Dokter Blog: from the desk of Rahajeng Tunjungputri

Medicine et cetera by @ajengmd officially writing for Agora, the “L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science” community

Dear all,

I’m just sharing this very exciting news: I have been asked to be an official writer for Agora, the “L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science” community!

This website, or rather this international community, describes itself as “the platform dedicated to exchange and sharing among members of the ‘For Women in Science’ community. Agora is a meeting place for its members – award laureates, fellowship winners, academics, students and researchers – where they can talk about current advances in scientific research, the place and the role of women in science, their education, national and international careers, and the global development of the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science program.”

Few months ago I had the honor to be interviewed by Agora/ The L’Oreal Foundation about women in science. And just few days ago, my article, “Facing the challenge of climate change in health issues” is published in Agora.

And as I mentioned before, more than having the chance to submit an article, I had the honor of being asked to be the official contributor for the website. I’m quite convinced that I’m the only Indonesian writing for the site. And it’s indeed a great honor to be asked to join Agora although I’m not a L’Oréal-UNESCO Award Laureate, that is the women awarded fellowships (research grant) by the program.

Below is a preview of the website homepage,

And this is the published article, as appeared on the website,


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My article, “Facing the challenge of climate change in health issues” has been published in Agora, L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science website

My article, “Facing the challenge of climate change in health issues” has been published in Agora, L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science website.

Below is a short excerpt of the article,

“During my training as a medical student with overnight shifts in the wards of a government hospital, new patients admitted with severe leptospirosis or dengue fever means that there may be another long night without sleep. Infectious diseases wards are often overcrowded and a new patient can be admitted only when a patient is discharged. As medical students with clinical responsibilities at the hospital, we rarely have the chance to think beyond the hospital walls: about why the diseases these patients come in with had happened in the first place.

Climate change as a major cause of infectious diseases in Indonesia

In Indonesia, infectious diseases are still the main health problem. Diarrhoeal diseases, dengue haemorrhagic fever, typhoid fever, malaria, tuberculosis and respiratory infections are the most common infectious diseases (World Health Organization, 2010). Most of these are vector-borne and water-borne diseases which have been known to be influenced by climate change. The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) has concluded that “climate change is projected to increase threat to human health, particularly in lower income populations, predominantly within tropical/subtropical countries.” Climate change has affected the incidence and pattern of infectious diseases through environmental change, increased flooding, drought, changes in weather patterns and increasing incidence of natural disasters (IPCC, 2001)…” Read the rest of the article in Agora, L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science website

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Visiting Professor Lecture Series with Prof. J. Galama, MD, PhD: CMV Infection in Post-Transplant Patients

This article was previously published in the website of Faculty of Medicine Diponegoro University

Visiting Professor Lecture Series

Prof. J. Galama, MD, PhD: CMV Infection in Post-Transplant Patients

Prof. Jochem M.D. Galama, MD, PhD, a distinguished clinical virologist from the Department of Medical Microbiology, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, delivered a special guest lecture, “CMV Infection in Post-Transplant Patients”, on Monday, 15 November 2010 in the Faculty of Medicine Diponegoro University (FMDU).

Prof. Jochem M.D. Galama, MD, PhD in FMDU. -image courtesy of aryardiant

Transplant patients are prone to infection, especially because they receive immunosuppressive therapy which consequently alters the normal immune response of the body. Different kinds of solid-organ transplants and human hematologic stem cell therapy pose different risks of infection to patients most likely due to the kinds of immunosuppressive therapy given.  Different viruses, including adenovirus, herpesviruses, parvovirus B19, polyoma virus (BK and JC), respiratory viruses (Influenza, RSV, rhinovirus) may be the etiological agent of post-transplant infection.

Cytomegalovirus, or CMV, is associated with poor outcome in hematologic stem cell transplant patients. CMV, is a Beta-herpes virus, possessing DNA genome of 235 kBp. CMV may be latent in myeloid precursor cells and posses strong immunomodulatory potential. In an immunocompetent host, CMV may cause primary or recurrent infection, with transmission through breastmilk from mother, saliva, urine, blood, sexual contact and transplant organ. The seroprevalence of CMV in the total population in the Netherlands is between 42% and 73%, while in Indonesia it may reach up to 90%. CMV disease is a combined clinical and virological diagnosis; and patients’ risk factors are very important in considering CMV disease.

Determining the CMV serostatus of donors and recipients before transplant procedure is mandatory. And pre-emptive and or prophylactic treatment for CMV is required when CMV disease is considered.

Prof. J. Galama current research focus is the role of enterovirus in type 1 diabetes. The lecture is part of the visiting professor lecture series held by Faculty of Medicine Diponegoro University in cooperation with Radboud University Nijmegen. This program was instituted to bring prominent international scholars and researchers to exchange their knowledge and experience, as well as have intensive discussions with the medical students, residents, fellows, and faculty of FMDU during the academic year. (dr. Rahajeng N. Tunjungputri -contributor)

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Medicine is a growing field, and information presented here is reflective of the time of posting. Please refer to your physician for direct medical consultation. My views do not reflect those of my employers. --
Regards, Rahajeng

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