Meet Birgitta Evengård, a passionate infectious disease specialist with over 40 years of experience as a senior consultant and academic. Birgitta's journey began with her PhD on schistosomiasis, which led her to conduct field trips to Somalia and other African countries. Along the way, she also became a strong advocate for gender equality in healthcare, dedicating her time to improving the health of both women and men, girls and boys.
Birgitta's expertise also extends to the study and care of patients with chronic fatigue, which has become an increasingly relevant issue in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. She became a professor in Clinical Parasitology at Karolinska Institute in 2006, and made history by becoming the first female professor with a chair in infectious diseases in Sweden at Umeå University in 2007.
Since 2007, Birgitta's research has focused on the impact of climate change on infectious diseases in the Northern regions. Her contributions have been widely recognized, including the receipt of the Jack Hildes medal for her work in Arctic issues. She is currently a member of the Lancet Commission for Health in the Arctic, the Executive board EU Polar-Net 2, and an AMAP/SDWG Health group in the Arctic Council.
Birgitta is not only a highly accomplished researcher, but also a prolific author, having published 11 books, 22 book chapters, and over 160 peer-reviewed journal articles. Her work has been cited over 10,500 times, with an impressive h-index of 38.
Reflecting on her early career, Birgitta credits her time at LSTM for providing her with a strong foundation in tropical medicine. She fondly remembers spending time with her colleagues and taking additional courses in London. Her LSTM education helped structure her thinking and exposed her to teachers and examiners from a highly prestigious institution.
For prospective students, Birgitta emphasizes the importance of communication and teamwork in making the most of their time at LSTM. Today, she is busy coordinating a 6-year programme as part of a Nordic Center of Excellence funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers. Birgitta's journey serves as an inspiration for all aspiring infectious disease specialists, reminding us of the critical importance of advancing public health through research and advocacy.