Anja Strangfeld is the new head of the Programme Area Epidemiology at the DRFZ
On March 1, 2022, Anja Strangfeld was newly appointed as “Professor for Epidemiology and Health Services Research”, a professorship jointly held by the Charité – University Medicine Berlin and the German Rheumatism Research Centre Berlin (DRFZ), a Leibniz Institute. Prof. Dr. Strangfeld also takes over the leadership of the programme area Epidemiology at the DRFZ, succeeding Prof. Dr. Angela Zink.
Anja Strangfeld is a physician who has dedicated her professional research to the epidemiology of rheumatic diseases. During her doctoral thesis at the DRFZ, she dealt with the outpatient care of patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Following on from this, she worked as a physician in the Department of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology at Charité Berlin under the supervision of Professor Burmester, before starting as a postdoc in the group of Angela Zink at the DRFZ. In 2010, she continued her work at the DRFZ, taking over the leadership of the Pharmacoepidemiology group. Her research, investigating the safety of therapies for rheumatic disease patients, has been instrumental in improving patient care in Germany. Since 1 March 2022, Anja Strangfeld now heads the entire Epidemiology programme area at the DRFZ:
“With the extremely competent, dedicated and motivated team of the Epidemiology programme area behind me, I am excited for the future. We are entering into a new era of documentation and care – towards more digitisation, use of new media and tools. I would like to further develop and strengthen our national and international networks in the scientific field, but also to expand the links with rheumatology institutions. In addition, we would like to intensify interdisciplinary collaboration with the basic science groups and strengthen the integration of the patient’s perspective in our research,” says Prof. Strangfeld, looking to the future.
Among other things, Prof. Strangfeld has helped to establish the RABBIT (Rheumatoid Arthritis: Monitoring of Biologics Therapy) biologics registry, which has been monitoring the course of disease in more than 20,000 rheumatoid arthritis patients on conventional or new therapies since 2001. Some 450 institutions have been recruited to participate in this registry, with a number of the published results now being considered as fundamental knowledge rheumatology. Prof. Strangfeld has also been involved in establishing several other registries, including the RABBIT-SpA registry for patients with axial spondyloarthritis and psoriatic arthritis (launched five years ago), and the Rhekiss pregnancy registry (launched seven years ago). Furthermore, Prof. Strangfeld’s group was actively involved in setting up the German and European COVID-19 registries for patients with rheumatic diseases at the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic, which has provided important insights into the health situation of patients with rheumatic diseases during the pandemic.