explore later in my career.

Another important part was the research experience where I had a plan to study psychiatric symptoms in endocrine disorders but due to lack of data I changed my theme to infiltrative jaw tumors and I am currently working on a case series with my supervisor, Dr. Natasha Appelman-Dijkstra. Being my first research project, I started a bit confused not knowing how to collect data and establish my endpoints, but with the help from my supervisor I got more confident and started understanding more of what I had to do and we are currently working on the project.

Lastly, I would like to mention an activity where I got to learn new things and see different medical perspectives which was interdisciplinary meetings that were nicely structured and happened a couple of times a week. I am very grateful for the team that always included me and other foreign colleagues in the conversations and explained the medical decisions so that we could learn the particularity of the cases.

Overall, I could say this was the best experience in my career so far where I learned a lot of new things, got to see cases of rare disease, met new professionals and gained personal confidence to get out of my comfort zone.


Grant awarded: €3,000.00

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