BENEFICIARIES INSTITUTIONS

The Liveration Project is composed of 8 research groups, 4 affiliated entities and 20 clinical sites.

Hospital del Mar Research Institute

https://www.imim.es/

Barcelona, Spain

PROFILE

Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM)

Inaugurated in 1948 by Dr. Alexander Fleming, the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM) is a center of excellence for biomedical and health research.

IMIM has the recognition of CERCA as a Catalan Research Institute of Excellence, ISCIII as Health Research Institute and HRS4R with the HR Excellence in Research.

Its proximity to Hospital del Mar and the Campus Universitari Mar, and its location in a solid scientific ecosystem like PRBB, means that IMIM is in a privileged biomedical enclave in Barcelona.

IMIM’s translational research is carried out through five well-structured research programs: Biomedical Informatics, Epidemiology and Public Health, Neurosciences, and Translational Clinical Research, and Cancer.

Within the Cancer program, Dr. Fernando Burdío’s group (Ablative therapies in oncology surgery) works on developing ablative therapies for cancer treatment. The term “ablation” refers to the destruction of tissue by applying energy (radiofrequency, microwave, laser, or ultrasound). The main objective of thermal ablative therapy is to destroy tumor cells by using heat to remove malignant cells without damaging the adjacent healthy structures.

In recent years, the group has carried out applied research activities, technological development, and clinical research in the field of bioengineering, to improve current medical and surgical treatment approaches. Although the research is mainly disease-oriented, the group also works towards understanding the biology of cancer. All the members of the group have previous experience in planning and implementing translational medical research projects, in other words, focused on the challenge of improving human health through a strong multidisciplinary approach involving medical staff, biologists, veterinarians and engineers.

The group’s most impressive results include the creation and marketing of the Coolinside device, which uses radiofrequency (RF) currents to surgically resect soft organs; as well as the development of an RF energy applicator, comprising a cool-wet electrode with hypersaline infusion for the focal ablation of liver tumors (Gnomon).

ROLE INLIVERATION

The Hospital del Mar Research Institute leads the LIVERATION study, which aims to evaluate the effectiveness of the latest generation radiofrequency instruments for resecting liver tumors in reducing cancer recurrence compared to traditional techniques.

The principal investigators of the LIVERATION study are Doctors Fernando Burdío, Patricia Sánchez Velázquez (LIVERATION’s coordinator), and Benedetto Ielpo. They will oversee the project, provide training to participating surgeons as per Vecmedical’s plans.

The Hospital del Mar Research Institute will handle project management, preparation of progress reports, as well as financial coordination and auditing. IMIM, in collaboration with ECRIN, will establish a Data Management Plan.

Part of the research will take place at the IMIM-Hospital del Mar.

Dr. Patricia Sánchez Velásquez, the Coordinator of the Liveration project, is medical doctor specialized in general and digestive system surgery, with sub-specialization in hepato-biliopancreatic surgery.

She has extensive international experience (Germany and Switzerland). She holds a PhD in Biomedicine from Pompeu Fabra University, where she is currently an associate professor.

She has published over 50 scientific communications with more than 400 citations, and 2 book chapters (ORCID 0000-0002-7902-3920). She is the PI and the coordinator of several international and national projects focused on translational research related to treatment-resistant hepatic tumors.

Dr. Benedetto Ielpo is a medical doctor specialized in general and digestive surgery, with particular professional experience in HPB surgery, minimally invasive surgery, oncological surgery, and peritoneal carconomatosis.

He also holds a PhD focused on Robotic and laparoscopic surgery, an official Da Vinci Surgical System Training Certificate, and a certificate in advanced trauma care. For his achievements, Dr. Ielpo received twice the Spanish National Award for Surgeons.

He has authored numerous scientific publications. He is currently a professor at Pompeu Fabra University.

Medical Doctor and Master in Business Administration (MBA) by ESADE with 25 years of experience in the Pharmaceutical, Medical Devices and Medical Equipment Business.

Last 6 years focused in clinical development and medical affairs: 

-2017-2018 (2 complete years): Study Coordinator & Clinical Research Associate (CRA) in Clinical Research Organizations (CROs) & Hospitals.

-2019-2023: Last full 4 years worked as Global Medical Manager and Medical Director of France and Spain for a Medical Device and Pharma company (Fidia).

Strong background in Medical Devices clinical studies with the following products & devices:

Hyaluronic Acid: Intrarticular and intratendinous. In skin rejuvenation or voluminisation. In wound care. Intravesical in bladder pain syndrome. In eye-drops (ophtalmology).

Devices to produce autologous Platelet rich plasma (PRP), Fat or stem cells.

Surgery medical devices & procedures: Devices for ablation or resection of liver tumors. Pocedures for endometriomas treatment.

Best-known therapeutic areas: oncology, aesthetic medicine, rheumatology, orthopedic surgery, liver surgery, wounds, regenerative medicine and ophthalmology.

Dr. Jelena Stanisavljevic is molecular biologist and physiologist with PhD in Biomedicine from Pompeu Fabra University.

She has extensive research experience in the field of cancer, with special focus on the process of metastasis and the origin of plasticity in colorectal cancer.

She has several first author publications with over 400 citations in journals like “Cell Stem Cell” and “Cancer Research”. To compliment her scientific career, she also finished a postgraduate course in Pharmaceutical Business, as well as several courses related to Good Clinical Practice, Scientific Project Management, and the design of the clinical trials.

Dr. Fernando Burdío is an accomplished medical doctor specializing in general and oncological digestive system surgery. He holds the position of group leader and coordinator of a multidisciplinary research group at the Hospital del Mar Research Center, where he has published 89 research papers and secured 8 patents.

In his capacity as a group leader, Dr. Burdío has successfully supervised the completion of seven PhD theses. Currently, he holds a professional position at Pompeu Fabra University. Thanks to the extensive preclinical work conducted by Dr. Burdío’s group, three original clinical studies (phase I-II) were conducted, with him serving as the Principal Investigator.

Dr. Burdío’s exceptional contributions have been recognized through numerous accolades, including the prestigious Premio Nacional de Cirugía, which he has received three times. He has also been honored twice with the Lino Torre Award, among other notable distinctions. Additionally, Dr. Burdío is a cofounder of a spinoff company, Apeiron Medical.

ECRIN

https://ecrin.org/

Paris, France

PROFILE

ECRIN-ERIC is a European Research Infrastructure facilitating multinational clinical research, through the provision of advice and services for the set-up and management of investigator or SME led clinical studies in Europe.

ECRIN unites national networks of clinical trial units across Europe, through its scientific partners, to fulfil its vision of generating scientific evidence to optimise medical practice. By supporting clinical trials across borders and advising and implementing policy, ECRIN advances knowledge flow, competitiveness and integration in European clinical research.

Director General

Jacques Demotes is the director general of the European Clinical Research Infrastructure Network (ECRIN), which he founded in 2004. In this role, he is responsible for the strategy and overall management of the infrastructure with the support of the ECRIN Management Office (located in Paris, France), the ECRIN European Correspondents (located in each Member / Observer country), and ECRIN’s Scientific Partners (i.e., national networks of clinical trial units).

A neurologist and professor of cell biology, Demotes is an advisor to the biology and health research department at the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research. While at ECRIN, he has contributed to numerous initiatives and collaborative projects related to multinational clinical trials. In particular, he chaired the working group that drafted the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Council Recommendation on the Governance of Clinical Trials.

Prior to ECRIN, he worked as a clinical neurologist and basic neuroscientist, then as director of the clinical investigation centre in Bordeaux.

Demotes received his MD (with a specialisation in neurology), a PhD in neuroscience, a Master of Science (MS) in neuroscience, and a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in mathematics and computer science from the University of Bordeaux. He also received an MBA from IAE Paris, and completed a training course in science policy with the Institute of Advanced Studies in Science and Technology in Paris.

Head of Clinical Operations 

Amélie Michon is Head of Clinical Operations at ECRIN, overseeing the provision of operational services to the management of multinational clinical trials and coordinating the network of European Correspondents (local experts) in ECRIN countries. 

She has over 15 years of experience in clinical research. Before joining ECRIN she worked as a clinical project manager in the pharmaceutical industry covering the planning, setup, and management of multinational trials in various therapeutic areas. She joined ECRIN in 2012 as a French European Correspondent focused on coordinating multinational clinical trials and providing support to French clinical investigators and sponsors while preparing clinical proposals for European public funding. 

Amélie is a Pharmacist and holds a Master in Clinical and Pharmaceutical development from Poitiers University (France)

European Correspondent – Spain

Miriam Rol Garcia is European Correspondent for ECRIN in Spain. She has a background in biology with a MSc in Biotechnology and a PhD in Cardiovascular Sciences from the University of Glasgow. 

She has worked as a project manager in clinical research since 2020. She also holds a Master in Promotion and Management of International R&D projects and a PGR in Management of Clinical Trials. 

Avedis Donabedian Research Institute (FAD)

https://www.fadq.org

Barcelona, Spain

PROFILE

The Avedis Donabedian Research Institute (FAD) is a multidisciplinary Research Institute on Quality & Safety in Health and Social Care of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB). FAD develops research on health care quality since 1989. The main research areas are patient-centred care, patients perspectives and empowerment, quality improvement, patient safety, and implementation research. FAD’s mission is to collaborate with professionals, centres, governments, communities, policymakers, providers of health care services, citizens, and other public and private organisations to improve the quality of health care and social services. FAD has extensive experience in implementing and scaling-up projects in organisations, with a continuous effort to improve the systems of planning, managing, and evaluating quality and safety in Health and Social Care environments, in Spain and internationally.  Learn more about FAD at www.fadq.org.

 

ROLE IN LIVERATION

In LIVERATION, FAD will be involved in evaluating the social impact and the comparative efficacy of LIVERATION with other competing interventions, by: 1) collaborating with UOI in conducting a systematic review, 2) leading the evaluation of quality of life and patient experience, 3) leading the process of co-designing living labs together with patients, professionals and other relevant stakeholders, and 4) developing an interactive decision tool to tailor clinical decisions based on the results of the systematic review and the trial.

Carola Orrego, PhD. Director at Avedis Donabedian Research Institute (FAD) and Associate Professor at the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) with more than 22 years of experience in leading, managing and coordinating projects in the Quality and Patient Safety field. Her main expertise in quality improvement is related to implementation research, patient centred-care and empowerment and patient safety. She has participated in more than 25 competitive research projects in healthcare quality, 12 of them are European or international, with total funding of 16 million euros over the last decade. She is the coordinator of the FAD Master Program on Quality and Safety. Author of more than 50 scientific and methodological publications. (ORCID 0000-0002-2978-6268)  

Helena Vall-Roqué, Psy, MSc is a researcher at Avedis Donabedian Research Institute (FAD). She is a general health psychologist (University of Barcelona) and combines research with clinical practice. She is currently pursuing her PhD in Clinical and Health Psychology (expected PhD completion: July 2023). Helena is also a lecturer of the Psychology degree at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC). Main areas of interest include patient experience, patient empowerment, health psychology and clinical psychology and prevention interventions. She has experience with project coordination, qualitative and quantitative data collection, randomized controlled trials, data analysis and evidence-based literature reviews. (ORCID 0000-0003-4235-0810)

Mariana Aparicio Betancourt, PhD, MA CCC-SLP has a PhD in Neuroscience, a clinical MA in Speech and Hearing Science, and a BA in Psychology. Mariana is a researcher at Avedis Donabedian Research Institute (FAD), with over 10 years of experience in qualitative and quantitative research in the field of health sciences. She is also a member of the Gender Equality Committee at FAD. Main areas of interest include integrated care, patient experience, patient empowerment, and early intervention. She has experience with grant writing, project coordination, qualitative and quantitative data collection, management and analysis, evidence-based literature reviews, conference planning, and dissemination via report/scientific writing and presentations.  (ORCID 0000-0001-5114-4168)

Nuria Hidalgo is Chief Financial Officer and legal representative at Avedis Donabedian Research Institute (FAD). She manages accounting operations, tax declarations, reporting to the General Directorate, and preparation of financial statements, expenditure planning, and economic management of projects financed by the European Commission. She deals with the coordination of external audits, preparation of documentation for public tenders, and organisation of the Annual Quality Awards as well. She is also in charge of the Human Resources Department.

Assumpta Pons is Executive Secretary at Avedis Donabedian Research Institute (FAD). She has broad experience giving support to the Research department and working with Joint Commission International accreditation systems (Hospitals, Primary Care, and Long-Term Care centres).

SHINE 2Europe, Lda

https://shine2.eu/

Coimbra, Portugal

PROFILE

SHINE 2Europe aims to promote inclusive communities to all citizens, by delivering research services and support to the implementation of tech-Savvy, Healthy and INclusivE solutions (SHINE) in Europe, with a clear vision of promoting inclusive societies for all.

The promotion of inclusion ranges from aspects such as gender, race, age, personal opinions and lifestyles, literacy and skills levels, environmental concerns and sustainability, with shared responsibility between all citizens and within democratic values, fostering awareness raising, advocating for the most fragile citizens and calling up the public attention for specific interventions.

What we really foster is to help imagining a society that is already built taking into consideration the different needs of all citizens and creating solutions that can help them to be happy and have a healthy and fulfilled life.

ROLE IN LIVERATION

In LIVERATION, SHINE is leading and collaborating in the tasks concerning multi-stakeholder engagement and social innovation, developing the methodology to involve citizens, professionals, patients, public authorities and other relevant actors in the project’s study and in the definition of its future pathways.

SHINE will also be leading the social, health and economic assessment of LIVERATION, and contributing to the recommendations for addressing inequalities in health.

Carina Dantas has a degree in Law, she is a PhD candidate on Biomedical Sciences (Towards ethical excellence in AI) and is the CEO of SHINE 2Europe with over 20 years-experience in areas related to health, social aspects and ICT.

She is the Chair of the COST Action NET4Age-Friendly (over 500 members in 50 countries), Director of the SHAFE Foundation (Smart Healthy Age-friendly Environments) and Member of the National Cancer Hub (Survivors Group).

Carina is evaluator/reviewer for the European Commission, Committee Member of CEN/CENELEC TC 428 and member of the Expert Team developing the EU Ethics framework for the ICT Profession. Also, Ethics Board Member of the H2020 Valuecare and IMI Beamer projects, Advisory Board Member of several EU projects and reviewer of ICF Journal, Geriatrics and MDPI.

She is the Coordinator of SIRENE | Social Innovation Responsive Environments NETwork, a HORIZON Europe CSA aiming to promote social innovation ecosystems on SHAFE.

Natália Machado has a degree in Law and a master’s degree in International Law And Human Rights from Brasília University Centre. She is a Ph.D. student in the Faculty of Law of the University of Coimbra.

Natália is Project Director at SHINE with experience in managing projects of different programs, such as Horizon, AAL, Erasmus+ and Interreg. Her experience includes proposal writing, tasks management, participation in events, as well as scientific and non-scientific publications in topics related to health, namely active and healthy living. She often supports the co-creation sessions and pilots’ implementation with end-users and its evaluation.

She has recognized experience in ethics compliance, being ethics chair in two Ethics Boards, as well as participating in Working Groups and research projects in this area.

Luis Dias is an IT Engineer and software developer who has also been working as IT trainer for over 18 years.

As SHINE COO, he is the main developer of digital tools and in the last 3 years he is leading the technical implementation of digital games in several European projects. He is also an International Project Manager, fully engaged in proposal writing and implementation, networking and stakeholder engagement.

He as a special focus and expertise in the areas of health, especially mental health, as well as in issues concerning citizens inclusivity, health and digital literacy.

University of Ioannina

https://www.uoi.gr/en/

Ioannina, Greece

PROFILE

University of Ioannina is a world-class research university with 24,047 scientific papers published and 595,965 citations received. The research profile covers a range of fields, including Biology, Chemistry, Medicine, Physics, Engineering, Quantum and Particle physics, Biochemistry, Computer Science, Liberal Arts & Social Sciences, and Environmental Science.

The Evidence Synthesis Methods team is an academic research group focusing on methods for synthesizing evidence of individual studies to infer about the efficacy and safety of any type of  interventions (e.g. educational, medical, psychological etc.). We are located within the University of Ioannina, which is one of the largest universities in Greece

ROLE LIVERATION

In the Liveration project, we are leading work package 4 titled “Social Evaluatoin and comparative effectiveness of the intervention”. In this work package, we will work closely with FAD and SHINE to

  • develop a social innovation framework to enhance mutli-stakeholder engagement
  • evaluate quality of life and the social perspective of patients
  • conduct a systematic review to evaluate efficacy and safety of interventions for the curative treatment of metastatic liver tumours for colorectal cancer and Hepatocellular carcinoma patients
  • build an interactive tool to help shared decision making between clinicians and patients

We will also finalize the statistical analysis protocol of the trial and perform the relevant statistical analyses at the end of the trial.

Dimitris Mavridis is an associate professor of statistics in the Department of Primary Education at the University of Ioannina. He holds a PhD in Statistics from the Athens University of Economics and Business. His research interests focus on statistical methods for evidence synthesis, social statistics and biostatistics. He served as a statistical editor for Evidence Based Mental Health (2014-2022) and he is editor-in-chief for Research Synthesis Methods. He is leading a team of researchers working on evidence synthesis methods in the University of Ioannina (esm.uoi.gr).

Christos Christogiannis is a research associate and PhD candidate in the Department of Primary Education at the University of Ioannina. He holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in mathematics from the Mathematics Department in the University of Ioannina. His research interests focus on statistical modelling for evidence synthesis and biostatistics in general.

Ourania Koutsiouroumpa is research associate and PhD candidate in the Department of Primary Education at the University of Ioannina. She holds a master’s degree in Biostatistics from the National and Κapodistrian University of Athens. Her research interests focus on statistical modelling for evidence synthesis and biostatistics in general.

Stella Zevgiti is a research fellow in the Department of Primary Education at the University of Ioannina. She holds a PhD in Chemistry from the University of Ioannina, and she has participated in several EU and national projects for more than ten years. She has extensive experience in managing research projects and her research interests focus on evidence synthesis.

Vecmedical Innovative solutions for a healthier life

https://www.vecmedical.com/

Barcelona, Spain

PROFILE

VECMEDICAL is a Legal Manufacturer of Medical Devices based in Barcelona, Spain, born in 1999, providing solutions for the whole value added chain, with a wide CE Products portfolio in areas such as Respiratory, Thoracic Drainage and single use products for Operating Room, opening a new division for Laparoscopic and Endoscopy Surgery products, in particular the COOLINGBIS Device for Oncological Surgery.

ROLE IN LIVERATION

In LIVERATION, VECMEDICAL will provide the COOLINGBIS® radiofrequency generator to the sites of the study and will provide training to the investigators on the principals of radiofrequency, the use of the product COOLINGBIS® and on how to perform the additional margin coagulation with the product according to the protocol of the study.

Angel Alonso is the CEO and Technical Responsible of VECMEDICAL since 2010, where the company has become an active agent in the Medical Devices sector as Partner with Hospital, Research and Technological Centers, with the Focus to intensively increase the Clinical Evidence in the Medical Devices Market.

He holds an Industrial Engineering Degree from Polytechnic University of Catalonia and MBA from ESADE Business School.

He has been member of the Board in CataloniaBio and Healtech Cluster.

Ariadna Camps has been a product engineer at Vecmedical since 2019, where she leads the projects UNI-VEC® (a transanal multi-channel access device, which is currently undergoing a first-in-human clinical trial) and COOLINGBIS® (a monopolar electrosurgical electrode), mainly focusing on product development. She has experience in project management, medical devices design and development, product certification, and providing support during the conduct of clinical trials and post-marketing follow-up of medical devices.

She holds a degree in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Barcelona and a master’s degree also in Biomedical Engineering from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia.

Maria L.Villamonte is a Clinical Evaluation Specialist at Vecmedical, where she performs clinical evaluations of products, applying her knowledge of clinical data collection, clinical trials, data analysis and evidence-based literature research. She combines her entrepreneurial activity with biomedical research.

She is currently pursuing her PhD in Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biomedicine at the Autonomous University of Barcelona in the research group ¨Ablation Therapies in Oncological Surgery¨ (IMIM, PRBB, Barcelona, Spain). In recent years, she has carried out applied research, technological development and clinical research activities in the area of bioengineering to improve the medical and surgical approach to current procedures.

She holds a degree in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Barcelona and MSc in Advanced Microbiology from the University of Barcelona.

Society for the improvement of Science (SACSIS)

https://sacsis.es

Seville, Spain

PROFILE

The Society for the Improvement of Science (SACSIS) contributes to the support and training of researchers and technological entrepreneurs to the growth of their innovation and the progress of their scientific excellence by helping achieve their scientific and technological goals. SACSIS is well experience on Horizon Europe projects, managing the formation of consortia, finding the best technological and matching partners to assure the excellent configuration and execution of their project.

ROLE IN LIVERATION

SACSIS will lead the Work Package on Dissemination, Exploitation and Communication to raise awareness and gather multi-stakeholder requirements, namely socio-ethical, clinical, legal and regulatory challenges and communicate and disseminate the project results beyond the project Partners to a large audience and potential users of the results, including the clinical/scientific community and the general public, as well as to help the coordinator in tasks related to reports and communication within and between partners and the European Commission to assure the accurate reporting of project results, and lead the Risk Management to analyze the potential risks and elaborate the mitigation actions.

David Alcántara Parra (President of SACSIS, Director of Consulting Services).

With over 16 years of experience as a researcher (h-index 17), Dr. Alcántara has helped more than 200 researchers and companies to process European projects (FP7 and Horizon 2020). Being a strategic and innovation consultant, he has a deep knowledge of the European funding system and programming for researchers and companies.

He has been an expert for the European Commission and the William Harvey International Translational Research Academy since 2013, acting as a MSCA and Pilar 3 reviewer. Furthermore, he regularly collaborates with universities and public and private R&D centres in training activities on the Horizon 2020 programme. He graduated in Chemistry from the University of Málaga and holds a PhD in Nanotechnology from the CSIC-University of Seville (2008). Dr. Alcántara was the recipient of a Fulbright grant at Harvard Medical School and the first Spaniard to obtain two consecutive Marie Curie grants under the Seventh European Framework Programme (FP7). As president of SACSIS, Dr. Alcántara is the director of the “Funding and Research” programme, designing consulting services, training programmes and web content. He is the creator of the Specialized Course in MSCA actions, with hundreds of students and a high success rate in the proposals submitted. Additionally, he is in charge of the training portal specialized in SACSIS European projects.

Dr. Alcántara is the author of books such as “Éxito en la financiación de proyectos europeos” (“Success in financing European projects”) (2013), or “Sistema de Gestión Total del tiempo para investigadores” (“Total time management system for researchers”) (2012). He is the author of 27 international scientific publications, a member of the Spanish Royal Society of Chemistry and also has extensive experience in the management of business projects.

In 2008, he founded The All Results Journals, which consists of a group of scientific journals whose main objective is the collection and publication of negative scientific results, works of high scientific value. These journals are published by the Society for the Improvement of Science (SACSIS) of which Dr. Alcántara is the President since 2010. Likewise, he is the founder and editor-in-chief since 2008 of The All Results Journals Blog. These projects have received numerous prizes and mentions such as the Bancaja Prize in 2008, the Felix Delgado Bocos Foundation Prize for the Best Innovative Proposal in Biomedical R+D+i Management in 2012 or the mention in the American magazine Forbes in 2013. 

In 2012, he founded the “Optimal Time Management” website, which specializes in providing time management training to scientific researchers. As general manager of the project, he developed the commercial strategy and implemented the automatic computer systems for the management of people and payments. He regularly creates the contents and manages the project’s brochures.

In 2013, he founded the “FinanciacioneInvestigacion.com” website, which specialises in providing training on how to attract European R&D funding for scientific researchers and innovative companies. As the project’s general manager, he developed the commercial strategy and implemented the automatic computer systems for managing people and payments. In addition, he manages the specialists and the content that is created.

Emilio González (Innovation Department, Senior Innovation Technician) 

Emilio González has a PhD in Genetics (2006) from the Complutense University and the Center for Biological Research (CSIC, Madrid), where he received training in the incipient RNA interference therapy (RNAi), which led him to carry out his stay postdoctoral fellow for 5 years combining academia, in the Stanford University Molecular Imaging Program, and with the company Transderm, hired with a grant associated with the Pachyonychia congenita project, aimed at finding RNAi-based therapies for this rare disease of the skin. He is the author of more than 20 publications (h-index 18) and presentations at dozens of international conferences until 2013 when he changed his academic career to biotechnology business.

At Stanford he also had access to the Postdoc-Link-to-Entrepreneurship, with whose founders he founded a biotech company dedicated to the early detection of skin cancer (Skin Deep Diagnostics), having access to business courses and the main CEOs and VCs from Silicon Valley. Back in Spain (2012) he made a stay at the nanotechnology center (BIONAND), and attended the Executive Program of the IE Business School “Fundamentals of Management for Scientists”. He has developed several business plans and participated in the founding of 3 startups.

For 8 years he served as Director of the drug development area of the company Canvax Biotech, obtained a Torres Quevedo contract for himself and three members of the company, and has won and coordinated projects from different public calls (RETOS collaboration, Invest in Spain, Junta de Andalucía) and Europeans (Eurostars and SME instruments) among others, managing the area of high-throughput screening and drug development of the Canvax Biotech pipeline with three programs in oncological diseases and one in autoimmune disease, and has collaborated in business development of CAR-T cell-gene therapy. He has been CEO and CSO helping in the development of the pipeline of drugs for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases of MIAKER Developments. He has been invited on several occasions to give talks as a success story of European funding in Eurostars projects by CDTi.

ELPA European Liver Patients´Association

https://elpa.eu/

Brussels, Belgium

PROFILE

ELPA, the European Liver Patient Association, is a prominent umbrella association and the largest non-governmental organization (NGO) dedicated to advocating for liver patients across Europe. Established in 2015, ELPA operates under three main strategic pillars, each addressing critical aspects of liver health.

Firstly, ELPA focuses on the empowerment of its members, which includes liver patient organizations and individuals. Through various initiatives, ELPA provides support, resources, and educational opportunities to enhance the well-being and knowledge of its members.

Secondly, ELPA actively engages in policy and advocacy work. By collaborating with policymakers, healthcare professionals, and other relevant stakeholders, ELPA strives to influence policies that improve liver health, patient care, and access to treatment.

Lastly, ELPA emphasizes the importance of strengthening the association itself. By fostering collaboration, sharing best practices, and promoting knowledge exchange, ELPA continuously enhances its capacity to effectively represent and serve the interests of liver patients.

ELPA’s comprehensive approach encompasses all liver diseases, ensuring that the diverse needs and challenges faced by patients with different conditions are addressed. To achieve this, ELPA establishes specific working groups or clusters, led by knowledgeable patient experts in respective fields. These groups focus on specialized areas such as hepatitis, cirrhosis, liver cancer, transplantation, and more, allowing for targeted advocacy, support, and research efforts.

Overall, ELPA’s dedicated work, strategic focus, and commitment to collaboration make it a vital force in improving liver health outcomes, advocating for patient rights, and fostering a supportive network across Europe.

ROLE IN LIVERATION

ELPA, the largest liver patient association, plays a crucial role in the project as a participant in Work Package 5: Communication, Dissemination, and Exploitation. Leveraging its extensive social media reach and influential network in Brussels, ELPA aims to target three key stakeholders: patients, civil society, and policy makers. By utilizing its established channels, ELPA will effectively disseminate information and data collected from the project, ensuring its widespread awareness and understanding among the intended audience. This strategic approach will foster engagement, facilitate knowledge transfer, and ultimately drive the future utilization of project findings in the realms of patient care, societal impact, and policymaking. ELPA’s involvement significantly enhances the project’s reach, influence, and potential for positive change in the liver health domain.

Marko is the President of the European Liver Patient Association, representing 31 liver patient associations from 25 countries. 

A dedicated professional and effective leader, he has a proven track record of fostering collaboration, building strong relationships at the highest European level, and mobilizing resources to improve liver patients’ lives and make their voices heard. During his presidency, ELPA succeeded in establishing a new communication strategy based on enhanced social media activities, where ELPA has become an influencer with communication to all major stakeholders.

Marko’s effective governance and expertise have enabled ELPA to obtain consultative status within the European Medicines Agency and succeeded in getting ELPA into the European Medicines Agency’s Patient and Consumer Working Party (PCWP).

Besides the management of all internal and external processes of the association, Marko is a co-chair of The Patients’ and Consumers’ Working Party at the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and a member of the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL) Policy & Public Health Committee, the EASL Task Force on Liver Cancer Prevention, the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and The Health Emergency Preparedness and Response (HERA) Advisory Forum.

Veronika is a highly experienced professional, currently standing as the Head of EU Affairs at the European Liver Patient Association (ELPA).

With a strong background in managing European non-governmental organizations (NGOs), Veronika brings a wealth of expertise to her role.

She is responsible for overseeing the involvement and activities of ELPA in various projects, ensuring effective coordination and implementation. Veronika’s leadership skills and deep understanding of EU affairs enable her to navigate complex regulatory landscapes and advocate for liver patients’ rights and interests at the European level with policymakers across Europe.

Her dedication, strategic thinking, and commitment to improving the lives of liver patients make her a valuable asset to ELPA and the broader liver health community.

Milan is a passionate and dedicated professional serving as the Head of Communication at the European Liver Patient Association (ELPA).

With a keen interest in leveraging digital tools and technologies, Milan is enthusiastic about the opportunities they present in advancing communication strategies.

As a patient advocate, he understands the importance of effectively reaching out to various stakeholders, including patients, healthcare professionals, and policymakers.

Milan’s expertise in utilizing digital platforms, social media, and innovative communication approaches enables him to amplify ELPA’s message and engage with a wider audience. His unwavering commitment to empowering liver patients through effective communication makes him a valuable asset to ELPA and a driving force in promoting awareness, education, and support for liver health.

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