Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam, is the largest University Medical Center of the Netherlands, with around 14,000 staff members. Its mission is to contribute to a healthy population and to excellence in health care through research and education. Its research portfolio includes clinical research, biomedical research, and health science research. The Department of Public Health has around 150 staff members, and its main goal is to support evidence-based public health through research and education.
The project will be coordinated by Harry de Koning. He is Professor of Public Health & screening evaluation at the Department of Public Health at Erasmus MC. His major scientific contributions are in the areas of (1) designing, running and evaluating (often large-scale) multidisciplinary population-based randomized controlled screening trials to establish the efficacy of screening, (2) evaluating active (inter-)national screening programs and clinical tests to establish effectiveness and (3) guiding public health policies on screening and primary prevention using predictions of favourable and unfavourable effects and the cost of interventions, based on micro-simulation modelling of the natural history of disease, risk-prediction modelling and cost-effectiveness and cost-utility analyses.
He is PI of the NELSON lung cancer screening trial, ROBINSCA trial on screening for cardiovascular disease, and presently the 4-IN-THE LUNG RUN trial (Horizon2020). He is co-PI in 7 CISNET (NIH/NCI-funded) projects, aimed at modelling and predicting the impact of interventions in breast, prostate, lung, colorectal, esophageal, colorectal and cervical cancer.
Iris Lansdorp-Vogelaar is an Associate Professor at the Department of Public Health of Erasmus MC and leads the research group on evaluation of screening of gastrointestinal disorders. She is also the senior modeler of the colorectal and esophageal cancer research section of the department. She has been responsible for the management and development of the MISCAN-Colon model since 2003, and the UW-MISCAN esophagus model since its initiation in 2010. Her modeling work informed the 2008 US Preventive Services Task Force recommendations, US Medicare reimbursement decisions on CTC and Stool DNA screening and the Dutch national colorectal cancer screening program. Her work has been published in several authorative medical journals. She is a member of the European Cancer Network and lead author of a chapter in the European Guidelines for Quality Assurance in Colorectal Cancer Screening. In 2012, she received a career development award of the Department of Public Health to determine efficient and effective methods for model validation and calibration. Her current research further focuses on explaining colorectal cancer disparities, on individualizing colorectal cancer screening and surveillance recommendations, and on surveillance of trends in esophageal adenocarcinoma.
Syreon Research Institute is an independent research institute; it is classified as a small and medium-sized enterprise. Syreon Research Institute performs economic evaluations not only of pharmaceutical interventions but of complex public health interventions as well. One of its team members (Zoltán Vokó, medical director) is a leading public health expert in Hungary, not only with academic background but he also served as one of the leaders of the Hungarian Public Health Program as director for public health in the Ministry of Health and later as the director for the National Institute of Health Development. The combination of the public health and health economic expertise within Syreon Research Institute makes it an optimal partner in the consortium to participate in the evaluation of the different screening programs and as a key partner for coordinating capacity building in Eastern Europe.
Dr. Adrian Pană, PhD is a public health consultant specialised in evaluative research. In the past, Dr. Pană fulfilled positions of Director General and Secretary of State within the Ministry of Health. At present, Dr. Pană is the Executive Director of the CENTER FOR OUTCOMES & EVALUATION. Dr. Pană has extensive experience in evaluative research, needs assessment, mapping of critical services, inequalities in health, etc. Within the EU-TOPIA-EAST project, Dr. Pană will be responsible for the Activity 6.3.- Adjustment of the screening registry system as well as for the activity 6.6. Evaluating the implementation. Dr Pană will contribute also to the Activity 6.1.- Development of the population database, as well as to the partners activities for defining the MISCAN model adapted to Romania.
The work package on capacity building (WP8) will be coordinated by Inge de Kok. She is an Assistant Professor in public health. Inge is an epidemiologist from background and an expert in the development and use of microsimulation models to quantify the effects of interventions on population health. She has focused on measuring costs and effects of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination and different cervical cancer screening methods. Her model was used by the Dutch Health Council for the implementation of HPV screening and vaccination. She has also studied different methodological issues in cost-effectiveness analysis. Much of her work was performed in collaboration with the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment. Dr. de Kok is responsible for the national evaluation of the Dutch cervical cancer screening program. At her department, she leads the cervical cancer research group. Furthermore, she intensively collaborates with international partners on numerous projects, including Ontario Health in Canada and as a PI on the CISNET Cervical Working Group.
“AOU Città della Salute e della Scienza di Torino” University Hospital, with about twelve thousand employees, is the largest health centre in Italy and provides diagnosis, treatment and care in many sectors, focusing on multidisciplinary approaches that ensure appropriate and high quality care. It consists of six Hospitals: “Molinette”, “Dermatologico San Lazzaro”, “San Giovanni Antica Sede”, “CTO-Maria-Adelaide”, “Ospedale Infantile Regina Margherita” and “Sant’Anna”. It includes CPO Piemonte, the regional population Cancer Registry and the Department of Cancer Screening of the city of Turin, in charge of co-ordinating the implemention of the Regional Screening Programme for breast, cervical and colorectal cancer and quality assurance.
The Georgian Society of Clinical Oncology is based in Tbilisi, and was founded in 2012 by leading Georgian oncologist-scientists. The key goal of the organization is to carry out educational and scientific studies for application into the practice; encourage engagement of Georgian and international experts into the joint scientific studies and the development and promotion of the modern practices in oncology, particularly introduction of guidelines in oncology in line with the European standards.
Starting from 2013, GSCO regularly publishes the scientific journal “Clinical Oncology”, with research articles of Georgian and European researchers on issues related to oncology, including the State Cancer Screening Program. The journal enables Georgian medical professionals to get familiar with the latest developments in modern clinical oncology. Free of charge distribution of the journal among the Georgian oncologists and opportunity of free of charge publication is highly welcomed. The GSCO actively cooperates with international partner organizations to study international practices and share the best experience. For this purpose, the memorandums of cooperation are signed with the Cancer Research Center in Iran (2015); European School of Oncology (2016); Irish Cancer Society (2016); International Prevention Research Institute Lyon, France (2017). These partnerships links enabled GSCO to hold annual international conferences during the period of 2013 – 2019.
Cristina Vladu is a medical doctor by background specialised in Public Health and having a Master of Arts in Health Services Management of University of Manchester, UK. Cristina worked in health policy design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation for a wide range of organisations -from grass roots NGOs to Ministry of Health, World Bank, DGSANCO- leading for strategic change towards better quality and coverage of health and social services. Cristina’s latest interest resides in prevention of Non Communicable Diseases, main causes of mortality in Romania, the organised cervical cancer screening being one important challenge of sound and evidence based health policy making in Romania.
Eveline Heijnsdijk is assistant professor at Erasmus MC. She has been working for 13 years at the Department of Public Health, especially on evaluating the harms and benefits of breast cancer screening, prostate cancer screening and childhood vision and hearing screening. She has extensive experience in modelling the natural history of breast cancer and prostate cancer and the effects of screening on the life histories. She is a member of the Cancer Intervention and Screening Network (CISNET) group.
The Institute of Oncology Cluj Napoca, the lead Oncologic Institute of Romania having pursued for decades the task of implementing cancer control programs in Romania. The lack of support from the national level with inadequate levels of funding have undermined an appropriate population coverage with organized screening programs to date.
In EU-TOPIA-EAST we support as a pilot country the implementation of other WPs; we are leading in Work Package 6, a work package that aims to improve the implementation of the organized cervical cancer screening being currently implemented in Romania.
We hope that through our involvement in EU-TOPIA-EAST we can benefit of the experience of our project colleagues in order to be able to better demonstrate to our policy makers the need to make appropriate investments in organized cancer screening especially with regard to the cervical cancer screening for which Romania has a high incidence and mortality.
Mrs. Anca Meda Burcă, PhD, is an economist specialized in health economics and has a considerable experience in the analysis of cost-effectiveness and evaluation of cancer screening, in the funding of medical services in Romania (PhD thesis). At present, Mrs. Burcă is the financial manager of IOCN. Within the EU-TOPIA-EAST project, she will be in charge especially with the statistical data collection from Activity 6.2. Monitoring the implementation of the Clinical Guidelines, analysis of MISCAN results on cervical cancer screening in Romania and assessment of the different financial alternatives coming out of the MISCAN simulations, assessment and comparisons between different European countries, statistical data processing, including all the above information within the preparation of the policy brief materials needed for Activity 6.5- Round tables organized with decision makers.
Harald Dannenberg holds a MSc of Business Information Technology at the University of Twente (2001). He joined Topicus as one of the first employees (2001) and has held various positions. From 2008 to 2014 he managed a business unit with focus on software solutions for the welfare sector. Then, until 2021, he was director of one of Topicus’ divisions (Social Domain). From 2022 he is responsible for further developing Topicus’ position within the healthcare sector.
His domain knowledge and expertise are in the fields of (software solutions for) welfare, social domain and public health, with skills in contract management, business development and business consultancy.
Nicolien van Ravesteyn, assistant professor, has been employed at the Department of Public Health since 2008, where she evaluates the effect of breast cancer screening using the microsimulation model MISCAN-Fadia. An important part of her research has been performed within the Cancer Intervention and Surveillance Modeling Network (CISNET). Her modelling work informed the 2009 & 2016 US Preventive Services Task Force recommendations for breast cancer screening and she performed analyses for CDC to help them make decisions on how to respond to a change from film to digital mammography in the NBCCEDP (a program that provides access to breast cancer screening to underserved women). Her current research includes evaluating new screening modalities, such as tomosynthesis and ultrasound for women with dense breasts, more individualized screening, and modelling different molecular subtypes of breast cancer.
Carlo Senore is an Epidemiologist. The work package on monitoring is coordinated by Carlo Senore. Carlo Senore has extensive experience in design, implementation and analysis of randomized trials evaluating screening and primary prevention interventions, development of clinical guidelines and implementation of quality control projects aimed at assessing quality of treatment of colorectal cancer.
His research activity focused on the evaluation of different CRC screening strategies (collaboration in the design, coordination, implementation and analysis of several multicenter trials – SCORE, SCORE 2, SCORE 3, Proteus) and on integration of screening and primary prevention (collaboration in the design, implementation and analysis of a randomized trial assessing the impact of life-style interventions).
Organized colorectal cancer screening programme has been implemented in Montenegro in 2013 in accordance with the European guidelines for quality assurance in colorectal cancer screening and diagnosis. For the starting year not all of the municipalities and not the entire age group were included for participation, but the very next year it became National Programme, meaning it was implemented in each of the 25 municipalities. Starting eligible age in 2013 was 60-64 years and it was extended with every next year, until 2018 when whole target group: 50-74 years, was enrolled. Target group has been defined as population aged 50 to 74 years registered in Health Insurance Fund of Montenegro (as we did not have connection to population registry, this was the most comprehensive way of covering target population). Invitations for screening are made by phone through primary health care centers and GPs (“chosen doctors”). Questionnaires are fulfilled with GPs in order to exclude not eligible participants. iFOBT (Immunochemical Fecal Occult Blood Test) is used as primary screening test followed by colonoscopy if its result is positive. Colonoscopies are performed mostly in Clinical Centre of Montenegro and meljine Hospital. Screening interval has been set for 2 years. IPH coordinates all activities in the screening programme, as well as monitoring and evaluation with annual reporting to all stakeholders.
In the period of six years 532 cases of adenomas were found and 48 colorectal cancers.
In EU-TOPIA-EAST project, Montenegro team is involved in the implementation of Work package 7, through which we expect to increase population coverage by linking system to population registry, and to review national guidelines and protocols. We also plan to upgrade existing IT system and raise screening capacities in northern part of our country through establishing a new colonoscopy center, education of health workers, especially endoscopists and pathologists.
Through improvement of health literacy, media campaign and social mobilization, we have to work on raising the awareness of the population about the importance of detecting cancer at an early stage of the disease when it is possible to cure it.
The year 2022 marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Institute of Public Health of Montenegro.
Paul Huberts holds a MSc in Information Science/Studies at the Radboud University Nijmegen and works as an Information Analyst on the nationwide Dutch screening programmes on breast cancer, colorectal cancer and cervical cancer screening at Topicus since 2017.
His domain knowledge and expertise are in the fields of screening (solutions), health information systems, software development, information exchange protocols, public health, business consultancy (such as Technical Assessments).
Luciana Neamtiu, PhD, is a data manager with extensive experience in cancer prevention and control, including databases for population-based cancer screening and cancer registries. She worked for the European Commission Initiatives on Breast Cancer and Colorectal Cancer, coordinating the development of the Quality Assurance Scheme for breast cancer services that included the successful testing with 20 entities in 9 EU countries. She is involved in several ENCR (European Network of Cancer Registries) working groups on recommendations for cancer registries. Her research focus on healthcare quality, quality assurance, evidence-based guidelines, numerical analysis, optimisation and computer science applied to medicine.
Within the EU-TOPIA-EAST project, dr. Neamtiu will mostly be involved in the activities aimed to increase the quality of the population-based screening programme, specifically the activities T6.2.- Monitoring the implementation of the Clinical Guidelines, and T6.3. – the adjustment of the screening registry system.
Erik Jansen has been working at Erasmus MC since 2016. During the EU-TOPIA project he mainly focussed on adapting the microsimulation models for the evaluation of cervical cancer screening and making them available in the user-friendly online evaluation tool. Within the EU-TOPIA-EAST project he will be working on WP2 and WP8. Next to EU-TOPIA-EAST he is involved in the evaluation of the Dutch national cervical cancer screening programme as well as international projects such as the Cancer Intervention and Surveillance Modelling Network (CISNET).
Livia Giordano is an Epidemiologist, head of the Epidemiology and Screening department (CPO-Azienda Ospedaliero Universitaria Città della Salute-Turin (Italy), WHO Collaborating Centre for early detection and screening since 2014. Research fields are breast and cervical cancer screening organisation and evaluation; risk-based screening; randomised trial on cancer screening compliance; communications and psychological aspects in secondary cancer prevention interventions; cancer screening by immigrant and minority women; cancer screening in developing countries and in low-resource settings; smoking prevention and control; cancer screening and healthy lifestyle promotion interventions (diet, physical activity and tobacco consumption).
Prof. Zoltán Vokó currently works as the medical director of Syreon Research Institute and as the director of Center for Health Technology Assessment at the Semmelweis University, Budapest. He is a graduate of the Semmelweis University of Medicine, Budapest (MD, 1994), the Erasmus University Rotterdam (MSc in epidemiology, 1996; PhD in epidemiology, 2000). In 2003 he got his license in preventive medicine and public health, and habilitated at the University of Debrecen in 2004. In 2014 he became a doctor of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (DSc). He has been working as an academic researcher and as a government official in the field of epidemiology and public health since 1998 in different positions: head of department of information policy (2003), director for public health (2004) in the Ministry of Health, director of the National Institute for Health Development of Hungary (2012-2013), course director of the postgraduate course in epidemiology between 2000-2008, associate professor and head of Division of Biostatistics & Epidemiology at the University of Debrecen (2005-2008), associate professor (2009-2014), professor of epidemiology and head of department (2014-2019) at the Department of Health Policy & Health Economics at the Eötvös Loránd University.
Gerwin Prins holds an MSc of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Groningen and works as an Information Analyst on the nationwide Dutch screening programmes on breast-, colorectal- and cervical cancer at Topicus since 2022. His specific attention goes to international applications of our software and the internationalisation of our screening platform PreventUs.
His domain knowledge and expertise are in the fields of screening (solutions), health information systems, public health, foreign healthcare systems and business consultancy.
Abyan Irzaldy is a PhD student at Erasmus MC. He obtained a medical degree from Indonesia (2017) and MSc in public health sciences from Sweden (2021). His PhD project focuses on the use of microsimulation models to determine the optimal cancer screening programs for several Eastern European countries, given their respective barriers and circumstances.
Dr. Florian Alexandru Nicula is Consultant Physician Gynecologic Oncology and Surgical Oncology within the Oncology Institute “Prof. Dr. Ion Chiricuţă” (IOCN). Dr. Nicula is the Coordinator of the Department for Cancer Prevention and Control within IOCN, being the national leader in designing and implementing cancer prevention programs. He has more than 20 years of experience in research related to the prevention and control of the cervical screening cancer and is member of many national and international professional associations and academic bodies in the field of cancer prevention and control. Within the EU-TOPIA-EAST project, Dr. Nicula will mostly be involved in the activities aimed to increase the quality of the populational screening program, specifically activities 6.2.- Monitoring the implementation of the Clinical Guidelines and 6.4. Set-up of applied trainings.
Institute of Oncology Ljubljana is a public health institution providing health services on the secondary and tertiary levels as well as performing educational and research activities in oncology in Slovenia. It was founded in 1938. As a principal national institution, the Institute supervises programs on the comprehensive management of cancer diseases in terms of prevention, early detection, diagnostics, treatment and rehabilitation, research and education.
Its unit Epidemiology and Cancer Registry consists of the Cancer Registry of the Republic of Slovenia (established in 1950), the Hospital-Based Cancer Registry of the Institute of Oncology Ljubljana, the epidemiology unit, and screening units with the registries ZORA (national organised cervical cancer screening program) and DORA (national organized breast cancer screening program).
Gianluigi Ferrante is member of the Italian Association of Epidemiology (AIE), where he served as member of the executive board from 2014 to 2016. He has been researcher at the Italian National Institute of Health until 2019 where he worked as epidemiologist in primary and secondary prevention for chronic non-communicable diseases and in drug research and evaluation. He has a considerable experience in designing, conducting and coordinating observational and experimental studies.
Urška Ivanuš is a medical doctor with post-gradual specialisation in public health with emphasis on cancer epidemiology and cancer screening. She is a director of the Slovenian national cervical cancer screening programme and head of Department for cancer screening at the Institute of Oncology Ljubljana since 2018. She is leading an innovative project for the renewal of cervical cancer screening information system, which will on daily basis connect all professionals, involved in cervical cancer screening and will enable a risk-based management of women as well as computer-assisted clinical decisions. She is completing her PhD study on HPV-self sampling in non-responders.
Kyra Ubaghs will be responsible for project management and the EU-TOPIA-EAST website. She is experienced in the administrative procedures of EU projects and supports Horizon2020 and 3HP projects in many ways, whether it is the organisation of international meetings, reporting requirements or requesting amendments.
Topicus is a Netherlands based leader in building and running smart vertical market software since 2001. Topicus creates impactful software and its focus is on innovation through vertical market integration. Topicus connects organizations, professionals and end users within and across the vertical markets of education, healthcare, municipalities and financial services.
Topicus is one of the largest privately owned software development companies in The Netherlands. With over 1,000 colleagues spread out over 14 offices Topicus daily works on the goal to empower people to have self-directed, engaging, efficient and social lives. Topicus delivers on empowerment, engagement and excellence by connecting people, platforms and data. Our promise is made to citizens, professionals and institutions.
Topicus supports the three Dutch nationwide cancer screening programmes on breast cancer, colorectal cancer and cervical cancer screening since 2012 and works as a consulting partner for various Public Health organizations. We deliver consultancy with Technical Assessments (TAs) on screening activities and programmes from an IT perspective as outcome. Furthermore we support early detection of diseases by our multi-screening software solution PreventUs.
Within EU-TOPIA-EAST the focus of Topicus is on WP’s 4 – 8: Monitoring: collecting data on key quality indicators (WP4), Implementing breast cancer screening in Georgia (WP5), Implementing cervical cancer screening in Romania (WP6), Implementing colorectal cancer screening in Montenegro (WP7) and Capacity building (WP8).
Christiaan Mast holds a MSc of Business Information Technology at the University of Twente (1996) and is Business Line Manager Public Health at Topicus. From 2013 till now he has been project manager and is responsible for the three nationwide screening programmes breast cancer, colorectal cancer and cervical cancer screening in The Netherlands.
His domain knowledge and expertise are in the fields of screening (solutions), project management, agile & scrum way of working, healthcare communication processes, implementation, contract management, information exchange protocols, public health and business consultancy.
Implementation of Work Package 5 will be coordinated by Professor Dr. Rema Gvamichava – founder and the chairman of the “Georgian Society of Clinical Oncologists” (GSCO) and Professor of Tbilisi State Medical University and the Head of the Oncology Department. In the period 2008 – 2017 he was the first Director of the National Screening Centre (main implementer of the State Cancer Screening Program within the stated period); Faculty Member of the European School of Oncology (ESO) in the field of prevention and screening since 2016. Rema Gvamichava is the founder, chief editor and publisher of a scientific journal “Clinical Oncology”.
Dr. Patriciu-Andrei Achimaş-Cadariu is a Professor in Surgical and Gynecologic Oncology within the University of Medicine and Pharmacy “Iuliu Haţieganu” Cluj-Napoca and a Consultant Physician Gynecologic Oncology and Surgical Oncology within the Oncology Institute “Prof. Dr. Ion Chiricuţă” (IOCN). In the past, Dr. Achimaş-Cadariu fulfilled a number of decision making functions, such as Minister of Health, Manager of IOCN, Director at the Prorectorate for Research within the University of Medicine and Pharmacy Cluj Napoca. At present, Dr. Achimaş-Cadariu is a Member of the Romanian Parliament and Secretary of the National Health and Family Commission within the Chamber of Deputies. Dr. Achimaş-Cadariu is a member of several professional associations both national and international. He has a strong interest in cancer research, having fulfilled numerous times the role of Principal Investigator, having published articles in international indexed databases journals, or coordinating PhD students, etc. As the Principal Investigator of the IOCN team in the EU-TOPIA-EAST project, Dr. Achimaş-Cadariu will have a general role of overall coordination and supervision as well as a more specific role in advocating for the evidence based findings of the project during the round tables (activity 6.5.) with decision makers.
Dr. Vlad-Ioan Cătălin is a Senior Lecturer in Surgical Oncology within the University of Medicine and Pharmacy “Iuliu Haţieganu” Cluj-Napoca and a Consultant Physician in General Surgical Oncology within the Oncology Institute “Prof. Dr. Ion Chiricuţă” (IOCN). At present, Dr. Cătălin is the IOCN Manager. He has a strong interest in cancer research, having participated in the implementation of 5 research grants, having published more than 30 ISI indexed articles, etc. During the present EU-TOPIA-EAST project, Dr. Cătălin will focus especially on the activities 6.1. – the development of the population database and 6.3. – the adjustment of the screening registry system.
Francesca Di Stefano is graduated in Communications, Master in Health Education and Health Promotion, and Master in Peacekeeping Management.
She is experienced in strategic communication planning and developing communication packages within cancer screening organized programs and primary cancer prevention interventions, as well as related research projects.
Her fields of interest are: communications and psychological aspects in primary and secondary cancer prevention; communicating research; knowledge brokering; addressing underserved populations; cooperation with developing and low-income countries.
Ivana Nikčević Kovačević is an epidemiologist, PhD student and local coordinator in Montenegro for the EU-TOPIA-EAST project. She works in the National Institute for Public Health in the Cancer Screening Department, and she participated in the process of implementation of the national organized cancer screening programs (cervical, breast and colorectal). Ivana is actively involved in monitoring, evaluation, analysis and reporting from the cancer screening programs. She is preparing evidenced based materials for improvements and resolving obstacles in the conducting screening programs. Her everyday job includes sharing information and education of health care providers, as well as raising awareness of the population on importance of participating in the cancer screening programs.
Milica Stanišić works in the Institute of Public Health Montenegro as Acting Assistant Director for Medical and Public Health Issues, and she is Director of the Regional Health Development Centre on NCDs (SEEHN). Milica was involved in Developing National colorectal cancer screening programme adaptation to Montenegrin population specific needs and situation (algorithm, steps, quality indicators, and respective documents) and implementation of the programme (first national screening programme in Montenegro), as well as adapting and implementing health information system supporting the process in order to have adequate monitoring and ease the evaluation in 2013. Her skills include: deep health system understanding (organization, institutional network and functioning, resources’ distribution – human, financial, infrastructure etc.), as well as collecting, analyzing and ultimately using data to inform evidence-based public health policy development. She has experience in health analysis of epidemiological situation (in various public health areas) and health needs assessment regarding the major public health issues in the context of planning and delivering health care to population.
Professor of the School of Health Sciences and Public Health of University of Georgia, Ms. Beruchashvili will be involved in the implementation of Work Package 5. She worked as manager of the National Screening Center (2008-2017) and has extensive experience of participation in international projects, including TEMPUS project of Tromso Arctic University (Norway), ESO (Italy). She is a member of US Breast Cancer Coalition (NBCC) and Europa Donna. In 2010, Tina Beruchashvili founded the first in Georgia “Winner Women’s Club” with a special aim to support women’s physical and psychological rehabilitation after breast cancer surgery, their socialization and reintegration into the society.
Ms. Sturua will be involved in the implementation of Work Package 5. Since 1999, she has been working at the National Center for Disease Control and Public Health (Tbilisi, Georgia). From 2010, she works in the position of the Head of the Non-communicable Disease Department. Areas of her expertise include: public health, non-communicable diseases, cancer, screening, tobacco, quantitative and qualitative studies, reproductive health, health, health care policy, health care management, etc. In 2015, Lela Sturua was elected as WHO temporary advisor and member of the organizational committee of Health Promotion 9th Global Conference (9th GHPC). Since 2010, she is the WHO expert and county contact person on aspects of non-communicable diseases, tobacco, healthy food, physical activity, etc. Ms. Sturua was actively engaged in the development of population-based registry and currently, she actively participates in the processes of analyses and introduction of the registry.
Ms. Gvamichava is associate nutritionist and PhD researcher at University of Westminster in London. She will be involved in the implementation of Work Package 5 as a research assistant.
Katja Jarm graduated as a medical doctor at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, and afterwards finished her specialization as public health specialist in 2012. She works at the Institute of Oncology Ljubljana as an epidemiologist in Slovenian breast cancer screening programme DORA. Within the programme, she is involved in the managing unit, assigned for quality control, screening reporting and screening planning, also she leads the call centre with invitation office of the screening programme.
Kristijana Hertl is radiologist, employed at the Institute of Oncology since 1992. After completing specialization (1997) and master’s degree (2004), she was mainly involved in breast cancer diagnostic. From beginning she participated in the setting up of the Slovenian National Screening Programme DORA which started in 2008 and spread throughout the country in 10 years. Since 2020, she is the head of the Breast Cancer Screening Programme. She shared her experience in organizing screening at several international meetings as a part of assistance in introducing screening in various countries. In the screening programme, she is involved also as a reader and supervising radiologist in further diagnostic assessment of women with mammographically suspicious lesions found in screening. Her expertise is quality control of radiologists and analysis of interval cancers in the screening.
Jovana Vuković-Leković works as an epidemiologist at the Center for Control and Prevention of Non-Communicable Diseases, Department of Screening. She is currently working on her PhD. Since the beginning of her employment (2013), she has been dealing with screening programs, which are conducted in Montenegro (early detection and prevention of colon, breast, cervical cancer). She was a member of the national working group in charge of designing (the best possible screening model, algorithm, steps applied in Montenegro) and implementing a screening program for early detection of cervical and breast cancer. She is involved in the managing unit for the roll-out process of all three national screening programmes.
Adrijana Vujović has worked in Institute of Public Health Montenegro since 2013. Adrijana is an epidemiologist. She is a member of team in the screening department in the Centre for Non-Communicable Diseases. She is involved in the managing unit for the roll-out process of national screening programmes throughout the whole country.
Brian Sheridan is a PhD student from Erasmus MC, Rotterdam. After several years working as a physiotherapist, he specialised in public health and completed an advanced Masters of Global Health in Belgium. His PhD project is focused on monitoring and evaluation of European cancer screening programmes.
Marcell Csanádi joined Syreon Research Institute in 2013. He received his BSc degree in Financial management from the Budapest University of Technology and Economics. He completed the Health Policy, Planning and Financing MSc program at Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest in 2014. In 2021 he completed his PhD studies at the Doctoral School of Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Sciences at University of Pécs. His research is focusing on the evidence base of reimbursement decisions on health technologies in Central and Eastern European countries. At Syreon Research Institute he is mainly working on research projects related to health policy and health care financing. He also works in the department of European Collaborative Research at SRI and was involved in two completed Horizon 2020 projects (SELFIE and EU-TOPIA). Currently he coordinates the activities by Syreon Research Institute in the EU-TOPIA-EAST Horizon 2020 project.
György Széles is a graduate of the Debrecen University School of Medicine, (MD, 1996) in Hungary, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University of London Union (MSc in Communicable Diseases Epidemiology, 1997; PhD in Public Health and Preventive Medicine, 2005). In 2003 he got his license in preventive medicine and public health. He started his career as an academic researcher in the Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health in 1996 at the Faculty of Public Health, University of Debrecen. He worked as an academic researcher in the field of epidemiology and public health from 1996 until 2008 in different positions: assistant lecturer at the Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health (1996-2005), assistant professor of the Division of Biostatistics & Epidemiology at the University of Debrecen (2005-2008). He started a business entrepreneurship in Angola in 2008 where as a CEO he was responsible for the establishment and management of a private company until 2015. Since June 2017, he has worked as a principal researcher at Syreon Research Institute.
Dominika Novak Mlakar completed her studies at the Faculty of Medicine in Ljubljana in 1998. Since 2008 she has been a specialist in public health. She started her career in Community Health Centre Ljubljana where she has been actively involved in smoking cessation programs. Following examples from abroad, she established first Slovenian smoking cessation telephone counselling (helpline) in 2006.
In 2006, she participated in the preparation of documents for the establishment of the colorectal cancer screening programme, Program Svit, and has been involved in the programme implementation at the national level since 2009. Since 2009, she has been employed at the Institute of Public Health of the Republic of Slovenia, today the National Institute of Public Health. She is actively involved in Svit Program Central Unit coordination and works closely with colonoscopists and histopathologists involved in the implementation of the screening programme. In 2017, the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Slovenia nominated her as the colorectal cancer screening programme director.