Advisory Boards


Mark Pritchard

Professor Pritchard studied Medicine at Manchester University (BSc (1st class Hons) in Medical Biochemistry, 1988; MB.ChB. (with Hons), 1991). After junior hospital posts (MRCP(UK) 1994), he returned to the University of Manchester to train in Gastroenterology and performed research on the genetic regulation of apoptosis in the GI tract (Digestive Disorders Foundation and MRC Clinical Research Training Fellowships leading to PhD, 1999). In 2000 he moved to the University of Liverpool as a clinical lecturer to complete clinical training in Gastroenterology. Following this he was awarded an Advanced Fellowship for Clinicians from the Wellcome Trust (2002-6) to study the importance of Helicobacter pylori-induced apoptosis during gastric tumour development. He was awarded the ASNEMGE Rising Star award in 2007 and the Sir Francis Avery Jones Research Medal of the British Society of Gastroenterology in 2008. He was appointed Clinical Senior Lecturer at the University of Liverpool in 2006, Professor in 2009, Head of the Department of Gastroenterology in 2010 and Head of the Department of Cellular and Molecular Physiology in 2016.

His current research focuses upon host factors which influence the development of gastrointestinal cancers and neuroendocrine tumours, in particular the importance of apoptosis, NF-κB signalling and the gastrin family of peptides. He is also an honorary Consultant Gastroenterologist at Royal Liverpool University Hospital, where he is the clinical lead of the Liverpool European Neuroendocrine Tumour Society (ENETS) Centre of Excellence and is involved in the clinical and endoscopic management of patients with gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumours. He also currently chairs the Gastroduodenal Section committee of the British Society of Gastroenterology.

Susanne Rensing

Susanne studied Veterinary Science at the Free University in Berlin. She is author of 26 articles mainly in journals within Immunology, Toxicology and Animal Welfare scope. She is member of the American Association of Laboratory Animals (AALAS), the European Society of Laboratory Animal Veterinarians (ESLAV), the German Society for Laboratory Animal Science (GV-Solas), the Association of Primate Veterinarians (APV), the European Primate Veterinarians (EPV), and International Primatological Society (IPS). Susanne represents AbbVie Deutschland GmbH & Co KG in the EFPIA RAW (Research & Animal Welfare) Group and Large Animal subgroup. She serves for AAALAC Int. as European Council Member; and is member of the Ethical Committee for Animal Research in Rhineland Palatinate and Tübingen of Germany. 

After working as Clinical Veterinarian at the German Primate Center (Göttingen, Germany), in 2004 she joined Covance Laboratories GmbH (Münster, Germany) as Clinical Veterinarian and Animal Welfare Officer, Manager Lab Animal Care, and moved to other Covance sites (Vienna (VA, USA) and Chandler (AZ, USA)). From 2010 to 2012, she worked as Expert Animal Science and Welfare, Animal Welfare officer at Merck KGaA (Darmstadt, Germany). In 2012, she joined AbbVie Deutschland GmbH & Co KG (Ludwigshafen, Germany), first as Head of Comparative Medicine and currently, since 2014, she is the Head of Animal Welfare, Facility Budget & Technical Platforms.

Jan Willem van der Laan

Dr. Jan Willem van der Laan is senior assessor in Pharmacology and Toxicology for the Medicines Evaluation Board, located in Utrecht, the Netherlands. Since 1990 he has been in the Section Pharmacology and Toxicology Assessment at the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM, Bilthoven). In this function, he has been responsible for the advices on non-clinical safety aspects for the Netherlands ‘College’, the Medicines Evaluation Board.

He moved with this group in 2012 to the Medicines Evaluation Board located in Utrecht, and stepped aside as manager of the group in 2007. He is still senior assessor in this area. Dr. van der Laan is visiting staff member of the Leiden Academic Center for Drug Research, Division Toxicology, where he is working on a project on in vitro carcinogenicity testing approaches focusing on the role of nuclear receptors.

He is chair of the EMA/CHMP Safety Working Party since 2012, with a renewed mandate in 2015. He is also member of the Nonclinical Working Group of the Pediatric Committee, giving advice about the need for juvenile safety studies.

His contributions to the International Conference on Harmonization started in 1992 on Carcinogenicity Testing. Later he was EU rapporteur for S8 Immunotoxicity and for ICH S6 (R1) Addendum for the Preclinical testing of Biotechnology-derived Proteins. In 2011, he became again a member of the ICH S1 Expert Working Group on Carcinogenicity testing and in 2015 also Regulatory Chair of the Expert Working Group on Juvenile Toxicity testing S11.


Adriano Henney

Dr Henney has a PhD in Medicine and a research background in cardiovascular disease at the pathological, cellular, molecular and genetic level. After an academic career in laboratories in London, Cambridge and Oxford, he moved into industry spending 13 years with AstraZeneca. Ultimately leading global programmes exploring strategic improvements aimed at reducing drug failure in development, he created and headed a new department that focused on pathway mapping and modelling, which evolved to establish the practice of Systems Biology, supporting projects in discovery and development. Dr Henney has extensive experience in directing and managing large, complex teams across disciplinary, cultural and geographic boundaries, latterly in the area of Systems Biology and Systems Medicine. His experience in this area led to an invitation to direct the major €50M German national flagship programme, The Virtual Liver Network, at the time the largest Systems Biology programme in Europe, managing over 200 contributing scientists from a range of disciplines, including clinicians, in 36 independent institutions, including industry. Following the end of the programme, Dr Henney was elected to be part-time Executive Director of the Virtual Physiological Human Institute, a not-for-profit organisation promoting the use of computational modelling and simulation to interpret quantitative biological information and understand the dynamics of biological and physiological function. As part of that role, he was responsible for establishing a new partnership with industry, The Avicenna Alliance for Predictive Medicine, a not-for-profit organisation that focuses on developing a policy framework supporting the use of in silico technologies in medicine, and of which he is now Secretary General.

Chris Evelo

Professor Dr. Chris Evelo is the founder and head of the department of Bioinformatics - BiGCaT at Maastricht University where he leads an enthusiastic group of researchers and is a PI in the Maastricht Center for Systems Biology (MaCSBio).

He was trained in biomolecular sciences and his early career was in experimental biochemical toxicology where he also applied physiologically based biokinetic modelling. This, combined with subsequent experiences in nutrition and drug research and his broad interest made him a generalist, with a broad focus on the human interaction with the molecular environment. 

His current research focuses on bioinformatics for integrative systems biology; aiming at better interpretation of experimental data through integration in data models that build on structuring existing knowledge.

Integrative approaches are multi-facetted, and Chris is involved in many projects related to capturing and processing experimental data. This includes the interoperability approaches underlying such efforts: standards, ontologies, mapping tools and documentation of the origin of the data and methods used (the provenance). He is a co-lead of the interoperability platform of ELIXIR and involved in the development of FAIRification software and approaches coordinated by the Dutch ELIXIR node. Another main aspect is the organization of existing knowledge. His core project for this is WikiPathways, a resource for community curation of biological pathways that originates from collaboration between Chris’s Maastricht group and Alex Pico’s group at UCSF. He is a board member of the Open PHACTS foundation for large-scale semantic web based knowledge structuring of relations between chemicals, gene-products and diseases, it was developed for drug discovery and repositioning but is useful in many other fields.

For pathway analysis, and thereby integration of data and knowledge, Chris’ group developed PathVisio, a modular open source research tool to which different research groups can and do contribute by developing plugins and research applications.  His group developed apps to link pathway analysis to network analysis in Cytoscape and to allow network extension with targeted relationships. To do all that data linking effectively his group developed BridgeDb. It is a reusable open source software framework and web service. It is also the basis for the identifier mapping service in the Open PHACTS system.

Chris is scientific advisor for two SME’s (Edgeleap and Micelio). He is a.o. governing council member of the nutrigenomics organization NuGO, a member of the micronutrientgenomics organization for which he lead the IRSES project Microgennet, involved in H2020 projects Eu-ToxRisk and OpenRiskNet and a workpackage leader in the COST CHARME for harmonization of standards in biology and a member of the JPI ENPADASI that works on the development of a phenotype database that he helped conceptualize and develop.

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