Vasco da Gama junior researcher award

The Junior Researcher Award aims to promote a generation of junior GP/FM doctors who include research skills with patient care as a life time career. This award honours outstanding research proposals from trainees or junior GPs/ family physicians with up to five years working experience after graduation.

All candidates are sincerely congratulated on their outstanding achievements but this year, the three winners and one runner-up of the Junior Researcher Award are: Virginia Hernandez, UK; Mirene Anna Luciani, Italy; Anne Maren Dahlhaus, Germany; and runner-up, Tiago Luis Baptista da Cunha Sousa Veloso, Portugal.

All four champions will be invited to present their project during a special workshop in this year's WONCA Europe Conference in Vienna. The workshop is scheduled on Saturday, July 7, at 11.00am. Senior GPs and experts are invited to join this workshop and help the four champions in developing their project.

This year's jury was Professor Paul van Royen, University of Antwerp, EGPRN representative; Professor Christos Lionis, University of Crete; Lenia Chovarda, VdGM Research Group Liaison; Tobias Freund, VdGM Research Group Coordinator.

A profile of one winner: Dr Mirene Anna Luciani

Dr Mirene Luciani

Dr Mirene Anna Luciani is a general practice trainee in her final year of training. She graduated in Medicine and Surgery, in 2008, at the University of Pisa, with a score of 105/110. She began research early in her career with a research paper taken from her surgical thesis "Effect of open abdomen on the outcome of patients with diffuse peritonitis. Results of a prospective study” being published on Annali Italiani di Chirurgia, 2011: Sept-Oct82(5):377-82.

In 2009, she won the competition to be admitted to the Tuscany Regional Course of Specialized Training in General Practice. Since then, she has collaborated with Doctor Luca Puccetti, specialist in Rheumatology, General Practitioner in Cascina (Pi) and Chairman of the Interdisciplinary Scientific Society Promed Galileo. In 2010, she trained at the Italian Society of Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology (SIUMB) and in November she successfully passed the Theoretical Course of Ultrasound. In 2011 she started training in Ultrasound at Society of Ultrasound in Medicine General SIEMG courses and she passed the Tuscany regional competition to attend the first level Course on Ultrasound for General Practitioners. In January 2012 she obtained a Diploma in Ultrasound - first level - from Italian Society of Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology (SIUMB).

Dr Luciani has participated in many scientific events: as moderator of the Under 35 sessions of the fifth, sixth and seventh National Congresses of SMIPG; as a speaker at the Brainstorming on the future of primary care. On April 16th 2011 Dr Luciani has also participated at the CSeRMEG Spring Seminar.

Proposed project of Dr Luciani

Statins and risk of incident diabetes: a retrospective observational study project

Abstract: Statins are the most prescribed medications worldwide, with a proven ability to reduce major cardiovascular events. Recent data have revealed an association between statin therapy and an increased risk for developing diabetes. The aim of this study is to evaluate if the relationship between statin use and development of diabetes mellitus emerges in current clinical practice. In a retrospective study, we will examine the pharmaceutical database of Azienda Sanitaria Locale 5 Pisa (326.000 inhabitants) and we will evaluate the number of statin prescriptions, time of maintenance in therapy, drug dosage during the last five years, and we will collect data of new cases of diabetes mellitus onset in patients treated with statins as proved by the release of specific disease-exemption from copayment or antidiabetic prescriptions, or established diagnosis. We intend to evaluate this association before the introduction in Italy by AIFA (Italian Agency of Drug) of a modification in statin prescription modalities.