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Roch Ogier, MD, PhD

Head TDA

Roch is a medical doctor and holds a PhD in electrophysiology from the University of Geneva. He completed his curriculum with advanced studies in Healthcare Management (HEC, Geneva), Pharmaceutical Medicine (ECPM, Basel), Leadership (GCU, UK), eHealth (IKF, Luzern) and Corporate Governance (SBS, Lausanne). After several years in academia (basic and clinical research, clinical pharmacology, medical education), Roch joined the pharmaceutical industry in 2007 with medical leadership roles at Sanofi-Aventis, Vifor Pharma and, more recently, at Novartis Switzerland as Chief Scientific Officer. He is also co-founder of Firstmed SA, a company that provides training and services in the field of first aid. In 2017, he joined the University of Zurich to launch the Therapy Development Accelerator.

Claire Bonal, MD, PhD

TDA project leader

Claire is a medical doctor with a PhD in developmental biology from the University of Geneva. After a postdoctorate fellowship at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute in Cambridge, USA, Claire joined Merrimack Pharmaceuticals working in R&D to support their colorectal cancer pipeline. She then joined the Medical Affairs Department of Novartis Switzerland in 2013 leading the assesment and prioritization of early products. Claire also holds a certificate with commendation from the Global Clinical Research Scholar Training Program from the Harvard Medical School.

Board of Directors

Prof. Roland Martin

Co-founder TDA

Roland Martin is full professor for neurology and neuroimmunology at the University Zürich and heads the Neuroimmunology and Multiple Sclerosis Research Section and MS outpatient clinic at the University Hospital Zurich. He trained in medicine, and specialized in neurology at the University Würzburg. He pursued post-doctoral fellowships in immunology, virology and neuroimmunology in Würzburg and at the Neuroimmunology Branch, National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, USA, where he worked as tenured senior investigator until 2005. Subsequently, he held full professorships in Barcelona (Vall D´Hebron University Hospital), Hamburg (Director of the Institute for Neuroimmunology and Clinical MS Research, University Hamburg) and now in Zurich. The main interests of his group are disease mechanisms of multiple sclerosis (MS), cellular immunology, disease mechanisms of JC polyoma virus-mediated progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) and developing novel treatments for MS and PML besides providing care for MS patients in one of the largest MS centers in Switzerland. He and his group developed more than 10 projects from idea to early clinical proof-of-concept trials. One of these projects (Daclizumab, an anti-CD25 monoclonal antibody; Zinbryta®) was just approved for the treatment of MS by EMA, FDA and Swissmedic. He is a member of the Kuratorium of the Jung Foundation for Science, Hamburg, of the core faculty of the Wyss Translational Center Zurich, a cofounder of the Drug Discovery Network Zurich (DDNZ) and of the Therapy Development Accelerator (TDA) at the University Zurich.

Dr. Wolfgang Knecht

Co-founder TDA

Wolfgang Knecht received a MS degree in Physics from MIT and a PhD in Technical Science from ETH Zurich on artificial neural networks for applications in acoustics. He has completed Executive Training in Management at UZH and is currently enrolled in a CAS in Pharmaceutical Medicine at the University of Basel. After several years in private industry R&D implementing noise reduction systems in the first digital hearing instruments he is currently the managing director of the Neuroscience Center Zurich of the University and ETH Zurich. Together with Prof. Martin Schwab he has set up and managed large academic research networks, such as the NCCR “Neural Plasticity and Repair” with a total budget of 233 Mio Swiss francs. With Martin he established and managed long-term collaboration contracts between academia and pharmaceutical companies for joint translational projects. He is also the delegate of ETH Zurich participating in EIT Health, one of Europe’s largest consortia for innovation in the health sector.

Prof. Christoph Hock

Vice-President Medicine UZH

Prof. Dr. med. Christoph Hock studied medicine at LMU Munich (Ludwig-Maximilians Universität München) and earned his doctoral degree at the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry in Munich/Martinsried. His career path led him to positions as attending physician and head of diverse research groups at the psychiatric hospital at the University of Basel before he was appointed associate professor of biological psychiatry at the University of Zurich in 2001. In 2007, he was named full professor. In 2016, Professor Hock took on the position of Director of the Institute for Regenerative Medicine at the Schlieren Campus of the University of Zurich. Christoph Hock’s main areas of research include diagnostic and clinical therapeutic studies on Alzheimer’s disease; distinctions awarded include the research prize of the Swiss Alzheimer’s association in 2004, the Doron Prize in 2006, and the ZKB Technopark Pioneer Award in 2010. He is co-founder of numerous UZH spin-off companies, including Neurimmune Holding Ltd., a company specialized in developing innovative immunotherapeutics for neurodegenerative diseases.