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Expert Profile

Health put into perspective

 

During past year, the MedEngine team has grown remarkably. With the expansion to Nordics, we’ve had the pleasure to welcome a number of new co-workers – we just haven’t had the time to introduce all properly!

Today, in our series of employee profiles, we introduce Laila Mehkri– a Scientific Consultant in the Medical Data Science Team based in Copenhagen.

Laila takes the call from her home where she moved at the beginning of the pandemic. “Corona began as soon as I moved in! Before relocating to Copenhagen and starting work with MedEngine DK (then ApHER), I was living in Gothenburg, where my family resides. I enjoy the city and am content with my Netflix and a few excellent books, so the covid restrictions didn’t bother me at the time”, she jokingly says.

“I was always interested in public health issues, even when I was practicing clinical medicine.”

Runs in the family

By trade, Laila is a medical doctor (MD) with a master’s degree in public health (MPH).

“There are several doctors in my family. My family is from Pakistan, and as a Swedish national, I believe that my multi-cultural background and experience have given me the ability to blend into many groups and get along with a wide range of people. I’ve really been interested in medicine since I was a child, and I took pre-med courses in high school, for example.”

Laila has specialized in health economics and project management from Umeå University in Sweden, as well as clinical experience from Dr. Ruth Pfau Hospital in Pakistan and medical internship training experience in pediatric rheumatology from the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles (Keck School of Medicine).

“I was always interested in public health issues, even when I was practicing clinical medicine. I was also involved in a number of social service interventions relating to many therapeutic areas, such as breast cancer in women. I’ve worked extensively in social support groups and educational seminars for breast cancer patients and their families. In the US, I was involved in behavioural interventions for children’s weight management and weight loss. So, these interventions and the public health part of the profession have always piqued my interest,” she explains. “As a result, I became more interested in how resources are used in the healthcare system, which has an obvious link to health economics.”

“It is critical that people receive all available assistance while being treated.” 

Witnessing cancer

“When I was a child, both my mother and one of my aunts were diagnosed with breast cancer. Because there isn’t enough information, an illness like breast cancer has a societal stigma attached to it in some societies. It is critical that people receive all available assistance while being treated.”

In research, Laila did her master’s thesis in health economics in the field of oncology and has also worked as a research analyst. At MedEngine, Laila manages projects within the field of RWE and health economics, of course. Her ambition is to use public health to provide universal access to quality and affordable healthcare solutions globally.

Barbie the Kitten

When not at work, Laila spends time relaxing at home with her family and caring for her pet cat. ”Yes, I do have a seven-year-old Persian cat named Barbie, who still thinks she’s a kitten, and acts like one!”, she chuckles. In her free time, Laila enjoys reading – she’s now re-reading A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini – or watching shows and movies – currently she’s bingeing the new season of “Bridgerton” on Netflix.

Was great talking to Laila, it’s great to have you onboard!

Klaus Elfving

Klaus Elfving

Klaus Elfving is a Helsinki-based content producer, science communicator, and broadcast journalist.