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ISTH e-Newsletter: RTW-Okoye
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Reach-the-World Fellowship Recipient Q & A: Helen C. Okoye, Nigeria

Three recipients of the ISTH Reach-the-World program were announced in the previous ISTH e-newsletter in February. Ms. Julia Etulain (Argentina), Dr. Helen C. Okoye (Nigeria) and Dr. Daniella Mussio (Uruguay) have each been selected to receive fellowships for 2014.  In this newsletter, Dr. Helen C. Okoye (Nigeria) shared her thoughts on receiving the fellowship and plans on future research.

Applications for the program are accepted June 1 and January 1 of each year. Click here to learn more and apply!

The ISTH Reach-the-World Fellowship program is supported in part thanks to an unrestricted educational grant from Bayer Healthcare.

What was your motivation for applying for a Reach-the-World Fellowship?
My interest in thrombosis and haemostasis is a product of my experience as a resident in the Department of Haematology and Blood Transfusion at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Port Harcourt, Nigeria. Patients with bleeding diasthesis and thrombotic disorders constitute a significant percentage of our population. The challenges of making accurate and prompt basic and molecular diagnosis, along with the limited availability of treatment and treatment monitoring options, are especially worrisome in our resource-poor community. The advancement in the methods of diagnosis and treatment of these disorders at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) in Chapel Hill, NC, USA, has prompted my interest in this opportunity.

My burgeoning interest culminated with the choice of my Part II fellowship dissertation where I evaluated, both quantitatively and qualitatively, the levels of protein C and protein S in women with preeclampsia and also tried to determine if there is any association of their levels with the development of preeclampsia. The findings from this study have increased my conviction and indeed propelled me to acquire more knowledge and skills in the laboratory diagnosis and management of thrombotic and bleeding disorders.

How will the fellowship help to improve your skills?
This opportunity will help me acquire more understanding of some of the concepts in haemostasis and thrombosis.  The privilege to work with and operate cutting-edge diagnostic equipment under the appropriate supervision of renowned thrombosis and haemostasis specialists will definitely improve my skills. This training will improve my skills and understanding in thrombosis and haemostasis and as such, my contribution to the training and practice of haematology in my home institution when I return.

What are you most excited about as you prepare for the fellowship?
I look forward to being a part of the distinguished team at UNC. I am also particularly excited at the prospects of being tutored by authorities of international reputation in thrombosis and haemostasis.

Find the previous ISTH enewsletter profile of 2014 Reach-the-World Fellow Julia Etulain here.

The ISTH Reach-the-World Fellowship program aims to promote knowledge and expertise in one or all of the areas of medical care, laboratory methods and/or research. As part of the program, the Society provides fellows with financial support for travel, accommodation and living expenses for a fellowship period of up to four months.

In addition to the Reach-the-World Fellowship program and as part of the full suite of ISTH’s Reach-the-World offerings, individuals from developing countries may qualify to receive discounted or free Society membership, travel grant opportunities, support for educational courses and the opportunity to participate actively in the global exchange of scientific and clinical information, regardless of where they live. To learn more about the ISTH Reach-the-World program, please click here.

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