Lydia Makaroff

Lydia Makaroff is the Director of the European Cancer Patient Coalition. 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. She is an Australian-Belgian dual national who speaks English and has a good knowledge of French.


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Isabelle Ellen Manneh
Head of Health & Research Programmes 

Isabelle is ECPC's Head of Health & Research Programmes and is the appointed executive body for our research activities from industry to EU funded projects participating in several European Union's Research and Innovation framework programmes in addition to working on 3 principal EU Policy files: the European Cross Border Health Directive, the General Data Protection Regulation, and Health Technology Assessment. She is a registered Pharmacist (RPh) and certified Public Health Professional (CPH) holding a post-master degree in European Studies specialising in EU Policy & Project Management. Isabelle is a USAID Training Future Leaders Scholarship recipient, a Golden Key International Honour Society member, and a EUPATI Scholar who has dedicated the past 10 years of her life to patients. She has previously worked with the United Nations (UN) and the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), among others around the globe. Isabelle is an active member of the General Assembly of the Worldwide Innovative Networking in personalized cancer medicine (WIN)  Consortium, Belgian Health Care Knowledge Centre (KCE) Trials Panel, the European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO), the European Commission's Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Stakeholder Pool, Health Technology Assessment International (HTAi), the BBMRI-ERIC Stakeholder Forum, and the Working Party on Nutrition and Health, and is also an elected representative of the European Patient Advocacy Group (ePAG) for the European Reference Network (ERN) on rare adult solid tumours & the ERN Patient Board. Isabelle is Romanian and identifies as a citizen of the world. She speaks fluent English, Romanian and Arabic, and has a good knowledge of French and basic understanding of Spanish and Italian.


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Anna Rek
Community & Communications Manager  

Anna is ECPC's Community & Communications Manager. She holds one Bachelor's degree in European Studies, another in Political Science, and a Master in Contemporary European Studies and European Politics from the University of Sussex in Great Britain. She gained her professional experience and obtained a deep understanding of the healthcare sector while she worked for two worldwide pharmaceutical companies followed by a practice in a Public Relations agency, where she was responsible for developing and implementing health and disease awareness campaigns accompanied by proactive and reactive media relations. Anna has substantial experience in supporting patient organisations throughout Europe. Anna is responsible for the ECPC Annual Congress, which brings together over 170 European stakeholders, and is Europe's largest gathering of cancer patient organisations. As part of her work in managing the ECPC community of patient organisations, Anna is an active member of the Union for International Cancer Control, the World Pancreatic Cancer Coalition, Pancreatic Cancer Europe, the Make Sense of Head & Neck Cancer campaign, the Awareness Week on Alcohol Related Harm, and Antibiotic Awareness Day. She connects the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) to cancer patient organisations throughout Europe. She also coordinates the ECPC's Working Group on Bladder Cancer, newsletter, annual report, website, media relations, and social media channels. Anna is a positive and committed Polish national, who speaks fluent Polish and English and has a good knowledge of French.



Jiska Bolhuis
Financial Officer  

With more than ten 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.


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Alex Filicevas
Head of EU Affairs 

Alex is the Head of EU Affairs at the European Cancer Patient Coalition. In his role, Alex leads on ECPC advocacy activities and policy initiatives. He does so by drawing on his comprehensive knowledge of the EU health policy landscape and his experience of having worked on several award winning public affairs campaigns, with a strong focus on policymaker and Member State stakeholder engagement. He has supported a number of private and non-governmental organisations in successful advocacy efforts at the EU level on a range of disease areas and issue-specific public health challenges. Alex owes his inspiration for bettering public health in Europe to the Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis. Next to gaining working experience in the Cabinet of the Commissioner, he also developed an in-depth understanding of interinstitutional relations and EU policymaking and manifested his passion for healthcare. He has also worked in public relations and public affairs agencies in London and China before moving to Brussels. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Public Relations from the University of Westminster, London and a Master's degree in International Communication from the Communication University of China, Beijing. Originally from Vilnius, Lithuania, Alex speaks native Lithuanian, fluent English and Russian, and has a basic understanding of French.


Max Schravendeel
Junior Health & Research Officer 

Max Schravendeel is the Junior Health and Research Officer at the European Cancer Patient Coalition. He graduated from the Inholland University of Applied Sciences with a Bachelor of Science in Medical Imaging and Radiation Therapy. This was followed by a Master of Science in Governance and Leadership in European Public Health at Maastricht University, and an internship at the European Health Forum Gastein in Austria. During his studies he has supported people with cancer across the fields of radiology, radiotherapy, and nuclear medicine. Max is fluent in English and Dutch and has a basic understanding of German. 

Rafal Swierzewski
Associate Consultant

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 ECPC in the European Medicines Agency (EMA) together with the Vice-President of the ECPC. Through the European Medicines Agency, he has been involved in various projects, such as Adaptive PathwaysADVANCE 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. Rafal speaks Polish and English.