Connecting and representing Physician Scientists across Europe

who are we ?

EMPA (European MD-PhD Association) is a non-profit association gathering healthcare (MD, PharmD, dentistry…) students and graduates interested in Sciences from all over Europe (from here termed MD-PhDs).

Its main three aims are to bring European MD-PhDs together, promote European scientific collaborations and support MD-PhD students and programs.

To accomplish these aims, EMPA wishes to create a network between MD-PhDs from all European countries with the help of existing national MD-PhD associations. To reinforce this network, EMPA organizes scientific gatherings such as its annual conference, which takes place each year in a different European country and gathers around 100-150 MD-PhDs.

To promote MD-PhD programs, EMPA gleans information about MD-PhD programs and student outcomes throughout Europe in order to help program supervisors and policymakers have a comprehensive view of MD-PhD programs and potentially help them improve. Moreover, by providing information about MD-PhD programs, EMPA has the will to help increase the number of these programs throughout Europe and to develop the European MD-PhD workforce.

Finally, by gathering a great number of MD-PhDs, EMPA’s wish is to raise funding to support European translational projects and MD-PhDs’ mobility around Europe.

EMPA comprises its members (MD-PhD students and graduates), national representatives, and national associations that help spread EMPA’s voice. It is led by its executive board, annually elected during the general assembly.

Together, European MD-PhDs and translational research are stronger!

The European MD-PhD Association

Antonia Felzen


I´m Antonia Felzen, and I am an MD/PhD candidate at the Department of Pediatrics at the University Medical Center in Groningen, The Netherlands. For my PhD, I am working on rare genetic liver diseases in children, specifically on unraveling their natural history and potential (personalized) treatment options. MD/PhD students are more the exception than the rule in all medical faculties across Europe (and the world) and yet it is extremely important to have physician-scientists who can understand and advance the current standard of knowledge and care. My mission as EMPA’s president is to bring together (aspiring) MD/PhD students from all over Europe, to give them a chance to interact and learn from their peers, to spread awareness on the different types of MD/PhD programs and career paths in Europe and to foster international collaborations among the different countries to promote and support MD/PhD programs (even or especially if they have yet to be established). A fun fact about me is that in highschool I was convinced I would never do research because it's too far away from patient care but I have found out that it is quite the opposite!

Dimitrios Daskalou

Vice-president & Secretary

Hi, my name is Dimitrios, and I am an MD-PhD student at the inner ear and olfaction lab at Geneva university in Switzerland. My primary focus of research is the protection of inner ear function. More precisely, I study the potential of NADPH oxidase 3 inhibition to prevent radiosurgery-induced hearing loss in vestibular schwannoma. I believe that MD-PhD students around Europe are a small but potentially powerful community of like-minded individuals who need to communicate better, collaborate better, and have a common voice. I joined EMPA's executive board to foster the association, organize events to bring closer MD-PhD students from all over Europe, and promote the physician-scientist career path.

Freek van den Berg

Treasurer & National Representative Coordinator

Hi! I´m Freek van den Berg, and I am an MD/PhD candidate at the Department of Experimental Cardiology of the University Medical Center in Groningen, The Netherlands. My PhD focusses on cardio-oncology, and I try to contribute to unraveling the complex interplay between heart failure and cancer. I joined EMPA as I take great pleasure in working with my fellow MD/PhD candidates to create a supranational community of MD/PhD candidates and setting-up a network to help one another with all sorts of problems we MD/PhD candidates encounter, be it social or scientific.