FESO Interview with Grégoire Boulouis

To qualify as an FESO, members must demonstrate scientific quality and a willingness to actively volunteer in ESO. There are no age requirements, but FESO must meet minimum standards. FESO receive additional benefits, including participation in the Council of Fellows. Visit our website for more information on how to distinguish yourself as a FESO.

We hope you enjoy getting to know the Fellows who participate in the 2019 interview series and thank them in advance for taking the time to share with our readers.

For the August newsletter, we asked Grégoire Boulouis, Interventional Neuroradiology, CH Sainte Anne & Necker Children Hospital, Université de Paris, Paris, France, to answer our questions. He is one of our younger FESO, a participant in Stroke Winter School 2019 and active ESO member.

What are your main fields of interest in stroke medicine and research?

The main fields are acute stroke imaging biomarkers, including ischemic stroke due to large vessel occlusion and intracerebral haemorrhage. I’m also passionate about the identification of etiologic and prognostic factors in adult and paediatric patients with intracerebral haemorrhage, and the imaging means to guide treatment.

What is the role of ESO in facilitating and promoting the projects you are coordinating or where you are involved?

ESO is a truly inspiring organisation that builds a concrete sense of community amongst its members, and by extension amongst stroke physicians and researchers. The annual ESO Conference (ESOC) is a great platform to meet and exchange with colleagues in the field of stroke, colleagues who become friends and sometimes co-investigators. Ambitious projects need strong foundations and I believe ESO values of community, diversity and excellence to be a great guide for junior researchers like myself. Also the ESO summer and winter schools catalyse this process in a very sensible way by building a community, and triggering multinational projects, and facilitating encounters and exchanges amongst and between junior and senior stroke physicians and researchers

What do you expect from ESO in the future to support research?

ESO constitutes a great network to facilitate multicentric and multispecialty research projects at a multinational scale. I’m particularly sensitive to the question of junior researchers and how to build a positive and attractive research environment to enhance participation and engagement in collaborative research amongst trainees. ESO in that sense is already involved in many activities for junior stroke researchers through its educational program and the YSPR committee activities, which is great. Articulating the ESO YSPR committee with local, regional and national trainee-led or junior initiatives within national societies may be a good step in promoting the future generation of stroke investigators.

What do you think a mentor should do to support the projects and the career of a mentee and, conversely, what should a mentee expect from a mentor?

The hardest part of the mentor`s job I believe is to generate self confidence in her/his mentees. Beyond guidance and experience a mentor provides, she/he should, by definition, be a model, and initiate curiosity and engagement in the various projects and career steps of her/his protégé. Prof. Cordonnier once highlighted to me the difference between a mentor and a sponsor, and how both work in synergy for educational and career advancement. From a mentee’s perspective, I’d say that it may be beneficial to expect different things from a mentor and from a sponsor, who do not have to be the same person. Mentorship is so diverse that, to me, it has to be plural. Also, the mentee should be active in the mentor/mentee relationship. I’ve crossed path with several exceptional researchers and tutors whose best quality as mentors (beyond the invaluable experience) I’d say was franchise, that helps build resilience, self-reflection, and constructive interactions on the road to becoming an independent investigator.