2024 Rising Star Award

Oleguer Plana-Ripoll Named the 2024 Rising Star Awardee

Oleguer Plana-Ripoll is an associate professor at Aarhus University (Denmark), where he leads a research group working on psychiatric and social epidemiology. After completing his BSc in Mathematics and MSc in Statistics in Barcelona, he moved to Denmark, where he did a PhD in register-based epidemiology at Aarhus University. As a postdoc, he joined the Niels Bohr Professorship program of research led by Prof. John McGrath, and he was awarded in 2019 a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship that allowed him to work with Prof. Harvey Whiteford and his team at the University of Queensland (Australia). In 2021, Oleguer was awarded a Lundbeck Foundation Fellowship and, shortly after this, a Sapere Aude grant from Independent Research Fund Denmark. These starting grants allowed him to start his own research group at Aarhus University. His team works on the development and application of epidemiological methods for psychiatric research, particularly in research using data from administrative healthcare records.

I am deeply honored to receive the SIRS Rising Star Award 2024. This award not only recognizes my contributions but also underscores the immense support that SIRS provides to early career researchers. I have been a member of SIRS and I have actively participated in several annual meetings since embarking on my postdoctoral journey, and I have always been impressed by that. My research focuses on leveraging administrative registers to gain a better understanding of the causes and consequences of mental disorders from an epidemiological perspective. This work is inherently collaborative and interdisciplinary, and I have been fortunate to learn from brilliant mentors, including John McGrath and Preben Bo Mortensen. Their guidance has been invaluable in shaping my research trajectory. I am also profoundly grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with talented colleagues, collaborators, postdocs, and students. As I continue to explore new avenues in mental health research, I remain committed to advancing our understanding of these complex conditions.

A Message from John McGrath

Oleguer has outstanding track record in psychiatric epidemiology. Several of his first, second, or senior author papers have been published in top journals (e.g., New England Journal of Medicine, The Lancet, PLOS Medicine, JAMA Psychiatry, Lancet Psychiatry, and World Psychiatry) and are already attracting impressive citation counts. Oleguer led the analysis for an influential mortality paper published in The Lancet. This study is the most detailed description of premature mortality associated with mental disorders, and reports an innovative measure of premature mortality for a comprehensive range of mental disorders. Oleguer has also explored the impact of mental disorders on other types of outcomes, such as comorbidity with other mental disorders, or other general medical conditions. In addition, he has developed novel measures to compare workforce participation between people with different types of disorders, estimating that people with schizophrenia lose, on average, 24 years of working life compared with the general population. In recent years, Oleguer has established his own research based at Aarhus University, Denmark, with funding from a range of competitive agencies (Marie Curie Fellowship, a Sapere Aude Grant, Lundbeck Fellowship). He was awarded the Schroll Prize for Excellence 2020 (Danish Epidemiology Society ) and the Michele Tansella Award 2022.
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