Agner Parra

ESR 2 – Clinical studies of treating-to-target in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus

My name is Agner Parra, at the base I have a medical degree that I obtained at the University of Zulia in Venezuela where I come from. However I like to define myself as a research-oriented-medical doctor, having started my career at the Clinical Research Institute of my faculty as an undergraduate research assistant developing projects in the field of molecular biology and pharmacogenomics of metabolic disorders, and it is there that I have learned most of my knowledge and skills and where I have obtained most of my academic achievements (among which I can mention several publications with my tutors in national and international peer-reviewed journals).

After graduating I decided to continue in the research pathway, and I have had the opportunity to move to Mexico to work as a research assistant at the medical sciences department at the university of Guanajuato where I applied my skills to the development of projects in another field, the field of fetal origin of metabolic disorders.

To continue my education in research I decided to apply and I was awarded with an Erasmus mundus scholarship to be enrolled in the Master of Science in leading international vaccinology education, a joint master program of 5 European universities in France, Spain and Belgium. During the course of the master and being train in different disciplines, I found myself really intrigued specially by the advance immunology courses we have received, and is why for my master thesis project I conducted a immunomonitoring project at Sanofi Pasteur, on the establishment of a preclinical proof of concept for innovative vaccination routes. It was an excellent experience, where I have the opportunity of also develop new skills and see a different part of science from an industrial point of view.

After finishing the master, I started working as a consultant in Lyon, France, assisting and providing expertise mostly in the field of pharmaceuticals clinical development by helping establishing research protocols in different fields.

I find the ARCAID program a great opportunity to go back to my academic roots and to combine my experiences as clinician and researcher in a multidisciplinary way while acquiring new capabilities by working with an experienced team and under the supervision of Prof. Dr. van Vollenhoven and Prof. dr. Voskuijl.

Outside of research, I enjoy traveling and meeting new cultures and also learning new ways of communications. I also like running and swimming and I have recently started practicing CrossFit which I enjoy very much.