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Assistant professor, researcher
Karolis Ažukaitis

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Mentorystės: 7 / Atsiliepimai: 2

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I am a pediatric nephrologist, assistant professor in VU MF and recently received my PhD in pediatric nephrology. Since the start of my studies I got interested in research and soon started to work in the largest study investigating the natural course of cardiovascular comorbidity in children with chronic kidney disease globally (4C Study: Cardiovascular Comorbidity in Children with Chronic Kidney Disease) as a regional coordinator. This ended up as a very challenging but also fruitful process which allowed myself to familiarise with the research process with hands on experience.

I later did exchange fellowships in Gaslini Institute (Genova, Italy), Samaritano Hospital and University of Sao Paulo (Sao Paulo, Brasil). With further digging into research withing my field of interest I started to question the relevance and methodology of the exponentially increasing scientific studies and got interested in the area of "research waste". This was particularly enhanced after my collaboration with the Cochrane Kidney and Transplant with which I had a pleasure to work with during my short stay at the Center for Kidney Research (Sydney, Australia). My further collab with the Standardized Outcomes in Nephrology Initiative (Sydney, Australia) led me to change my perspective about clinical research and its meaningfulness by bringing in the perspective of patient.

My main areas of interest encompass early cardiovascular disease and vascular aging in children with chronic kidney disease, pediatric hypertension and target organ damage, thrombotic microangiopathies, meta-research and patient centered healthcare/research.

Participating in research is not easy, not always clear and might not always be satisfying. The concept of doing research is very broad and might be adapted to ones capabilities and wishes. I believe, as I have learnt, that doing research is much more than statistics or publications but also is a value based process, where in addition to clinical skills, ability to adhere to highest methodological standarts and scientific rigor is of utmost importance.

Hopefully I can be useful to anyone who are challenged in this sometimes complicated process of getting involved in research - from simple advice on process-related issues to more conceptual topics when in search of ones way through clinical research world.
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