The ECCA Board of Directors

Mr Michel Ballieu

Chief Executive Officer, ECCO - the European CanCer Organisation

After studying economics in his native Belgium and in the United States, Mr Michel Ballieu worked for several large, multinational companies including Xerox and BASF, where he obtained high-level experience in sales, marketing and strategic management at a multinational level.

Mr Ballieu entered the non-for-profit sector 12 years ago as the head of European Operations for the ‘Up with People’ exchange programme that provided students with international learning opportunities. He was then appointed European Executive Director for MCI, a renowned association management organisation, and subsequently became Chief Executive Officer for the World Federation of Biological Psychiatry.

Mr Ballieu joined ECCO as Chief Executive Officer in 2006 where he is responsible for leading a team of 21 professionals that develop and execute scientific educational programmes, communication programmes, policy and regulatory awareness campaigns and congresses on behalf of the ECCO membership.

Mr Ballieu joined the Board of the ECCA in 2009. Mr Ballieu confirms that he has no personal agreements or contracts, and receives no payments or fees from any pharmaceutical, diagnostic or medical device company.

Dr Magdalena Grce

Senior Research Associate at the Rudjer Boskovic Institute

Dr Magdalena Grce obtained her DERBH degree in human biology, oncology and virology from the University of Paris 7 in France in 1983 and then completed her PhD degree in biology at the University of Zagreb in Croatia in 1998.

From 1985 to 1994, Dr Grce worked in the Department of Virology at the Croatian Public Health Institute where she was the Head of the Laboratory of Viral Antigen Preparation. From 1994 onwards, Dr Grce has worked in the Division of Molecular Medicine of the Rudjer Boskovic Institute as the Head of the Laboratory of Molecular Virology and Bacteriology and where she specialises in Human papillomavirus research and runs a number of research projects on cervical cancer. Dr Grce has authored many scientific papers and she was editor of two special issues of Croatian medical journals that both focused on HPV and cervical cancer prevention.

Dr Grce has been an active member of the ECCA since its inception in 2003 and she has served on the ECCA’s Board of Directors since 2006. Dr Grce confirms that she has no personal agreements or contracts, and receives no payments or fees from any pharmaceutical, diagnostic or medical device company.

Prof Ian Gibson

Prof Ian Gibson was born in Dumfries, Scotland in 1938 and he was educated at Dumfries Academy and Edinburgh University.  After graduation, he moved to the USA where he worked as a researcher and lecturer at universities in Indiana, Washington DC and Seattle. In addition, Dr Gibson taught and gave lectures at a number of other universities including Yale and Harvard. Upon his return to the UK in 1965, Dr Gibson took up a lectureship at the University of East Anglia where he was later appointed the Dean of Biological Sciences and Honorary Professor. 

In 1997, Prof Gibson was elected as the Member of Parliament for Norwich North in the UK and he served as a member of the Labour government until 2009 when he retired from politics. During his time as a MP, Prof Gibson served as a member of a number of parliamentary committees and he chaired the Science and Technology Select Committee as well as the All Party Committees on cancer, publishing and food and health.

Currently, Prof Gibson serves as a trustee of Children with Leukaemia charity, the Inspire Science Centre and as Chair of Steering Committee on Brain Tumours.  Prof Gibson is also an Honorary Fellow of British Science Association, the Wellcome Trust and the Institute of Biology. Prof Gibson joined the Board of the ECCA in 2010.

Prof Gibson confirms that he has no personal agreements or contracts, and receives no payments or fees from any pharmaceutical, diagnostic or medical device company.

Dr Ana Maria Jorge

President of the Training, Education and Research Centre of the Garcia de Orta Hospital in Lisbon, Portugal.

Dr Ana Maria Jorge started her professional life in paediatrics, first working as a clinician but then moving into the health service administration. In 1996, Dr Jorge was appointed the Coordinator of Health Services for Lisbon, then the President of the Board of the Regional Health Administration of Lisbon and Tagus Valley in 1997, and finally the Director of Paediatrics Service at the Hospital Garcia de Orta in Lisbon from 2001 to 2007.

In January 2008, Dr Jorge was invited by Prime Minister of Portugal to become the Minister of Health. She then served as the Minister until the election of 5 June 2011 when the Social Democratic party took power and Paulo Moita de Macedo was appointed as the Minister of Health. Dr Jorge then resigned from politics to become President of the Training, Education and Research Centre of the Garcia de Orta Hospital in Lisbon, Portugal in January 2012.

Prof Vera Prilepskaja

Head of the Scientific and Primary Care Department and Deputy Director of the Scientific Centre of Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Perinatology at the Russian Academy of Medical Science.

Professor Prilepskaja graduated from the Smolensk State Medical Institute in 1966 and then practiced as a doctor in Tula. In 1975, she started a clinical internship in Obstetrics & Gynaecology at the 11th Maternity Hospital in Moscow, and in 1977 moved to become a Senior Scientific Officer at the Moscow Regional Scientific Research Institute of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. In 1982, Prof Prilepskaja was appointed as the Head of Scientific Advisory Department of the Moscow Regional Scientific Research Institute of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. Then in 1987, she was appointed the Head of the Scientific and Primary Care Department and Deputy Director of the Scientific Centre of Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Perinatology at the Russian Academy of Medical Science where she continues to work. Prof Prilepskaja is also Chair of the Commission of Experts on Medicines for Obstetrics & Gynaecology in the Russian Federation, an editor of the journal Gynaecology and the associate editor of 5 Russian medical as well as 3 international medical journals.

Prof Prilepskaja joined the ECCA Board in March of 2010. Prof Prilepskaja confirms that she has no personal agreements or contracts, and receives no payments or fees from any pharmaceutical, diagnostic or medical device company.

Prof Hélène Sancho-Garnier

Professor of Public Health, University of Montpellier, France
Scientific Director, Epidaure, Montpellier, France

Prof Hélène Sancho-Garnier has devoted much of her career to research on cancer epidemiology and and public health.  Her particular areas of interest include epidemiology and prevention, evaluation methods for mass screening programs, cancer registration and national cancer planning. Prof Sancho-Garnier participated in the establishment of France’s pilot national screening program for breast cancer and she is currently involved in the development of a pilot mass screening program for colo-rectal cancer in Hérault (France). 

As an active supporter of cancer control efforts in developing countries, Prof Hélène Sancho-Garnier consultants for various cervical screening programs in Cambodia, Tunisia, Morocco and Latin America.  She has also served as Strategic Leader for Cancer Prevention and Early Detection at the International Union Against Cancer (UICC) for 8 years where she is also a member of the Task Force for Cervical Cancer Prevention.

Prof Sancho-Garnier is author or co-author of more than 150 papers in international journals, has contributed to 65 books including International Agency for Research on Cancer monograph on breast cancer screening, and has been the editor or co-author of five books on cancer prevention.

Prof Sancho-Garnier has served on the ECCA’s Board of Directors since 2007. Prof Sancho-Garnier confirms that she has no personal agreements or contracts, and receives no payments or fees from any pharmaceutical, diagnostic or medical device company.