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Henning Drews - The Guest from Kiel

A new face has turned up at IMC. Henning Drews from Germany has been a visiting researcher at the centre since August 18 and he'll be staying with us another three weeks. Read on and get to know Henning a little better and find out what he's doing here at the IMC.

2014.08.26 | Lars Pallesen

Henning Drews at IMC (photo: Lars Pallesen)

Henning Who?

Sitting comfortably behind his desk in the last office on the left at IMC with a blue coffee mug within reach, you could be forgiven for thinking that Henning Drews has been a part of the IMC for as long as everybody else. But the truth is that Henning has only been here a week and most of us know very little about him at this point. That's what we set out to change, so we basically asked Henning to introduce himself - starting with the most basic questions of all: Who are you and where do you come from? 

Sleep Lab and Sclerosis

"Having received my academic training in social and cultural anthropology and medicine at the University of Tuebingen, Germany, I am currently doing a residency in neurology at a neurological outpatient clinic and sleep laboratory in Kiel (www.dr-wenzelburger.de). The clinical focus is on multiple sclerosis, neuropathic pain, and sleep disorders.

In terms of research I have done my MD dissertation on inflammation in stroke and Alzheimer’s disease (at the Department of Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology, University of Tuebingen). My Magister’s (Master’s) thesis dealt with medical anthropological contributions to diabetes research. Continuing this medical anthropological research on chronic diseases I am currently pursuing a PhD project on experiences and care of people with multiple sclerosis. Within that project the focus is on two areas: First, the impact of the disease on the lives of patients as well as on the configuration of private spaces and health related practices being linked to these spaces. The second focus is on patient assistance programs offered by pharmaceutical companies, the patients’ perspectives on them, and how they frame the image of the disease through information materials."

A Cup of Coffee at IMC

Where did you hear about IMC, and what made you decide to come and work at IMC now?

"Actually, I think my first contact with the IMC was just by browsing the web for interesting interdisciplinary research initiatives combining neuroscience, clinical neurology and social/cultural sciences. When it then became clear that I wanted to do a research period during my clinical residency, it just seemed logical to get in touch with Andreas Roepstorff who kindly invited me to stop by and exchange some ideas and have a cup of that excellent coffee at IMC. During that meeting the idea came up to stay here for some weeks and get to know the research projects and researchers to see whether there would be enough common interests to lay the foundations of a future research project."

Interesting People and Conversations  

What will you be working on while here, and what do hope to get out of your stay at IMC?

"Well, I won’t be working on a particular project. The purpose of my stay is rather to identify future research possibilities. The areas I want to explore for the main part are anthropologically informed neuroscience, social cognition in neurological diseases, pain research, brain-to-brain and physiological coupling as well as functional diseases. My expectations span a continuum ranging from four weeks with interesting conversations with interesting people and researchers to extensively defining a research project – so these two extremes and anything in the middle seem possible."

So now that you know who Henning is and what he's doing, please do stop by the last office on the left and say hello. He is also interested in knowing who you are and what you are doing. You will find Henning Drews ready for  interesting conversations over a cup of good IMC coffee until September 13th.