Meet our team
Panaxea is an independent consultancy company spun-out from the University of Twente, Enschede, the Netherlands. The company is led by a board of directors. Panaxea works with a large international network of professionals to best serve our clients and to achieve the highest level of flexibility.
Hubertus J.M. Vrijhoef, PhD
Bert Vrijhoef holds a M.Sc. in Health Policy and Management from the Erasmus University Rotterdam and a Ph.D. in Medical Sociology from the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Maastricht University, the Netherlands. Before joining Panaxea, he worked at Maastricht University (1996-2011), Maastricht University Medical Center (2006-now), Tilburg University (2009-2012), National University of Singapore (2012-2017), and the Vrije Universiteit Brussels (2014-2019). He also worked at the MacColl Institute for Healthcare Innovation in Seattle as first Dutch Commonwealth Fund Harkness Fellow in Health Care Policy and Practice (2008-2009).
His research focuses on 1) health care innovations to improve outcomes; 2) integration and coordination of care; 3) skill mix and new professions in health care. In doing so, he conducts quantitative research, qualitative research and mixed methods research. He has published over 390 scientific articles and reports in different peer-reviewed journals. This translates into a H-index of 41 (+5700 citations) and RG score of 43.16 (https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Hubertus_Vrijhoef). Over the years, Bert has received multiple awards for his contributions to the scientific evaluation of health care innovations.
In his current role as CEO, Bert oversees all research and training activities, takes responsibility for the overall performance, and serves as Panaxea’s mission leader. In addition to his role as Panaxea’s CEO, Bert continues his research into skill mix and task referral at Maastricht University Medical Center, where he leads the Research Team Task Referral. Since January 2020, he was appointed chair of the Dutch Stroke Knowledge Network. Further, Bert is the editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Care Coordination.
Isabelle Lepage-Nefkens, PhD, MPH
Dr Isabelle Lepage-Nefkens (PhD, MSc, MPH) graduated in 1999 from the KULeuven (Belgium) as a bio-engineer in Cell and Gene-technology. Shortly after that, she left abroad for professional development and subsequently has spent more than ten years in different corners of the world including USA, Germany, Hong Kong and Singapore. After finishing her PhD at the Wistar Institute in Philadelphia and Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz (Germany), Isabelle Lepage-Nefkens has post-doc positions at the Rega Institute in Leuven (Belgium) and Pasteur Institute in Hong Kong, developing a strong research background in molecular biology, infectious diseases, neurobiology and gene technology. Continuing in Singapore, she headed the multicultural and multidisciplinary virology team of a biotech company in pre-clinical drug development for hepatitis C and influenza. She complemented her scientific background with a Master in Public Health with a strong focus on health economy and health policy. Dr Lepage-Nefkens acquired international expertise in Health Services Research for example at KCE (Knowledge centre for healthcare in Belgium). Since 2009 Isabelle Lepage-Nefkens provides consultancy services in the field to governmental organisation, biotech and pharmaceutical firms or other health care organisations, covering aspects such as health services organisations and management, health policy and strategy, health economics, market access, medical science liaison, etc.
Janne Mewes, PhD
Dr. Janne Mewes holds a Bachelor´s degree in Health Sciences from the University of Twente in Enschede, a Master´s degree in Health Systems and Public Policy from the University of Edinburgh, and a PhD in Health Economics from the University of Twente. At Panaxea, Janne develops market access and reimbursement strategies for diagnostics, medical devices and pharmaceuticals and leads Panaxea´s health economic modelling projects. Janne’s projects include conducting cost-effectiveness analyses, reimbursement dossiers for pharmaceuticals, and economic evaluations demonstrating the added value of medical technologies and diagnostics for a range of European countries and the US, as well as conducting systematic literature reviews and meta-analyses. Also, she co-leads Panaxea´s work packages within the European Union funded Horizon 2020 research programmes ESCAPE-NET (The European Sudden Cardiac Arrest network towards Prevention, Education, New Effective Treatment) and AutoCRAT (Automated Cellular Robot-Assisted Technologies for translation of discovery-led research in Osteoarthritis).
Anam Ahmed, MSc
Junior Consultant/ Researcher
Anam Ahmed, MSc, studied Biomedical Sciences at the VU University in Amsterdam. A strong interest in creating and facilitating bridges between health sciences and the practical field made her obtain her Master’s degree in Science and Business Management at Utrecht University.
During her graduation project, she analysed growth opportunities driven by the strategic objectives of a fast-growing consumer healthcare company. She conducted a feasibility study on the implementation of a new medical device in the Dutch market by performing extensive qualitative and quantitative analyses.
Before joining Panaxea, Anam has worked as a consultant in the field of strategy and analytics. Her passion for health economics made her switch to a career with a stronger focus on life sciences and healthcare innovation.
At Panaxea, Anam uses her scientific background and experience in consultancy to lead innovative projects. She specializes in the health services research field using mixed methods approaches. Since 2019, she is conducting her PhD research at the Radboudumc at the department of primary care and community care. Her PhD focuses on the effectiveness of integrated, person-centred care for vulnerable groups.
Anne Voermans, MSc (ir.)
Anne Voermans, MSc (ir.) graduated as a Medical Engineer from the Eindhoven University of
Technology, which relates to her interest in medical research, especially when innovations are
involved. She worked on (clinical) studies initiated by clinicians throughout different hospitals in the Netherlands before joining Panaxea as a Health Technology Assessment (HTA) consultant in 2018. Anne’s work within Panaxea included the (early) health economic analyses during the CRADL (Continuous Regional Analysis Device for neonate Lung) project under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, and the cost-effectiveness analysis of the specific biomarker procalcitonin to guide antibiotic stewardship in sepsis treatment. In 2019, she successfully finished the Health Innovation School. Besides academic skills and practice, Anne has experience working and collaborating with professionals of both different scientific and medical backgrounds.
Melanie Lindenberg, MSc, BN
Melanie Lindenberg holds a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing (specialization Health and Technology) from Saxion Applied University and a Master’s degree in Health Sciences from the University of Twente in Enschede, the Netherlands. Between 2015 and May 2020 Melanie worked as a PhD Candidate at the Netherlands Cancer Institute (NKI) – Antoni van Leeuwenhoek hospital in Amsterdam where she conducted various health technology assessments of (complex) technical innovations (to be) applied in the treatment of patients with cancer. These technologies were in various stages of development due to which she is experienced in performing both early as well as conventional HTA analyses. The defense of her dissertation is planned at the end of 2020. Melanie’s passion in connecting people and building relationships can be seen in her background as a nurse and has been strengthened by the cooperation with a large variety of stakeholders during her time as PhD candidate. Since July 2020 Melanie joined the team as an HTA researcher/consultant and is involved in amongst others (early) health economic analyses of medical technologies, pharmaceuticals, and other innovations.
Josepha Guillaume-Scheffer has independently managed offices for several organisations including the police and justice department before having been an equestrian entrepreneur and CEO of her own company for 15 years. Having worked throughout Europe and South Africa, setting up a successful international trainer school and having a book published in German and English by Europa’s largest Equestrian publishing house amongst many other things, she has now entrusted her work to the many students she educated while remaining in an advisory capacity. Craving a fresh project at the beginning of 2018, Josepha and Panaxea crossed each other’s path which resulted in her taking on the office manager role at Panaxea as a long-term commitment. For further development, Josepha is pursuing a marketing study.
Aylin Yilmaz holds a Bachelor degree in Health and Life Sciences from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, through which she gained knowledge in problematical cases in healthcare and diseases. In 2018 she worked at the Netherlands Cancer Institute on a research aiming to investigate better screenings for coloncancers, after which she conducted research at the Academic Center for Dentistry in Amsterdam. She is currently a first-year master student in Management, Policy-analysis and Entrepreneurship in Health and Life Sciences at the VU University. Currently, she works as an intern at Panaxea, investigating the effect and the cost-effectiveness of an innovative technology in healthcare, which is a project of the EU Horizon 2020 research programme.