From left to right:
Nadja Palko (Communications Officer – currently on leave)
Meghan McCarroll (Secretary/Receptionist until Dec 2017)
Petr Holub (IT/Data Protection Manager)
Michaela Th. Mayrhofer (Chief Policy Officer CS ELSI/Chief Coordination Officer)
Ulrike Rohrer (Finance/Project Assistant – currently on leave)
Johanna Dungl (Communications Officer)
Fereniki Ioakeimidou (Secretary/Receptionist – currently on leave)
Erik Steinfelder (Director General)
Andrea Wutte (Quality Manager)
Jasjote Grewal (ELSI Helpdesk Coordinator)
Francesco Florindi (Engagement Officer)
Carmen Cristea (Finance Manager)
Markus Pasterk (Administrative Director)
Outi Törnwall (EU Project Manager until Jan 2018)
Luc Deltombe (Communications Manager)
Not in the picture:
Anna-Liisa Kuslap (EU Project Manager)
Viridiana Beltrán Venegas (Secretary)
Vitomir Horvat (Systems Administrator)
Erik Steinfelder earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Analytical Chemistry from the Saxion University of Applied Sciences in Deventer, Netherlands, and subsequently completed a course in Foundations of Management at Nyenrode Business University in Breukelen, Netherlands. In 2008, he joined Thermo Fisher Scientific, a multinational biotechnology product development company based in the US. In his position as first Biobank Commercial Leader EMEA, he went on to head the complete biobank portfolio and range of activities and, most recently, became Corporate Accounts Executive. Additionally, between 2014 and 2017, he was also President-elect, President and past President of ESBB, the European, Middle Eastern and African Society for Biopreservation and Biobanking. He started his position as Director General of BBMRI-ERIC on the 1st August 2017.
Markus Pasterk, born in Klagenfurt, Austria, studied Molecular Biology at the University of Vienna where he received a M.Sc. degree in 1994. Early in his career he decided to change from research to research management. In 2001, Markus Pasterk was promoted Director of the newly created Division “Life Sciences” within the Austrian Ministry of Science, with responsibilities of Life Science research, in particular genomics, biotechnology and medical research. This was during the time of his leadership in establishing Austria’s largest Science oriented research programme GEN-AU. He became the Austrian delegate to the Life Sciences related programme committtees of the 5th and 6th EU-Framework Programme. He was also responsible for Austria’s international research infrastructure memberships like EMBL and EMBC. He progressed to become the first full-time Deputy Director General for Research in the Ministry of Science in Austria in 2002 with the responsibility for all basic research funding agencies and then to be Scientific Coordinator at the WHO-International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon, France, during 2006-2009.
Before his appointment to Administrative Director of BBMRI-ERIC, he was Chief Operating Officer and Vice President/Science at the International Prevention Research Institute, a private research organization in Lyon, France. He also holds an Honorary Senior Lecturer degree from Dundee University, Scotland, UK.
Andrea M. Wutte has been leading the BBMRI-ERIC Service “Quality” since 2014. The service includes QM consultancy programmes for biobank-relevant standards and guidelines, monitoring and audit programmes, training and education formats, assessments and the initiation of improvement strategies/actions and accompanying measures. Andrea holds a European Quality Manager and Lead Auditor EOQ personnel certificate. She acts as BBMRI-ERIC Liaison Officer to ISO/TC 276 Biotechnology and ISO/TC 212 Clinical laboratory testing and in vitro diagnostic test systems and CEN/TS 140 In vitro diagnostic medical devices. A biologist by training, Andrea did her university course at the University of Graz, where her focus was on hormone physiology and biochemistry. After receiving her degree in 1996, she started her academic career as a research assistant in endocrinology and metabolism research at the Medical University of Graz. Subsequently, she became an investigator and clinical project manager in several research projects. As a clinical quality manager, she was responsible for the establishment of a comprehensive QM system for clinical trials, according to ethically and legally binding principles and laws. From 2004 to 2009 she was responsible for the core facility ‘Clinical Research Centre of the Center for Medical Research’ at the Medical University of Graz and designed and lectured several ICH-GCP workshop series for researchers and the industry. In 2009, Andrea stepped out of academia to make her contributions to the cluster Human.technology Styria, where she had been recruited as a senior consultant to manage the Styrian regional development as well as to lay the foundations for businesses in the field of biobanking and biomarker technology within the defined economic and strategic aims of the cluster. She represented the business at international congresses and conventions. She contributed her quality management experience to lead the cluster, focussing on interface management with stakeholders, to certifications according to ISO 9001 and 29990.
Michaela Th. Mayrhofer is a political scientist and historian by training. She was educated in Vienna, Louvain-la-Neuve, Essex and Paris. In 2010, she earned her PhD from both the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales and the University of Vienna and was shortlisted by the Austrian Society for Political Science for the ‘best thesis 2010’ young researcher award. Furthermore, she is Research Fellow at the IFZ and Member of the Editorial Board of the Austrian Journal of Political Science (ÖZP). Prior to her involvement in BBMRI-ERIC, she was investigator in several national and international research projects focusing on the politics of biotechnology and the life sciences. Her academic career led her to various positions and stays at the Centre de Recherche Médecine, Sciences, Santé et Société, the University of Vienna, the Institute of Technology and Society Studies at the Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt/Vienna/Graz, the Technical University of Vienna, the Fondation Brocher and the Medical University of Graz. She was involved in the coordination of the BBMRI Preparatory Phase. She serves BBMRI-ERIC in two roles: as Chief Policy Officer of the Common Service ELSI and Chief Coordination Officer.
Petr Holub is an Associate Professor of computer science at Masaryk University, the second largest university in the Czech Republic. He has background both in sciences (MSc with specialization on computational quantum chemistry in 2001) and computer science (PhD in 2005, specializing on computer networks, self-organizing systems and multimedia processing). He was head of the Division of Communication Technologies at Institute of Computers Science, Masaryk University, as well as architect of advanced multimedia and collaborative systems of the Czech national e-infrastructure developed and operated by CESNET. His research in computer networks and multimedia processing has lead to more than 40 research papers in established computer science journals and ranked conferences, as well as to practical software systems and patents. He was a chief architect and team leader of UltraGrid, high-performance media processing and distribution framework, which received Best Open-Source Software Award by ACM Multimedia SIG. He is a co-founder of Comprimato Systems company, which further develops and commercializes research results in acceleration of compression algorithms. He has extensive collaboration with a number of research groups in the USA (e.g., EVL UIC, CalIT2 UCSD, CCT EVL, NLM NIH, RIT), Europe (e.g., i2cat, SurfSARA, NorduNET, SurfSARA), and Japan (AIST). Since 2011, he has been responsible for design and development of IT infrastructure of the Czech BBMRI, as well as its subsequent operation using national research cloud e-infrastructure CERIT-SC. He is also responsible for the IT and data management infrastructure of the ongoing EU THALAMOSS project, focusing on data collection and processing for stratification of patients suffering from thalassaemia. He has been a contributor to a number of international and national projects linking computer science and biomedicine, such as EU ITHANET or MediGrid, as well as a number of other international computer science oriented projects, e.g. EU GridLab, EU CoreGRID, or NSF. Strategies for Remote Visualization on a Dynamically Configurable Testbed (eaviv).
Anna-Liisa gained her Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Sciences from the University of Tartu, Estonia, in 2012 before receiving her Master of Science degree in Geology from the same university in 2014. Academically, she has been involved in projects in the field of environmental, social and economic effects of mining.
She subsequently started her career as an environmental specialist at the Estonian Ministry of Environment. In this role, she was in charge of managing projects end-to-end, from the planning phase to decision making and finally, to the evaluation of these projects and sharing the outcomes with different stakeholder groups. Her day-to-day duties included creating realistic project plans, estimating time and effort, monitoring implementation and keeping stakeholders informed.
Carmen Cristea joined BBMRI-ERIC in January 2016 as Finance/Administration Assistant. In 2009 she graduated from the University of Bucharest with a Bachelor Degree in International Relations and in 2014 she gained her Master Degree in Management and Business Communication from the National School of Political Studies and Public Administration, Bucharest. She started her career in finance in 2008 and subsequently held various positions, focusing mainly on finance, controlling and reporting tasks (Accounts Payables, Receivables, Credit and Collections Analyst, Credit Controller) with renowned multinational companies (Oracle, HP), gaining a comprehensive understanding of financial processes. Besides financial expertise, she is experienced in a wide range of business/financial software and project management. In 2012 she moved to Brussels to join the team of the European Wind Energy Associations, an NGO that promotes wind energy across Europe. She has broad experience working in multicultural environments and is very enthusiastic about bringing her skills and experience to the BBMRI-ERIC team. Additionally, she is fluent in Romanian, English and French and is a Cambridge-certified English trainer.
Luc Deltombe specialises in internal and external communications and project management. He graduated from the Haute Ecole de Liège (B) in Communications. He first gained experience in event management at The Conference Board Europe Inc., an independent association that assists the world’s leading organisations in improving their performance by providing them with required data and training. After working as Communications Manager for the Brussels government for more than five years, he joined the European Commission, DG Research & Innovation, New and Renewable Energy Sources unit in 2009 as Project, Communication and Finance Assistant. At the European Commission, he gained extensive experience in managing European research projects under the Sixth and Seventh Framework Programme for more than four years. Before joining BBMRI-ERIC, he spent two more years at a Belgian public agency as Communication Manager. Luc is French-speaking and fluent in English, German and Dutch.
Johanna Dungl developed a strong interest in languages and cross-cultural communication after she spent half a year as an exchange student in Chile while still in high school. She took a year after leaving school and volunteered as an English and German teacher in Brazil. She then headed to Greece to work as a travel representative. When she returned to Austria, she enrolled for a Bachelor’s programme in Transcultural Communication (German, English, Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian) at the University of Graz and spent a semester studying in Novi Sad, Serbia, before earning her degree in 2011. In 2012, she moved to Scotland for a year to study at Heriot-Watt University and then returned to Graz to complete an MA in Conference Interpreting. Johanna started working as a freelance translator and conference interpreter before graduating and completed a traineeship at the Court of Justice of the EU in Luxembourg in 2016. Johanna is excited to bring her international experience to her position as Communications Officer at BBMRI-ERIC.
Francesco obtained a cum laude Master’s degree in International Relations and Diplomacy from the University of Trieste-Gorizia with a thesis on EU enlargement. In 2011, he started working for regional representatives, NGOs, and the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) in Brussels. He went on to join the European Cancer Patient Coalition as Public Affairs Coordinator and became Head of EU Affairs in 2016. His experience working in healthcare dates back to 2013, when he joined the ECCO and SIOPE Public Affairs team. Francesco has worked on a number of key European issues such as data protection, health technology assessment, access to quality healthcare, eHealth/mHealth and patient advocacy. These experiences made him understand how patients and healthcare professionals can fruitfully collaborate at European and international level in order to reach common goals. Francesco is a fellow Young Gasteiner and a Member of the European Health Parliament. He is Italian and speaks English and French
Jasjote Grewal is a lawyer by training, having qualified as a solicitor in England and Wales in 2010 with a niche health and social care law firm in London. She holds a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Warwick and a Masters in Ethics from the University of Strasbourg, for which she was awarded first place. Prior to joining BBMRI-ERIC in August 2017, Jasjote worked as a Research Fellow in Biolaw at the Centre for Ethics and Law in the Life Sciences, Hannover. Whilst there, she investigated ethical, legal and societal issues (ELSI) in the context of various European and international scientific projects, including biobanking collaborations. Jasjote has received advocacy training at the EURORDIS Expert Patient & Researcher Summer School, and has also spent time conducting research at the University of Oxford, as well as the World Health Organization, Geneva.
Originally from Saltillo, Mexico, Viridiana graduated with a BA in Business Administration and Tourism Management from the Universidad del Valle de México in 2009. She worked in tourism and administration for four years before moving to Tianjin, China, to gain international experience. Two years later, she relocated to Austria and started learning German, which eventually led her to take a job at a renowned hotel in the city centre. Viridiana is pleased to bring her outstanding administration skills as well as her professionalism and high commitment to the BBMRI-ERIC team.
Fereniki Ioakeimidou was born in Thessaloniki, Greece. She studied Theology and received her M.Sc. degree from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in 2009. Professionally, she has several years of working experience in the secretarial field. Exemplarily, she held highly responsible positions in two educational companies and a non-profit organization (Hellenic association of Alzheimer Disease and Related Disorders) in Greece. Moreover, she has volunteer experience organising the event for the Hellenic Semester in Petten during the European Union’s Hellenic Presidency. During the last three years, she was working as secretary to the Director of the Joint Research Centre at the European Commission’s Institute for Energy and Transport in Petten, The Netherlands. Facilitating office operations, she was responsible for providing an efficient and professional administrative and clerical service to colleagues, managers and supervisors. Moreover, an extended stay in Ispra, Italy allowed improving her knowledge of the Italian language and culture.
Ulrike Rohrer is an industrial engineer with training in accounting & controlling. She was educated in Austria, the Netherlands and the US. In 2008, she has earned her Bachelor in Technology Management at the University of Applied Sciences Windesheim and her Master in Industrial Management at the University of Applied Sciences FH JOANNEUM Kapfenberg as double degree graduate. In her final thesis, she focused on the “Key Factors for the Successful Accomplishment of Cross-Cultural Assignments in Industrial Companies” under consideration of expatriate interviews and company training manuals. Her industrial career began at Siemens Power Generation Anlagentechnik GmbH in Vienna as Project Execution Time Scheduler of combined cycle power plants and progressed internally to the Department Project Management – Construction Site in Amsterdam. Thereafter, she relocated to Singapore as a member of the Sales and Proposal Department for the Asia-Pacific region at Siemens Pte Ltd. Just about one year prior to her appointment as Finance / Project Assistant at BBMRI-ERIC, she has gained experience as Global Commercial Sales Manager for power plant projects in South America at Siemens AG Austria. Her career destinations as well as diversified job profile mirror her passion for cross-cultural interactions.
Nadja Palko finished the HAK Grazbachgasse (commercial highschool) in the field of international business. After graduation, she has been working in various companies in the energy, insurance and real estate sector as secretary, receptionist and assistant. Also, she studied several years Slavonic studies and spent one semester at the faculty for philology at the Odessa I. I. Mechnikov National University in the Ukraine, which allowed her to improve her Russian language skills. Furthermore, she is educated in payroll accounting and experienced in communication management.