FESO Interview with Linxin Li

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 November/December issue of the ESO member newsletter, we bring you 2 interviews.  The first one features Linxin Li, Centre for Prevention of Stroke and Dementia, Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Oxford, UK. Linxin Li is an active member of the ESO Young Stroke Physicians and Researchers (YSPR) committee as well as Co-editor and frequent contributor of the ESO Blog – The Voice of Stroke in Europe.

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

My main research focuses on the aetiological classification of stroke and I’m particularly interested in cryptogenic stroke, where no known cause is identified after standard diagnostic work-up. My current work aims to use traditional epidemiological methods as well as more advanced imaging tools to better understand the likely causes of cryptogenic stroke. The other growing interest of mine is about the role of susceptibility and control of traditional modifiable risk factors for strokes at younger ages.

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

ESO provides excellent opportunities for building bridges among stroke clinicians and researchers across Europe and more increasingly around the world. Participating in the ESO summer school, winter school and conferences has broadened my view as well as research networks, not only in the areas that I’m particularly interested in but also about the frontiers in stroke medicine more generally. I have also gained invaluable experiences in areas that I would not have gained by my day-to-day job through the work with the ESO Young Stroke Physicians and Researchers (YSPR) Committee, the ESO blog and the European Stroke Journal.

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

The ESO conference (ESOC) and the European Stroke Journal (ESJ) are already brilliant platforms and I have no doubt both will grow even more influential in the very near future. Opportunities to nurturing younger generals of stroke researchers will probably also grow through various ESO educational activities. Finally, the Stroke Action Plan Europe 2018-2030 will most likely nests important research opportunities across different disciplines and between different countries.  

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?

Always being available to guide and support is perhaps what I cherish most from my mentors.  Their constant passion and curiosity about what they are doing is also particularly inspirational. I guess a mentor is there to lead you into an area that is interesting, important and will ultimately become an expertise of yours. Whilst it is important to have someone there to guide and advise, the mentees should also learn to become independent researchers themselves.