The Anticancer Fund Webinar: Drug repurposing for cancer in the COVID-19 era

Webinar: Biographies of the speakers

Biographies of the speakers

Tilly Metz

Tilly Metz is a Luxembourgish Member of the European Parliament since July 2018. She represents the Greens/EFA group in the committees of Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, Transport, Tourism, Agriculture and Rural Development.

Health and health care is one of her key topics and she has contributed to the implementation report of the directive on cross-border health care. Furthermore, she is member of the disability inter-group and MEP advocate for the treatment of rare diseases and epilepsy. Protecting the most vulnerable in our society has always been a key objective of her work.


Tilly Metz, Member of the European Parliament, the Anticancer Fund webinar

Lydie Meheus

Lydie Meheus is Managing Director of the Anticancer Fund (ACF), a Belgian Research Foundation of Public Utility dedicated to the development of cancer treatments regardless of their commercial value. She was co-founder of ACF in 2013 after leading an alike Swiss organisation, Reliable Cancer Therapies, initiated in 2009 by Luc Verelst. She obtained a PhD in Sciences at the University of Ghent (1986). She worked at Innogenetics, Belgium (1987-2004), and as VP R&D at GENimmune (2005-2008).

Lydie Meheus, Managing Director of the Anticancer Fund

Hans-Georg Eichler

Hans-Georg Eichler, M.D, M.Sc., is the Senior Medical Officer of the European Medicines Agency, where he is responsible for coordinating activities between the Agency’s scientific committees and giving advice on scientific and public health issues. From 2015 to 2018 he was the scientific lead for the IMI ADAPT SMART consortium on Adaptive Licensing. Prior to joining the European Medicines Agency, Dr. Eichler was at the Medical University of Vienna in Austria for 15 years. He was vice-rector for Research and International Relations since 2003, and professor and chair of the Department of Clinical Pharmacology since 1992. His other previous positions include president of the Vienna School of Clinical Research and co-chair of the Committee on Reimbursement of Drugs of the Austrian Social Security Association. His industry experience includes time spent at Ciba-Geigy Research Labs, U.K., and Outcomes Research at Merck & Co., in New Jersey. Dr. Eichler graduated with an M.D. from Vienna University Medical School and a Master of Science degree in Toxicology from the University of Surrey in Guildford, U.K. He trained in internal medicine and clinical pharmacology at the Vienna University Hospital as well as at Stanford University.

Hans Georg Eichler, European Medicines Agency, the Anticancer Fund webinar

Jan-Willem Van de Loo

Jan-Willem van de Loo, Team Lead for Cancer, has been a Policy and Scientific Officer at the European Commission in charge of cancer since 2003. He has extensive experience with project management, international cancer research and innovation policy activities and stakeholder interactions. He graduated in Biology at the University of Utrecht in 1991, after a year at the UW-Madison Medical School Graduate Program. He worked as a junior scientist on blood coagulation at Sanquin, Amsterdam and obtained his PhD in cell biology at the Centre for Human Genetics at the University of Leuven in 1999. He held three postdoctoral positions in cancer research, including a Marie-Curie postdoctoral fellowship at the European Institute of Oncology in Milan.

Jan-Willem Van de Loo, Team Lead for Cancer, the Anticancer Fund webinar

Bishal Gyawali

Bishal Gyawali, MD, PhD is an assistant professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences, scientist in the Division of Cancer Care and Epidemiology and a clinical fellow in the Department of Medical Oncology  at Queen’s University, Kingston, Canada and an affiliated faculty at the Program On Regulation, Therapeutics and Law in the Department of Medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, USA. He also previously served as a medical consultant for the not-for-profit Anticancer Fund, Belgium. He is in the Editorial and Advisory Board for multiple medicine and oncology journals including JCO Global Oncology, JCO Oncology Practice and ecancer, has authored or co-authored nearly 100 peer-reviewed articles and is the recipient of the 2020 ASCO Conquer Cancer Foundation Global Oncology Young Investigator Award in Implementation Science. His areas of academic interests include cancer policy, global oncology, evidence-based oncology, financial toxicities of cancer treatment, clinical trial methods, and supportive care. He is an advocate of "cancer groundshot", a term he coined to imply that investment should be made on proven high-value interventions in cancer care that are easy to implement globally and are affordable. Dr. Gyawali tweets at @oncology_bg.

Bishal Gyawali, Queen's University, Kingston, the Anticancer Fund webinar

Delphine Heenen

Delphine Heenen is the founder, director and day-to-day manager of Belgian NGO KickCancer. Delphine was successively a lawyer (Linklaters), a strategy consultant (Bain & Company) and active in the investment world of renewable energy (TTR energy).  Delphine first supported her son Raphaël in his fight against cancer by, among other things, decorating his hospital bedroom with hundreds of drawings made by his school buddies. Since January 2017, she decided to change tactics and to move up another gear to fight childhood cancers by working full-time for KickCancer. It is the lack of innovative treatments offered to her son which drove her and her family to found KickCancer.

Delphine Heenen, Founder of KickCancer, the Anticancer Fund webinar

Matthew Hall

Matthew Hall joined NCATS in 2015 and leads a team of translational scientists focused on developing probe molecules for orphan targets, and advancing new small molecule therapeutics through collaborative research. The team develops and optimizes both biochemical and cell-based assays for automated, small molecule, high-throughput screening (HTS) in collaboration with NIH intramural and extramural partners, including several National Cancer Institute (NCI) Chemical Biology Consortium programs. His research portfolio has an emphasis on rare diseases and rare cancers, but covers a diverse range of other human pathologies and diseases. He currently leads the Early Translational Branch at NCATS, spanning assay development, HTS, drug repurposing and medicinal chemistry, and is coordinating COVID-19 collaborative research efforts at NCATS and NIH.

Matthew Hall NCATS, the Anticancer Fund webinar

Nicolas André

Pr. Nicolas André is Professor in Paediatric Oncology in the Department of Hematology & Paediatric Oncology in the “Hôpital pour Enfants de La Timone”, AP-HM, and delegated Vice-President in health at the University of Aix-Marseille. He is the head of the SMARTC CRCM (INSERM-CNRS-AMU) and of the adult and paediatric CLIPP of AP-HM and of paediatric CIC. His main interests focus on brain tumours, rare tumours and pharmacology, including metronomic chemotherapy and drug repurposing.

Nicolas André, Hôpital pour Enfants de la Timone, the Anticancer Fund webinar

Peter O'Donnell

Peter O’Donnell is a Brussels-based journalist who has been covering European affairs for more than twenty years, for media including The Financial Times, The Sunday Times, Reuters, the Economist Intelligence Unit, UPI and Euronews. He is a former editor-in-chief of Europe Information Service, and a former associate editor of European Voice and of POLITICO. He is Brussels correspondent for APM Health Europe and European columnist for Applied Clinical Trials. He also acts as editor, editorial adviser and speechwriter for clients in the corporate, political and academic world.

Peter O'Donnell, journalist, the Anticancer Fund webinar

Our current focus areas

  • Drug repurposing

    Drug repurposing, also known as drug repositioning, is a drug development strategy predicated on the reuse of existing...
  • Less common and rare cancers

    We don’t just focus on the ‘big four’ of cancer – prostate, colon, breast and lung. We also investigate new treatment...
  • Combination therapies

    It is important to investigate the impacts of drugs beyond what they can achieve alone. Using them in combination...
  • Preventing tumour recurrence

    For cancer survivors, the fight isn’t always over. Many are concerned about the possibility of recurrence, and living...