Success of former ARI fellow

Former ARI fellow Dr An Sermon successfully defended her PhD at KU Leuven in Belgium on November 27, 2014.

12 December 2014

On November 27 Dr An Sermon, a trauma surgeon at University Hospital Leuven and former medical research fellow at the AO Research Institute in Davos (AO Research Institute Davos), successfully defended her PhD thesis to obtain the degree of Doctor in Biomedical Sciences from the Catholic University of Leuven. Her thesis title was Addressing the challenge of hip fracture fixation and prevention in old age – Preclinical and clinical studies assessing the osteoporotic femoral head. The preclinical part of the research presented in her thesis was carried out at the AO Research Institute Davos, under the directorship of Prof R Geoff Richards within the program of Dr Boyko Gueorguiev.

The public presentation was held in the beautiful and ancient Promotion room located in the University Hall. This is the oldest building of the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium which was founded in 1425 by Pope Martin V. KU Leuven is the oldest surviving Catholic university in the world and the oldest university in the low countries of Europe. An's defense took place in a traditional way with the eight members of the jury, including Prof Richards (a co-promoter of Dr Sermon) dressed in the Faculty of Medicine's black and pink robes.


An presenting her thesis to the jury (row 1), Faculty of Medicine Professors (row 2) and public row 4 backwards, which filled the auditorium.

Dr Sermon presented on the meta-analysis of the long-term effects of clinical pathways for older hip fracture patients and the development, implementation and the evaluation of a traumatologic-geriatric fracture prevention program. In the second part of her talk she presented three biomechanical studies that she performed at the AO Research Institute Davos between 2009 and 2011. All three studies were dealing with the concept of implant augmentation and substantially contributed to the establishment of this technique in clinics. Dr Sermon worked very closely each time she was at AO Research Institute Davos with many of the team of Dr Gueorguiev's, especially with Ladina Fliri-Hoffman who both attended the defense.

After the thirty minute public lecture and one hour interrogation by the jury members, the jury left for a short discussion before returning to the hall to the candidate where Dr Sermon was officially awarded the degree of Doctor in Biomedical Sciences.

Dr Sermon's Thesis Summary and List of Publications from the Thesis can be accessed here.


Announcement of the acceptance of Dr Sermon's thesis and award of her diploma, with the three external examiners (left) and the three promoters (right).


Dr Sermon (second from right) with Ladina Fliri-Hoffman and Dr Gueorguiev and Prof Richards (left).​​​

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