Our BrainDrugs Early-Career Forum (ECF) has been established with the aim of creating a professional and social network for junior BrainDrugs researchers, spanning the individual work packages (WP1-WP7) as well as the geographically distributed labs. The members of the BrainDrugs ECF are:


WP1: National Registries:

 

 


Simon Christoffer Ziersen, cand. scient.       
Section of Biostatistics, University of Copenhagen

Seniority: PhD student
PhD-year: N/A
Education: M.Sc. in Statistics

BrainDrugs involvement:
Since February 1st 2020. Statistical analyses and modeling for WP1.

Scientific interests:
My research interest includes, but is not limited to, stochastic processes and their use in the modeling of biological phenomena, for example:  multi-state models describing disease processes, survival analysis in general, or population genetics.

 

 

 

Eva Bølling-Ladegaard, cand. med, PhD candidate       
National Centre for Register-based Research, Aarhus University

Seniority: PhD student
PhD-year: N/A
Education: M.Sc. in Medicine

BrainDrugs involvement:
Since February 1st 2020. WP1 PhD project entitled “Epilepsy and co-morbidity with depression”.

Scientific interests:
My main focus of interest lies within Neurology, in particular the field of epilepsy. I have finished the first year of training to specialize as a neurologist. This is the first research project I am involved in, but I have pursued my interest in neurology throughout my medical education.


WP2: Electronic Patient Data: Text mining and Machine Learning

 

 

 

Isabella Friis Jørgensen, MSc.Eng., PhD
Novo Nordisk Center for Protein Research, University of Copenhagen

Seniority: Assistant professor
PhD-year: 2019
Education: MSc.Eng., Bioinformatics and Systems Biology

BrainDrugs involvement:
Since April 1st 2020. Postdoc in WP2. Electronic Patient Data: Text Mining and Machine Learning.

Scientific interests:
I have a great interest in the use of computational analyses to understand human biology, disease pathophysiology and especially in the translational aspect to improve disease outcomes and treatments for patients. My main focus is patient stratification and disease comorbidity statistics using national patient registries and electronic patient records.

 

 

 

Sebastian Werge, cand. med
Novo Nordisk Center for Protein Research, University of Copenhagen

Seniority: PhD student
PhD-year: N/A
Education: M.Sc. in Medicine

BrainDrugs involvement:
Since July 1st 2020. Identifying associations between text-mined adverse events and antiepileptic treatment.

Scientific interests:
To assess the feasibility of text-mining as a method to identify adverse events registered in electronic health records and to discover associations between adverse events and pharmacological antiepileptic treatment.

 

 

 

Eva Roitmann, MSc Biotechnology Engineering
Novo Nordisk Center for Protein Research, University of Copenhagen

Seniority: Research Consultant
PhD-year: N/A
Education: M.Sc. in Biotechnology Engineering

BrainDrugs involvement:
Since February 1st 2021. Part of WP2. Supporting efforts to extract phenotypic information about epilepsy patients through text mining of electronic records. Prediction of most suitable epilepsy drug treatment through machine learning.

Scientific interests:
My main interest in conducting research with electronic patient records is to improve life for people attained with epilepsy, a condition that I have followed closely as a family member suffered from it. We wish to extract useful information from the incredibly valuable electronic records we have in Denmark. The first focus is to phenotype epilepsy patients based on their records so as to use that information in predicting optimal treatment. Calibrating treatment can take years with seizures and side effects, so the aim is to develop methods to be able to choose the right treatment quicklier based on the patient profile.

 

 Siri

 

Siri Vulpius, Stud. Med.
Novo Nordisk Center for Protein Research, University of Copenhagen

Seniority: Research Assistant
PhD-year: N/A
Education: B.Eng. in Quantitative Biology and Disease Modelling

BrainDrugs involvement:
Employed as an academic assistant on WP2 since October 1st, 2020. Working with extraction of phenotypic information related to epilepsy patients through text mining of electronic records.

Scientific interests:
My main focus of interest is to make the most use of our valuable Danish electronic records. Current focus is to phenotype epilepsy patients based on their records via text mining methodologies in order to further predict treatment outcomes.


WP3: Deep Phenotyping Data from Established Research Cohorts

 

 

 

Vibeke Dam, cand. psych, PhD
Neurobiology Research Unit, Rigshospitalet

Seniority: Post doc
PhD-year: 2020
Education: M.Sc. in Psychology

BrainDrugs involvement:
Since April 1st 2020. Long-term follow-up of healthy controls from the Cimbi Database in relation to register outcomes and short-term follow-up of a newer cohort of patients with MDD with a view to predictors of prognosis after 12 weeks of treatment of a depressive episode. Also, coordinator of the ECF Forum.

Scientific interests:
My main focus of interest is affective and social cognition in both normal and clinical populations. In particular, I am interested in how these cognitive processes can be used as tools to elucidate the mechanisms involved in psychopathology and how they relate to neurobiological systems in the healthy human brain such as serotonergic transmission and oxytocin release.

 

 

 

Brice Ozenne, cand. scient., PhD
Section of Biostatistics, University of Copenhagen


Seniority: Assistant professor
PhD-year: 2015
Education: M.Sc. in Biostatistics

BrainDrugs involvement:
Since April 1st 2020. Statistical analyses and modeling for WP3.

Scientific interests:
I am interested in the development of Latent Variable Models for complex data, predictive models and dimension reduction methods. I am applying these methods on neuroscience data to investigate the relationship between the brain response and depression and in cardiovascular diseases to predict the risk of cardiovascular events.

 

 

 

Simon Christoffer Ziersen, cand. scient.
Section of Biostatistics, University of Copenhagen

Seniority: PhD student
PhD-year: N/A
Education: M.Sc. in Statistics

BrainDrugs involvement:
Since February 1st 2020. Statistical analyses and modeling for WP3.

Scientific interests:
My research interest includes, but is not limited to, stochastic processes and their use in the modeling of biological phenomena, for example:  multi-state models describing disease processes, survival analysis in general, or population genetics.

 

Anjali Sankar

 

Anjali Sankar, PhD
Neurobiology Research Unit, Rigshospitalet

Seniority: Junior faculty member
PhD-year: 2015
Education: M.Sc. in Mental Health Studies

BrainDrugs involvement:
Since July1st 2021. Analyses of neuroimaging and related data from cohorts of healthy individuals, individuals of familial risk and patients with mood disorders.

Scientific interests:
My research is dedicated to the study of mood disorders, both major depressive and bipolar disorders. An important focus is on identifying reliable biomarkers that can predict clinical response to treatments as well as negative outcomes such as suicide using multimodal neuroimaging techniques.



Anjali Sankar

 

Silvia Elisabetta Portis Bruzzone, MSc in Neuroscience
Neurobiology Research Unit, Rigshospitalet

Seniority: PhD student
PhD-year: N/A
Education: M.Sc. in Neuroscience

BrainDrugs involvement:
Since September 1st 2021. Analyses of peripheral methylation patterns and neuroimaging (PET, fMRI) data from cohorts of healthy individuals and patients with major depressive disorder.

Scientific interests:
My main focus of interest is the pharmacoepigenetics of depression. Specifically, I am looking for methylation signatures that could inform us on antidepressant treatment outcome and their neurobiological correlates in healthy individuals and in patients with MDD, as well as on risk factors for depression in healthy individuals.


WP4: Deep Phenotyping Data from New Research Cohorts

 

 

 

Vibeke Dam, cand. psych, PhD       
Neurobiology Research Unit, Rigshospitalet

Seniority: Post doc
PhD-year: 2020
Education: M.Sc. in Psychology

BrainDrugs involvement:
Since April 1st 2020. Involved in study protocol design and writing for WP4. Also, coordinator of the ECF Forum.

Scientific interests:
My main focus of interest is affective and social cognition in both normal and clinical populations. In particular, I am interested in how these cognitive processes can be used as tools to elucidate the mechanisms involved in psychopathology and how they relate to neurobiological systems in the healthy human brain such as serotonergic transmission and oxytocin release.

 

 

 

Kristian Høj Reveless Jensen, MD, MSc Psychiatry       
Neurobiology Research Unit, Rigshospitalet

Seniority: PhD student
PhD-year: N/A
Education: M.Sc. in Medicine and Psychology

BrainDrugs involvement:
Since May 1st 2020. PhD-student on WP4-MDD component.

Scientific interests:
My main focus is on the pharmacogenetics of affective and social cognition and reward learning in affective disorders. I am particularly interested in how these processes involved in psychopathology, how they can be modulated by therapy and pharmacology, and how they relate to neurobiological systems in the healthy human brain, such as serotonergic and dopaminergic transmission.

 

 

 

Maja Rou Marstrand-Jørgensen, MD
Neurobiology Research Unit, Rigshospitalet

Seniority: PhD student
PhD-year: N/A
Education: M.Sc. in Medicine

BrainDrugs involvement:
Since October 1st 2020. PhD-student on WP4-Epilepsy component.

Scientific interests:
I have a particular interest for neurology, especially epilepsy and using fMRI to establish resting-state features of distributed brain connectivity associated with informative behavioral phenotypes (e.g. personality). I have just finished half a year of basic clinical training at the Neurological Department, Rigshospitalet, where I have been working as a junior doctor in the Clinic for Epilepsy. I have research experience with retrospective and population-based studies, furthermore I have been scholar at a multimodal PET/fMRI study of brain mechanisms associated with the serotonin psychedelic psilocybin.


WP5: Mining Neuroimaging Data

 

 

Vincent Beliveau

 

Vincent Beliveau, PhD
Medical University Innsbruck, Austria

Seniority: Post doc
PhD-year: 2018
Education: M.Sc. in Neuroscience

BrainDrugs involvement:
Since May 1st 2021. Analysis of neuroimaging data in WP5.

Scientific interests:
I am generally interested in applied problems in the combined fields of computer science, mathematics and neuroscience. The main focus of my research is the multi-modal analysis of MRI and PET neuroimaging data. I have previously constructed an atlas of the brain’s serotonin receptors and transporter using Freesurfer.