Team

With over 15 years of experience, VPM's management and team members are dedicated to provide excellent service and expertise to support organisations in the entire value chain of product development. At VPM we know what it means and takes to develop a biotech product. Our motivation is based on our own experience: We make your projects our own.

Dr. Bernd Eisele

CEO

Bernd Eisele M.D. is CEO since 2008 and CSO (Head of Research & Development) of VPM since 2003.

From 1997-2002 he was Medical Director and Head of Medical Marketing of Region 6 in Solvay Pharmaceuticals GmbH, Hannover. Region 6 comprised Canada, Asia, the Middle East, India, Australia, and South Africa. Bernd was responsible for the planning and conduct of local and region-wide marketing campaigns for Solvay's influenca vaccine and for its cardiovascular, gastroenterology, gynecology, and psychiatry products.

Additionally, Bernd planned and supervised the company's pivotal trials within the Region which were needed for local registrations (e.g., for PR China). In 2002, he was appointed Global Product Director for psychiatry and became responsible for the world-wide marketing of Solvay Pharmaceuticals' psychiatry products. Bernd had joined Solvay in 1996 and was responsible for the international phase III development program of one of Solvay´s leading cardiovascular products.

Bernd Eisele began his career in the industry as a Clinical Project Manager at Behringwerke AG in 1988. In various positions Bernd was responsible for the clinical development of recombinant and transgenic products in clinical phases I – III.

Bernd Eisele holds a doctorate in medicine from Heidelberg Medical University (1986).

Dr. Leander Grode

CSO and Director Business Development

Dr. Leander Grode joined VPM in May 2003 as project manager. Since April 2008 he has been responsible for Business Development and since 2013 he is Chief Scientific Officer at VPM.

He studied biology in Giessen and Frankfurt/Main with focus on cell biology and zoology. As an exchange student, he visited the University of California San Francisco in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics in the lab of Prof. John Watson.

He graduated in 1997 with a degree in biology at the Max-Planck Institute of Biophysics in Frankfurt/Main in the Department of Molecular Membrane Biology under Prof. Hartmut Michel. In the year 2000 he graduated as a PhD at the Max-Planck Institute of Infection Biology in the Department of Immunology under Prof. Stefan H.E. Kaufmann. The focus of his thesis was vaccine development against tuberculosis based on live carriers, such as salmonella or mycobacterium bovis BCG.

Between 2001 and 2003 Leander Grode was the coordinator of the vaccine development group at the MPI in the Department of Immunology.

Dr. Christiane Meller

Director Quality Assurance

Dr. Christiane Meller is Director Quality Assurance at Vakzine Projekt Management GmbH (VPM). She joined VPM in 2010 as Clinical Project Manager and later became quality assurance manager.

Christiane Meller is experienced in planning and management of clinical trials within the EU regulatory framework (phases I-III). At VPM she is responsible for running the quality assurance.

Christiane Meller studied biology and majored in molecular and cell biology at the Ruprecht-Karls-University in Heidelberg.

Supported by a doctoral scholarship of the International Graduate College "Hannover Biomedical Research School" she accomplished her doctoral thesis at the TWINCORE, a centre for translational research in infectious diseases. The aim of her doctoral thesis and following post-doctoral work was the characterization of viral ion channels as target structure for hepatitis C virus-specific therapeutic agents.

Dr. Steffi Hansen

Director Quality Assurance

Dr. Steffi Hansen is Director Quality Assurance at Vakzine Projekt Management GmbH (VPM). She joined VPM in 2013 as project manager and later became quality assurance manager.

Steffi Hansen is experienced in planning and management of clinical trials (phases I-III). She consults companies in custom designing their quality management system and bringing them up to date with current and future regulatory requirements (ICH E6(R2), Clinical Trial Regulation, ICH GCP Renovation).

Steffi Hansen holds a doctorate in pharmacy from Saarland University, Germany (2009).

She held several positions in academic research including as visiting scientist at Winkle College of Pharmacy, University of Cincinnati, USA and as team leader in the field of transdermal vaccination at the Helmholtz-Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland, Germany.

Furthermore, Steffi Hansen gained experience as freelancer for PharmBioTec GmbH in planning and conducting bioequivalence and biodistribution studies especially of skin products.

Dr. Isabel von Korff

Director Business Development

Dr. Isabel von Korff, MBA has been appointed Director Business Development at Vakzine Projekt Management GmbH (VPM) since September 2018.

She studied Biology at the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms University in Bonn and received her doctorate at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich in 2003. Dr. von Korff receive her MBA from the Kellogg School of Management/WHU in 2009.

Prior to joining VPM, she worked at Johnson & Johnson Innovation as New Venture Lead Germany for J&J's Innovation Center in London and managed local collaborations with external innovators. Previously, she was a freelance innovation management consultant. During this time she advised Zeiss, Janssen and the digital Healthtech startup viomedo. From 2005 to 2011, Dr. von Korff worked for the technology transfer company Ascenion GmbH as a project manager and in business development. During this time, she was also entrusted with VPM projects within the scope of Ascenion's shareholder function. Dr. von Korff began her career in 2003 as Product Manager Oncology at Bristol-Myers Squibb in Munich.

Dr. Kathrin Schulz-Beiss

Clinical Project Manager

Dr. Kathrin Schulz-Beiss studied chemical biology at the technical University Dortmund from 2005-2011. From 2011 onwards, she performed her doctoral studies at the Max Delbrueck Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association, Berlin which were subsidized by the "Leibniz Graduate School for molecular Biophysics" and the "International PhD Programme at the MDC for molecular medicine". She investigated the biochemical and structural characterization of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor as well as of the immunity related GTPase6 and received her PhD in biochemistry from the Free University Berlin in 2015.

After an additional education as project manager (IPMA Level D) she joint VPM as a project manager in 2016 to combine her scientific and management experience. In 2017, Kathrin became a clinical project manager and is currently overseeing phase II-III clinical trials within VPM.

Dr. Gerald P. Parzmair

Clinical Project Manager

Dr. Gerald P. Parzmair is a Clinical Project Manager and joined Vakzine Projekt Management GmbH (VPM) in 2016.

He received his Bachelor's and Master's degree in Genetics at the Paris Lodron University of Salzburg. For his Master's thesis, he worked at the Medical University of Graz in the field of immunopharmacology on the modulatory effects of certain cannabinoids on human granulocytes.

After graduating in 2012, he moved to Braunschweig to work on his PhD thesis at the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research on the roles of adaptor proteins in pathogen-specific immune responses and received his PhD at the Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg in 2016.

As clinical project manager Gerald focuses on the GMP/GCP interface.

Dr. Rosalie Ridzewski

Clinical Project Manager

Dr. Rosalie Ridzewski joined Vakzine Projekt Management GmbH (VPM) in 2016 as a Project Manager and since 2017 she is a Clinical Project Manager.

She studied Nutrition Sciences with focus on Immunology, Carcinogenesis and Chemoprevention at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena. She performed her diploma thesis at the department of Nutritional Biochemistry, in which she investigated macrophage foam cell formation in atherosclerosis.

Supported by a doctoral scholarship of the Graduate School 1034 "Pharmacogenomics in Oncology" granted by the German Research Foundation, she started her doctoral studies in the Tumor Genetics Group at the University Medical Center Göttingen. Within the doctoral program "Molecular Medicine" of the Georg August University School of Science (GAUSS), she developed and evaluated novel strategies to improve therapies of Rhabdomyosarcoma by using small molecule inhibitors.

After completing her PhD, she participated in a professional training in project management by the International Project Management Association (IPMA) and qualified as certified Project Management Associate (IPMA Level D).

Dr. Sina Brückner

Clinical Project Manager

Dr. Sina Brückner is Clinical Project Manager and joined Vakzine Projekt Management GmbH (VPM) in 2017.

Dr. Brückner studies biosciences with focus on cell biology at the technical University Kaiserslautern from 2006-2011. She obtained her master's degree after performing her master thesis at the Institute of Tropical Medicine, Tübingen with the focus on vaccine response after application of a malaria candidate vaccine, amongst others in respect of the helminth status of the study population.

She performed her doctoral studies at the Eberhart-Karls University Tübingen as well as at the Albert-Schweitzer Hospital in Lambaréné, Gabon. She investigated if an antihelminthic treatment has an effect on the vaccine immunogenicity in a population highly susceptible for geohelminth.

Dr. Fabio Pisano

Project Manager

Dr. Fabio Pisano is a Project Manager and joined VPM in 2016. In 2005 he obtained his Master's degree in the field of pharmaceutical Biotechnologies at the University of Bologna (Italy), particularly focusing on neurophysiology and spatial memory.

From 2005 to 2009, he performed his doctoral studies at the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research in Braunschweig supported by a "Marie Curie" EU scholarship. His dissertation focused on the analysis of infectious diseases in conditional mouse mutants.

Until 2015, he worked as a postdoctoral researcher in the field of immunology and infectious diseases, with special focus on the virulence strategies of the enteric pathogens Yersinia and Salmonella.

After training as a Project Management Associate, he worked as Scientific Officer in the German Centre for Infection Research (DZIF).

Dr. Inci Aydin

Project Manager

Dr. Inci Aydin is a Project Manager and joined Vakzine Projekt Management GmbH (VPM) in 2017.

From 2006 to 2011, she studied Biology (B.Sc.) and Molecular Biosciences (M.Sc.) with the major Infectious Diseases at the Heidelberg University. During a 3-months internship at Monash University in Australia, Dr. Aydin gained insights into X-ray crystallography of proteins. For her Master's thesis on the antiviral RIG-I signaling pathway, she worked at the Department of Infectious Diseases, Molecular Virology of the Heidelberg University.

From 2012 to 2016, Dr. Aydin performed her doctoral studies at the University of Münster. In her dissertation, she investigated the nuclear entry of papillomaviruses upon initial infection of the host cell.

After completing her PhD, Dr. Aydin participated in the professional training "Project Management Clinical Research/Biosciences" at the mibeg-Institut Medizin in Cologne to qualify as Certified Project Management Associate (GPM/IPMA Level D) and obtain knowhow in project management in clinical research.
In addition, Inci is a Quality Assurance Manager since 2018.

Dr. Annabel Krupp

Project Manager

Dr. Annabel Krupp joined VPM as a project manager in December of 2017.
She studied cellular and molecular biology at the Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg where she obtained her Bachelor's and Master's degree. Her master's thesis was conducted at the department of biochemistry, where she was involved in the development of hypoallergenic tomatoes.

Subsequently, she conducted her doctoral studies at Harvard Medical School as part of an "exchange program" (GRK1071) with the Friedrich-Alexander University. Her thesis work addressed the role of antiviral restriction factors in cross-species transmission of SIV in monkeys.

She then continued her career working in early discovery research as part of an industry postdoc program at Biogen (Cambridge, MA).

Stefanie Katzensteiner

Quality Assurance Manager

Stefanie Katzensteiner is a Quality Assurance Manager and joined Vakzine Projekt Management GmbH (VPM) in 2018.

From 2009 to 2013, she studied Medical Information Management (B.A.) at the Hannover University for Applied Sciences and Arts. Thereafter, she studied Clinical Trial Management (M.Sc.) within the scope of an extra occupational distance learning at the Beuth University of Applied Sciences Berlin (2013-2017). For her Master's thesis, she implemented a clinical data management at the Institute for Biometry of the Hannover Medical School.

From 2013 to 2017, she worked as Medical Documentalist at the Fraunhofer ITEM in Hannover, department Clinical Airway Research. During her occupation, she administered an electronic study documentation system and dealt with the validation of computerized systems in clinical research. During her following occupation at the Institute for Biometry of the Hannover Medical School, she was deputy Quality Assurance Manager with focus on data management.

Inge Jacobi

Accounting and Controlling

Inge Jacobi is a qualified foreign language and economic correspondence manager with additional experience as personal assistant. She has been working at VPM since 2003.

In 2008 she took over the position of a Business Assistant in charge of finance and controlling.

Christoph Schütz

Team Assistant

Christoph Schütz joined VPM as Team Assistant Project Management in May 2015.

He studied business administration at the Hotel Business School in Marburg/ Germany focusing on hotel and hospitality industry.

As part of his duties in the international luxury hotel business he gained extensive expertise in the organization and coordination of internal and external processes.

Dr. Nontsikelelo Mpofu-Mätzig

Assistant Project Management

Dr. Nontsikelelo Mpofu-Mätzig is Assistant to the Project Management and joined VPM in 2018. She obtained a Bachelor of Science Honors Degree in Biochemistry from the University of Zimbabwe. Thereafter, she was awarded a Vlaamse Interuniversitaire Raad Scholarship to study for a Master's degree in Molecular Biology at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. During the course of her Master´s thesis, she worked on the molecular identification of the metastatic T cell hybridoma antigen and the assessment of its role in metastasis. After attaining her Master´s degree in 2004, she was awarded a Hannover Biomedical Research School scholarship to pursue her Ph.D. as part of the International MD/Ph.D. "Molecular Medicine" Program. Her Ph.D. and subsequent postdoctoral research focused on the use of gene therapeutic strategies to generate antigen specific immune-regulatory therapies for type 1 diabetes. From 2017, Dr. Mpofu-Mätzig was involved in the coordination of a German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funded research consortium.