Dr. Cherina Fleming obtains PhD at Erasmus University

POSTED: 05/23/16 7:17 PM

sxmCherina FlemingDr. Cherina Fleming receives her PhD from the panel of nine professors. Photo contributed

St. Maarten News – By Michael R. Granger – In the presence of her family, daughter of the soil Cherina Fleming obtained her PhD in molecular medicine from the Erasmus University in the Netherlands last week Wednesday.

The daughter of St. Maarteners Douglas “Dougie” Fleming and Dr. Alma Fleming-Rogers of Middle Region, Dr. Fleming defended her PhD doctoral thesis in front of a panel of nine professors from different medical disciplines.

Prior to that however, she had to first give a 15 minute presentation to explain to family, friends and colleagues who were in attendance, the work she was doing throughout her studies. Next Dr. Fleming had 45 minutes to defend her PhD manuscript entitled “From manual microscopy to automated cell counters for first line screening of body fluids.”

Dr. Fleming started the training to become a clinical chemist in the Erasmus and Groene Hart Hospital in December 2014 and is scheduled to complete the program in December 2018 after which, her family hopes, the doors should be wide open for her here on St. Maarten.

After completion of the program in 2018, I would love to come back St. Maarten to work in the lab. I would love to practice the knowledge obtained in the Netherlands to help push our lab forward,” she said, adding that she is extremely proud of the accomplishment and excited about what she can offer her island.

Dr. Fleming was born on August 13, 1983 in Marigot. After receiving her high school diploma in 2002 from the Milton Peters College, she relocated to the Netherlands for further education. From 2002 to 2006, she attended the Hogeschool Rotterdam where she obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Sciences.

During the third and fourth year of the Bachelor’s program, she did an internship at the department of clinical chemistry in the Erasmus Medical Center where her admiration for the subject became pronounced, and this motivated her to pursue a career in this field.

She worked in the department of clinical chemistry in Erasmus Medical Center as a research technician on automated cell counters manufactured by Sysmex Corporation for counting cells in body fluids. She completed that assignment in 2007; in the same year she continued her education at the Utrecht University where she later received her Master Degree in Biomedical Sciences in 2010.

Shortly after, she returned to the department of clinical chemistry at the Erasmus Medical Center where she continued her investigation in automated cell counters for body fluids analysis. Under the supervision of Prof. dr. J. Lindemans, Prof. dr. R. de Jonge and Dr. H. Russcher, and in collaboration with Sysmex Corporation, the groundwork of her PhD research project materialized into the studies described in the thesis.

Her proud sibling and local businessman Bertaux “Mr. Rude” Fleming could not find the proper words to describe how proud the entire family is of his baby sister. He expressed the hope that one day in the future when his sister returns to the island, opportunities will abound for her in the laboratory field or top management at the hospital.

Proud doesn’t have enough weight to express our feeling,” Fleming said while thanking everyone for their support and positive motivating comments for his sister. “My mom always says claim it in the name of Jesus. Dr. Cherina Fleming, my sis we are claiming this. They have two years,” he concluded.

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