About iDNA

The institute for DiagNostic Accuracy (iDNA)

Our mission – Up to now, medical doctors have only been able, in most cases, to extend the lives of people diagnosed with lung cancer. This is because lung cancer is almost always diagnosed at a late stage where survival rates are very low: nine out of ten people diagnosed with a stage 4 lung cancer tumour will not be alive in five years. There have been big advancements in both medication and treatment in recent decades, but late stage diagnosis still means these advancements were mainly life-extending and not live-saving.

New opportunities

Now there is a chance for change. A new line of research brings real life-saving solutions within reach. After two decades of research, the NELSON Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial has shown that using a screening method based on Computed Tomography (CT) actually leads to reductions in mortality: 24% for men and up to 59% for women. CT is a medical imaging technology normally used in hospitals to diagnose patients who are presented with certain symptoms that provide a clear suspect in terms of disease. The NELSON study has shown that this technology can also be used as a preventive examination for the early detection of the disease, even though a patient may have no specific complaints. In this way, medical doctors can spot a tumour in an early stage when treatment can really save lives. When caught early, the stats actually reverse: nine out of ten people diagnosed will be alive after five years.

Just imagine what this innovative research could mean in practice. With 338,000 annual deaths in Europe alone, more than 81,000 lives could be saved yearly, which would make lung cancer screening the single most effective healthcare innovation in this area. Now is the time to bring this research into practice and to ensure that it is accessible to those who benefit. This is the mission of the institute for DiagNostic Accuracy (iDNA). We are determined to make it happen.


+31 (0)50 211 03 48

Prof. M. Oudkerk, MD, PhD

Prof. Oudkerk is responsible for the Research & Development of iDNA.

He is professor of Radiology at the University of Groningen, Chief Scientific Officer of the Institute for Diagnostic Accuracy- iDNA (formerly of the Center of Medical Imaging NORTH EAST NETHERLANDS , NWO research Center of Exellence) and the principal investigator for Radiology of the NELSON lung cancer detection study, the Robinsca cardiovascular screening study and the 4Lungrun Horizon 2020 study. Founder and past president of the European Society of Cardiac Radiology and former Chairman of Radiology departments of DDHK Erasmus MC Rotterdam and University Medical Center Groningen. Prof. Oudkerk has a broad insight into new imaging modalities, algorithms and strategies. He is ranked as one the most influential researchers in Radiology in Europe (2019). For his research work he received prestigious grants such as EU Horizon 2020, ERC advanced grant, Royal Academy of Sciences of the Netherlands (KNAW), Ministry of Science and Technology of China (MOST), NWO, KWF, NKB grants etc.

He is lead investigator of the NELSON lung cancer detection study, the  ROBINSCA study for coronary disease detection, NELCIN B3 study in China focusing on lung cancer , coronary artery disease and pulmonary disease  in one imaging test. Prof. Oudkerk was invited as a member of the medical advisory board of Siemens AG Germany for development of the first continuous rotating spiral CT and has been part of this board until the development of the current volume multi-detector CT scanners pushing forward the need for higher temporal resolutions in CT scanning comparable with EBT. With his research team he initiated the field of CT coronary imaging; Prof. Oudkerk is inspiring many (inter-)national students to start their PhD research in his Institute, resulting in several PhD defenses per year.

Prof Oudkerk published more than 555 peer reviewed articles, is cited over 20,000 times with an H-index >74 (Scopus). Key publications in NEJM, Lancet, Thorax, Circulation, JACC, Eur Heart, Radiology, Lancet Oncology, etc.

Erik Jippes, PhD, MBA

+31 (0)6 21 55 19 99

Erik Jippes, PhD, MBA

Erik Jippes is responsible for the day-to-day operation of iDNA.

Erik’s background working in a medical academic environment, and with medical imaging in particular, enables him to understand and act on the complexities in hospital environments. This is of great importance for implementing lung cancer screening programmes.

Erik has a Master of Business Administration and holds a PhD in social networks and innovation processes in healthcare. He worked for more than 14 years at a University Medical Center and was responsible for several large public–private partnerships, pre- and post-award project management for funding support (H2020, national and regional grants), and charity fundraising.

He was manager of several large-scale population-based early detection and screening trials in lung cancer and cardiovascular diseases.

In his spare time Erik likes to travel with his wife and three children, and he loves to play beach volleyball.

Evgeni Dvortsin, MSc

+31 (0)6 24 21 71 13

Evgeni Dvortsin, MSc

Evgeni Dvortsin is a health economist and healthcare entrepreneur, responsible for leading the development and execution of the long-term strategies of iDNA.

His background as a founder of Asc Academics — a globally operating health economics and market access consultancy — provides an excellent knowledge foundation in cost-benefit analyses in healthcare. This is of the utmost importance for the implementation of lung cancer early detection and screening programs. In addition, Evgeni co-founded the General Practitioners Research Institute (GPRI), which aims to improve the lives of patients by facilitating participation in real world evidence generation studies.

Evgeni has a background as a pharmacist and pharmaceutical scientist at the University of Groningen, and, in his rare moments of spare time, he enjoys everything related to basketball.

 +31 (0)6 42 29 99 19

Jie Hui Chen, MBA

Jie Hui Chen is responsible for the strategic partnerships and relations with Asia. She is also responsible for the day-to-day operation for iDNA Asia.

Jie Hui is an entrepreneur who has more than 15 years of experience in bridging Asian and Dutch companies. She studied Asian Business Studies and obtained an MBA certificate from national Sun Yat Sen University in Taiwan. She is an expert in Chinese language and culture and has an extensive network within Asia. Since 2016, Jie Hui has been the liaison manager between hospitals in China and the Netherlands for several large-scale population-based early detection and screening studies in lung cancer and cardiovascular diseases.

Moreover, she has a personal motivation; her grandmother in China passed away from lung cancer. This inspires her to give her best every day for iDNA.

Jie Hui likes to travel and explore new cultures with her husband and two children.

Kees Hörchner, MSc

+31 (0)6 22 69 83 42

Kees Hörchner, MSc

Kees Horchner is a financial advisor with extensive experience in the private financing of complex projects including healthcare, education, infrastructure, and real estate.

He has extensive work experience in over 40 countries, mainly in the EMEA region.

His specialties are within public–private partnerships, project finance, and hospital financing.

Barend van Lieshout, MSc

+31 (0)6 53 8558 86

Barend van Lieshout, MSc

Barend van Lieshout works on healthcare projects that involve business cases, investment decisions and the financing of healthcare institutions. He analyses projections regarding the financial future and provides management advice. All his projects start with a strategic and a market analysis.

Barend tends to dig deeper into the financial condition of the organization to ensure that the best approach is effectively implemented. Basically, it’s getting results making Barend very happy.

Boudewijn Breens, Drs

+31 (0)6 20305050

Boudewijn Breen, Drs

Boudewijn Breens has over 15 years of experience in (non-dilutive and dilutive) financing private and public organizations active within the Life Sciences and Health sector (LSH). He is well-versed for creating and retain a durable impact, including implementing a clear long-term strategic focus. This is endorsed by his creativity, energy (and humor) and a proven business development track record in executing numerous projects throughout the broad spectrum of challenges within LSH.

He joined iDNA in 2019 with the ambition to execute all the financial, strategic and business development activities within Europe on LC related biomaterials (e.g. blood samples). Prior to iDNA, Boudewijn worked as a senior business developer within the Life Sciences and Health team of PNO Consultants. In the past he worked within the Corporate Finance and Capital Markets department of Fortis Bank, currently ABN AMRO. He supported the execution of a wide range of finance and strategic transactions in the (public and private) biotech sector within Europe and the USA. He previously also held several positions within Zilveren Kruis, a Dutch national health insurance company and ICON (formally known as PRA International), an international CRO. Solving financing and operational challenges were his main pillars.

After his education, he was an investment manager at BioPartner Start-Up ventures, a pre-seed financing boutique, investing in start-up companies within the Life Sciences sector in the Netherlands. Boudewijn Breens received his master’s degree in Biomedical Sciences at the VU in Amsterdam, with a main focus on Biomedical entrepreneurship.

Xuanqi Pan, PhD

+31 (0)6 86245725

Xuanqi Pan, PhD

Xuanqi has a background as a medical doctor and health economist. She joined iDNA with the passion to accelerate the implementation of lung cancer screening, so as to facilitate the early detection of lung cancer to achieve both clinical and societal benefits.
Xuanqi takes the role of Sr. HEOR Consultant in iDNA, responsible for providing health economics evaluation services for lung cancer screening with various technologies, such as CT, X-ray, biomarker, and artifitual intelligence, through real-world evidence synthesis and decision modeling, including cost-effectiveness analysis, budget impact analysis, early health technology assessment modeling, and etc.

Beibei Jiang, MSc

Beibei Jiang, MSc

At iDNA, Beibei Jiang is dedicated to computer-aided diagnoses in the 4-in-the-lung-run project (evaluate personalized strategies in recruitment, screening intervals, smoking cessation, and other co-morbidity preventing strategies). Beibei is a highly motivated Ph.D. candidate at the Erasmus University Rotterdam. She graduated from the Shanghai Jiaotong University in China and has a background in both medical and computer sciences. Her Ph.D. project is focused on the development and application of artificial intelligence on lung cancer screening in chest CT scans.  

Yifei Mao, MSc

Yifei Mao, MSc

Yifei Mao is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Groningen. Her Ph.D. project is related to the management algorithms of screen-detected lung nodules in lung cancer screening. She graduated from Shantou University in China and has a background in both clinical medicine and radiology. After her master’s education, she was a radiologist in Shenzhen maternity and child healthcare hospital. At iDNA, Yifei Mao works on CT scan reading and lung nodule evaluation in the 4-in-the-lung-run project.

Hilde ten Berge, MSc

Hilde ten Berge, MSc

Hilde ten Berge completed her Master of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Groningen. She graduated in both the specialized track Biology of Cancer and the Immune System as the Science, Business and Policy track. Her passion lies in improving the health perspectives of our society by contributing to the implementation process of new medical scientific discoveries.

Within iDNA Hilde is part of the HEOR team where she has a role as a consultant. In this function she will develop health economic models for lung cancer screening, aiming to support and accelerate the implementation of lung cancer screening.

Daiwei Han, MD, PhD

Daiwei Han, MD, PhD

Daiwei has a background working as a clinical physician. He holds a PhD in lung cancer screening in the NELSON lung cancer detection study. He completed his MD/PhD dual doctoral degree at the University of Groningen. The passing away of his mother from lung cancer has motivated him to improve the early detection of lung cancer through scientific research.

As a research associate at iDNA, Daiwei is responsible for setting up, coordinating and supervising research projects related to the early detection of lung cancers.

Moreover, he has excellent skills for research collaboration. He has previously collaborated with the University of Oxford, the University of Heidelberg and a number of tech start-ups on lung cancer screening related research projects.

Daiwei has a multicultural background and speaks English, Chinese, Dutch and Finnish fluently.

Janine ter Veld, MSc

Janine ter Veld, MSc

Janine ter Veld fulfils the function of Project Manager at iDNA and is responsible for overseeing (inter)national Lung Cancer Screening Implementation projects. She is engaging in business development activities regarding the data management system, market-entry, establishing new potential partner contracts and presenting outcomes for strategic decision-making.

Janine has a Bachelor’s in Chemistry and completed her Master’s degree in Medical Pharmaceutical Sciences with a specialization in ‘Science, Business and Policy’ at the University of Groningen. Her interest in healthcare originated from her internship at Johnson & Johnson in Cape Town, South Africa, after which she chose to focus more on the pharmaceutical industry. Janine has a can-do attitude and excellent communication and organizational skills. In her spare time, she likes to do sports such as kickboxing and fitness.

Dylan Mezach, MSc

Dylan Mezach, MSc

Dylan Mezach completed the research master Biomedical Sciences at the University of Groningen. After a successful internship at iDNA, Dylan started a new position as Data & Analytics Manager. In this role, he will keep track of all matters related to data handling. He will make sure that data will be stored in an organized way and security and privacy are ensured. Being involved in various projects within iDNA,  he will be a central point of contact for the management.

With a passion for bio-informatics and AI, Dylan can create the perfect bridge between analysis of biological data and the required IT infrastructure.

Katerina Togka, MSc

Katerina Togka, MSc

Katerina Togka has a Bachelor in Pharmacy and holds a Master’s degree in Medical Pharmaceutical Sciences, with a specialization in Science, Business and Policy from the University of Groningen. She has successfully completed several internships in community & hospital pharmacies, as well as the University Medical Center Groningen and iDNA. Katerina is highly enthusiastic about iDNA’s vision to implement lung cancer screening worldwide and her current role within the company is HEOR consultant and Business Developer of iDNA’s AI validation services. Her interdisciplinary background enables her to deal with complexity and find solutions.

Passionate about innovation, Katerina can combine the HEOR projects with the AI validation initiatives.

Greta Piazza, MSc

Greta Piazza, MSc

Greta Piazza obtained a bachelor’s degree in Pharmaceutical Biotechnologies from the University of Milan and holds a master’s degree in Medical Pharmaceutical Sciences, with a specialization in Science, Business, and Policy from the University of Groningen.

She wants to contribute to the high-quality implementation of lung cancer screening and be part of the innovation around lung cancer, facilitating communication between government agencies and private-sector companies.

She joined iDNA as a Health Economics & Outcomes Research (HEOR) Consultant with the role to evaluate the costs and the consequences of lung cancer screening. As an additional challenge, she will work as a Business Developer of iDNA’s biomarker validation services.

Marjolein Heuvelmans, MD PhD

Marjolein finished her PhD thesis “Optimization of nodule management in low-dose CT lung cancer screening” cum laude in 2015. Since then, she is working as a post-doc focussing on pulmonary nodule management and lung cancer screening (Dutch-Belgian randomized controlled lung cancer screening study [NELSON study]) at the University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG), and as a research associate focusing on pulmonary imaging at the institute for Diagnostic Accuracy. She is (co-)author of over 65 papers and scientific articles.

Simultaneously, she is finishing her residency in pulmonary medicine at the Medisch Spectrum Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands (expected end date 1 March 2023). Her residency now focuses on Thoracic Oncology (UMCG) and bronchoscopic interventions including navigation bronchoscopy (Amsterdam UMC).

In her spare time, she competes at (inter)national show jumping competitions with her two horses.

Ilona Schuldink, BSc

Ilona Schuldink is in her final year of her Master’s degree in Biomedical Sciences, with a specialized track in Science, Business, and Policy. At iDNA, Ilona will focus on artificial intelligence (AI)-based detection software for the detection of lung nodules. Her focus is on the health economics of AI tools, contributing to the understanding of costs and benefits of AI tools that aim to help radiologists in handling the images created in lung cancer screening programs.

Timo Rikmanspoel, BSc

Timo Rikmanspoel is finalizing his Master’s degree in Biomedical Sciences, with a specialized track in Science, Business & Policy. His previously performed research at the Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials, in tissue regeneration. Timo is working on the data management of lung cancer screening, focusing on legislation of workflow solutions. He utilizes his scientific knowledge to contribute to iDNA’s goal to accelerate the implementation of high-quality lung cancer screening programs.

Edgar Acosta, BSc

Edgar Acosta has a background in Medicinal Chemistry and Chemical Biology and is currently finalizing his Master of Science in Medical Pharmaceutical Sciences, with a specialized track in Science, Business, and Policy. Edgar is focused on innovative biomarkers adjacent to lung cancer screening, with a special focus on market access and reimbursement. He is motivated to diligently accelerate integration of novel technologies for clinical use in the treatment of lung cancer and potentially other types of cancer.


Privacy Preferences

When you visit our website, it may store information through your browser from specific services, usually in the form of cookies. Here you can change your Privacy preferences. It is worth noting that blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience on our website and the services we are able to offer.

Click to enable/disable Google Analytics tracking code.
Click to enable/disable Google Fonts.
Click to enable/disable Google Maps.
Click to enable/disable video embeds.
Our website uses cookies to remember your preferences (e.g. the language of the website)