Our Team

Our team combines scientific excellence (PhD, Post-doc) with commercial experience. Catalyze employs talented, smart and ambitious professionals who are committed and passionate about the work we do for our clients. We value strong team work to optimally serve our clients, while individual employees take full responsibility for their work and projects. Our team always strives to be successful and deliver top quality work, while being honest and transparent.

 

Meet the team

 

Theodoor Rutgers – Founder and director

Theodoor Rutgers – Founder and director

Theodoor Rutgers holds a Bachelor in Human Movement Sciences from the State University of Groningen (RUG) and successfully completed the Master program in Management and Entrepreneurship in the Health and Life Sciences. Theodoor is specialized in business development and financing/funding of innovative R&D companies.

Jalal Es-Sbai – Founder and director

Jalal Es-Sbai – Founder and director

Jalal Es-Sbai holds a Bachelor in Chemical Technology from the Saxion Hogeschool in Enschede, the Netherlands. After completing his theses at the Energy research Centrum Netherlands (ECN) in Petten and subsequently at Teijin Aramid BV in Arnhem, he successfully completed the 2-year Master program in Management and Entrepreneurship in the Health and Life Sciences.

Gelmer Leibbrandt – Director Operations and Strategy

Gelmer Leibbrandt – Director Operations and Strategy

As a member of the Management Team, Gelmer is responsible for the staff operations within Catalyze such as Finance, Human Resources, Marketing & Communication and Training. Furthermore he leads the international development as well as expansion towards other market segments for Catalyze.

Kirsten van Benthem – Account Manager/ Business Developer

Kirsten van Benthem – Account Manager/ Business Developer

Kirsten van Benthem is team leader sales at Catalyze. At Catalyze she uses her experience and expertise, in Pharma and FMCG in order to manage department business development and accounts.

Neeltje Ramnath-Willems – Account Manager/Business Developer

Neeltje Ramnath-Willems – Account Manager/Business Developer

Neeltje has a huge passion for helping people and companies bring their innovative and disruptive ideas, research, products and solutions closer to the market and to patients. This means help them build strong collaborations, a network of trust, a sound business strategy and acquiring the necessary funding to achieve all this.

Elmieke Boot – Manager Consultancy

Elmieke Boot – Manager Consultancy

Elmieke Boot is manager consultancy for Catalyze’s Amsterdam office, leading an operational team of currently 12 consultants with the aim to provide optimal and high quality support for our clients in the most effective manner.

Clara Elbers – Quality & Talent Manager

Clara Elbers – Quality & Talent Manager

Clara Elbers obtained her Master’s degree in Biology at Utrecht University. Subsequently, she did her PhD in human genetics and genetic epidemiology at the University Medical Centre Utrecht (UMCU). In 2010, she was awarded a NWO Rubicon scholarship to continue her research as a postdoc at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) in Philadelphia, USA.

Marlene Végh – Manager Consultancy

Marlene Végh – Manager Consultancy

Marlene Végh is Manager Consultancy at Catalyze and is responsible for Catalyze’s Utrecht office. In her role, Marlene is directing all operational aspects of Catalyze’s Utrecht office, and is responsible for determining and carrying out strategic plans for Catalyze’s Utrecht office, together with the Management Team.

Dilek Iusuf – Strategic Funding Specialist

Dilek Iusuf – Strategic Funding Specialist

As Strategic Funding Specialist at Catalyze, Dilek Iusuf leads the Strategic Funding Unit at Catalyze. In her role, Dilek defines the funding strategy for biotech companies and life sciences researchers. She matches the relevant funding opportunities with the right project and/or client, establishing thus long-term partnerships with Catalyze.

Annika van Rosmalen – Account Manager/Business Developer

Annika van Rosmalen – Account Manager/Business Developer

As Account Manager at Catalyze, Annika van Rosmalen advices biotech companies and life sciences researchers on the best funding opportunities for their R&D projects. Annika uses her knowledge of – and strong network in – the biotech industry to expand Catalyze’s client portfolio, both on a national and European level.

Michel Ohman – Accountmanager/Business Developer

Michel Ohman – Accountmanager/Business Developer

Michel’s goal as accountmanager at Catalyze is to provide funding for innovative projects in order to make the dreams of progressive entrepreneurs and researchers come true.

Frank van der Meulen – Account Manager/Business Developer

Frank van der Meulen – Account Manager/Business Developer

As an Account Manager at Catalyze Frank is passionate about helping companies, entrepreneurs and researchers with finding the best suitable funding possibilities. Frank works on building a strong and lasting relationship with our clients to identify your ideas and find the best solutions to realize these ideas!

Merel Lammers van Toorenburg – Contract Manager

Merel Lammers van Toorenburg – Contract Manager

Merel Lammers van Toorenburg obtained her Master’s degree in Health Science at the VU University in Amsterdam. She started her career in the pharmaceutical industry as a sales representative for Schering Plough (MSD).

Tim van Beelen – Project Manager & WBSO Consultant

Tim van Beelen – Project Manager & WBSO Consultant

Tim van Beelen is the Project Manager and WBSO Consultant at Catalyze. As project manager he participates in several projects within the Eurostars- and H2020-programme, such as REACTION!, ESCAPE-NET and PNEUMONAV, on behalf of Catalyze. Additionally he actively advises Dutch enterprises in financing their research & development through the WBSO-programme; a fiscal stimulus program providing…

Olav Veldhuizen – Project manager

Olav Veldhuizen – Project manager

Olav Veldhuizen is Project Manager at Catalyze. Olav has a strong background in EU project management and grant writing including FP7, COST Action and IMI2.

Rogier Dik – WBSO Consultant

Rogier Dik – WBSO Consultant

Rogier Dik obtained his MSc degree in Biomedical Sciences at the VU University with a specialization in Oncology. He conducted his first internship at the VUmc Cancer Center Amsterdam where he focused on potential radiosensitizers in brain cancer. With the preliminary results obtained from this internship he wrote his own master thesis proposal and went…

Leanne Schmitz – Consultant

Leanne Schmitz – Consultant

Leanne Schmitz obtained her Bachelor’s degree Psychobiology and Master’s degree in Neuroscience at the University of Amsterdam. Driven by her interest in neuroscience and molecular biology she continued her academic career as PhD-student at the department of Molecular and Cellular Neurobiology at the VU University.

Reinier Waij – Consultant

Reinier Waij – Consultant

Reinier Waij is a passionate consultant striving to translate innovative ideas into market ready products for healthcare. At Catalyze, he combines his entrepreneurial, biological and analytical background for this cause. This led to securing funding for his very first Eurostars project.

Benjamin Sieters – Consultant

Benjamin Sieters – Consultant

Benjamin Sieters studied Biomedical Sciences at Leiden University. During his Master he studied Agile project management principles in a medical R&D environment and performed molecular genetic research in the field of microbiology.

Jonneke Leijsten – Consultant

Jonneke Leijsten – Consultant

Jonneke Leijsten obtained her master’s degree in medical biology with a minor in science communication at the Radboud University in Nijmegen. During her master she performed research at the department of molecular developmental biology, where she studied the process of reprogramming skin cells into induced pluripotent stem cells.

Veerle Fleskens – Consultant

Veerle Fleskens – Consultant

Veerle Fleskens obtained her MSc. degree in Biomedical Sciences at Utrecht University. Her interest in molecular biology as well as immunology led her to continue as a PhD student at UMC Utrecht, where she studied the molecular mechanisms involved in immune regulation.

Thom Frielink – Consultant

Thom Frielink – Consultant

Thom Frielink obtained his MSc in Innovation Sciences at the University of Utrecht. During both his bachelor and master degrees he has specialised himself in the connection between business and life sciences.

Josta Kevenaar – Consultant

Josta Kevenaar – Consultant

Josta Kevenaar obtained her Bachelor’s degree Psychobiology at the UvA and her Master’s degree in Neurosciences cum laude at the VU in Amsterdam while she was continuously active in several committees and boards. Thereafter, she continued her academic career as a PhD-researcher at the department of Cell Biology at the Utrecht University.

Peter Ochodnicky – Consultant

Peter Ochodnicky – Consultant

Peter Ochodnicky holds a Master (MSc) and PharmD degree from the Comenius University, Bratislava. His keen interest in the drug’s working mechanisms prompted him to follow the post-gradual research program at the Department of Clinical Pharmacology, University Medical Center Groningen studying novel drug targets in cardiovascular and renal disease.

Marike van Beuge – Consultant

Marike van Beuge – Consultant

Marike van Beuge is a Senior Consultant and Cluster Leader at Catalyze. She aims to use her research background, writing and analytical skills to help develop innovative ideas into successful projects in Life Sciences. In this role, she likes to assist clients in defining the optimal project, finding potential project partners, and writing a well-matched…

Peter van den Berghe – Senior Consultant & Cluster Leader

Peter van den Berghe – Senior Consultant & Cluster Leader

Peter van den Berghe is working as a Senior Consultant and Cluster Leader at Catalyze. Peter and is team are responsible for assisting our clients in defining their Life Science research and development projects, writing project proposals and establishing competitive international public-private consortia.

Rick Kwekkeboom – Consultant

Rick Kwekkeboom – Consultant

Rick Kwekkeboom, PhD, is consultant at Catalyze, with a focus on acquiring (inter)national funding for companies in the life sciences, and providing strategic advice on product and/or service development. Rick specifically focuses on project intake, conceptual project design, finding the right partners for the consortium, budget negotiations, setting up project applications, and supporting contractual requirements…

Mirjam van den Bosch – Consultant

Mirjam van den Bosch – Consultant

Mirjam W.M. van den Bosch obtained her Bachelor degree Applied Sciences at the HAN University in the Netherlands and her Research Master at the University of Dundee in Scotland, UK. She continued her career in scientific research as a PhD student at the department of Biochemistry and Immunology at Trinity College Dublin in Ireland.

Helen Pothuizen – Senior Consultant & Cluster Leader

Helen Pothuizen – Senior Consultant & Cluster Leader

Helen Pothuizen is working as Senior Consultant & Cluster Leader at Catalyze. In her role she is responsible for assisting our clients in defining their research projects, ensure a good match between the project and the requirements of the funding scheme, writing the project proposal, establishing high quality (public-private) consortia, facilitate negotiations between consortium members…

Heike Schmidlin – Consultant

Heike Schmidlin – Consultant

Heike Schmidlin studied biochemistry at the University of Basel (Switzerland) and performed fundamental academic research in immunobiology / haematology at the Universities of Amsterdam and Utrecht.

Anneke Middeldorp – Consultant

Anneke Middeldorp – Consultant

Anneke Middeldorp is senior consultant at Catalyze. In her role, she assists a broad range of clients in the field of life sciences in developing their innovative ideas into project applications to raise funding. In addition to her tasks as consultant, she is responsible for the training of starting consultants at Catalyze.

Patricia Celie – Consultant

Patricia Celie – Consultant

Patricia is Senior Consultant at Catalyze, focusing on special and high-end projects and applications. She also performs larger assignments for research institutions and companies. Patricia J.W.A.M. Celie obtained her MSc in Medical Biology in 2001 (VU University Amsterdam) and her PhD in 2006 (Molecular Cell Biology & Immunology, VU University Medical Center). In her studies,…

Ayla Kempers – Consultant

Ayla Kempers – Consultant

Ayla Kempers obtained her MSc degree in Biomedical Sciences with specializations in Immunology and Infection Biology at the VU university in Amsterdam. For the Infection Biology specialization she additionally studied in Uppsala, Sweden.

Esil Hermsen-Aleyd – Consultant

Esil Hermsen-Aleyd – Consultant

Esil Hermsen-Aleyd, PhD, is consultant at Catalyze, providing complete support in the process of funding proposal application by universities and companies. As a consultant at Catalyze, Esil is in involved in support of funding subsidies to bridge the gap between academia and industry, and to facilitate innovative research projects.

Esther Stroo – Consultant

Esther Stroo – Consultant

At Catalyze, Esther Stroo combines her scientific background with her experience in writing scientific grants to facilitate development and funding of innovative research projects.

Sabine Oppedijk – Consultant

Sabine Oppedijk obtained her MSc. in the field of medicinal chemistry and drug innovation from the Utrecht University. Her interest in the molecular basis of medicine resulted in the continuing her career as a PhD-researcher in the field of biochemistry and microbiology researching antibiotics and antimicrobial resistance. As a consultant at Catalyze Sabine uses her…

Kristian Göeken – Consultant

Kristian Göeken – Consultant

Kristian Göeken is a consultant at Catalyze, where he specializes in nanotechnology and in vitro diagnostics-related projects. His goal is to help you through the subsidy application process step by step, and to maximize your chance of success.

Ester Weijers – Consultant

Ester Weijers – Consultant

Ester is Consultant at Catalyze. She assists clients in the field of Life Sciences in transforming ideas into project applications to raise funding. Ester holds a PhD and is specialized in vascular biology, stem cells and regenerative medicine.

Max van Zandvoort – Consultant Trainee

Max van Zandvoort – Consultant Trainee

Max van Zandvoort holds a Bachelor’s degree in Medical Biology from the Radboud University in Nijmegen. Currently, he is studying for his Master’s degree in Medical Biology with the specialization Science, Management and Innovation at the Radboud University. He completed a three-month research internship on the treatment of glioblastoma during his Bachelor’s. He completed a…

Iliass Bouallal – Funding Advisor

Iliass Bouallal – Funding Advisor

Iliass holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from University Utrecht and he is currently finalizing his Master’s degree in Science and Business Management at University Utrecht. During his Master’s he did an internship at the Plant-Microbe interactions department at University Utrecht, where he conducted a research project on the biological relevance pathogen-induced microbial recruitment by…

Aniek Doensen – Funding Advisor

Aniek obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Technical Medicine and a Master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering, both at the University of Twente. During her master she focused on bionanotechnology, controlled drug delivery and polymer chemistry.

Brian Steur – Financial Controller

Brian Steur – Financial Controller

Brian Steur is responsible for the monthly, quarterly and annual financial reports of Catalyze. Furthermore, he is responsible for the payments of invoices, salaries and for the payroll taxes employees. He started his financial career in the medical center in Baarn, where he was responsible for the debt administration for ten years. The next five…

Ellen Isarin – HR & Office Manager

Ellen Isarin – HR & Office Manager

Ellen Isarin is operating in a dual-role as our HR / Office Manager. She is responsible for all HR tasks, like personnel administration, absence counseling, contract management, fleet management. The office management component of this position is overall responsible for housing, facilities, purchasing (this is partly in cooperation with administration), travel management and more.

Margreet Singerling – Administration Officer

Margreet Singerling – Administration Officer

Margreet Singerling is Administration Officer at Catalyze. She is responsible for incoming and outgoing mail, administrative aspects, and preparing invoices. In addition, she helps preparing the payroll stubs.

Wijna Bekker – Corporate recruiter

Wijna Bekker – Corporate recruiter

Wijna Bekker is corporate recruiter at Catalyze. Wijna is responsible for attracting bright and talented people to facilitate Catalyze’s ambitious growth vision for the coming years.

António Ornelas-Soares – Business Developer

António Ornelas-Soares – Business Developer

António Ornelas-Soares works as a Business Developer at Catalyze. He is an entrepreneur with international experience in the start-up, implementation and management of business ventures in the Life Sciences and Healthcare sectors internationally.

Peter Schoevers – Non-executive director

Peter Schoevers – Non-executive director

Peter Schoevers has a master degree in Business Administration from the State University of Groningen and from IMD, Lausanne, Switzerland. He also graduated from the post-doctoral Executive Training Program in Japan.