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Ikrame Aknouch, transforming clinical research since 2014

Now for Real….

Which of the 4 Cerba Research values (commitment, boldness, excellence, respect) fits you like a glove?

“Respect. I always try to be kind and considerate to my colleagues and managers. Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much. And a respectful atmosphere is key to being successful – especially in our line of work. Moreover, I have a lot of respect for my function. That’s why I’m constantly looking for ways to improve my work and asking people for feedback. Last but not least, I’m attentive to my own aspirations and needs. Like the saying goes: respect yourself and other will respect you too.”

What are you most passionate about at work?

“During my PhD in Virology at Amsterdam UMC, which I did parttime while working at Cerba Research, I conducted all my research without any animal testing. Instead, I used human organoids. These mini organs based on actual stem cells are grown in labs and perfectly mimic the structure and function of organs like our gut, lungs and brain. As an ambassador for animal welfare, I feel really passionate about the introduction of human organoids in virology. Promising as these model systems may be, we still need to create more support. They are the new kid in town. So, one of my professional goals is to show our clients that this innovative way of testing brings significant benefits”

The question: how do you transform clinical research to help people live healthier lives?

“My team dedicates itself to the testing of antivirals and vaccines for a variety of clients. These then enter into clinical trials and, if all goes well, eventually reach the public. In other words, we take on a lot of responsibility. Fully aware of our crucial role at the beginning of the chain, we regularly explore new methods to become even more responsive to our clients’ wishes. It’s that commitment to improved effectiveness through innovation that sets us apart and transforms clinical research.”

“Zooming out, our mission will become even more important in the future. Climate change, international travel and a growing global population are all among the factors scientists are citing for the increased likelihood of a severe pandemic occurring again within the next decade. To reduce the risk, we need a set of counterbalances, such as a fast vaccine rollout and strong delivery structures. A robust pandemic preparedness system is the world’s insurance against a COVID-19-like pandemic or something even worse. And we’re ready to play our part.”



As an ambassador for animal welfare, I feel really passionate about the introduction of human organoids in virology

Ikrame Aknouch