Discover ECPC's professional team!
Lydia Makaroff joined the European Cancer Patient Coalition as Director in 2016. She has over ten years' international experience in non-communicable disease research and policy development in academia, the pharmaceutical industry, and the non-profit sector. She conducted medical research during her PhD at the Australian National University and as a senior post-doctoral fellow at the University of Washington. After working in Global Market Access at a pharmaceutical company, she joined the International Diabetes Federation as their Epidemiology and Public Health Manager. She has experience quantifying the impact of non-communicable diseases, monitoring national governments' commitments to health, providing tools to Member Organisations, writing policy papers, and working with the European Institutions to advocate for change. Lydia holds a PhD in immunology and a Masters' degree in Public Health, and is also a Board member of Pancreatic Cancer Europe and an Associate Researcher at the Translational Immunology laboratory at the University of Leuven. She is an Australian-Belgian dual national who speaks English and has a good knowledge of French.
Head of EU Affairs
Francesco joined ECPC in March 2014 as Public Affairs Coordinator. He obtained a cum laude Master in International Relations and Diplomacy from the University of Trieste-Gorizia with a thesis on EU enlargement. In Brussels, Francesco worked as an intern for regional representatives, NGOs, and the European Commission's Joint Research Center (JRC) EU Science Hub. His experience working on cancer dates back to 2013, when he joined ECCO and SIOPE Public Affairs team. This experience raised his awareness of the challenges faced by patients. Hence, he quickly moved to the side of patients, putting his policy and public affairs skills to ECPC’s service, helping the ECPC Board to produce a new policy strategy “Europe of Disparities in Cancer" and to deliver several high profile projects. Francesco is a fellow Young Gasteiner and a Member of the European Health Parliament. He is Italian and speaks fluent Italian, English, and has a good knowledge of French.
Isabelle joined ECPC in November 2016 as Projects Coordinator and the executive body for all EU funded projects. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sicences, a Master degree in Public Health from Florida International University, in addition to a post-master in European Studies specialising in EU Policy & Project Management from the Catholic University of Louvain. Isabelle is the United States Agency for International Development Training Future Leaders (TFL) Scholarship recipient for 2009-2011 and Golden Key International Honour Society member. Her professional experience ranges from community based participatory research to EU Policy & Project management and the provision of humanitarian aid under the United Nations Development Program (UNFPA), among many others around the globe. She is a member of the General Assembly of the Worldwide Innovative Networking (WIN) Consortium, a leading member of the Patient Advisory Group of the IMI PREFER project, elected European Patient Advocay Group member and the Co-chair of the Transversal Task Force on Communication & Dissemination in the ERN for adult rare solid cancers. Isabelle is Romanian and identifies as a citizen of the world. She speaks fluent English, Romanian, and Arabic, and has a working knowledge of French.
Community & Communications Manager
Anna joined ECPC in January 2016 as our Community & Communications Manager. She holds a Masters' degree in Contemporary European Studies and European Politics from the University of Sussex in Great Britain. She gained her professional experience and got a deep understanding of a healthcare sector while she worked for 2 worldwide pharmaceutical companies followed by a practice in a Public Relations agency, where she was responsible for developing and implementing nationwide health and disease awareness campaigns accompanied by proactive and reactive media relations. Anna has a significant experience in supporting national patient organizations, such as Polish Cancer Patient Coalition, Melanoma Academy, Amazons, The Star of Hope Foundation or the Foundation of Social Education. Anna is a positive and committed Polish national, who speaks fluent Polish, English and has a good knowledge of French.
With more than nine years of experience in the field of communication and project management (especially in the field of public policy contracts), Jiska has a large amount of experience in managing and coordinating budgets, contracts, people and events. As a Dutch national, she speaks Dutch and English fluently and has a good knowledge of German, French as well as some basic knowledge of Spanish.
Nancy joined ECPC in March 2017 as Communications Intern. She holds a degree in Sociology from Newcastle University and conducted her thesis research at the University of Hong Kong. Her studies provided her with in-depth understanding of sociological debates surrounding the social, legal and creative management of the human body and the anthropology of health and illness. Prior to joining the team she worked for Inclusion Europe where she coordinated events, assisted in project administration and worked both strategically and operationally on a number of community engagement functions. The nature of the organisation also provided her with a comprehensive understanding of person-centred practices and self-advocacy. She is passionate about advocacy and humanitarian affairs having directed a volunteer community development project in Ghana. Nancy is an English native speaker with a good knowledge of French.
Alberto holds a Bachelor's degree in Law and one in Political Science, Public Administration and Organizations. He also holds a Minor in European Governance from the University of Utrecht. Prior to joining ECPC as an intern, he gained some experience in the institutional side of the advocacy world by doing a Human Rights internship at the Permanent Representation of Spain to the EU, and another one for the Permanent Representation of Spain to the Council of Europe, in Strasbourg. Alberto is a Spanish national who speaks fluent Spanish, English, and Catalan.
Rafal Swierzewski has been involved in patient advocacy for ten years as both a scientist and cancer survivor. He earned his PhD in 2006 by examining the physical and chemical properties of new chemotherapy compounds. He served on ECPC 's Board from 2013 to 2016. He currently represents the European Cancer Patient Coalition in the European Medicines Agency together with the Vice-President of the European Cancer Patient Coalition. Through the European Medicines Agency, he has been involved in various projects, such as Adaptive Pathways, ADVANCE and WEBRADR. Rafal also represents patients' interests in the European Union’s clinical trial portal and database of stakeholder groups created within the European Medicines Agency to construct new systems for implementing European regulations on clinical trials and clinical data.