From left to right:
Nadja Palko (Communication Officer – currently on leave)
Meghan McCarroll (Secretary/Receptionist)
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 (Communication Officer)
Fereniki Ioakeimidou (Secretary/Receptionist)
Erik Steinfelder (Director General)
Andrea Wutte (Quality Manager)
Jan-Eric Litton (Senior Adviser)
Carmen Cristea (Finance/Administration Assistant)
Markus Pasterk (Administrative Director)
Outi Törnwall (EU Project Manager)
Luc Deltombe (Finance/Communication Assistant)
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 degree 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.
Jan-Eric Litton is Professor of Biomedical Computing Technology at the Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden. He was BBMRI-ERIC’s first Director General from 22 January 2014 until 31 July 2017 and is now Senior Adviser. Before that, Jan-Eric was Executive Director and head of one of the largest medical infrastructure in Sweden – BBMRI.se (The Biobanking and Molecular Resource Infrastructure of Sweden). He also coordinated the Nordic BBMRI (Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Island, Faroe Island and Estonia). Jan-Eric is renowned for his expertise in biobanking and leadership in large-scale projects. He is also heading the development of e-epidemiology by using Internet, cell-phones, digital paper and digital TV for collecting epidemiology data. At the same time, he is involved in 8 large EU projects in medicine, including the: BiobankCloud – Scalable, Secure Storage of Biobank Data. He was one of the driving forces in the FP5 project GenomEUtwin, where an infrastructure was built to link information between the 600 000 twins in seven European Countries and Australia between 2002–2007. He led an infrastructure group in “EU Coordination Action; Harmonising population-based biobanks and cohort studies to strengthen the foundation of European biomedical science in the post-genome era” 2006, and has been involved in P3G since 2004, he led IWG2 (Information Curation and Information Technology) in P3G during 2004–2008. He was the co-director for the Swedish LifeGene initiative, a prospective cohort based biobank with the aim of 500,000 participants until 2010. Since 2012, Litton has been part of the e-science initiative in Sweden with a yearly budget from the Swedish government. Jan-Eric Litton has also made major contributions to the current knowledge in Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and was one of the first researchers showing receptor binding with PET technique. He did his post doc at The Research Medicine Department of Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory and Donner Laboratory of the University of California, USA, 1986–1987. Litton has given more than 32 invited keynote speeches over the last six years.
Since 2014 Andrea M. Wutte has been leading BBMRI-ERIC HQ Service Quality. 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, respectively actions and accompanying measures. 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. Andrea is a biologist, whom studied at the Karl-Franzens-University of Graz, focusing on hormone physiology and biochemistry. After receiving her degree in 1996, she started her academic career as a research assistant in the field science of endocrinology and metabolism at the Medical University of Graz. Subsequently she became an investigator and clinical project manager in several research projects. As 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 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, focused on interface management with stakeholders, to certifications according to ISO 9001 and 29990.
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 a 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 is Finance and Communication Assistant at BBMRI-ERIC. He is specialised in internal and external communications and project management. Luc 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. Subsequently Communications Manager in 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.
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).
Educated at the University of Helsinki, Finland, Outi Törnwall is an analytical chemist by training. She has a strong background in biobanking and in the field of sensory sciences and twin studies. Between 2009 and 2013, she completed her PhD studies focusing on genetic and environmental influences on chemosensory perception and preferences at the University of Helsinki, Finland.
Outi considers the 6 years of experience (2003-2009) in coordinating the DNA sample unit for the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) in Finland as one of the benchmarks of her career. During those years, she increased her biobanking experience and had the opportunity to work with multiple players in the life science field. She helped the DNA unit to grow from small-scale into a large, state-of-the art DNA unit, which processed samples for multiple national and international research projects. Before her appointment to BBMRI-ERIC, she worked in BBMRI-LPC (BBMRI-Large Prospective Cohorts) and the BBMRI.fi coordination teams at the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland and THL to learn more about research infrastructures and the coordination and management of EU projects. Currently, Outi is completing a Diploma in Service Excellence (Executive MBA training program) at Haaga-Helia, Finland.
Meghan McCarroll, born in Detroit, Michigan USA, gained her Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from the University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, USA. Meghan’s career expertise is in personnel management and improving client/customer relations. She has held management level roles at hospitals, hotels/resorts/health spas, and retail stores in several states throughout the United States; where she has received industry recognition for her efforts in the areas of delivering quality performance and customer service professionalism. Working in environments with diverse customer bases throughout the US, in exceptionally busy environments, Meghan specializes in using communication skills and positivity to achieve goals. Additionally, she brings her experience and focused training in the areas of time management, task management, and developing efficient and effective business practices via technology, to her role as Secretariat at BBMRI-ERIC. Meghan is thrilled to bring her operations management experience and enthusiasm for working with people from diverse cultural and international backgrounds to BBMRI-ERIC.
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 Communication Officer at BBMRI-ERIC. She is fluent in several languages and teaches conference interpreting at the University of Graz.
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.
(E-mail will be checked periodically)
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.