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Researcher Profile: Eva Kohegyi

Senior Director, Global Clinical Development, CNS, Otsuka

01/24/2018
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Daily Discoveries. Dr. Eva Kohegyi specializes in research for medications in neurologic and psychiatric indications, including the development of treatments for patients with Alzheimer’s disease, Tourette’s disease, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and other illnesses of the central nervous system. Today, she is responsible for several global clinical development programs at Otsuka. Dr. Kohegyi designs and implements clinical trial programs, and works to ensure the scientific integrity of research methodologies and the related submissions to regulatory authorities.

The Driving Force. For most of her life, Dr. Kohegyi knew she wanted to work in medicine, and many people told her that she was destined to become a psychiatrist because of her keen interest in mental health. She has also been personally touched by many of the diseases for which she researches treatments today: Her uncle has schizophrenia, her father battled depression and her son has ADHD. Every day, Dr. Kohegyi is strongly motivated to make a difference in the lives of people with these and similar conditions.

Personal motivation and patience is essential to the arduous research process.

“Biopharmaceutical research is not instant gratification,” Kohegyi says. “It sounds easy, but some of the studies take five or six years, and during that time we don’t know whether a study will produce a positive result.”

Alzheimer’s disease, for example, has few treatments options but the biopharmaceutical industry is tirelessly working to find ways to improve patients’ lives. It’s an exhausting process, says Dr. Kohegyi. “So many companies are trying to find a treatment for Alzheimer’s. All of the researchers are watching news reports and thinking, ‘Come on, anybody – any company – please just find a positive study. Just have a medication out there so that we know we are on the right path.’”

Challenges, Chances and Looking Forward. Dr. Kohegyi says that in an area like Alzheimer’s treatment, researchers may need fundamentally new models of the disease. It will likely take efforts from countless more scientists before a workable solution is found, but the rapid pace of innovation keeps Kohegyi hopeful.

“We are still here. We can still run new clinical studies, and we have brand-new opportunities with digital medicine, personalized treatment and artificial intelligence. With these new technologies, we can identify ways to conduct clinical research more efficiently, more effectively, and faster.”