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Meet our team

Meet Our Team

An experienced team always at hand.

Symeres is a multicultural organization where 60% of our people hold a PhD degree. You will work together with a highly experienced, multidisciplinary team fully committed to make your project a success.

Eelco Ebbers, PhD


I was always fascinated by organic chemistry. Understanding small and large molecules intrigues me still. Together with my entrepreneurial interest, this led to co-founding Mercachem in 1997, together with Frank Leemhuis. It has been a great adventure developing Mercachem, MercachemSyncom and now Symeres, and the journey continues.

“Entrepreneur in R&D business models with the goal to provide new innovative solutions for development of new medicines”

Frank Leemhuis, PhD

Head of Corporate Development

As a chemistry student, I wanted to combine research with my entrepreneurial spirit. The inception of our company in 1997 was the perfect combination for me and the start of a great journey. I still look forward to fulfilling our client’s R&D goals to find novel therapies for patients.

“It is the set of the sails, not the direction of the wind that determines which way we will go.”

Guillaume Jetten


I am CFO of Symeres since 2017. Before that I served as CFO for Galapagos and for Wolters Kluwer Health, as well as in several other senior financial roles. I am holding a masters title in economic sciences and I am a registered accountant.

"Panta rhei, kai ouden menei."

Russ Thomas, PhD

Head of Business Development

I joined Symeres in 2020. I have significant experience of CRO, biotech and pharma research organisations, having previously held senior scientific and managerial positions in Axxam, Siena Biotech, Proteros, Evotec and GSK. I live in Siena, Tuscany and in my spare time, I keep bees.

“What I love about working at Symeres is the enthusiasm for creative science and drive to make clients' projects successful”

Marleen Dolman, BSc

Communications and Marketing

Trained as a chemist, I realized I love seeing more aspects of a company than just the scientific side. Communication allows me to go everywhere, talk to everyone. Outside work, I love writing fiction, mainly science fiction, where I use my background in science for interesting worldbuilding.

“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood” - Marie Skłodowska Curie

Sascha Hartmann, MSc

Director Business Development

For me the fascination of chemistry is in its pivotal role connecting scientific disciplines from fundamental understanding to commercial application. Here at Symeres is the perfect place to experience this dynamic. In my spare time I enjoy walking, campervanning and exploring places with my family.

“Everything is theoretically impossible, until it is done.” – R. A. Heinlein

Robert Hof, PhD

Managing Director Symeres Groningen

With a managerial background in PR&D, I joined Syncom in 2010 as COO. After forming MercachemSyncom and Symeres I currently manage the Symeres site in Groningen. In my free time I enjoy sports -European style football in particular-, travelling and playing strategic board games with my family and friends.

“Knowledge is a treasure, but practice is the key to it”

Roger McDonald

Director Business Development

After spending some time post University working in academia, I moved into the commercial world of sales. I’m a keen cyclist, happiest going uphill and in front of my Dutch colleagues! As a lifelong Blackpool FC supporter, I am keen to remind them that it is tangerine, not orange…

"It's only a hill."

Nori Morita

Director Business Development

I got in touch with Drug Discovery by accident in the nineties and fell in love with the adventure of exploring un-knowns. It is my biggest pleasure to find possible solutions for our customers which will eventually lead to better Quality of Life for many people.

“identify unknown-unknowns, make them known-unknowns.”

Chris Teleha, PhD

VP Business Development CMC US

I got into Chemistry when Paper Science was just too ‘Applied’ Science for me. I enjoy devising mechanisms for by-products and retrosynthesis of new molecules. Although I like fixing things at home, one can’t be more fundamental in understanding of how things work than through chemistry!

“I like it when I complete a New York Times Sunday crossword puzzle without help from the internet.”

Luc van Hijfte, PhD

Senior VP Drug Discovery

As a kid, I was intrigued that pills can cure disease. Since then I wanted to get involved in the development of new medicines. Now, years later, I look back with great of satisfaction to my various contributions in drug discovery, something I continue to do with passion and energy.

"Without chaos nothing evolves, without structure nothing exists…"

Rutger Folmer, PhD

Director Medicinal Chemistry

I am passionate to help progress drug discovery projects, irrespective of maturity or complexity of the program. I feel strongly that constant focus on the quality and reliability of the data is the differentiating aspect of progression. Here is where I want to make a difference – together with my team.

“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.” -Colin Powell

Anita Wegert, PhD

Director Medicinal Chemistry

I am an organic chemist and a medicinal chemist by heart. Already at the age of 16 I knew that I want to become a researcher. At Symeres, I am part of a creative and open minded team, which even allows crazy ideas. This is a very refreshing experience.

“Look out for the strange, surprising and unanticipated in your data, this can make the difference.”

Bas Dros, PhD

Director of Chemistry

There is more to life than chemistry, but if I had the chance to do it all again, I wouldn’t change a thing.

“The more you know, the less you realize you know.”

Erik van Echten

Director of Analytical Chemistry

Performed my first chiral HPLC separation somewhere in 1989, many more in the years that followed, but seeing those two peaks appear has always put a smile on my face. I’m proud to see that I have been able to pass on this “fingerspitzengefühl” to the next generation.

“You don’t have to be a farmer to be excellent in your field”

Tommi Meulemans, PhD

Director of Chemistry

Just graduated from high school, I wanted to cure people as a physician, but decided that as a chemist you are one step ahead in the curing chain. Now, finding the most efficient synthesis routes or designing a molecule that fits the client’s needs can make my day.

“You do or do not, trying is not option” (Yoda)

Peter Molenveld, PhD

Director of Chemistry

At Symeres I enjoy working with a wide variety of customers and colleagues. The diversity of projects challenges me to expand my chemistry knowledge. I love outdoor activities like cycling, work-outs, skiing and enjoying nature. Furthermore, I am a football and floorball teamleader and I appreciate good food and drinks.

Dr. Mark Verhaar

Director of Operations

The urge to understand, create and play has led me into science and a PhD in chemistry. I gladly continued the journey at Symeres, where my path has gradually shifted from fumehood to desk, but still: cutting corners only in wood and skipping a beat only in music.

“It is a joy working with so many gifted people and sometimes have the opportunity to contribute to their success!”

Eric Damen, PhD

Director of Process Research

It feels great to successfully complete a process R&D project. The teamwork that is required to achieve the project goals is what drives me the most. Outside of work I love to spend time with my family (married with three teenage children), running and gardening.

“Developing a process and making the first kilograms of a new API for FIH studies truly makes molecules matter!”

Jan Koek, BSc

Director of Chemistry

Started working at the university of Groningen in Prof. Wynberg’s group as technician. When Prof. Wynberg retired as Professor, he asked me to join Syncom as the first employee. Many years doing chemistry especially crystallization work. Now, as director of chemistry, responsible for upscaling to 50 L vessels.

“Just do chemistry and focus on solving problems.”

Gabriella Pizzuti, PhD

Director of Development

I was always fascinated by the beauty of chemistry, how it permeates the entire universe and allows us to shape and improve our world, if we can unravel its secrets. Taking part in the process of making medicines and improving the life of people, brings me purpose every day

“the quest for improvement transforms any failure into a new challenge.”

Chantal Rademakers-Litjens, B.Sc.

Director of Quality

Quality is not only a way of working but also a habit for me. Doing everything right both in my professional as well as personal life is in my DNA. The passion I find in my work is that we can make a difference in somebodies life.

“Enjoy the little things of life, one day you’ll look back and realize they were the big things.”

Bernd Vergouwen

Director project management

With over 25 years of R&D and process development experience, I left the lab long ago to move into various team lead and project management roles before becoming Director of Project Management. I love outdoor activities and enjoy gardening and spending time with My son Jort and my wife Elke.

“If the plan doesn’t work, change the plan but never the goal.”

Goran Verspui, PhD

Director of Process Research

The most rewarding part of my work is making plans for the scale-up of new molecules for clinical trials and discuss these with my colleagues and our clients. In Early Development there are many unknowns and plans often change. I love the dynamics in this field. Never a dull moment.

“The one constant factor in life is that things will always change.”

Ton Vries, PhD

Head of Innovation and Technology

Chemistry will play a crucial role in the global challenges we face in the coming decades. As an organic chemist I would like to make my contribution with respect to new medicines, climate change and sustainability.

“An optimistic rationalist”

Remy Litjens, PhD

Managing Director Symeres Weert

Already as a child, inspired by my parents, I fell in love with nature. Intrigued by how molecules act in biological systems, I pursued a career in the pharmaceutical industry, proudly working hard for its patients and leading the people at Symeres to find new, better solutions, every day again.

“Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.”

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