EMEUNET Country Liaisons 2022-2023

Enida Xhaferi, MD, PhD


Enida graduated as a medical doctor at the University of Tirana in Albania and gained her rheumatology specialization at QSUT Hospital, Albania.

Her main research interests are radiographic axial spondyloarthrirtis, rheumatoid arthritis and rehabilitation.


Anna Petoyan, MD


Anna graduated as a medical doctor from the Yerevan State Medical University in 2013. She currently works as resident in rheumatology in the “Muratsan” University Hospital.

Her main research interests are antiphospholipid syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, systemic sclerosis and vasculitis.


Myriam Reisch, MD 


Myriam studied at the Medical University of Vienna until 2019. Currently, she works as resident in rheumatology department in the Medical University of Graz. Her research is focused on PMR and vaskulitis.

She is an active member of the JÖGR (the young Austrian Society of Rheumatology) and she is very dedicated to clinical education and created the first rheumatological escape room in Europe. 


Anastasyia Tushina, MD PhD


Anastasyia has completed her PhD and she currently works as an assistant in the 2nd Department of Internal Diseases at Belarusian State Medical University, Minsk, Belarus.

Her main research interest is secondary amyloidosis in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.


Ayten Ishchenko, MD


Ayten is a young rheumatologist and PhD fellow working in KU Leuven, Belgium.

Her main research interests are spondylarthritis, psoriatic arthritis, imaging, musculoskeletal ultrasound.


Hamdija Mujaric, MD

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Hamidija graduated as a medical doctor from the Military Medical Academy in 2007. He currently works in the rheumatology department  at the university clinic in Sarajevo.

His main research interests are echography of the abdomen and locomotor system, and biological therapy in rheumatic diseases.


Rositsa Dacheva, MD


Rositsa graduated from the Medical University of Sofia, Bulgaria, in 2013 . In 2020 she completed her rheumatology residency in UMHAT “St. Ivan Rilski”, Sofia.

She is currently working as a rheumatologist in Sofia, Bulgaria.  Her interests include inflammatory arthritis, interstitial lung disease, treatment strategies, systemic sclerosis and musculoskeletal ultrasound.


Mirna Reihl, MD PhD


Mirna graduated as Medical Doctor in Zagreb Medical School, University of Zagreb, Croatia November 2015. started Rheumatology residency at the Division of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology, Department of Internal Medicine, University Hospital Centre Zagreb and University of Zagreb, School of Medicine, Zagreb.

Her main interests are Adult Onset Still’s Disease and Ultrasonography.


Veronika Balajkova, MD  

Czech Republic

Veronika graduated as a medical doctor from the Charles University (Prague, 2015). She currently works at the Institute of Rheumatology in Prague.

In 2015 she started her PhD with a special interest in neuropsychiatric lupus. She is also part of a research group on systemic lupus erythematosus supported by the Ministry of Health of Czech Republic.


Morten Aagaard Nielsen, MD


Morten graduated as a medical doctor in 2016 and completed his PhD in 2021 at Aarhus University. He is currently a Rheumatology resident at Aarhus University Hospital.

His main research interests include Stromal cells/Fibroblasts, Disease in vitro Models, Checkpoint receptors, Rheumatoid Arthritis, translational research.  


Ahmed Negm, MD PhD


Ahmed graduated from the Faculty of Medicine at AL-Azhar University in Cairo. He currently works at the Department of Rheumatology under the Faculty of Medicine of the Al-Azhar University.

His main research interests include epidemiology and imaging techniques in rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.


Liis Puis, MD


Liis graduated from the University of Tartu in 2017. She is currently a third- year rheumatology resident at the University of Tartu.

Her interests include systemic lupus erythematosus, systemic sclerosis, ultrasonography and vasculitis.


Anne Kerola, MD, PhD


Anne is currently specializing in rheumatology in Helsinki University Hospital, Finland. She defended her thesis on epidemiology of comorbidities in rheumatoid arthritis in 2015. In 2021, she was a post doctoral researcher at Preventive Cardio-Rheuma Clinic, Diakonhjemmet hospital, Oslo, Norway. 

Her major research interests include cardiovascular comorbidities in rheumatic diseases. 


Nino Gobejishvili, MD


Nino is the Head of the Georgian young rheumatologists union (SARG) and currently works at the Aversi and Medical House Clinic in Tbilisi in Georgia.

Her professional and scientific interests focus on immune tolerance, especially in rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, systemic sclerosis and vasculitides.


Johanna Mucke, MD 


Johanna received her MD from Heidelberg University. She is currently working as a clinical and research fellow in training in rheumatology at the Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf. ​

Her interests are systemic lupus erythematosus with focus on treat-to-target and health-related quality of life. synovial inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis and connective tissue diseases. ​ Johanna is an active member of the German Society of Young Rheumatologists (“AGJR”).


Dóra Sárvári, MD


Dóra Sárvári is a medical doctor since 2016, currently working at the Immunology Department of Rheumatology Centrum, Budai Irgalmasrendi Kórház, Budapest, Hungary.

She teaches medical students and prepare presentations for Immunologic and rheumatologic conferences. Her major interests include scleroderma and lupus, ultrasonography of joints and teaching medical students.


Ramona Valea, MD


Ramona graduated from the “Carol Davila” University in Bucharest in 2010 and has completed her training in rheumatology in Romania and Ireland. She is currently a certified rheumatology consultant in Ireland. She was awarded a EULAR research fellowship in Dublin regarding the use of ultrasound in patients with asymptomatic hyperuricemia in 2014.

Her interests include patient care and imaging in rheumatic diseases.


Jennifer Ben Shimol, MD


Jennifer completed medical school at SUNY Downstate Medical Center followed by a residency in internal medicine at Montefiore Medical Center and a fellowship in rheumatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center.

Currently, she works as a full-time rheumatologist at the E. Wolfson Medical Center. She has been involved research studies, including most recently an evaluation of rheumatologic iRAEs and an assessment of PET/CT in large vessel vasculitis. Also, she is very dedicated to clinical education.


Emanuele Bozzalla Cassione,MD

Italy and San Marino

Emanuele graduated in Medicine and Surgery at the Università Vita-Salute San Raffaele (Milan) in 2016 and concluded his rheumatology residency at the Hospital ‘IRCCS Policlinico San Matteo Foundation’ in Pavia where he currently serves as rheumatology consultant. Since 2021 he is enrolled in the Experimental Medicine PhD Program at the University of Pavia.

His main areas of interest are rheumatoid arthritis and interstitial lung disease.  Since November 2020 he is an elected member of the Young Rheumatologists Committee of the Italian Society of Rheumatology (SIR Young).  


Evija Stumbra Stumberga, MD, MSc 


Evija graduated from the Riga Stradina University. She currently works as Doctor Internist and Doctor Neurosonology at the Health Center of Riga Stradins University.

Her interests include atherosclerosis, cardiovascular diseases, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and ultrasonography.


Ouidade Aitisha Tabesh, MD, MSc


Ouidade is a Rheumatologist at Hotel Dieu de France Hospital, Lebanon. She received her postdoctoral diploma in Rheumatology from Saint Joseph University of Beirut and from Paris V University. She is a trained EULAR teacher in musculoskeletal ultrasonography. In addition, Ouidade has a Masters in clinical research from the medical university of Vienna. 

Her main interests are musculoskeletal ultrasonography, psoriatic arthritis, Sjogren disease and microcrystalline diseases.


Ona Montvydaite- Kreivaitiene, MD


Ona graduated as a medical doctor from the Lithuanian University of Health Sciences in 2011, and currently works at the Lithuanian University of Health Sciences Kaunas clinics and as an assistant and the Lithuanian University of Health Sciences. She is a member of the Council of the Association of Lithuanian Rheumatologists.

Her main areas of interest are MSK ultrasound and ultrasound-guided interventions. 


Maja Bojadziovska, MD


Maja became a rheumatologist in 2010 and is currently working at the clinical hospital of rheumatology in Skopje, Macedonia.

Her professional and scientific interests focus on patients with arthritis and postmenopausal osteoporosis. She also works as an assistant at the Faculty of Medicine in Skopje.


Chris Vassallo, MD


Chris is a Rheumatology Trainee at Mater Dei Hospital at Msida, Malta.

Her professional and scientific interests focus on patients with Giant Cell Arteritis, Systemic Sclerosis and Vasculitis.


Victoria Sadovici-Bobeica, MD, PhD


Victoria is an assistant professor at the Department of Internal Medicine of the State University of Medicine and Pharmacy “Nicolae Testemitanu” in Moldova and Rheumatologist at the International Hospital Medpark, Moldova. She graduated from the same university in 2009. 

Her main research interests include systemic diseases and systemic lupus erythematosus.


Rifat Medjedovic, MD


Rifat received his MD degree from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Montenegro. He currently works as a specialist at the Department of Rheumatology and Internal Medicine of the Clinical Center of Montenegro.

His main interests are ultrasound imaging and systemic lupus erythematosus.


Jens Vikse, MD


Jens is a rheumatology fellow at Stavanger University Hospital, and a PhD student at University of Bergen. He is the author of an immunology textbook and is currently writing a rheumatology textbook for Norwegian medical students.

His main interests are IgG4-related disease, systemic sclerosis and interstitial lung disease.


Aleksandra Opinc-Rosiak, MD, PhD


Aleksandra graduated from the Medical University of Lodz in 2019. She is currently during the 3rd year of her residency training in rheumatology at the Department of Rheumatology with Internal Medicine Subdivision USK-WAM in Lodz. She is also a research and teaching assistant at the Medical University of Lodz. In 2022 she received her PhD for research on cardiovascular involvement in IIM. 

Her main interests include myositis, antisynthetase syndrome, ILD.


Vasilia Iorgoveanu-Stoian MD, PhD


Vasilia Iorgoveanu is specialist in rheumatology in Bucharest, Romania. She received her PhD in salivary gland ultrasonography in Sjogren’s Syndrome in 2019. She is a trained EULAR teacher in musculoscheletal ultrasonography.

Her main interests  are autoimmune diseases, especially Sjogren’s Syndrome, musculoskeletal ultrasonography and articular degenerative diseases. 


Jelena Čolić, MD, PhD


Jelena Čolić is an internal medicine specialist and rheumatology residence at the University of  Belgrade, Serbia.  She defended her PhD in epidemiology on clinical overview of hemostasis disturbance in systemic sclerosis in 2023 (colaboration with Karolinska Institutet, Sweden). She is active member of Serbian national rheumatology society and is involved as a EMEUNET member in the task force.

Her main interest are systemic sclerosis, microparticles, treatment.


Valentina Emmanuela Emperiale, MD


Valentina graduated as medical doctor from the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile in 2014, where she was an undergraduate clinical research assistant for the Rheumatology Department and teaching assistant. She also conducted an elective internship in Rheumatology in Baden. Since 2016, she is a Rheumatology Resident in Madrid.

Besides the clinical practice, she is focused on medical education and clinical research, particularly regarding spondyloarthritis and systemic autoimmune diseases.


Heidi Kokkonen, MD, PhD


Heidi Kokkonen is currently working as a Resident Physician at the Rheumatolgy Department, Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Norrlands University Hospital, Umeå, Sweden. She has recently been selected as a board member of the Swedish Rheumatology Association.

Her research area is risk factors for the development of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and is also currently studying the associations of risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD) prior to diagnosis of RA in relation to later development of RA and CVD.


Muriel Elhai, MD, PhD


Muriel Elhai is an assistant professor at the university of Zurich, Switzerland. She received her PhD in immunology on mouse models of systemic sclerosis in 2015. She is involved as an EMEUNET member in the EULAR task force on “updating the EULAR recommendations for the collaboration of Patient Research Partners in scientific projects”.

Her main interests are systemic sclerosis, synovial fibroblasts, immunology as well as PRP involvement in research.


Ufuk İlgen, MD


Ufuk İlgen is a consultant rheumatologist and clinical researcher in Turkey. Dr. İlgen is one of the cofounders of the Turkish Society for Rheumatology-Young (TSR-Young) and leader of the Peer and Field Relations Subgroup.

His main interests are autoimmunity, SLE, systemic sclerosis, FMF, and amyloidosis.


Andrew Melville, MD

United Kingdom

Andrew Melville is a clinical research fellow and first year PhD candidate at the Institute of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation in Glasgow. Prior to this he spent two years in Leeds as a rheumatology registrar and academic clinical fellow. He studied medicine in Cambridge and London, then did his pre-specialisation foundation and core medical training in London. During this time he also undertook an MSc in Musculoskeletal Sciences at NDORMs in Oxford.

His current research focus is around psoriatic arthritis and experimental medicine.


Su-Ann Yeoh, MD

United Kingdom

Su-Ann graduated as a medical doctor from the University of Nottingham in 2012. She currently works as Rheumatology Clinical Research Fellow at University College London.

Her main research interests are bDMARDs, rheumatoid arthritis, T- cells, TNF-alpha and treatment strategies.


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