Meet the speakers Meet the speakers

Mathew Birdsall Abrams is Head of Science and Training at the International Neuroinformatics Coordinating Facility (INCF), an organization dedicated to developing collaborative neuroinformatics infrastructure and standards, as well as promoting the sharing of data and computing resources to the international research community. For the last 5 years, Mathew has worked with an international group of scientists developing standards, data models, and infrastructure that support neuroimaging, electrophysiology, modeling, and the digital brain atlasing communities. Before joining INCF, Mathew was a researcher in the Department of Neuroscience at Karolinska Institute where his research involved the use of rodent models of traumatic spinal cord injury.








Ms. Lise BITSCH, female, Ph.D., Senior Project Manager at the Danish Board of Technology Foundation, manager for the "Ethics and Society" sub-project in the EU flagship Human Brain Project, and coordinator of the EU project GoNano. She has a background in sociology, science and technology studies (STS) and philosophy of technology. Her experience covers conceptualization and execution of responsible research and innovation (RRI), particularly ethics and multi stakeholder engagement, international and national citizen conventions, and working with stakeholders, researchers, and publics on genomics, neuroscience, ICT and the biobased economy. Additional experience includes FP7 RRI Tools, SATORI and ASSET.







Professor Malcolm Dando trained originally as a biologist (B.Sc and PhD at St. Andrews University, Scotland).  After post-doctoral studies in the United States (University of Michigan and University of Oregon) he held UK Ministry of Defence funded fellowships in Operational Research at the University of Sussex during the 1970s. Since then he has worked on arms control and disarmament, particularly on chemical and biological issues (DSc. University of Bradford).  In recent years this work has been focused on awareness raising and education of life scientists in regard to dual use and biosecurity, for example in the recent Royal Society Brain Waves module on Neuroscience, conflict and security. He is a Fellow of the UK Society of Biology.








Rafael Frias is Director of the Unit for Education and Training in Laboratory Animal Science, Comparative Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden. He received his veterinary degree from the Faculty of Veterinary Sciences at the University of Murcia, Spain, in 1999. In 2007, he obtained a master's degree in laboratory animal science and welfare by the Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain, and in 2013 he received a doctoral degree in veterinary medicine by the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Helsinki, Finland. Rafael has interdisciplinary veterinary and scientific background, involving various veterinary medical fields, animal species and models, and research disciplines. He has extensive teaching experience in the field of laboratory animal science at both national and international level, is actively involved in scientific projects, and is author or coauthor of more than 20 international peer-reviewed publications, 25 research abstracts and 2 book chapters in the field.






Dr Emma A Harris is the Compliance Manager for the research ethics of the Human Brain Project as part of the Centre for Computing and Social Responsibility, DMU. She has a research background in film and cultural history, but has more recently moved from science fiction to science fact. Her research interests include research ethics and RRI: Responsible Research and Innovation, the representations of technology and A.I. in media and culture, and research governance.









Viveka Hillegaart is by training a zoologist with interdisciplinary interest from evolutionary biology, ecology, ethology to behavioral sciences (psychology) bridging over to behavioral pharmacology, neurophysiology, pharmacology and brain anatomy. Her Ph.D. thesis was an interdisciplinary project at Göteborg's University involving the Department of Zoology, the Department of Pharmacology and the Department of Psychology. Her post-doc was in the area of cognitive and anatomical psychology at the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA, USA. Her career has been in the field of life sciences, with competence from various University-settings in Sweden and America and from research in industry. Experience from research and development procedures in the pharmaceutical industry and from University, as well as safety and regulatory aspects towards authorities. Her skills are from scientific procedures, techniques and statistical analysis to project driven management. She has an academic scientific profile (Docent), with teaching and student supervision at the graduate and postgraduate level, as well as basic research within neurobiology, animal behavioral sciences, brain anatomy, histology and pharmacology mainly in the CNS research area. Her original research has resulted in 47 peer-reviewed original publications. At present she has the title as Docent in Zoology, at Stockholm University and hold a position since 2015 as a "Senior 3R officer at Comparative medicine at the Karolinska Institutet. From 2010 to 2015 she was appointed head of the Department for Animal Welfare and Health, at the Swedish Board of Agriculture, Jönköping, Sweden, were we implemented the Directive 2010/63/EU on protection on animals used for scientific purposes into Swedish legislation.







Iordanis Kavathatzopoulos is Professor of Human-Computer Interaction at the Department of Information Technology, Uppsala University, Sweden. He got his PhD in Psychology and he is also Docent in Psychology. His main research interests are in the areas of Ethical Competence, Ethical Training and Assessment, Information Technology Ethics, Ethical Usability and Ethical Autonomous Systems and Robots. Prof. Kavathatzopoulos has developed education programs for the training of ethical competence of professional decision makers, and he has constructed special tests for the assessment of ethical problem-solving and decision-making ability. He has constructed tools, methods and computerized instruments to be used in designing of ethically usable IT systems; in supporting decision makers in real-life ethical issues; and in installing in autonomous agents and robots to handle information and to guide behavior.





Helena Ledmyr is the Head of Development and Communications, and currently also the Acting Executive Director, at INCF ( Helena has a PhD in genetics & cardiovascular disease, with post-doc experience in gene therapy. After leaving academia she worked with science communication and administration for 3 years at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, and was recruited to INCF in 2010. Helena is a member of the steering committee for the Swedish Network for Research Communication (, and one of the moderators for Real Scientists (, a science communication project on twitter with 47k followers.







Christine Mitchell is Executive Director of the Center for Bioethics and Senior Lecturer at Harvard Medical School.  She directs the capstone program and teaches a two semester seminar on "the ethics of bioethics" as well as teaching medical students and bioethics fellows. Prior to her current work, Mitchell founded and led the clinical ethics program and consultation service at Boston Children's Hospital.  She serves on numerous national ethics committees, including the newly formed Council of Neuroethics Program Leaders, as well as the Ethics Management Team for the EU Human Brain Project.








Abdul Kadir H. Mohammed (course director) is Senior Professor of Biological Psychology, at Linnaeus University, where he leads the SAGE (Successful AGing and Enrichment) project which examines the impact of environmental factors on successful aging.  He is also based at the Karolinska Institutet where his research has been focusing on animal models of Alzheimer diseases, aging and cognitive function. He did seminal work on the impact of environmental enrichment on brain neurotrophins and behaviour at adulthood and during aging. He has been a visiting Professor at Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Medical Center, Houston, Texas, USA, doing reserarch on genetic dissection of learning and memory in drosophila. Among his honors is the Palmes Académiques medal awarded by the French Government. He is a Fellow of Linnean Society of London, and is a Past Chair of IBRO´s African Regional Committee, and has lectured at universities in Africa, Europe and USA. In the Human Brain Project he works in the Ethics and Society Subproject, his task focusing on the compliance part dealing with animal research.





Brun Ulfhake was born in Stockholm in 1952, and received his M.D. from Karolinska Institutet in 1980. He combined his medical studies with researching. In 1982 he received his Ph.D. with a dissertation about electrical characteristics, function and structure in central nerve cells. Thereafter he was active in the clinic as an anesthesiologist and diving physician, while at the same time he carried out neurobiological research at Karolinska Institutet. In 1988 he was appointed Associate Professor, and in 1994 was appointed University Lecturer. For a period in the beginning of the 1990s, Brun Ulfhake was a postdoctor with NIH in USA, and since 1991 has carried out research at Karolinska Institutet on the connection between our genetic material and changes in the function of the nerve system during aging. Brun Ulfhake was appointed Professor in Anatomy at Karolinska Institutet on March 1, 2001. Brun Ulfhake has had a number of engagements within both teaching at Karolinska institutet as the Director of Anatomy Education, as well as being engaged in laboratory animal ethical matters. Since January 1, 2013, Brun Ulfhake has been the Director for Comparative Medicine.





Simon Whitby is a worldwide leading authority on Biosecurity. His academic and policy research is located at the interface between the life science and national security communities to address the threat of deliberate disease in the context of rapidly advancing science and dual-use technology. Whitby's work has focused on making a significant contributing to the academic discourse on dual-use biosecurity and bioethics and thus on raising academic awareness at government, civil society, life science and industry levels about the ethical, legal and social implications of life science research. He has been actively engaged in building a world-wide capability in dual-use bioethics to engage the scientific community in awareness-raising programmes about the importance of responsible conduct of life science research, particularly in the areas of biosecurity in general and phytopathology in particular. Whitby has, with others, developed a range of teaching resources that facilitate team-based-learning in dual use biosecurity. Whitby is Senior Lecturer and Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy at the Division of Peace Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Bradford.



Alan Winfield is Professor of Robot Ethics at the University of the West of England (UWE), Bristol, UK, and Visiting Professor at the University of York. He received his PhD in Electronic Engineering from the University of Hull in 1984, then co-founded and led APD Communications Ltd until taking-up appointment at UWE, Bristol in 1992. Alan co-founded the Bristol Robotics Laboratory where his research is focussed on cognitive robotics; he is especially interested in robots as working models of life, evolution, intelligence and culture.
Alan is an advocate for robot ethics; he was a member of the British Standards Institute working group that drafted BS 8611: Guide to the Ethical Design of Robots and Robotic Systems, and he currently chairs the General Principles committee of the IEEE Global Initiative on Ethical Considerations in the Design of Autonomous Systems. Alan has published over 200 works, including ‘Robotics: A Very Short Introduction' (Oxford University Press, 2012); he lectures widely on robotics, presenting to both academic and public audiences, and blogs at