Coeliac researcher of the year is both a doctor and a researcher

Submitted on Mon, 05/28/2018 - 13:33
Pilvi Laurikka
“I want to conduct research even though I love my regular job. In a sense, research is like a hobby to me,” Pilvi Laurikka says.

Pilvi Laurikka is studying the prolonged gastrointestinal symptoms of coeliac disease patients

Text: Jaakko Kinnunen

Doctor of Medicine Pilvi Laurikka has been appointed the coeliac researcher of the year. Laurikka is studying the prolonged gastrointestinal symptoms of coeliac disease patients who have a gluten-free diet.

Laurikka, who defended her doctoral dissertation at the end of 2017, has been appointed the coeliac researcher of the year by the Finnish Coeliac Society. She also received one thousand euros.

Laurikka’s dissertation dealt with the prolonged gastrointestinal symptoms of treated coeliac patients who have gluten-free diets. She works as a specialising physician of internal medicine at Seinäjoki Central Hospital.

Combining clinical work and research suits the young scientist who works part-time as postdoctoral researcher at the Celiac Disease Research Center at the University of Tampere.

“Even though I love my regular job, I want to do research. In a sense, research is like a hobby to me. If I didn’t do research, I would feel I am wasting my education as doctor of medicine. It is nice to do research at intervals and at present I do not dream of working full-time as a researcher,” Laurikka says

Laurikka wants to continue to work on the subject of her dissertation. According to her, a lot of interesting research on functional gastrointestinal problems is conducted in Finland. In addition, she would like to investigate the use of external intestinal symptoms in the early diagnosis of coeliac disease.

“Many patients tell me that the gluten-free diet has not eliminated all their symptoms. Why the symptoms continue is not known exactly, and I think this topic definitely needs further research,” Laurikka says.

In addition to working as a doctor and a researcher, Laurikka also frequently talks at courses and events organised by the Finnish Coeliac Society.