Scientific Advisory Board
CombiGene’s Scientific Advisory Board consists of Dr Annamaria Vezzani from Milan, professor Deniz Kirik from Lund and professor Margitta Seeck from Geneva. They represent a wealth of highly relevant experiences as well as a vast international network, and have been recruited to provide expert advice for CombiGene’s current and future development projects and to continue fueling the company with scientific inspiration and new visions. Dr Vezzani is a preclinical scientist, professor Seeck is a clinician, and professor Kirik has a translational focus which means the step between preclinical and clinical.
Annamaria Vezzani is Head of Laboratory of Experimental Neurology at the Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research in Milan. She received her PhD in Neuropharmacology from the Mario Negri Institute, and has spent post-doctoral periods at University of Maryland in the US and Karolinska Institute in Sweden.
Annamaria Vezzani’s main interests are the biochemical and molecular mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of seizures and epileptogenesis, in particular the role of neuroactive peptides and inflammatory mediators. She has published over 160 original papers and reviews in peer-reviewed high impact scientific journals, and was the first to apply gene therapy approaches using the NPY transgene in animal models.
She was Chair of the Commission on Neurobiology of International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) during 2005-2009 and is an active member of the CEA of the ILAE and various AES committees. In 2009 she received the Research Recognition Award for translational research from the American Epilepsy Society.
Deniz Kirik is Head of the Brain Repair and Imaging in Neural Systems unit (BRAIN) at Lund University. He is internationally recognized in the field of experimental and translational neuroscience with special focus in gene therapy for basal ganglia disorders, and is in the forefront of the development of clinically relevant animal models for neurodegenerative diseases such as for example Parkinson’s disease.
Deniz Kirik has published over 140 scientific articles which received more than 8900 citations. He received prestigious awards from the European Research Council in 2009 and 2012, and is associate editor of European Journal of Neuroscience and editorial board member of the new Nature journal Parkinson’s disease.
In 2012, with support from the European Research Council, Dr Kirik founded Braingene AB as a spin-off company, in 2014 he founded GeneTunes AB, and most recently Genovation Care AB, which is a public-private partnership aimed to establish hospital infrastructure for gene therapy clinical trials.
Margitta Seeck is professor of Neurology at the University of Geneva, and Director of the presurgical epilepsy program Geneva-Lausanne. She is past president of the Swiss Neurophysiological Society where she is still actively involved in teaching of EEG and epileptology.
Margitta Seeck received her medical and doctoral degrees at the Ludwigs-Maximilians-University of Munich, and later moved to the US where she was trained in EEG and epileptology at the Beth Israel Hospital, Harvard University. Her main interests are epilepsy surgery, immunologically related epilepsies, neurophysiology of intracranial EEG recordings and EEG-based imaging in epilepsy. She is author of more than 170 papers on epilepsy in national and international journals, serves on several editorial boards of epilepsy journals, and is expert for the Swiss national science foundation and research agencies of other European and non-European countries.