ECNP Podcast — more information

Episode title: From tokenism to empowerment: lived experience experts in research

Vanessa Pinfold profile

Vanessa Pinfold, United Kingdom
Vanessa Pinfold has worked in mental health research for over 25 years. She has led teams in both university research departments and the voluntary sector particularly researching stigma and discrimination, interventions for psychosis, support for families, recovery and social networks, peer support, public perspectives of inequality and mental health. Vanessa is the co-founder and research director of a UK based mental health research charity - the McPin Foundation that celebrated its 10 year anniversary in 2023. McPin champion the role of experts by experience in mental health research and work collaboratively with others to ensure people with mental health problems can best engage with and influence the generation of evidenced based and evidenced informed practices. How research is carried out is as important as the knowledge generated in studies, thus McPin are keen to pioneer new research methods and partnerships. More information about the McPin Foundation is available at

Annemiek van Berkel

Annemiek van Berkel, The Netherlands
Annemiek van Berkel has been captivated by the complexities of the brain since a young age and is dedicated to tackling urgent challenges in brain health research and treatment options. Following the completion of her master’s in cellular neuroscience, she achieved her PhD while investigating the cellular origins of a rare genetic neurodevelopmental disorder. Presently, she serves as Project Manager Science at ECNP, focusing on developing strategies to promote scientific exchange, knowledge dissemination, and education in translational neuroscience. She firmly beliefs that through collaborative efforts, we can make substantial advancements in enhancing the well-being of individuals affected by brain health conditions.