Steering Committee

Kolya Manyakov

Kolya Manyakov is a principal scientist in the computational biology group at Janssen Research and Development, where he is responsible for neuroscience analytics. His interests are in data mining, machine learning, and signal and image processing. Kolya holds a PhD in Biomedical Sciences, a PhD in Theoretical Informatics and master’s degree in mathematics. Prior to Janssen, he was an associate professor and held different scientific research and teaching positions in academia.

He is the work package EFPIA co-leader within the RADAR-AD project.

Vaibhav Narayan

Vaibhav is currently Vice President, Research Technology at Janssen R&D, and RADAR-CNS project co-lead.  The Neuroscience Therapeutic Area at Janssen is pioneering a more personalized and holistic approach to therapeutic intervention that goes ‘beyond the pill’, to offer data-driven and science-based ‘integrated solutions’ for preventing, diagnosing, treating, and monitoring CNS diseases. Vaibhav’s work is currently focused on utilizing state-of-the-art informatics methods and digital technologies for developing markers for early diagnosis, disease progression, drug response and treatment monitoring in Alzheimer’s and Mood; and to develop novel ‘point-of-need’ tools and technologies for management of adherence and prediction of relapse in patients with Schizophrenia. 

Vaibhav joined Johnson and Johnson from Eli Lilly and Co., where he headed the Discovery and Biomedical Informatics group to enable Lilly’s translational, biomarker, and tailored therapeutics strategies.  Prior to Lilly, Vaibhav held multiple leadership roles in various small to mid-size biotech companies such as Celera Genomics, CuraGen Corporation and Vertex Pharmaceuticals during which time he participated in multiple landmark ‘Big Biology’ projects, including sequencing, assembly and analysis of the human genome (Human Genome Project) and elucidation of the first complete protein-protein interaction map of a whole organism. 

Vaibhav obtained his PhD from Yale University jointly from the Departments of Chemistry, and Molecular Biophysics & Biochemistry in 1998, and an Executive MBA from Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University in 2009. 

Andre Durudas

After receiving a business degree in insurance administration, Andre went on to study Chemical Engineering at the University of Applied Science in Münster, Germany. He then continued with his studies in the US and received his PhD in Immunology from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. Since 2010, Andre has been working in science project management, including collaboration projects funded by the US government (NIH, BARDA) as well as large-scale European-funded research projects in the FP7, Horizon2020 and IMI2 programs. In July 2016, he joined CMAST, a Belgian SME focusing on delivering Project Management, Consulting and Business Solutions to life science clients. In this role, Andre is subcontracted to Janssen Pharmaceutica to support the Project Leader in the two related IMI2 projects RADAR-CNS and RADAR-AD in all issues related to project management and contract compliance.

Herman Verheij

Herman Verheij studied organic chemistry at the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands, where he also obtained a PhD in physical-organic chemistry. After a short stint as a post-doc researcher at the Wageningen University, where he developed organic solar cells, he joined the biggest worldwide supplier of screening chemistry, Specs, in 1998, as head of the department of Cheminformatics and Screening collaborations.

Together with a few colleagues he started Pyxis Discovery, where he also headed the Chemistry and Cheminformatics department. In 2010 he joined Top Institute Pharma as Senior Program Manager, where he managed the technological and financial execution of over 25 projects. Since 2016 he is one of the Senior Program Managers at Lygature, a Dutch not-for-profit foundation that acts as a catalyst for the development of new medical solutions for patients by driving public-private collaborations between academia, industry and society. Here he manages a.o. the worldwide RADAR-CNS and RADAR-AD projects, as well as the ReSToRe and PD-MIND consortia.

Vera Nies

Vera studied Medical Biology at the Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands. During her studies she developed a keen interest for neuro-endocrinology and metabolism. She performed her final internship at the Salk Institute, La Jolla, USA, where she studied the urocortin system in relation to diabetes. After that she pursued a PhD in Molecular Metabolism, which she obtained from the State University Groningen (RUG) in May 2017. During her PhD she performed basic research with a clear translational signature, as she investigated the blood-glucose lowering effects of FGF1, a protein that is currently investigated for it potential to treat type 2 diabetes. After her PhD she gained experience in the pharmaceutical industry as a Regulatory Affairs Manager at Novartis, where she managed the portfolios of several oncology products.

She joined Lygature as a Program Manager in June 2018, where she is now involved with the day-to-day management of the IMI-funded projects RADAR-AD, RADAR-CNS, and ELF2. It is her ambition to stimulate innovation through collaboration, and to put science to practice so that it brings benefit to us all.

Dag Aarsland

Professor Dag Aarsland joined the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London, in January 2016, after having served as Professor of Clinical dementia research at the Alzheimer’s Research Centre at Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden for five years. He also is the Research Director of the Centre for Age-Related Disease at Stavanger University Hospital. His dementia research career spans 25 years and includes a variety of translational clinical research, including leading several large multicentre biomarker and clinical trials. Improving clinical measurement and implementing novel digital devices has been an emerging interest during the last five years.

He has 400 PubMed listed papers, with a current H-factor of 105 and 47000 citations (Google scholar).

Kristin Hannesdottir

Kristin is a Translational Medicine Expert in Neuroscience at Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research in Cambridge, MA, US. Kristin holds a PhD in Neuropsychology from King’s College London. She has 20 years of clinical research experience in Alzheimer’s disease and joined the Pharma industry 10 years ago as a cognition expert in Neuroscience, leading clinical endpoint strategies for early clinical drug development. In RADAR-AD Kristin mainly contributes to WP2 and WP4. In WP2 she is involved with Identifying and accessing appropriate datasets, interpreting analyses of longitudinal datasets and prioritization of functional domains relevant to early Alzheimer’s disease progression. In WP4 she is involved with the prioritization of pre-existing digital tools that would best measure the target functional domain in early AD.

Pieter Stolk

Pieter Stolk, PhD, was trained as a pharmacist with a PhD from Utrecht University. In the past decade he has worked in various roles and capacities in public-private partnerships that focus on the regulatory and policy aspects of medicine development. With Lygature he was a WP lead in the IMI ADAPT SMART project and acts as a programme manager in several projects on regulatory science topics (e.g. Escher, Regulatory Science Network Netherlands). Pieter is interested in all aspects of pharmaceutical policy and medicines research and how collaborative research can help to achieve societal goals.

Emilio Merlo-Pich

Emilio is an MD, specialized in Neurology. He is currently Head of Quantitative Medicine & Partnering with the task to develop the digital health strategy for the Neuroscience R&D of Takeda Pharmaceutical International.  After a period in academia at the University of Modena, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm and Scripps Institute, La Jolla CA, , he joined GSK in charge of CNS Experimental Medicine at first and then as Neuroscience  DPU Head. When in GSK he was one of the sponsors for the IMI NEWSMED. In 2012 he joined Roche as Head of Biomarker & Imaging, contributing actively to the IMI PHARMACOG and later in Takeda, where he is now the coordinator of IMI initiatives in CNS disorders. He is actively involved in the IMI PRISM.  He worked in more than 20 clinical trials and he is co-author of 200 scientific publications and 5 patents. He is senior lecturer at the Brain Science Institute, Imperial College, London. He is based in Zurich.

Chris Hinds

Dr Hinds holds the Robertson Foundation Fellowship in Digital Phenotyping at the BDI. He is PI of the Digital Biomarkers for Dementia project co-funded (£1.2M) by Roche and Lilly, technical lead for the Oxford Cognitive Health and Neurosciences CTU, leads the devices theme for the OH BRC, leads True Colours, works with the OPDC, coordinates devices for the Deep & Frequent Phenotyping study, and the GameChanger project with the UK Alzheimer’s Society. He has a BA, MSc & PhD from the Oxford University Computing Laboratory.

Pieter Jelle Visser

Dr. Visser is a clinical epidemiologist working on the early diagnosis and treatment of AD. He will co-lead WP5. He has ample experience in leading European prospective multicentre data collection studies in AD (Descripa, EDAR, EMIF) and in reusing existing data (EMIF-AD). He is academic co-PI of EMIF-AD and WP co-lead in EPAD and in ROADMAP (via Maastricht University affiliation).

Alexander Duyndam

Alexander’s passion is to connect stakeholders to realize next-level innovations. Following his Chemistry studies at the University of Leiden, he obtained a Ph. D. in Theoretical Physical Chemistry from the Technical University Delft. He started his career in science journalism and eventually became Editor-in-Chief of the Chemistry Portfolio at the start-up Bèta Publishers. He fondly remembers the interviews with several Nobel Prize winners, CEO’s and research directors. As member of the Management Team he transferred into a more commercial role as Publishers responsible for Digital Innovation and the Maritime Portfolio. His next role was Strategic Consultant at Schuttelaar & Partners in the business unit Technology & Society. He advised the Dutch government, SME’s, multinationals and NGO’s on a wide range of sustainability issues. Key focus areas were: cleantech, stakeholder engagement, media strategy, crisis management and strategic communication.

At Lygature he heads the Communications Team who provide communications support for over 20 research collaborations in the medical space. As the current challenges in healthcare requires the talents of many, Alexander enjoys building bridges and engaging stakeholders.

Samantha Sharp

Samantha Sharp is the BRC Dementia Theme Manager in the Old Age Psychiatry Department at Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King’s College London. She leads the patient and public involvement work of the theme, including a dedicated group of people with experience of dementia who comment and advise on the Department’s research. Prior to working at King’s College, Samantha was at the UK Alzheimer’s Society. There, she provided a comprehensive policy analysis and development function, in order to influence public policy so that it better met the needs of people with dementia. Samantha worked to ensure that the public policy relevant to dementia was informed by the voice of people living with dementia. She has a masters in Public Policy from King’s College London.