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.


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.
Stephan Schmidt

Stephan Schmidt (BPharm, PhD, FCP) is an endowed Associate Professor in the Department of Pharmaceutics at the University of Florida, where he also serves as the Director for the Center for Pharmacometrics and Systems Pharmacology. He received his B.S. in Pharmacy from the Friedrich-Alexander University in Erlangen, Germany, and his PhD in Pharmacy from the University of Florida in Gainesville, USA. Following a post-doctoral fellowship at the Leiden-Amsterdam Center for Drug Research, he rejoined the University of Florida as faculty in 2012. Dr. Schmidt’s research focuses on chronic progressive diseases, special patient populations, and drug-drug interactions. He published more than 100 peer-reviewed scientific manuscripts, 7 book chapters, and 2 textbooks, including the fifth edition of Rowland and Tozer’s Clinical Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics textbook. He received numerous awards including the University of Florida Excellence Award for Assistant Professors in 2013, the Tanabe Young Investigator Award from the American College of Clinical Pharmacology (ACCP) in 2016, and the Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Mentoring Award from UF’s College of Pharmacy in 2018. Dr. Schmidt serves as the Chair of the Special Interest Group on Precision Medicine of the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP), Subject Editor for the European Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Board of Regents member of ACCP.

Eric Sobie

Eric Sobie is Professor in the Department of Pharmacological Sciences at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. He obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Engineering from Duke University, and a PhD, also in Biomedical Engineering, from Johns Hopkins. His research focuses on obtaining new insight into cardiovascular disorders and potential treatments through a combination of physiological experiments and mechanistic mathematical modeling. Areas of particular interest include arrhythmia mechanisms and causes of drug-induced adverse events. In addition to directing a research laboratory, Dr. Sobie currently serves as Senior Associate Dean for Programmatic Development in the Graduate School and directs an NIH-funded training program in systems pharmacology.


Adriano Henney
Robert Wallis
Tim Hammond
Nicolas Le Novère
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