Annelien de Kat: Helping improve women's health during pregnancy

Meet Annelien de Kat, a new Postgraduate Researcher & Academic Visitor at The George Institute, UK.

How long have you been working at The George Institute?

I started in January 2017.

What attracted you to working at The George Institute/George Clinical?

The epidemiological expertise and global approach to research are among the factors that attracted me to The George Institute.

What are you currently working on?

My project focuses on changes in risk factors, such as blood pressure, during pregnancy. I will evaluate whether knowledge of these changes can improve the identification of women at risk for adverse pregnancy outcomes, such as gestational hypertension or premature birth.

What is a recent highlight?  

As I am writing this on my second day in the office, it is too soon to tell. I am thoroughly enjoying the coffee machine in the Oxford Martin School, though.

What difference will this make to healthcare and why?

Risk assessment of pregnant women is an important part of routine obstetric care worldwide. This research can potentially contribute to the improvement of continuous risk assessment throughout the pregnancy. In this way, women at high risk for hypertensive disease during their pregnancy and subsequent risks for their child may be identified more easily and benefit from prevention strategies and increased care.

What is your professional background?

I am a medical doctor and recently completed my PhD research and Epidemiology Postgraduate degree.

Why do you enjoy working at The George Institute?

I have just started, but was very impressed by the warm welcome I received at both The George Institute and NDOG. I look forward to working together with all these lovely people.

To explain to people what I do I say…

That I am going to investigate whether we should use all the information that we collect during pregnancy to estimate whether someone is at risk for an unfavourable outcome, or whether a single measurement can suffice.

I work at The George Institute because…

I want to improve my research skills and learn from a different research environment. Ultimately, I hope to help refine the delivery of obstetric care in order to improve maternal health.

To unwind at the end of the day I…

Go for a run or cook a nice meal.

My first job was…

Waitressing in a Dutch pancake restaurant. My first job out of university was as a clinical resident in Obstetrics/Gynaecology in the Netherlands.

My biggest achievement so far…

Getting here – it is exciting to start this new phase.