Under the overarching theme, “United for Brain Innovation”, the Brain Innovation Days aim to bring together key opinion leaders and stakeholders from the ever-growing brain innovation ecosystem to create synergies and showcase the importance of brain innovation and how, one innovation at a time, it is changing Europe and the world.

Session Types

European Brain Summit

The European Brain Summit is a high-level, policy-focused Plenary Session organised by two leading European organisations in the field of brain research: the European Brain Council and EBRAINS.

Breakout Session

Breakouts are stakeholder-led sessions dedicated to exploring a particular topic or issue in detail in an informal, hands-on way.

Agora Session

Agoras are mini sessions of up to 20 minutes from industry innovators, start-ups, and other key members of the brain innovation ecosystem.

Innovation Showcase

Similar to the Agora session, Innovation Showcases are mini sessions of 10 minutes focused on one particular innovation, be it a new technology/device, treatment in the pipeline or beyond.

Brain Talks

Brain Talks are concise, inspiring and thought-provoking presentations from speakers leading cutting-edge research or activities supporting innovation in brain science.

11 October

18:30 - 21:00


Featuring the Brain Talk
Home use of neuromodulation

Traveling to Brussels ahead of the 12-13 October event? Already in Brussels? Join us for the Welcome Reception of the Brain Innovation Days, to be held at AREA 42 on the evening of 11 October, ahead of the main event and get to know your fellow attendees.

12 October


QUIET CORNER – 11:20 – 11:45


LUNCH BREAK (12:30 – 13:30)

QUIET CORNER – 13:00 – 13:30


 BROWN Curtains

Quiet Zone
 Green Curtains


By registering to the Brain Innovation Days you may participate in the European Brain Summit: a high-level, policy-focused event organised by European Brain Council and EBRAINS.

Registration opens at 13:00.

13 October


QUIET CORNER – 11:15 – 11:45


Quiet Zone
 Green Curtains


12:35 - 12:50 - BRAIN TALK

Enhancing Treatment of Dementia with Cognitive Stimulation Therapy and Digital Innovation

LUNCH BREAK (13:00 – 14:00)

QUIET CORNER – 13:30 – 14:00


BREAK (15:20 – 15:40)

10:30 – 10:50 – AGORA SESSION

DYRK1A, a novel therapeutic target for Down syndrome and Alzheimer’s disease

10:50 – 11:15 – HOW TO SESSION

How to finance your Start-Up – Led by Imec.istart

12:10 – 12:30 – AGORA SESSION


11:45 – 12:05 – AGORA SESSION

Teleneurorehabilitation: new therapeutic approaches in acquired brain injury

12:10 – 12:25 – INNOVATION SHOWCASE​

Smart insoles: the next step in personalised mobility medicine


13 October


09:30 – 09:40 – SETTING THE SCENE

10:30 – 11:20 – PANEL DISCUSSION

Business Development:  Imaging, AI and Digital

11:45 – 12:25 – PANEL DISCUSSION

Financing Brain Innovation


12:35 – 12:50 – BRAIN TALK

Bjarke Panduro, Enhancing the early detection of Alzheimer’s disease through digital innovation

14:00 – 15:15 – BREAKOUT SESSION

Cannabis and the Brain



Lars Edvinsson


The International Headache Society

Professor Lars Edvinsson (LE) is recognized leading expert in the field of vascular innervation and receptor regulation and his extensive research has been a major contributor to understanding roles of the coronary, cerebral and peripheral vasculature in health and diseases such as AMI, stroke and primary headaches. LEs research has founded the development of novel drugs for the treatment of neurovascular diseases.

Frédéric Destrebecq

Executive Director

European Brain Council

Frédéric Destrebecq is the Executive Director of the European Brain Council since October 2014. In this capacity, he is responsible for providing strategic direction and leadership while managing the day to day operations of EBC and its ongoing relationships with its member associations and other stakeholders, as well as representing the organisation in various European and national forums.

Prior to this position, Fred served the European Union of Medical Specialists (UEMS) as Chief Executive Officer, and previously as Director for European Affairs. Fred holds a Master Degree in Political Science and International Relations from the Université Catholique de Louvain (Belgium). He also studied at the Institut d’Études Politiques (Paris) and University of Wales College (Cardiff), in the framework of the former EU Socrates exchange programme.

Monica Di Luca


European Brain Council

Monica Di Luca, EBC President, is Professor of Pharmacology and Head of Laboratory of Pharmacology of Neurodegeneration – DiSFeB at the University of Milano.

Her primary research interest is related to synaptic plasticity in physiological and pathological conditions, with the primary aim to apply basic findings to the cure of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease.

She has been member of Council of several national and international scientific organizations including Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS, President 2014-2016), the International Brain Research Organization (IBRO), EMBO and the European Dana Alliance for the Brain (EDAB).

Andjus Pavle


University of Belgrade

Full professor, Founder and head of Center for laser microscopy, Faculty of Biology University of Belgrade. Coordinated the first FP project in biomedicine in Serbia - FP6 project “NEUROIMAGE”, and now coordinates a H2020 MSCA RISE project “AUTOIGG” aiming to design a lab & optics-on-a-chip device using fluorescence signaling for the diagnostics of neurodegenerative diseases. President of the Serbian Brain Council the member of the European Brain Council (EBC) and liaison of the National Councils to the EBC, European Society for Molecular Imaging Board member, Association of Italian and Serbian Scientists Steering committee member, Former president of the Biophysical Society of Serbia, Founding member of the Optical Society of Serbia, Member of University Graduate Studies Council; Founded PhD programmes in Biophotonics and Biophysics at the University of Belgrade; Expertise: neurobiophysics of ion channels and cellular mechanisms in neurodegenerative diseases and use of advanced microscopy in bioimaging.

Erin Smith

Vice President


Erin is a technologist and brain health executive focused on building the future of brain health. She is an Atlantic Fellow for Brain Equity at the Global Brain Health Institute at UC San Francisco (UCSF) and a Thiel Fellow at Stanford focused on neuroscience and computer science. Erin has experience in building and applying deep technologies such as digital phenotyping, sensors, and imaging to brain health. She priorly ran a company that developed affective computing tools for Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. Her publications have been featured in leading journals including Neuron, Molecular Psychiatry, and American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry. Erin is the director of the PRODEO Institute, a think-tank focused on radical approaches to advancing brain health, and Vice President of PRODEO, a group of brain-health focused executives. She has had academic collaborations with Stanford University School of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Weizmann Institute of Science, and the Michael J. Fox Foundation. Erin is a Y Combinator and Forbes 30 under 30 alumni and an AAAS IF/THEN Ambassador.

Alberto Pena Fernandez

Project Engineer


Alberto holds a MSc in Physics and Physics Technology from the University of Cantabria (Spain) and joined BioRICS in 2019 as a Project Engineer in R&D. Within BioRICS Alberto is taking care of algorithm development. His main interests and experiences are within the field of data analysis of biological signals to monitor the physical condition and well-being of animals and humans. Alberto also takes interest in collecting the relevant information from the data analysis and translating it in a comprehensive way for the different types of users.

Joke Jaarsma


European Federation of Neurological Associations

Joke Jaarsma is EBC Treasurer and President of the European Federation of Neurological Associations (EFNA). In 2009 she started the European Alliance for Restless Legs Syndrome, an organization which now represents all major European patient groups for RLS. She still works with them as Director of External Relations. Furthermore, she also is a member of several scientific panels at the European Academy of Neurology. In her working life, Joke Jaarsma was senior publisher at one of the major science publishers. She joined the Dutch Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) patient association in 1999, and she is still active as Vice President of the Dutch group. Having finished full-time paid employment, she decided to spend her retirement in helping give neurology patients a strong and collective voice.

Karen S. Rommelfanger

Director, Neuroethics and Neurotech Innovation Collaboratory

Emory Center for Ethics

Dr. Karen S. Rommelfanger is a neuroethics strategist and researcher. She received her PhD in neuroscience and received postdoctoral training in neuroscience and neuroethics. Her research explores how evolving neuroscience and neurotechnologies challenge societal definitions of disease and medicine. Dr. Rommelfanger is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Neurology and Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. She also Directs the Neuroethics and Neurotech Innovation Collaboratory and the Neuroethics Program Director at Emory University’s Center for Ethics. She holds editorial positions as Senior Associate Editor at the American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience and is first neuroethicist to be called to the editorial advisory board of Neuron. 

Khalid Ishaque

Chief of Strategy


Former general manager of Neuromodulation international at Boston Scientific, former CEO Pixium Vision, Entrepreneur Brain-Machine innovations. Global business leader passionate about meaningful MedTech/NeuroTech innovations and transhumanism that makes a difference in improving lives. Interfacing the knowledge and technologies at the frontier of innovations with over 25 years of building and leading high-performance winning teams executing in high growth start-up ventures and multi-disciplinary environments. Spanning international general management and strategic responsibilities in Neuromodulation / Bioelectronics, brain-machine interface arena.

Javier DeFelipe


Laboratorio Cajal de Circuitos Corticales, Universidad Politecnica de Madrid and Laboratorio de Microorganización de la Corteza Cerebral, Instituto Cajal, CSIC.

Javier DeFelipe is the director of the Laboratorio Cajal de Circuitos Corticales, Universidad Politecnica de Madrid and of the Laboratorio de Microorganización de la Corteza Cerebral, Instituto Cajal, CSIC. His laboratory is involved in the development of a variety of software tools to classify neuronal cell types and to examine the anatomical design (neuronal morphology and synaptic organization) of brain circuits. His interests are to study the history of our current understanding of cortical organization and function. In particular, he is interested in the roots of cortical histology and circuitry. He is also fascinated by the link between the study of the brain and art and has been involved in organizing and curating numerous exhibitions around the world. He has written several articles, chapters and books on both this subject and the influence of Santiago Ramón y Cajal in modern neuroscience.

Elena Moro

Secretary General

European Academy of Neurology

Elena Moro graduated in Medicine at the University of Trieste (Italy), and completed her residency in Neurology at the Rome Catholic University (Italy). She did her fellowship in surgery for movement disorders in Grenoble, France, under the supervision of Pr. Pollak and Pr. Benabid. After receiving her PhD in Neurosciences, she joined the Division of Neurology at the Toronto Western Hospital (Canada) as medical Director of the surgical program for Movement Disorders. She worked with Pr. AE Lang and Pr. AM Lozano. In 2012 she moved to Grenoble, France, as full Professor of Neurology at the Grenoble Alpes University. Currently, she is the Director of the Movement Disorders Center, and the Head of the Department of Psychiatry, Neurology, Neurological Rehabilitation and Forensic Medicine at the CHUGA. To date, she has published more than 200 papers based on clinical research in movements disorders. Her main research has been focused on restoring brain function, especially with deep brain stimulation. Pr. Moro has trained many medical students, PhD students and neurology fellows. She is actively involved in several international academic societies. She is currently the Secretary General of the European Academy of Neurology and the Treasurer of the International Association of Parkinson and Related Disorders.

Tim Buckinx

CEO & Founder


A social and innovative digital business leader with a critical and empathetic mindset, a lot of sense for responsibility and humor. And a touch of non-conformism. Loves the journey towards truly disruptive experiences by smart innovation and agility.

Antonella Delle Fave

MD specialized in Clinical Psychology, is professor of Psychology at the Medical School of the University of Milano. Her research work is devoted to the study of mental health indicators and daily experience fluctuation models across activity domains and cultural contexts, as well as among individuals experiencing chronic disease or social maladjustment. During three decades of intensive research work she has built the largest international databank on the psychological structure and phenomenology of flow (aka optimal experience) across cultures and activities. Her scientific production includes papers in international peer-reviewed journals, as well as authored and edited books. Especially relevant to the present project are The Wiley Blackwell Handbook of the Psychology of Positivity and Strengths-Based Approaches at Work (edited with L.Oades, M. Steger and J. Passmore, 2017) and Flow at work: Measurement and implications (edited with C. Fullagar, Routledge, 2017). Since 2010 she is Editor in Chief of the Journal of Happiness Studies.

Caroline Montojo


Dana Foundation

Caroline Montojo, Ph.D., is the President and CEO of the Dana Foundation, a private philanthropic organization in New York City dedicated to advancing understanding about the brain. Dr. Montojo leads the Foundation into its next chapter which focuses on neuroscience within society, how neuroscience both reflects and informs society. This includes fields where neuroscience interfaces with the world, such as ethics, law, humanities, medicine, arts, social sciences, policy, education, and public engagement. Dr. Montojo was previously the Director of Life Sciences and the Director of Brain Initiatives at The Kavli Foundation where she worked closely with the Kavli Institutes to advance science. Dr. Montojo has been deeply involved in catalytic efforts to advance neuroscience, including the U.S Brain Initiative and the International Brain Initiative (IBI). She served as an elected spokesperson for the IBI, giving talks at multiple scientific conferences such as the International Conference on Learning and Memory, the US National Institutes of Health Advisory Committee to the Director of NIH Working Group on BRAIN Initiative 2.0, and the UC Irvine Brain Initiative Launch. She also contributes to publications on international neuroscience and neuroethics in editorials, articles, and perspectives. Dr. Montojo completed postdoctoral research in the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). 

Julie Nys

PhD, Medical Stakeholder Ambassador


Julie is a fast-learning, engaging and team-minded Neuroscientist. During my PhD and postdoc (VIB), she became an expert in molecular neuroscience and brain plasticity. Internationally, she worked abroad in a top-level neuroscience lab in Montréal. She loves to deploy my endless scientific curiosity, passion and collaborative spirit to make a difference in society. After 2 years of experience in product development, she is currently taking on the role of Medical Stakeholder Ambassador at Byteflies. She is positioned at the interface between product & sales teams and medical experts, the pharma industry and top-notch hospitals to set up wearable health solutions for Epilepsy. Ultimately, Byteflies’s mission is to make health care more personal, proactive, accessible, affordable and equitable, especially for people with chronic conditions.

Laurent Meijer

Chairman and Chief Scientific Officer

Perha Pharmaceuticals

Laurent Meijer obtained Doctorate degrees from the Universities of Lille and Paris VI, did a post-doc at the Stanford University Hopkins Marine Laboratory, Pacific Grove (1978-’79), obtained a CNRS position in 1979, did a sabbatical in 1985-’86 at the University of Washington (Department of Biochemistry, Seattle) and was a Visiting Professor for 3 years (2001-2004) at the Rockefeller University in New York. As a CNRS Research Director he was heading a team of 21 co-workers (‘Protein Phosphorylation & Human Disease’ group), at the ‘Station Biologique de Roscoff’, till June 2011. He is now Chairman and Chief Scientific Officer of ManRos Therapeutics (2011) and of Perha Pharmaceuticals (2019), two small biotech companies focused on the development of kinase inhibitors targeting cystic fibrosis (CF) (ManRos), cognitive deficits associated with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Down syndrome (DS), prevention of Hearing Loss (HL) induced by ototoxic products or acoustic trauma, and polycystic kidney disease (PKD) (Perha Pharma). Aged 68, he is author of more than 360 scientific articles and co-inventor in 43 patents. His major work and expertise are focused on the search for, optimization and characterization of pharmacological chemical inhibitors, inspired by marine natural products, of disease-relevant protein kinases and their development as innovative therapeutic drug candidates.

Alvin Chan

Founder & CEO


Viktor Jirsa


Inserm Institut de Neurosciences des Systèmes

Viktor Jirsa is Director of the Inserm Institut de Neurosciences des Systèmes at Aix-Marseille-Université and Director of Research at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) in Marseille, France. Dr. Jirsa received his PhD in 1996 in Theoretical Physics and Applied Mathematics and has since then contributed to the field of Theoretical Neuroscience, in particular through the development of large-scale brain network models based on realistic connectivity, linking network dynamics to brain function, behavior and imaging. His work has been foundational for network science in medicine with clinical translation to epilepsy. Dr. Jirsa is lead of the brain simulation platform The Virtual Brain ( and lead scientist (WP1) of the European flagship Human Brain Project ( Dr. Jirsa has been awarded several international and national awards for his research including the 1st Human Brain Project Innovation Prize (2021), Grand Prix Départemental de Recherche en Provence (2018), Early Career Distinguished Scholar Award (NASPSPA, 2004) and Francois Erbsmann Prize (2001). Dr. Jirsa serves on various Editorial and Scientific Advisory Boards and has published more than 160 scientific articles and book chapters, as well as co-edited several books including the Handbook of Brain Connectivity.

Nik Patel

Senior Functional Neurosurgeon and Co-founder


Mr. Nik Patel has been practising Consultant Neurosurgeon and Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer at the Institute of Clinical Neurosciences (University of Bristol) since his appointment in 2005. He trained in medicine at Charing Cross & Westminster Medical School, and in neurosciences at University College London. In 1991 he gained a First-Class Honours Degree in Neurosciences and in 1994 graduated in Medicine with Distinction in Pathology from University of London. His basic surgical training was completed at Oxford University. His neurosurgical training was completed at Frenchay hospital, University of Bristol, where he was appointed Consultant Neurosurgeon in 2005. Nik has developed a special interest in the treatment of functional brain disorders. His surgical and research interests have focused on developing innovations, and in advancing less-invasive and stream-lined procedural solutions. He has been recognised for his neurosurgical research excellence with a Medical Research Council fellowship; awards from both the American and the European Associations of Neurological Surgeons; and a Hunterian Professorship from the Royal College of Surgeons of England.

Chandni Hindocha

Associate Director, Scientific Advisor for Cannabinoid Science

GW Pharmaceuticals (part of Jazz Pharmaceuticals)

Chandni Hindocha PhD is Associate Director, Scientific Advisor for Cannabinoid Science at GW Pharmaceuticals (part of Jazz Pharmaceuticals). She received her PhD from University College London (UCL) in the neuropsychopharmacology of cannabinoids and their implications in neuropsychiatric disorder and conducted post-doctoral research at UCL and Yale University on the genetics of the endocannabinoid system in addiction and psychosis. She has a background in clinical trials on cannabidiol and the psychopharmacology of addictive disorders. She has been awarded several prestigious awards from academic societies including the 2020 Senior Public Communication Award from the British Association of Psychopharmacology and the 2020 Rafaelsen Young Investigator Award from the International College of Neuropsychopharmacology. She has published over 50 papers in high-impact neuroscientific journals, of which 17 are first/joint first authorship.

Amir Englund

Research fellow, Department of Addictions and the Department of Psychosis studies

Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London

Dr Amir Englund PhD is a research fellow at the Department of Addictions and the Department of Psychosis studies at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King’s College London. He completed his PhD on the psychopharmacology of cannabis constituents including their acute, cognitive and electrophysiological effects. He has carried out research in cannabinoid psychopharmacology and has conducted several experimental cannabis studies involving healthy volunteers. He has also worked on clinical trials of cannabidiol (CBD, a non-intoxicating cannabinoid) as an adjunct treatment of patients with a psychotic disorder. He is currently running a study in healthy volunteers where he aims to find the optimum ratio between THC and CBD in cannabis that is least related to cognitive impairment and paranoia. Dr Englund has advised both UK and European bodies on cannabinoid science.

Eugen Trinka

Chairman of the Department of Neurology at the Christian-Doppler-Klinik (CDK)

University Hospital for the Paracelsus Medical University

Professor Dr Eugen Trinka FRCP is Chairman of the Department of Neurology at the Christian-Doppler-Klinik (CDK), Paracelsus Medical University Salzburg, and Chair of the Neuroscience Institute, Salzburg, Austria. He received his MD from the University of Vienna and an MSc in Public Health Sciences and Technology from the UMIT Hall in Tirol. After a research fellowship at the Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill, Canada, he built up the comprehensive epilepsy centre at the Department of Neurology, Innsbruck Medical University, Austria. In 2010, Professor Trinka was appointed Chairman of Neurology at Paracelsus University, where he continued building epilepsy services of excellence and participated actively in the European Reference Network EpiCARE. He is currently Chair of the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) Europe and member of the ILAE Executive Committee. He served as President for the Austrian Chapter of the ILAE and as President of the Austrian Society of Neurology from 2018 to 2020. Professor Trinka’s research interests include cortical dysplasia, status epilepticus and drug development, cognitive neurosciences and neurophysiology, and public health. He has authored over 530 peer-reviewed publications and is an active member of various task forces for the ILAE.

Ilse Vanhulle



Ilse Vanhulle is an investor & coach of high-potential HealthTech startups through the imec.istart accelerator program. Imec.istart offers ambitious tech startups pre-seed funding and tailored support to succeed and grow globally. Ilse is focusing on HealthTech startups and has a background in consulting (Deloitte Digital) and Pharmaceuticals (Janssen Pharmaceuticals). Since 2011, imec.istart has invested in and supported more than 200 companies, so a lot of knowledge and experience to share!

Makarand Bagul

Senior Medical Director

GW Pharmaceuticals (part of Jazz Pharmaceuticals)

Dr Makarand Bagul is a senior medical director at GW Pharmaceuticals plc (part of Jazz Pharmaceuticals) and is responsible for the Cannabinoid Science Education Programme. After he graduated from the Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College with a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery degree in 2000, Dr Bagul held various clinical positions in both India and the United Kingdom in the areas of neurology, respiratory medicine, and endocrinology. After he moved over to the pharmaceutical industry in 2007, he has held a number of strategic European and international roles, primarily in the neuroscience field (epilepsy, pain, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia with Lewy bodies, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, sleep, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), as well as in cardiology, urology, gastroenterology, endocrinology, immunology, haemophilia, and rare genetic disorders. His roles within the pharmaceutical industry have spanned clinical development, medical/regulatory affairs, and pharmacovigilance. Dr Bagul is currently studying for an Executive MBA at Warwick Business School (London campus).

Marcello Massimini

MD PhD, Professor of Neurophysiology

University of Milan

Marcello was trained as a Medical Doctor, received a PhD in Neurophysiology and is currently Professor of Physiology at the University of Milan and fellow of the Canadian Institute of Advanced Research (CIFAR). Spanning from intracranial recordings to neuroimaging, his research activity is devoted to understanding the neuronal and network mechanisms underlying physiological and pathological transitions across different brain states, such as wakefulness, sleep, anesthesia, and coma. Over the last ten years, and with the support of the Human Brain Project, he has developed a novel strategy, based on non-invasive brain stimulations and recordings, to detect and monitor recovery of consciousness after severe brain injury. On this subject, Marcello has published several original papers, review articles (18K citations overall) and a book, “Sizing up consciousness” for Oxford University Press.

Joan Ferri Campos

General Director

Vithas Hospitals Neurorehabilitation Network

Dr. Joan Ferri serves as General Director of Vithas Hospitals Neurorehabilitation Network (, which includes different rehabilitation facilities located in Spain. He is also an active member of the National Medical Advisory Committee of Vithas Hospitals.He is currently the President of the Spanish Society of Neurorehabilitation and member of the scientific committee of neurorehabilitation in the European Academy of Neurology. Dr. Ferri is an expert in Neurorehabilitation, clinical Neuropsychologist and PhD at the University of Valencia. He has served in the Board of Governors of the Spanish Neurorehabilitation Society from 2000 and is the actual President of this institution. Dr. Ferri is also a member of the Stroke Strategy Committee (Spanish National Health System), and collaborates as associate member with the National Commission of Brain Injury due to traffic accidents. From an academic perspective, he collaborates with the University of Valencia and coordinates a Master's Degree in Neurosciences and Neurorehabilitation at CEU University. Dr. Ferri, participates as a member in numerous national and international societies, including the International Brain Injury Association (IBIA) and the International Society of Neurorehabilitation and Brain Damage. He is the author of more than 100 peer-review scientific articles and book chapters on neurosciences and most importantly he is a recognised collaborator of national brain injury family associations.

Nadine Reißner

Senior Analyst Social Impact of Robotics


Received her bachelor degree in Social Sciences in 2011 at University of Augsburg which qualified her for a DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) full scholarship to study the Master’s degree “International Financial and Political Relations” in Loughborough, UK.

In December 2012, she graduated with a distinction, while she had already started working at the Chief Innovation Office at KUKA AG in November 2012. In September 2015 Nadine joined the Project Office of KUKA’s Corporate Research department; first as support for the RockEU and RockEU2 projects and since 2017 as analyst of social impacts of robotics.

Here she has been actively contributing to the integrated technology development process and written analyses for both European and national research projects like REFILLS, MURAB and RoSylerNT. Her research interests lie in the ethical and psycho-social impacts of robots in human-robot interaction.

Snježana Štefok


EU Advisory Committee on Safety and Health at Work

Graduated from the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences of the University of Zagreb. She used to work more than 20 years in the biggest national newspapers as a columnist, a redactor and an editor.

Besides the experience in the private sector, she also has an experience in the public sector working in the Government Office for Social Partnership, the Agency for Mobility and European Programmes, the Institute for Occupational Safety Improvement and the Ministry of Labour.

She has a wide range of experience as a project manager (writing project proposals, controlling the implementation of projects and implementing projects) and as an OSH expert she took part in the TAIEX mission. On behalf of the Croatian Government she is a member of the EU Advisory Committee on Safety and Health at Work.

Andras Puszta

medical doctor

Helgeland Hospital/University of Oslo

Andras Puszta was born in Budapest and grew up in Verona, Italy. After graduating as a
medical doctor in 2009, he began his PhD in Szeged, Hungary. During his studies, he
registered neural recordings from monkeys, cats and rats. In addition, he also registered EEG
from healthy volunteers as well as from patients with various neuropsychiatric disorders. His
dissertation is about how multisensory stimuli affect the associative learning phases. During
the last year of his doctorate, he went to Aachen (Germany) to study the basics of fMRI, and
he spent a short scholarship at KU Leuven (Belgium) to study the basics of optogenetic
manipulation in monkeys.
In addition to research assignments, he taught physiology to second-year medical students at
the University of Szeged, for which reason he was awarded the "best practice leader" in 2017.
He also supervised several BSc and MSc dissertations.
After the doctoral defense in 2019, he started as a postdoc in Norway at Helgeland Hospital at
the Department of Neuropsychology in Mosjoen and at the University of Oslo.

Filippa Fuirniss

Product Manager

Walk With Path

Filippa is the Product Manager at Walk With Path, and is responsible for integration between the
clinical and engineering teams. With a background in Biomedical Engineering (MEng) from
Imperial College London, she specialises in user centred medical devices, with a specific
interest in rehabilitation engineering solutions.

Tom Braekeleirs


BlueHealth Innovation Center

Maria Caluianu

Biomedical Consultant

Walk With Path

Maria is a Biomedical Consultant at Walk With Path, and is responsible for ensuring Walk With
Path’s solutions are clinically valid. She has a BSc in Applied Medical Sciences from University
College London and is currently pursuing a PhD there.

Sophie Esterer


Kop Science+ Consulting

Sophie Esterer, PhD, is co-founder of kop science + consulting, specialising in R&D services and strategic consulting for neurotech start-ups. She obtained her PhD from Cardiff University with a research focus on neuromodulation (tDCS), simulation of brain stimulation (FEM) and neuroimaging (fNIRS, MEG). She is also a psychotherapist in training at the University of Vienna.

Christian J. Suojanen


Broadreach Global LLC

Christian is a business and innovation advisor in the biotech, health and pharma sectors, with 20 years strategic advisory, business creation, development and operational experience. His focus is business strategy, financing and business development for start-up and growth companies, and innovation policy for governments, university networks, and health systems. He founded the leading international biotech and health focused platform for connecting technology transfer, licensing and innovation office directors with serial entrepreneurs, industry and investors, over 10 years chairing more than 30 international summits on 5 continents, designed to the build expertise and capacity of tech transfer officers and startup and spinout CEOs to engage effectively with industry and investors. These summits were attended regularly by representatives of over 300 leading medical and life sciences universities and institutes world-wide and hosted by organizations such as the NIH, Wellcome Trust and Institut Pasteur. He was the lead rapporteur for the EC’s 3 year innovation in healthcare initiative, led a successful turn-around of a near bankrupt European biotechnology federation, coordinated the first European level entrepreneur training bootcamp for biotech founders/CEOs, developed the first pan-European biotech investment conference for start-ups in collaboration with the EC and EASDAQ (now Euronext), and convened the working group which led to some of the first formal collaborations and LP investments by large industrial biotechnology companies into venture capital funds. 

Isabelle François

Managing Director

Healthouse Leuven

Isabelle François has a passion for healthcare and a sweet spot for science. As managing director of Health House she can combine these two passions because on a daily basis she deals with future technological innovations, which is a nice bonus for a bio-engineer.

The Health House is a unique and world-class experience center where the future of healthcare is showcased to medical professionals and the general public in an innovative and highly technological way.

Before her position at Health House, François was active as Intellectual Property (IP) Officer at KU Leuven Research & Development. Here she was responsible for writing patents and negotiating contracts between the university and other institutions. Before her function as IP Officer, she was Coordinator Clinical Trials at Fugeia, a company active in the food sector. François has a degree of bio-engineer in cell and gene biotechnology and a PhD in Applied Biological Sciences.

Frances-Catherine Quevenco

International Medical Affairs Manager, Neurology, Alzheimer's disease


Frances-Catherine Quevenco is an accomplished neuroscientist with a passion for enabling dementia patients to access timely and accurate diagnoses to receive the proper care they need. Frances completed a BSc at UCL London in Psychology, followed by an MSc at Imperial College London before joining the National University of Singapore as an Associate Cognitive Neuroscientist. After 2 years of research at NUS, she joined Prof. Roger Nitsch’s group at the University of Zurich, dedicating her PhD and Postdoc to exploring preclinical Alzheimer’s disease biomarkers using neuroimaging techniques to enable earlier detection of the disease when an intervention is most effective and where she first became aware of the stark sex differences between the manifestation of the disease. She has since then broadened her field of expertise, taking on an International Medical Manager position at Roche Diagnostics to educate and establish the value of a timely biomarker-based diagnosis in the field Alzheimer’s disease. In parallel, she is also a strong advocate of advancing research into sex- and gender-specific differences in brain and mental disease and a core team member of the Women's Brain Project and the Communications Chair of the Sex & Gender Alzheimer’s Association PIA.

Simon Kohl


Kop Science+ Consulting

Simon is co-founder of kop science + consulting, specializing in R&D services and strategic consulting for neurotech start-ups. He is also a post-doctoral researcher at Jülich Research Center and RWTH Aachen from which he received his PhD in hemodynamic-based neurofeedback in the beginning of this year. During his PhD he became very interested in the potential of optical brain imaging, particularly for neurofeedback applications – his primary research interest. He has conducted research on different applications of neurofeedback (ADHD, Depression, eating behavior, attention and social cognition) using different imaging modalities (fNIRS, fMRI and EEG).

Philip Scheltens

Managing Partner

LSP Dementia Fund

Prof. dr. Philip Scheltens studied at the VU University Amsterdam, Netherlands, gaining his MD in 1984, and PhD in 1993. Clinical residencies in neurosurgery and neurology supported his academic development. He is Professor of Cognitive Neurology and Director of the Alzheimer Center at Amsterdam University Medical Centers. His main interests are early diagnosis, biomarkers, clinical trials and drug development. He has been the (inter)national PI for over 35 studies, including phase 1-3 multicenter clinical trials. He supervised >75 PhD theses since 2000. He founded the Dutch national plan against dementia and served as chair of the board. He is co-editor-in-chief of Alzheimer’s Research & Therapy and co-leads various EU projects. He authored over 1100 peer reviewed papers and > 75 book chapters and co-edited several major text books.
He is member of the Royal Dutch Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) and served as Secretary General until 2020. In 2016 he was awarded the European Grand Prix for Alzheimer’s Research. In 2020 he was Knighted in the Order of the Netherlands Lion by the King. Since 2020 he is also managing partner of the LSP Dementia Fund. In September 2021 he was elected chair of the World Dementia Council.

Raúl Martín-Ruiz


Ysios Capital

Raúl Martín-Ruiz is a Partner in Ysios Capital, a leading Spanish independent venture capital firm that provides private equity financing to early- and mid-stage human healthcare and life science companies. Prior to joining Ysios in 2008 he developed his career in Laboratorios Almirall, initially working in corporate business development (Licensing In and Licensing Out) and then as responsible for developing and managing the business of the company in the Americas and Africa through licensees and distributors. Initially he was trained as a researcher in the areas of Central Nervous System pharmacology in the Department of Pharmacology of the UPV-EHU (University of the Basque Country), and in neurochemistry in the Department of Neurochemistry of the IIBB-CSIC (Institute for Biomedical Research of Barcelona-Spanish National Research Council). He is a Board member of Synendos Therapeutics and CorWave, Chairman of Anaconda Biomed and former Board member of STAT-Dx (acquired by Qiagen), Prexton Therapeutics (acquired by Lundbeck) and MedLumics. He has a B.Sc. in Biological Sciences by the UPV-EHU and holds a Ph.D. in Neurosciences by the same university and the CSIC.

Laia Crespo

Head of investments

Sanofi Ventures

Laia joined Sanofi Ventures in 2018 with a background in biotech investing primarily in Europe. Prior to Sanofi, Laia served as Investment Director for Ysios Capital where she led investments and served on the Boards for OxThera, Minoryx Therapeutics and Inbiomotion, and as an observer for AM-Pharma. Earlier in her career, Laia was part of the European New Business Development team of Janssen-Cilag, a pharmaceutical company of the Johnson & Johnson group, where she assessed commercial and scientific licensing-in opportunities. Previously she worked as a researcher in the UK in companies such as Spirogen (now AstraZeneca), Medivir and UCB-Celltech. Laia currently serves on the Board of Directors for Muna Therapeutics and is a board observer for Nodthera. Previous investments and board roles include Lava Therapeutics (LVTX). Laia graduated in Chemistry from the University of Barcelona, where she also completed a Master in Science and a Ph.D. with honors. Laia holds an M.B.A. from Cambridge Judge Business School, University of Cambridge, where she focused on biotechnology, healthcare and finance.

Norman Putzk

Global Development Head

Novartis Pharma AG

Simone has broad experience in clinical pharmaceutical research and medical affairs, where she held roles of increasing responsibility since 2011, starting as Medical Advisor Respiratory at Novartis Pharma GmbH in Germany up to her most recent appointment as Region Europe Medical Director Neuroscience at Novartis Pharma AG. Since 2018, she has been leading the Medical Franchise Neuroscience at Novartis Pharma GmbH, responsible for launching new products in the field of Multiple Sclerosis and Migraine in Germany as well as being an executive board member of the global Novartis Franchise Leadership Team for Neuroscience. Prior to joining Novartis, Simone spent several years in drug formulation development at Altana Pharma AG/Nycomed. Simone is a pharmacist by education and holds a PhD in pharmaceutical technology from the University of Tübingen in addition to a Business Administration (VWA) degree, Freiburg.

John Isaac

Senior Director, Neuroscience External Innovation

Johnson & Johnson Innovation Centre

John Isaac joined Johnson & Johnson in September 2016 as Senior Director, identifying and advancing collaborative opportunities in Alzheimer’s Disease and mood disorders. Prior to this John was Head of Neuroscience and Mental Health at the Wellcome Trust (2014-2016). Previous to that he worked at Eli Lilly in the UK leading a team of labs dedicated to identifying new treatments for Alzheimer’s disease and schizophrenia. John obtained a BSc in Pharmacology and Biochemistry at the University of Southampton in 1990. His postdoctoral training was with Rob Malenka and Roger Nicol at UCSF. He has held tenured academic positions at University of Bristol and at the National Institutes of Health, USA. John has published > 80 peer-reviewed research papers with >10,000 citations and holds an honorary position at at University of Oxford.

Benjamin Dodsworth

Chief Scientific Officer and co-founder


Ben is Chief Scientific Officer and co-founder of PIPRA, a startup tackling postoperative delirium and winners of the Brain Innovation Days pitching competition. Ben holds a DPhil from the University of Oxford in Pathology and joined Oxford University Saïd Business School as an Ideas 2 Impact Fellow during his postdoc. Before founding PIPRA, Ben worked as a scientist in big Pharma (Roche & Pfizer) and biotech (R-Biopharm).

Jan Vandenneucker

Neurology Digital Care Transformation Project Lead

UCB Biopharma

Jan Vandenneucker is an experienced project lead, strategist, and technology architect for digital health projects in the field of neurology. Driven by a passion for solving complex problems, he takes pride in developing solutions that have the potential to make a transformational difference in improving care for people living with a neurological condition. As a Digital Care Transformation Project lead at UCB Biopharma, his remit includes Epilepsy, Myasthenia Gravis and Progressive Supranuclear Palsy. In addition to his primary job functions, Jan is a mentor to the UCB’s young professionals employee resource group. He holds a MSc in Applied Sciences & Engineering from the Free University of Brussels and currently resides in Belgium.

Blader Onarheim



Balder Onarheim is a former associate professor in creativity at the Technical University of Denmark, and serial entrepreneur. He is the founder of the Copenhagen Institute of NeuroCreativity and CEO at PlatoScience: experts in at-home TES neuromodulation devices. Balder’s expertise lies within a neurologically based understanding of creativity, and methods to use this understanding to make people better problem solvers.

Zsolt Lenkei

Research Director


Zsolt Lenkei graduated in 1992 from Semmelweis University's Faculty of Medicine in Budapest, Hungary. He obtained a PhD in Neurosciences from the University Pierre and Marie Curie in Paris in 1998, while working at the Chaire de Médecine Experimentale of the College de France, Paris. After a post-doc at the Montreal Neurological Institute of McGill University, Canada, he established an independent research team at ESPCI Paris. He was recently recruited as senior team leader to the new Institute of Psychiatry and Neurosciences of Paris at INSERM. He is an internationally recognized specialist in the neuronal cell biology of cannabinoid receptors, as shown by his election as co-chair of the Gordon Research Conference on Cannabinoid Function in the CNS, 2019. He has a proven track record of success in contributing to interdisciplinary projects that include renowned physicists and chemists, collaborations that have yielded several important publications and patents. Finally, he is still the fastest Hungarian sailor, by holding the national World Sailing Speed Record Council (WSSRC) record, made in 2010 in Lüderitz, Namibia.

Srikanth Ramaswamy

Computational Neuroscientist

Newcastle University

Srikanth Ramaswamy is an assistant professor at Newcastle University where he directs the Neural Circuits Laboratory. His laboratory  employs multidisciplinary approaches at the interface of theory and experiments to understand how neuromodulatorry systems shape learning and cognition in neocortical circuits. He aims to identify the organising principles underlying the functional logic of neuromodulatory systems to inform deep learning models. He is also a Picower Visiting Professor, Marie Curie Fellow and Fulbright Scholar at MIT. He is a passionate advocate of diversity, equity and inclusion and is the chair of the promotion of diversity task force in the ALBA network.

Zeljka Krsnik


School of Medicine University of Zagreb at the Scientific Centre of Excellence for Basic, Clinical and Translational Neuroscience, Zagreb

Zeljka Krsnik is an Associate Professor of Neuroscience at the School of Medicine University of Zagreb at the Scientific Centre of Excellence for Basic, Clinical and Translational Neuroscience, Zagreb, Head of the Laboratory for Neurogenomics, Head of the Laboratory for Digitalization of the Zagreb Human Neuroembryological Collection, as well as Assistant Director of the Croatian Institute for Brain Research. Her main research focus is to understand the molecular and cellular mechanisms, as well as cortical connectivity development of the human cerebral cortex. Previously, she was a postdoctoral associate at Yale University and, in addition, a member of BrainSpan Consortium. In 2013 she was awarded with the International Brain Research Organization (IBRO) Return Home Fellowship Award. In 2018 she was appointed as a Chair of the IBRO Alumni Committee and currently she is the Chair of the Young IBRO (International Brain Research Organization) and a member of IBRO Executive Committee. In addition, she is a Board member for Neuroscience and Brain Disease at the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts. Since 2018 Zeljka Krsnik is a member of an ALBA Network Board of Directors, with the mission to foster equity, diversity and inclusion in brain sciences across the world.

Marcus Kaiser

Professor of Neuroinformatics

University of Nottingham

Marcus Kaiser is a Professor of Neuroinformatics in the University of Nottingham, working on computational approaches to inform diagnosis and interventions for brain network or connectome disorders. His research interest is to develop novel ways for brain stimulation, informed by neuroimaging and computer models, to improve cognition in health and disease. He actively promotes the use of simulations and models in the areas of computational neurology and computational psychiatry. His current work is focused on predicting the effects of brain stimulation, either invasive approaches such as optogenetics or stimulation through implanted electrodes or non-invasive approaches such as focused ultrasound stimulation. For this, he uses a combination of techniques from machine learning and network analysis to computer simulations. The aim is to improve the treatment of brain disorders and mental health conditions.

The Brain Innovation Days team would like to give a special thank you to the support of its Programme Committee members, who have worked with us over the course of the last year to ensure each programme delivered by the Brain Innovation Days was scientifically sound and showcasing the latest, most exciting topics from within the brain innovation space. Thank you to: Donna Walsh (EFNA), Alex Schubert (ECNP), Lars Kristiansen (FENS), Prof David Vodusek (EAN), Vanessa Pott (Merck), Vreni Schoenenberger (Novartis) and Prof Andrea Raballo (EPA).