EGBERT SMIT, PhD
An experienced scientist-turned-entrepreneur who has been involved in building startups for over 10 years. These startups have been primarily focused on oncology and cardiovascular disease innovations, specifically biomarkers to be developed for in vitro diagnostic applications. Egbert holds an MBA from Maastricht University Business School (2009) and a PhD in Molecular biology / biochemistry from the University of Amsterdam. For Egbert, the MLA Diagnostics project brings together his passion and interest in applied science in a domain where better solutions are sorely needed. Melanoma is a serious disease and patients have a right to receive improved treatment, which MLA Diagnostics will facilitate!
An experienced medical R&D expert who has been involved in the development of multiple medical innovations as engineer and project manager for over 8 years. Has a Master’s Degree in Biomechanical Engineering and a Bachelors degree in Industrial Design. Daphne has a great interested in applied science and wants to contribute to improve our healthcare. Giving patients improved treatment is a daily motivation at MLA Diagnostics.
PROF. DR. MANON VAN ENGELAND
INVENTOR AND CO-FOUNDER
Manon is a principal Investigator/Professor of Pathobiology of Cancer at the Maastricht University Medical Center. Manon is an expert in the identification and application of DNA methylation biomarkers in cancer and has a track record in identifying and developing cancer biomarkers of commercial value (NDRG4 for colorectal cancer now part of the well-known COLOGUARD intestinal cancer test). For Manon, the translation of high-quality academic research to a high impact clinical product is the most important motivation to develop the LY75 innovation through MLA Diagnostics as it will create better outlooks for the patient.
Haley combines a masters in Molecular and Cellular Life Sciences and experience in building Health-tech ventures. Haley will support MLA Diagnostics in regulatory and quality management system development.
SENIOR RESEARCH TECHNICIAN
Formerly worked at the Experimental Cancer Pathology Group in Maastricht University. Experienced in methylation assay development, DNA isolation and qPCR. As part of MLA Diagnostics, Nikkie will take care of sample resourcing and develop/optimize the methylation assay for LY75.
BART VAN DER HORST
JUNIOR RESEARCH TECHNICIAN
Bart has a master’s degree in biomedical sciences, specialized in immunology and pathophysiology of diseases. He is experienced in molecular techniques. As part of MLA Diagnostics, he will support the research and development team with optimization and validation of the LY75 methylation assay.
VENTURE PARTNER NLC
Trained as a Pharmacist, Roland worked in several pharmaceutical companies and has broad experience in marketing and sales functions as well as general management. As Venture Partner at NLC – The Healthtech Venture Builder, Roland and his team actively support MLA Diagnostics in the strategic phases of development.
PROF. DR. JIM HERMAN, MD
TECHNICAL AND CLINICAL ADVISOR
Prof Herman is a practicing oncologist and Lung Program Co-director at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute and Lung SPORE Program Director. As the inventor of the method methylation specific PCR, Prof Herman is an international pioneer in the field of epigenetics. His work has led to important discoveries of cancer biomarkers to improve patient management. He continues in the role of co-director of the medical oncology fellowship program to promote training in basic and translational research.
PROF. DR. PAUL LORIGAN
Professor of Medical Oncology at the University of Manchester and Honorary Consultant in Medical Oncology and the Christie NHS Foundation Trust. Prof Lorigan currently focuses on melanoma research and treatment. Previously, he also treated lung cancer and a number of other rarer cancers.
Prof Lorigan’s main focus is translational and clinical research in melanoma. He is Chair of the EORTC Melanoma Group, previously he was secretary and also lead for clinical trials in advanced disease. He was chair of www.melanomafocus.org from 2012-19. This is the UK Melanoma Charity that supports professionals and patients, and funds research. Prior to that, he was Chair of the UK National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) Melanoma Group and took that from failing to successful.
On a number of occasions, Prof Lorigan has been an independent to UK NICE and to the EMA.
His major interest is in biomarkers in melanoma. His group have a number of clinical trials using ctDNA to aid decision making in melanoma management. The main trial is DETECTION (NCT04901988), funded by CRUK. It is evaluating the use of ctDNA for detection of molecular recurrence in melanoma patients on follow-up, with management decisions based on this.