New Frontiers Programme Committee

The membership of the New Frontiers Programme Committee is designed to represent an experienced cross-section of the field, including academic researchers, industry scientists, regulators and patient representatives. The committee is responsible for developing the programme of the New Frontiers Meeting, held annually in Nice, France, and for guiding the ongoing discussion the meeting is designed to stimulate.

Martien Kas, The Netherlands, Chair
Martien Kas is Professor of behavioral neuroscience at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands. He aims to develop a quantitative, transdiagnostic neurobiological approach to the understanding of neuropsychiatric disorders in order to accelerate the discovery and development of better treatments for patients with those disorders. He is President of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP), Editorial board member of Mammalian Genome, and project coordinator of the PRISM project, a large EU Innovative Medicine Initiative (IMI) project that aims to unravel the biological reasons underlying social dysfunction, which is a common early symptom of schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease and major depressive disorder.

Bruce Cuthbert, USA
Dr. Bruce Cuthbert heads the Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) Unit at NIMH, leading a translational research framework for psychopathology. He first joined NIMH in 1998 after seventeen years at the University of Florida, serving as Chief of the adult psychopathology branch. He returned to NIMH in 2009 after four years at Minnesota to initiate the RDoC program while directing the division of adult translational research until 2014, serving as NIMH acting director from 2015 to 2016. Dr. Cuthbert has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and psychophysiology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, emphasizing translational research on emotions and anxiety disorders.

Peter Falkai, Germany
Peter Falkai, M.D., Ph.D. is Professor and Chairman at the department of psychiatry and psychotherapy at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, Germany. Prof. Falkai has been working in the field of psychiatry for 35 years. His main research interest is focused on the neurobiology of psychotic disorders, namely schizophrenia. He has been member of various international and German scientific societies, such as the Schizophrenia International Research Society (SIRS) and is currently immediate past-president of the European Psychiatric Association (EPA). Prof. Falkai has been long leading multidisciplinary teams of researchers, whose clinical and research expertise focus continuously on the neurobiological origins and pathomorphological aspects as well as on causal treatment options of psychotic disorders.

Gitte Moos Knudsen, Denmark
Gitte Moos Knudsen is Past-President of ECNP, chair of the ECNP TWG Psychedelics and professor at Dept. Neurology, Rigshospitalet and University of Copenhagen, Denmark. She is a translational neurobiologist and clinical neurologist with interest in advanced methodological developments that she subsequently applies in her research to address pertinent neurobiological and clinical issues. Her scientific interests include the neuropharmacological interventions with particular emphasis on brain imaging (PET, MR, SPECT, EEG). Her lab investigates human brain disease mechanisms and predicts brain responses to categories of neuromodulatory interventions as well as treatment efficacy.

Marion Leboyer, France
Marion Leboyer, MD, PhD, is Professor of psychiatry at the University of Paris Est Créteil in France. She is head of the department of psychiatry (Hôpitaux Universitaires Mondor, Créteil) and she runs the Translational Neuropsychiatry laboratory (Inserm). Since 2007, she is the Director of Fondation FondaMental. Professor Leboyer has co-authored more than 1000 international publications (h-factor = 111). Her research efforts contributed to identification of genetic and environmental risk factors associated with major psychiatric disorders, facilitating better understanding of causal mechanisms. In particular, she found associations between genetic vulnerability factors, immune dysfunctions, environmental risk factors and brain imaging abnormalities in mood and psychotic disorders. She is the principal investigator of several international and national research projects, including the Program-project in precision psychiatry (80 MEuros) funded in 2022.

Johan Luthman, Denmark
Johan Luthman is head of R&D, including medical affairs, at Lundbeck A/S. He has transformed Lundbeck’s R&D and its pipeline, with a shift towards specialist and rare indications in neurology and psychiatry as well as changed the company’s biological research areas. Before Lundbeck, Johan led neurology development Eisai. Johan has also worked at Merck Inc, leading early neuroscience development, as CEO at GeNeuro and was leading Neurology, Immunology & Inflammation Research at MerckSerono. Johan began his pharmaceutical career at Astra/AstraZeneca in discovery, and early development.

Johan studied medicine/dentistry and obtained a Ph.D, later becoming associate professor at the Karolinska Institute.

Valentina Mantua, USA
Valentina Mantua is medical doctor and psychiatrist with a PhD in neurobiology. She has over ten years of working experience in regulatory science. Between 2012 and 2019 she served as Italian delegate to several committees and working parties of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) including the Scientific Advice Working Party, the Central Nervous System Working Party and the European (EU) Innovation Network. Valentinamoved to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2019, where is currently serving as a clinical team leader in the division of psychiatry. She holds a temporary professorship at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia in Italy.

Hugh Marston, Germany
Head of CNS Research at Boehringer Ingelheim Hugh leads BI research developing novel therapeutics aiming to bring increasing precision to psychiatry. Based on a systems and circuits understandings of human disorders the program includes Iclepertin and CT-155 in Phase III. Trained in Cambridge he completed 10 years in academe before joining industry. At Organon, then SP and Merck, Asenapine and Sugammadex were brought to market. Prior to joining BI he led Translational Neuroscience at Lilly. This and his leadership of the IMI2 PRISM 1&2 initiatives reflects long-standing interest in reverse translation seeking transdiagnostic, quantitative biological phenotypes in CNS disorders.

Brenda Penninx, The Netherlands
Brenda Penninx, PhD, is professor at the department of psychiatry of Amsterdam UMC, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Since 2004 she leads the nulti-site, longitudinal Netherlands Study of Depression and Anxiety (NESDA:, but is involved in several other (national and EU-funded) mental health cohort and intervention studies. Her research pays large attention to disease heterogeneity, for instance on immunometabolic depression. Penninx leads a research group involving over 30 researchers. She currently serves as vice-president of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences.

Kerry Ressler, USA

Gary Sachs, USA

Steffen Thirstrup, The Netherlands
Steffen Thirstrup is the Chief Medical Officer at the European Medicines Agency (EMA), Amsterdam, NL. He is also an adjunct professor in pharmacotherapy at the Faculty of Health at Copenhagen University. ST is a medical doctor, a PhD, and is a board-certified specialist in clinical pharmacology and therapeutics. On top of 10 years clinical experience, he has worked at the Danish Medicines Agency being involved in EU regulatory processes as member of CHMP and CAT at EMA as well as head of the licensing department. Before becoming CMO at EMA Steffen worked 9 years as a strategic regulatory consultant for pharma industry at NDA Group AB.