What is your current role on AMYPAD?
I am co-leading WP1, which is a very procedural WP, a bit like the oil needed to make all the other parts of the AMYPAD engine work like they are expected to. In supervising the whole project management, I am part of the Executive Committee and help the project’s relationship and alignment with EPAD and with other more recent projects in the area like ROADMAP, which we also manage.
What is your overall vision?
I think it is clear that everyone in the project has a long term vision of helping find a cure for Alzheimer’s – personally, my shorter term objective is, in connection with EPAD, to support building the largest, richest dataset ever for unprecedented research efforts in AD – and to design the infrastructure underpinning it so that it becomes a continuously growing, self-sustainable, accessible resource. This will be a true game-changer, if we succeed.
What do you find most challenging about the project?
There are many challenges, some common to all projects of this type, others more idiosyncratic. I think that the most important challenge we face, which is true for EPAD as well, is that we have to create the environment, mechanisms and procedures that allow us to overcome the forces of the “business as usual” inertia in order to fulfil the long term aspiration of the project. It will require innovation, fairness, balance and efficiency. This cannot be readily solved with money, a list of tasks or (much to my dismay) a GANTT chart – it really needs people to go outside of their comfort zone, beyond their local/individual worries, to believe that, together, we can create something much bigger than the sum of the parts. A risk for everyone indeed, but such a wonderful opportunity too.