For 2018, via the ESO newsletter, we are focusing the spotlight on prominent ESO members under 45. In January we introduced you to Georgios K. Tsivgoulis. For February, we learned more about Else Charlotte Sandset. In March we presented Urs Fischer. In April you met Charlotte Cordonnier.

Hopefully you were able to meet some of these prominent young members in person during the ESOC in May. From the ESOC, the Young Stroke Physicians and Researchers Committee published daily interviews with Ayse Tanritanir, Stefania Nannoni, and Maren Ranhoff Hov. 

In the June edition of this series Marialuisa Zedde answered some questions. In July, we introduced Jesse Dawson, in August we met Diana Aguiar de Sousa and in September we got to know Robert Mikulik. For October, we interviewed Mira Katan. In November, we presented, George Ntaios.

To finish the year, we sat down with Francesca Romana Pezzella, MD, PhD, BSc, MBA, stroke Unit, Department of Neuroscience, San Camillo Forlanini Hospital, Rome, Italy, an ESO Fellow and founding member of the ESO EAST Steering Committee.

How can ESO, through its members, contribute to the global health of the population?

I strongly believe that ESO means networking, professional growth, advocacy and excellence. Global health needs all these as pillars and foundations, but also as instruments to strategize and steer research, practice and protocols for the benefit of patients and their families.

What is your experience with ESO-EAST project?

I am honored and proud to be an active member of the ESO-EAST project since its beginning.

ESO-EAST is the best opportunity to exchange and challenge methods and protocols for the mutual benefit of professional communities. Local visits and workshops made cultures and professional histories sit beside each other, proving how “two” worlds can think better than one. This collaboration is a source of motivation and an objective in itself, in my personal development path.

What are your main fields of interest in stroke research and what are your projects for the next future?

As the most senior Neurologist in my hospital’s Stroke Center, my main focus is to keep abreast with research and developments related to Stroke emergencies and care. I am also planning next year, to participate in a master training program specific to Pediatric Neurology, to broaden the spectrum of my skills and make our ward a center of excellence.

How do you manage clinical and research activity in your daily routine?

The stroke center where I work is part of a clinical and experimental research network; we have several clinical trials in progress sponsored by pharmaceutical companies but also by academic bodies, we actively participate in research projects funded by Europe.

Currently I am engaged with stroke due to uncommon causes: I run a dedicated outpatient clinic and I am the contact person for the relevant national research network, such as the Fabry Disease Registry. Clinical and research activities are strongly interconnected, I think this is the best way to work, perhaps more difficult and challenging, but certainly of great satisfaction!