Project member spotlight: Patricia Kramer-Verhulst

12 May 2020

In this, the first in a series of articles in which we introduce various members of the European Lead Factory (ELF) Consortium, we’re pleased to feature an interview with Patricia Kramer-Verhulst. Patricia is a member of the ELF Programme Office – a team of ELF project members at Lygature. We asked Patricia to explain her role and what it is that interests her most about the project.

What is your role within the project and how long have you been involved?
I’ve been part of the ELF team since 2013, just after the project started. My main responsibility is coordinating the recruitment, review and selection of new screening proposals and all processes around that. This includes explaining the concept to potential interested researchers before they apply. After selection, I guide the researchers through the contract signing phase and link them to our experts in the consortium to execute their screening programme.

How have things progressed in the time you’ve been on board?
Over the years, we’ve seen an increase in the participation of researchers from all over Europe –from Scandinavia to the Mediterranean countries, and from Ireland to Poland. About a third of the proposals we receive are submitted by SMEs.

“It’s great to see researchers returning to ELF multiple times with different screening programmes as this indicates that they are happy with what we are delivering.”

What interests you most about the project?
ELF was initiated to bridge the innovation gap in drug discovery and development through the establishment of a public-private partnership. The project provides an essential starting point for researchers to take the necessary steps in crossing that bridge. I’m happy to see that the first set of programmes have found their way to further drug development based on the results discovered in collaboration with ELF.

Can you explain the role of the Programme Office and how it can be of help to those interested in applying for a screen?
The Programme Office forms the first point of contact for interested researchers who have questions about the project. The enquiries we receive can vary quite a lot. Some can be very simple, e.g. What is the European Lead Factory? Others are more complex with questions about the assay requirements, availability of drug targets, the application process, the collaboration contract, and related rights and obligations. We’re always here to answer questions and can be easily reached via email at We can of course also plan a phone call to discuss the project in more detail.