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Who we are

The European Brain Council (EBC) is a non-profit organisation gathering patient associations, major brain-related societies as well as industries. Established in March 2002, its mission is to promote brain research in order to improve the quality of life of those living with brain disorders in Europe.

165 million Europeans are living with a brain disorder, causing a global cost (direct and indirect) exceeding 800 billion euros for the National Health budgets. EBC’s main action areas are:
  • Fostering cooperation with its members organisations
  • Promoting dialogue between scientists, industry and society
  • Interacting with the European Commission, the European Parliament and other relevant international institutions
  • Raising awareness and promoting education on the brain
  • Disseminating information about brain research and brain diseases in Europe.

EBC Executive


Prof. David Nutt

Prof David Nutt is currently the Edmond J. Safra Professor of Neuropsychopharmacology and director of the Neuropsychopharmacology Unit in the Division of Experimental Medicine at Imperial College London.

He received his undergraduate training in medicine at Cambridge and Guy's Hospital, and continued training in neurology to MRCP. After completing his psychiatric training in Oxford, he continued there as a lecturer and then later as a Wellcome Senior Fellow in psychiatry. He then spent two years as Chief of the Section of Clinical Science in the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism in NIH, Bethesda, USA. On returning to England in 1988 he set up the Psychopharmacology Unit in Bristol University, an interdisciplinary research grouping spanning the departments of Psychiatry and Pharmacology before moving to Imperial College London in December 2008 where he leads a similar group with a particular focus on brain imaging especially PET.

He is currently Chair of the Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs (ISCD) and President of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP), a council member of the European Brain Council, President-elect of the British Neuroscience Association, the UK Director of the European Certificate and Masters in Affective Disorders Courses and a member of the International Centre for Science in Drug Policy. In addition, he has edited the Journal of Psychopharmacology for over a decade and acts as the psychiatry advisor to the British National Formulary. He has published over 400 original research papers, a similar number of reviews and books chapters, eight government reports on drugs and 26 books.

Previously he has been member and Chair of the Advisory Committee on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD – 1998-2009), President of the British Association of Psychopharmacology (BAP), member of the HEFCE/NHS Senior Lecturer Selection Panel and member of the MRC Neuroscience Board. Other previous national contributions include membership of the Independent Inquiry into the Misuse of Drugs Act (2000 Runciman report), and membership of the Committee on Safety of Medicines (2000 – 2005) and member of the Ministry of Defence Science Advisory Board (2005-2007). He was the clinical scientific lead on the 2004/5 UK Government Foresight initiative “Brain science, addiction and drugs” that provided a 25-year vision for this area of science and public policy and in 2006 he was Director of Bristol Neuroscience.

He broadcasts widely to the general public both on radio and television including recent BBC Horizon on drug harms and their classification. He also lecturers widely to the public as well as to the scientific and medical communities; for instance has presented three time at the Cheltenham Science Festival and several times for Café Scientifiques. In 2010 he was listed as one of the 100 most important figures in British Science by The Times Eureka science magazine.


Vice President

Pedro Manuel Palma Leal Ortiz de Montellano

It is with great sorrow that we inform you of the sudden death of our dear colleague Pedro Montellano who unexpectedly passed away on 2 October, 2015. Pedro was the Vice-President of the European Brain Council and President of Gamian-Europe, the Global Alliance of Mental Illness Advocacy Network. He was also a Board member, Executive Director and Treasurer of ADEB – Associação de apoio aos doentes depressivos e bipolares (Association for support of patients with depression and bipolar disease Portugal). Pedro was not only a colleague within delegations to EBC; he was for all of us a person full of dedication to the cause that he defended, and to many a true friend. We shall sorely miss his wisdom, knowledge and warm enthusiasm.

EBC Secretariat

Executive Director

Frederic Destrebecq

Frédéric Destrebecq is the Executive Director of the European Brain Council since October 2014. Prior to this position, he served the European Union of Medical Specialists (UEMS) as Chief Executive Officer, and previously as Director for European Affairs. Frederic holds a Master Degree in Political Science and International Relations from the Université Catholique de Louvain (Belgium). He also studied at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques (Paris) and University of Wales College (Cardiff), in the framework of the former EU Socrates exchange programme.

Honorary members

The European Brain Council is honoured and delighted that the following prominent European politicians, who have provided exceptional support and encouragement to the EBC since it was founded, have accepted Honorary Membership of our organisation and have expressed the wish to continue to support its aims and objectives in the years to come.

John Bowis, OBE
United Kingdom

Philippe Busquin

Jerzy Buzek
Professor, Poland

Octavi Quintana-Trias