Award for Clinical Science Investigator
Dr. Pauwels began her research career at the Translational Research Center for Gastrointestinal Disorders (TARGID) at the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium where she studied gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) in patients with cystic fibrosis, looking at both typical and atypical symptoms of reflux disease.
After obtaining a scholarship from the Research Foundation Flanders in 2013, Dr. Pauwels started her post-doctoral fellowship at TARGID under the supervision of past IFFGD Research Recognition Award recipient, Dr. Jan Tack, MD, PhD.
She is currently investigating the mechanisms of symptom generation in reflux hypersensitivity and functional heartburn as well as the overlap between GERD and functional dyspepsia and other esophageal disorders, such as rumination syndrome, supra-gastric belching, and extra-esophageal symptoms of reflux like chronic cough and globus.
In the long-term, she would like to establish an independent research group specializing in the pathophysiology of GERD.
Clinical Science is the research approach aimed at understanding the diagnosis and treatment of diseases and disorders through studies involving people, usually carried out in clinical settings.