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Anton Bespalov obtained his MD degree from Pavlov Medical University (St. Petersburg) and after completion of PhD studies in St. Petersburg and Utrecht held NIH-supported Fellowships at Medical College of Virginia (Richmond, VA) and Scripps Institute (La Jolla, CA). After habilitation (DMedSci) in 2000, Anton acted as a research director of Valdman Institute of Pharmacology. In 2004, Anton joined Abbott (later AbbVie) but maintained close connections to Pavlov Medical University where he is a professor at the Institute of Pharmacology and chaired the University’s Scientific Advisory Board.  During his tenure at Abbott / AbbVie as head of pharmacology department, Anton and his teams have brought several compounds into preclinical and clinical development, supported licensing and due diligence decisions. Anton has established and managed research contracts and collaborations with 100+ biotech companies, CROs and academic labs around the world. Founded and leads several international initiatives on preclinical data quality (co-chair of the ECNP Preclinical Data Forum: for more information click here).

MartinMartinMartin C. Michel is a physician trained in experimental and clinical pharmacology in Essen (Germany) and San Diego (California). He headed the Nephrology and Hypertension Research Laboratory in Essen (1993-2002), the Department of Pharmacology & Pharmacotherapy at the University of Amsterdam (The Netherlands, 2003-2011) and was Global Head of Product and Pipeline Scientific Support at Boehringer Ingelheim (2011-2016). Since 2012 he is Professor of Pharmacology at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz (Germany). He has published more than 500 scientific articles, has been Editor-in-Chief of Naunyn-Schmiedeberg’s Archives of Pharmacology and also serves on the board of many pharmacological, physiological and urological journals. He is serving as chair of IUPHAR committees on β3-adrenoceptors and on data reproducibility. His research focusses on urogenital and cardiovascular pharmacology.

Maybe you want to read Martin's short opinion piece "Trust me - I'm a scientist" published on our web side (“Reproduced with permission from PhysiologyNews 101 (2015): 33-35")!


Björn Gerlach studied biology at the University of Giessen, Germany, to obtain his Diploma with a focus on immunology, microbiology and biochemistry. He started his PhD at the German Cancer Research Centre in Heidelberg but after one year moved with his supervisor, Prof. Dr. Henning Walczak, to Imperial College London. After obtaining the PhD degree, Björn moved back to Germany to join Abbott (later AbbVie) as a Postdoctoral Fellow. He worked on biomarkers in the field of neurodegenerative diseases and neuroprotective / neurodegenerative therapies. Beside the lab work, Björn managed externally funded PPP projects where his responsibilities ranged from contract management to supervision of the research at CROs.

ChristophChristophChristoph Emmerich, a Biochemist by training, carried out his PhD studies in the fields of cancer biology and apoptosis at the German Cancer Research Centre (DKFZ), Heidelberg and at the Imperial College London. In 2011, Christoph joined the MRC Protein Phosphorylation and Ubiquitylation Unit (MRC-PPU) in Dundee, Scotland where he was involved in several industry-academic collaborations with the main aim to help accelerate the development of future drugs targeting protein kinases and the ubiquitylation system for the improved treatment of disease. His work is published in high impact factor journals and his projects were based on regulatory mechanisms of the Immune system, with an increasing focus on data quality and integrity standards.

Malgorzata Pietraszek has over 20 years of experience in CNS pharmacology acquired in both pharmaceutical industry and academic environments. Malgorzata holds a PhD from the Institute of Pharmacology Polish Academy of Sciences (PAS) in Cracow, Poland and MSc from Jagiellonian University, Cracow, Poland.

Between 1993 and 2007, Malgorzata conducted research in the therapeutic areas of schizophrenia and Parkinson’s disease at the Institute of Pharmacology PAS in Cracow. During this time, she maintained active collaborations with other departments of the Institute and external partners from academia and pharmaceutical industry that resulted in numerous publications and meeting presentations.

In 2007, Malgorzata joined Merz Pharmaceuticals (Germany) as a scientific expert involved in preclinical drug research and development program in different CNS indications and stayed in this role till 2014. She implemented many in vivo models, trained postdocs and technicians and organized internal workshops to accelerate drug research and development in the therapeutic areas of schizophrenia and neurodegenerative disorders. She also supported clinical development in the therapeutic areas of CNS disorders. Malgorzata established and managed collaborations with key opinion experts from academia as well as with many Contract Research Organizations. Additionally, she was involved in in vivo preclinical data quality assessment.

Arnoud Herremans is a psychologist by training (Utrecht University), holds a PhD in Neuroscience (Utrecht University) and has been leading a pharmacology department at Solvay until 2010. During the years at Solvay, Arnoud introduced Operational Excellence and Lean management in the pharmaceutical discovery operations and witnessed great improvements in productivity as well as the enhancement of ownership and entrepreneurial drive within the team. In 2010, Arnoud has started an independent company, called Y47, with the mission to bring continuous improvement and Innovation Excellence to Life Science and Chemical organizations where research is an important part of their work. Since March 2016, PAASP and Y47 have been collaborating and this collaboration has taken now a new form where Arnoud will provide strategic leadership to some of the PAASP's initiatives and will particularly focus on the interaction with our partners and colleagues in the Benelux countries.