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 CEO

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 ( 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.

Anam Ahmed, MSc Junior Consultant/ Researcher

Anam Ahmed, MSc

Senior Consultant/Researcher

Anam Ahmed 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 the healthcare field led her towards a career path 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 and community care, which focuses on the effectiveness of integrated, person-centred care for vulnerable groups.

Iris Boot, MSc

Junior Consultant/ Researcher

Iris Boot, MSc, has studied Psychology at Leiden University, the Netherlands. During the Bachelor programme in Psychology, she developed an interest in health sciences research. This led her to pursue the Research Master in Health Sciences at Maastricht University, The Netherlands. As part of the Master programme, she did an internship at the Nutrition Biomed Research Institute in Australia.
After her studies, Iris started working as a Data Analyst at a transport company. In this role she further developed her analytical skills and gained experience in project management, however missed the affiliation with healthcare. Hence, Panaxea was a logical step in her career. As junior HTA researcher/consultant at Panaxea she applies the knowledge acquired during her studies and contributes to informed decision making in healthcare. Besides her work at Panaxea, Iris is a PhD Candidate at Maastricht University, The Netherlands. Her PhD research focusses on the relation between diet and the risk for bladder cancer development.

Ysanne de Graaf, MSc

Junior Consultant/ Researcher

Ysanne de Graaf, MSC, received her bachelor’s degree in Psychobiology and master’s degree in Biomedical Sciences at the University of Amsterdam. She did her master internships at both the Netherlands Institute of Neuroscience and the Institute of Neuroscience in Newcastle, UK. This taught her the ways of the world of research. Her broad interests led her to follow courses in data science and programming, and additionally stirred up a fascination for health technology. Since she seeks to bridge the gap between research and the practical applications in healthcare, Panaxea is an excellent start of her career. With Panaxea, she is able to combine her passion for innovation, research and health care improvement.

Josepha Scheffer

Office & HR Manager

Josepha Scheffer has independently managed offices for several organizations 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 ‘train the trainer’ institute and having several Equestrian books published in German and English, she entrusted her institute to her best and longest student, 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.  Josepha is amongst other things, responsible for invoicing, back office project and HR management.