Conversation with EUPATI Fellow Ana Amariutei

Chats on life as a EUPATI Fellow

Ana Amariutei is a cancer survivor. She has been active and engaged as a patient advocate at Youth Cancer Europe contributing to several cancer-related projects in Europe. Ana started her EUPATI journey in 2020 when she enrolled in the Patient Expert Training Programme and graduated as a EUPATI Fellow in 2021.  

In her day-to-day life, she is a PhD student in Biomedical Science at the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom. Currently, she is undertaking a project in Sensory Neuroscience and Gene Therapy. We managed to catch up with Ana virtually recently to find out about her experience as a EUPATI Fellow and how she is putting her learning into practice.  

Why did you decide to do the EUPATI Patient Expert Training Programme? 

I wanted to do the EUPATI Patient Expert Training in order to improve my knowledge and deliver the advocacy work I am doing from a science-based perspective as well. 

What is your first-hand experience of being around the table and working together with the industry/academia? 

My first-hand experience of being around the table and working together with the industry and academia has allowed me to gain valuable insights into the roles that each play. I have learned how they collaborate, influence, and boost access to information and knowledge for the benefit of the patients and patient advocates. 

What do you think is the value you bring to a project? 

The value I brought to the overall Cell and Gene Therapy project was probably minimal. Nonetheless, I had the opportunity to assist in different tasks, go through existing resources, share the patient’s perspective on the developed materials and further develop my knowledge – this allowed me to gain an overview of the activities carried out and to try to make tangible contributions to the project. 

In addition to this, by working together with multiple stakeholders there is always the opportunity to network. 

In general, why is it important to have EUPATI Fellows contributing as partners? 

I believe it is extremely important to have EUPATI Fellows contributing as partners to different projects as this helps in developing resources and materials that reflect patients’ needs and preferences. 

What does it mean to you to be a EUPATI Fellow? 

I am extremely lucky to be a EUPATI Fellow and this is because the training and support received do not stop when the course ends. As EUPATI Fellows we have the opportunity to constantly grow and also assist in projects that we believe we can truly make a contribution. I find it insightful, rewarding and fulfilling. I thoroughly enjoyed the course and I truly appreciate the opportunities offered by EUPATI to their Fellows. 

Have you kept in contact with other Fellows from your cohort? 

Yes, I am in contact with other EUPATI Fellows from my cohort. With some of them I am working on different patient advocacy projects. 

Any advice for our current cohort of patient experts? 

I would encourage the new cohort of patient experts to be active, to engage in projects and to put into practice what they learn. I think is always good to step back and think about who you are doing this for and the impact it may have. 

What projects are you now working on or involved in? 

Currently, I am contributing to the development of materials that relate to cell and gene therapies. I am doing this together with other EUPATI Fellows and with different stakeholders. 

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