Monday, 17. April 2023

Elisabeth Olbert, Neurologist

Research focus on real-world data

Dr Elisabeth Olbert is a senior physician at the Clinical Department of Neurology at Universitätsklinikum Tulln (University Hospital Tulln). Her research activities are part of the “Research Time Out” scheme organised by Forschungsimpulse, an instrument promoting clinical research at the university hospitals of Karl Landsteiner University of Health Sciences. It enables researchers to advance their scientific career and research interests alongside their clinical work. Working under the guidance of Department Head Prim. Assoc. Prof. PD Dr Walter Struhal, Dr Olbert is currently researching the autonomic nervous system, in particular how it is affected by strokes and diseases of the blood vessels of the head and neck. This is being investigated in two ongoing prospective studies. Her latest publication was a case report on the rare myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein antibody disease. “We encounter many interesting cases and rare diseases in our daily clinical work. These are discussed with the rest of the team and published as case reports – if we have the time,” says Dr Olbert with enthusiasm (and a wry smile). Dr Olbert has always had a keen interest in research, she tells us. “Being curious by nature, I am interested in how we can take the data that we generate as doctors in our day-to-day work, and harness it for the benefit of our patients”.

After graduating from the Medical University of Vienna, Dr Olbert moved to Zurich for the first few years of her specialist training. Upon her return to Austria, she was offered a position at University Hospital Tulln, where she completed her specialist training as a neurologist. She has been a senior physician in the department headed by Assoc. Prof. Dr Walter Struhal since 2021. Elisabeth Olbert greatly appreciates the senior physician’s support of her research activities and the opportunity to engage in academic work at the University Hospital: “Clinical research has always held a special attraction for me – I was not cut out for laboratory work”.

Now a senior physician herself, she earned her school-leaving certificate at a technical college for mechatronics. Elisabeth Olbert draws on the lessons she learned at school in her present work in data processing and analysis: “I am currently working with real-world data collected at the hospital. In addition to recruiting subjects for new prospective studies, I also analyse existing material. There is a large pool of retrospective data, while the COVID pandemic made it difficult to recruit new patients in the last couple of years. In any case, I am looking forward to seeing our results.”

Link to the KL research information system KRIS