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Checks & Balances

The FAMILY project includes various internal and external committees. These committees have different tasks and ensure continuous improvement of scientific performance as well as compliance with ethical standards and high quality of FAMILY results.

Scientific and Ethical Advisory Board (SEAB)

The Scientific and Ethical Advisory Board (SEAB) of the FAMILY project is an external consultative body which is formed to ensure and improve the scientific performance and the quality of results of FAMILY. As an important additional task, the SEAB verifies that all ethical regulations are adhered to.

The SEAB advises the FAMILY Steering Committee (SC) and the Project Management Office (PMO) upon request and provides non-binding advice as decision-making support.

Prof Martien Kas

University of Groningen, The Netherlands
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Prof. Martien Kas’ group focuses on determinants of behaviour, especially of behavioural strategies and of biological processes that are essential across species and that are affected in various neuropsychiatric disorders (e.g., social interaction and sensory information processing). By means of cross-species genetic analysis of neurobehavioral traits (of mice and men) and by applying innovative digital phenotyping methods we aim to identify genotype-phenotype relationships relevant to the development and treatment of autism spectrum disorders, Alzheimer's Disease, eating disorders, and schizophrenia. These studies will lead to our understanding of conserved gene function in regulating essential behavioural strategies and will ultimately improve therapeutic and preventive strategies to contribute to healthy aging.

Associate Prof. Ghislaine van Thiel

University Medical Centre Utrecht, The Netherlands
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Ghislaine van Thiel studied Health Sciences and is specialized in Medical Ethics and Philosophy of Science. Currently she is Associate Professor Medical Ethics at the Julius Center of the University Medical Center Utrecht (UMCU). Her main research topics are ethics of drug regulation and development, and clinical ethics. Ghislaine is a member of the Dutch Health Council and of the Central Committee on Research involving Human Subjects (CCMO).

Dr. Ali Jawaid

EMBL-Nencki Center of Excellence for Neuronal Plasticity and Brain Disorders (Braincity), Warsaw, Poland
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Dr. Ali Jawaid is a physician-scientist with training in both clinical and basic neuroscience. He completed his medical studies from the Aga Khan University, Pakistan, and followed it up with clinical/research training in Neuropsychiatry from Baylor College of Medicine, USA. He then proceeded to complete MD-PhD in Neuroscience from Switzerland with simultaneous doctoral degrees awarded by the University of Zurich (UZH)/ETH Zurich PhD Program in Neuroscience and UZH MD-PhD program. He currently heads the Laboratory for Translational Research in Neuropsychiatric Disorders (TREND lab) at the BRAINCITY: Center of Excellence for Neural Plasticity and Brain Disorders, a partnership between EMBL and the Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology in Warsaw, Poland. TREND lab investigates the role of metabolic factors in the pathogenesis and inheritance of neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders using a multi-pronged approach involving rodent models, human cohorts, and brain organoids. Dr. Jawaid is also an active member of FENS-Kavli Network of Excellence and is a strong proponent of initiatives focussed on using science for humanitarian and peace-building causes.


The Data Access Committee (DAC) is an internal advisory board responsible for monitoring that Data Transfer Agreements are in place at all concerned institutions and for supervising and managing requests for Data Access.

Dr. Ryan Muetzel

Assistant Professor
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Dr. Gisela Sugranyes, MD, PhD

Group leader
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María Ortuño (MSc)

Pre-doctoral Researcher
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Dr. Lisanne van Houtum

Postdoctoral research fellow
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The Impact Board (IB) is responsible for the following aspects of the FAMILY project:

  • Sustainability of the FAMILY project
  • Review of publications/manuscripts
  • Evaluation of communication channels and social media
  • Ethical guidelines

Prof. Christian F Beckmann

Professor - Faculty of Medical Sciences (Radboudumc)
Professor - Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour
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Nina Karguth

Dissemination Manager, WP9 Leader
Phone: +49 8141 625 285 80
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Dr. Signe Mežinska

Associated Professor
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Prof. Dr. Neeltje van Haren

Coordinator of the FAMILY project
Professor of brain development and psychopathology
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