The high-level, overarching scientific board is formed by leaders of Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) neurodegeneration projects and is chaired by Carlos Dìaz. The Scientific Coordination Board is responsible for decision making regarding overall scientific strategy, creation of Working Groups and Task Forces, assessment, and recommendations on prioritisation and resourcing of synergies. The Scientific Coordination Board will meet face-to-face at least once per semester, and by telephone conference once every quarter.
Dag Aarsland, MD, is Professor and Head of Department of Old Age Psychiatry, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King’s College London, and Research Director at the Centre for Age-Related Medicine, Stavanger University Hospital.
As a psychiatrist he has worked as a senior consultant in geriatric psychiatry for most of his career. His main research interest is the neuropsychiatric aspects of patients with neurodegenerative diseases, in particular translational studies on cognitive decline in Parkinson’s disease and dementia with Lewy bodies.
He is PI of European DLB Consortium, member of the Scientific board of LBDA, Member of International DLB Consortium, PI of the Western Norwegian Dementia study and the Prodromal LBD study. He has published more than 400 papers in DLB and related areas, including clinical trials, cohort studies, and a wide range of biomarkers including imaging, CSF and EEG.
Mercè Boada Rovira, MOPEAD representative
Prof. Mercè Boada Rovira, MD, PhD is Neurologist (Universitat de Barcelona, 1972). PhD in 1993. Founder and medical director of Fundació ACE 1995. Distinguish professor of Universitat Internacional de Catalunya. Former President of the Catalan Society of Neurology (2000-2002).
Research Interest: Alzheimer's disease and related dementias, including diagnosis, pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic treatment and basic, social, bioethical and legal research applied to the welfare and protection of people suffering dementia and their caregivers.
From 1996 to 2001, advisor on the bioethics committee of the Catalan Government, technical coordinator for the design of care model for people with cognitive impairment, and President of the committee for the Pharmacological Treatment for Alzheimer’s disease of the Catalan Government (CATMA).
Zameel Cader, IM2PACT representative
Zameel Cader, DPhil MRCP, is Director of the Oxford Headache Centre and a Consultant Neurologist at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford. He is an associate Professor in the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences at the University of Oxford, and coordinates the IM2PACT project.
Andreas Ebneth, PHAGO representative
Andreas Ebneth, Scientific Director in the Neuroscience Therapeutic Area at Janssen Pharmaceutica NV, holds a PhD in Biochemistry from the University Hospital in Hannover in 1994 in the field of biophysics of proto-oncogenes. He joined the Max Planck unit in Hamburg, Germany, as a Postdoc studying the role of tau in Alzheimer’s disease. His research focused on the regulation of intracellular, microtubule-dependent transport mechanism.
After his Postdoc period, he worked in a biotech company in the field of ion channels & cardiovascular safety. Thereafter Andreas was employed by Evotec in Hamburg, Germany, and involved in multiple projects partnered with pharma industry in the area of neurodegeneration (primarily Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s disease).
Currently Andreas leads a team in Beerse, Belgium, working on small molecule and biologics approaches to identify therapies aiming at reducing pathology in neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. In addition, he is Project leader in European-wide collaborations within the IMI framework addressing iPSC technology and neuroimmunology aspects in Alzheimer’s disease.
Gill Farrar, AMYPAD representative
Gill Farrar is Global Medical Leader – Neurology for GE HealthCare. She is a biologist by background and has been involved in GE’s amyloid imaging work for over 15 years. Gill conducts research in neurology and clinical trials and leads on EFPIA’s activities on the AMYPAD project. The AMYPAD project examines the potential of amyloid PET scanning in improving the diagnostic work-up of people suspected to have Alzheimer’s disease, as well as understanding the natural history of the disease in a pre-symptomatic stage.
John Gallacher, ROADMAP representative
Professor John Gallacher is the PI and Director of the MRC funded Dementias Platform UK (DPUK), Professor of Cognitive Health at the University of Oxford and Honorary Professor at Cardiff University.
John is also PI for the Caerphilly Prospective Study and has developed the study’s focus on ageing and dementia. As member of the UK Biobank Steering Group, he leads on cognitive and psychological assessment.
Martin Hofmann-Apitius, AETIONOMY representative
Martin Hofmann-Apitius holds a PhD in Molecular Biology and worked in experimental molecular biology as well as in theoretical / computational biology.
Martin Hofmann-Apitius has experience in both, academic research and industrial research. In fact, he moved back and forth between academia and industry three times in his life. Since 2002 he is leading the Department of Bioinformatics at the Fraunhofer Institute for Algorithms and Scientific Computing (SCAI) in Sankt Augustin (Germany), a governmental not-for-profit, applied research institute. In July 2006 he has been appointed as a Professor for Applied Life Science Informatics at Bonn-Aachen International Center for Information Technology (B-IT).
Matthew Hotopf, RADAR-CNS representative
Professor Matthew Hotopf CBE FRCPsych FMedSci, is Vice Dean of Research at the Institute of Psychiatry Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London, and Director of the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust National Institute of Health Research Biomedical Research Centre.
He trained in epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and in Psychiatry at the Maudsley. His main area of research is in the grey area between medicine and psychiatry, exploring the interaction between mental and physical health, and uses “big data” approaches to understand this interface better.
He has worked extensively in areas where mental health relates to other walks of life – including occupational and military health, mental health law, and the wider community.
Dominique Lesuisse, IM2PACT representative
Dominique Lesuisse is the Head of the Tissue Barriers Research group in the Rare and Neurologic Diseases Research Therapeutic Area at Sanofi, Inc., based in Chilly Mazarin, France.
Dominique received a B.Sc. and a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the University of Louvain, Belgium in the lab of Léon Ghosez. She then spent 2 years at the University of Irvine, California in Larry Overman’s lab, followed by 2 years at MIT in Glenn Berchtold’s lab as a postdoctoral fellow. In 1987, Dominique joined Roussel-Uclaf, a French pharmaceutical company which evolved into Sanofi, where over the years she managed many medicinal chemistry projects and departments.
She and her teams have brought 14 drug candidates to development, and one is on the market.
Malcolm Macleod, EQIPD representative
Malcolm Macleod is Professor in Neurology and Translational Neuroscience at the Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences, University of Edinburgh. After training in Internal Medicine his PhD concerned the neuroprotective actions of FK506 and post-doctoral work in the Seckl lab defined a neuroprotective role for increased expression of the mineralocorticoid receptor.
During a pivotal sabbatical year with Donnan at the National Stroke Research Institute in Melbourne he began an involvement with stroke clinical trials, and it was in an effort to identify suitable drugs for such clinical trials that he began to develop techniques to allow the systematic review and meta-analysis of data from animal studies.
In 2004 he founded, with Howells, the Collaborative Approach to Meta-analysis and Review of Animal Data from Experimental Studies (CAMARADES, www.camarades.info).
This approach has proved fruitful both in highlighting problems with in vivo research and in providing evidence for clinical trial design.
Walter Maetzler, IDEA-FAST representative
Walter Maetzler is full professor for neurogeriatrics and deputy director of the neurology department of the University Hospital in Kiel, Germany. His main clinical interest is on old and geriatric persons, especially with Parkinson’s disease and other disorders associated with functionally relevant movement and cognitive disabilities. He leads a research group focusing on the analysis and validation of mobile sensor technology in supervised (“lab- or clinic-based”) and unsupervised (“home-based”) assessments. He is involved as principal investigator, chief clinical investigator and workpackage leader in multiple international projects investigating the potential of mobile sensor technology to improve our understanding of disease progression and treatment response in Parkinson’s disease. Examples at a European level are IDEA-FAST, Mobilise-D, Keep Control and Fair-Park II. Currently, he serves as the co-chair of the Technology task force of the Movement Disorders Society and as an advisory board member of the Critical Path for Parkinson’s (CPP) Consortium.
Hugh Marston PhD, FRSB, is Senior Vice President, Head of Global CNS Diseases at Boehringer Ingelheim.
Prior to this position he used to work as senior research fellow at Lilly’s Erl Wood research site in Surrey, UK leading External Neurodegenerative Research in Europe. Erl Wood’s research focus covers novel approaches designed to modify neurodegeneration, chronic pain and effective neurosymptomatic intervention.
Having originally trained as a psychopharmacologist at Cambridge he has over 30 years’ experience in various forms of drug discovery research. Most recently as head of pharmacology at IOMet Pharma (pka TPP GD) a virtual pharma company acquired by Merck in 2016.
Jochen Prehn, PD-MitoQUANT representative
Jochen Prehn heads up a large, highly skilled and motivated research team at the interface of biomedical and translational systems biology research and focusing on neuroscience, (neuro)oncology and metabolic disorders at the CSM (www.systemsmedicineireland.ie) RCSI.
He was the first recipient of the Science Foundation Ireland Research Professorship award in 2003 and is considered an international authority on the single-cell analysis and the molecular control of apoptosis, cell death and mitochondrial dysfunction.
Craig Ritchie, EPAD representative
Craig Ritchie is the Professor of Psychiatry of Ageing at the University of Edinburgh and also Director of Edinburgh Dementia Prevention having moved from his role as Senior Lecturer in the Centre for Mental Health at Imperial College London in October 2014.
In 2016, Craig was appointed as Associate Director of the Edinburgh Clinic Research Facility (CRF) and elected Chair of the Scottish Dementia Research Consortium (SDRC) in 2017.
He has driven forward on his commitment to promote and grow that consortium to assist Scotland and Scottish Based Researchers from all over the world to achieve its objectives and theirs. His primary research interest is in the maintenance of brain health in mid-life to mitigate the risks of initiation and progression of degenerative brain diseases that may lead to dementia.
To achieve this he leads as Chief Investigator on the EPAD (European Prevention of Alzheimer’s Dementia) Programme, the PREVENT Dementia Project and the Scottish Brain Health Register. Craig has recently been appointed as an Associate Director of DPUK2 (Dementias Platform UK).
Lynn Rochester, Mobilise-D representative
Lynn is Professor of Human Movement Science at Newcastle University. In 2018 she was appointed to a national role in the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Network as Specialty Cluster Lead with strategic oversight of research delivery across portfolios in ageing, neurodegenerative disease, dementia, genetics and neurological disorders.
Lynn’s research interests focus on understanding and mitigating mobility loss in ageing and neurodegenerative disease and, conversely, what mobility can tell us about brain health. The use of digital technology is fundamental to this process and in helping to translate knowledge from the laboratory to the clinic.
To deliver these interests Lynn established and leads the Brain and Movement Research Group - comprised of a multidisciplinary team of clinicians, clinical scientists and clinical engineers with a research focus on age related gait and mobility disorders.
Lynn is the Co-ordinator of Mobilise-D aiming to develop and validate digital mobility biomarkers. She also holds an NIHR Senior Investigators award (2020-2024).
George Tofaris, IMPRiND representative
George Tofaris is an Associated Professor of Neurology and Consultant Neurologist at the University of Oxford. His research aim is to delineate cellular pathways in protein quality control that could inform the development of targeted therapies in neurodegenerative and neurogenetic disorders.
To this end, his group is currently employing forward genetics, proteomics and transcriptomics in models of increasing cellular complexity, including patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC). He is the academic lead for the EU IMI Consortiu.m
IMPRiND which aims to identify new targets that are relevant to the progression of pathology in Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease. He graduated from the combined MD/PhD programme of Cambridge University and trained in Internal Medicine and Neurology in London teaching hospitals and Oxford.
Pieter Jelle Visser, EMIF-AD representative
Dr Pieter Jelle Visser works at the Maastricht University and the VU University medical Center Amsterdam. He is a clinical epidemiologist who has coordinated large-scale European Alzheimer’s disease studies on early diagnosis and prognosis in which data harmonization was central (DESCRIPA, EDAR, BIOMARKAPD). Through Visser’s leadership MHeNS has a broad portfolio of studies integrating biomarker and health data including a 10-year follow-up of MCI subjects. Visser led data harmonisation for EMIF-AD and works on data harmonisation for EPAD.