Bjørk K. Sofiudöttir

PhD fellow

Bjørk K. Sofíudóttir received her medical degree from the University of Southern Denmark in 2018. Since then, she has primarily been employed in internal medicine, rheumatology and respiratory medicine at the Hospital of South West Jutland. Bjørk is a PhD fellow at the Research Unit of Rheumatology, Department of Clinical Research, University of Southern Denmark, Odense University Hospital, Denmark and now also co-affiliated with Section for Biostatistics and Evidence-Based Research, at the Parker Institute, Bispebjerg and Frederiksberg Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark.

In medicine, numerous decisions are made by health care professionals, often in shared decision making, on the basis of an estimated probability that a specific disease or condition is present (i.e. the diagnostic setting) or a specific event will occur in the future (i.e. the prognostic setting) in an individual. Bjørk’ s main research field is rheumatoid arthritis patients with concomitant lung disease, such as interstitial lung disease (ILD), and she is collaborating with the highly specialized (and novel) PUlmonary and RhEumatology (PURE) Clinic, at Odense University Hospital. Her PhD study focuses on early detection of ILD and other lung diseases, and its association with rheumatoid arthritis followed by the subsequent prediction of treatment response when initiating intervention with targeted therapies in these comorbid individuals. Supervision in the clinical epidemiology around both the diagnostic and prognostic setting will be provided by Section for Biostatistics and Evidence-Based Research, the Parker Institute: The clinical epidemiology part of the PhD project will elaborate on how to evaluate and interpret diagnostic and prognostic multivariable (risk) prediction models - implemented with the aim to assist doctors and individuals in estimating probabilities and thus potentially influence their decision making.

Bjørk was introduced to this field of research in 2015 via a pre-graduate research year at the Research Unit of Rheumatology, Odense University Hospital. Bjørk is also actively teaching at both the University of Southern Denmark (where she lectures on rheumatic diseases to pharmacist students) as well as training medical doctors to perform thoracic ultrasound examinations at the Simulation Center, Odense University Hospital.

The overarching academic aim of the research project will be to make sure that health researchers are aware of the issues that matter most to the people who need the research-findings in their everyday lives: We anticipate that the focus on rigorous methodology in this PhD address what needs to be done to patients with rheumatoid arthritis and concomitant lung disease(s) in order to reduce waste and increase the value of the research contributions. We want our research products to live up to our customers’ demands (e.g. leading scientific journals), by visualizing the research needs that the actual consumer (end-user) wants (i.e. patients/population suffering from the condition).

Bjørk is a member of the PhD-committee at the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Southern Denmark, as well as being a member of the Danish Society of Rheumatology and the European Respiratory Society.