Medical Advisory Group

Dr Hanne Albert PT MSc PhD

Dr Hanne Albert is a leading expert on lumbar disc herniation and Modic changes. In 2013, she published a ground-breaking paper in the European Spine Journal which described a double-blind, placebo-controlled, and randomised clinical trial with 162 patients which demonstrated that an oral antibiotic treatment offered a curative treatment for these chronic low back pain patients by removing the bacterial infection. Dr Albert was awarded the prestigious German Award for Pain Research and Contribution to Medicine for this work and other studies in this space in 2017.

She is currently an assistant editor of the European Spine Journal, and a reviewer for several other prestigious international journals including The Lancet. With over 50 peer-reviewed publications, Dr Albert is a leading keynote speaker for the sector and frequently travels to speak at international conferences. She is a recipient of the Danish Physiotherapists Research Award, the Columna prize from The Danish Society for Musculoskeletal Medicine, and the award for best scientific presentation from the European Spine Society.

Dr Albert qualified as a physiotherapist and later gained a Masters of Public Health from the Nordic School of Public Health in Gothenburg, Sweden, and a Ph.D. from the University of Southern Denmark in 2004. She worked with Professor Manniche at the University of Southern Denmark from 2000 to 2013, and has been the medical director of the Modic Clinic in Odense, Denmark, since 2013.

Dr Albert is a founding member of Persica Pharmaceuticals.

Professor Claus Manniche MD, Dr. Med

Professor Claus Manniche is one of the world’s leading experts on chronic low back pain. In 1988, he published the results of a clinical trial in The Lancet demonstrating the efficacy of exercise therapy in treating chronic low back pain. This study led to a paradigm shift in the understanding of low back pain and active spine rehabilitation, and its principles still underpin the standard of care for chronic low back pain today. He also developed a Low Back Pain Rating Scale which is still used in research projects around the world.

Throughout his career Professor Manniche has received the following awards for his pioneering work on back pain: the Danish Society for Manual Medicine Honorary Award (1989) Hvirvelsøjleprisen; the Danish Chiropractors’ Association Researcher Prize (1991); the Scandinavian Journal of Rheumatology’s 40th Nordic Anniversary Prize (1995);  the “Quality Award for the year 1996” Aarhus Amt; and the Danish Chiropractor; Association honorary award on behalf of Back Center Fyn (2008). He was chief editor of the Danish rheumatology journal Reumatologi between 1994 and 2000, and co-editor since 2001. In total, he has published more than 200 internationally indexed scientific papers.

Professor Manniche graduated from the University of Copenhagen in 1982 with a degree in medicine and gained his license to practice in 1985. After gaining a law degree from the same university in 1988, Professor Manniche concentrated on the field of back pain and rheumatology, becoming a specialist in rheumatology in 1994. He was appointed as Professor and Director of the Spine Center of Southern Denmark in 1998.

Professor Manniche is a founding member of Persica Pharmaceuticals.

Dr Steven Cohen

Dr Steven Cohen is Professor of Anesthesiology & Critical Care Medicine, Neurology and Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and Chief of Pain Medicine and Director of the Blaustein Pain Treatment Center at Johns Hopkins. He obtained his medical degree at Mount Sinai, completed an anesthesiology residency at Columbia University, and a pain fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Dr Cohen has been active in teaching and pain research, having published over 300 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters in the past 15 years. Among his major contributions are; the development of an FDA-approved denervation technique for treating sacroiliac joint pain, helping set up the first war zone pain clinic, performing the first studies evaluating the epidural administration of biological agents for pain, serving as the Senior Investigator on the Congressionally-mandated study evaluating compounded topical creams for chronic pain, serving as Committee Chair for the ASRA/ AAPM/ ASA ketamine guidelines for pain management, and conducting research on facet arthropathy and epidural steroid injections that has changed the way the conditions are viewed and treated.

Currently, Dr Cohen is Chair of an international consortium developing guidelines on the treatment of lumbar facet arthritis.  His articles have been featured in some of the top general medical journals including “The Lancet”, “Mayo Clinic Proceedings”, “CMAJ”, “BMJ”, “Annals of Internal Medicine”, and “JAMA”.  Dr Cohen’s research has also been featured in the New York Times four times and he has been the first author on the “Pain” chapter in the three most recent editions of “Cecil Textbook of Medicine”.

Dr Preben Joffe

Dr Preben Joffe is Medical Director and owner of Medkoncept ApS, a public health focussed company, as well as being part time Chief Physician at SOS International working in Medical Governance. He completed his medical degree at the University of Copenhagen in 1983 and his post-graduate studies led him to becoming a Consultant in Nephrology & Internal Medicine.

Dr Joffe was a member of several national and international committees on aspects relating to Peritoneal Dialysis and Metabolic Renal Bone Disorders for more than 20 years. He has a special interest regarding infections in Nephrology and served as Chief Physician in Nephrology at a leading Danish university hospital for 10 years. Additionally, Dr Joffe held a position as Medical Director and co-owner of VikTeam A/S, a medical physician recruitment company, for nine years and oversaw the development of a start-up through ISO certification and a market leading position.

Dr Joffe has been extensively involved in medical marketing activities in a number of countries serving as a consultant for the pharmaceutical and medical device industry. He has published over 70 original articles in leading peer reviewed journals.

Professor Vince Fischetti

Professor Vince Fischetti is Professor and Head of the Laboratory of Bacterial Pathogenesis and Immunology at the Rockefeller University. He received a Ph.D. in Microbiology from New York University School of Medicine in 1970.

Professor Fischetti has over 45 years of experience in the anti-infectives field, nearly all of which has been spent at Rockefeller. His laboratory was responsible for elucidating the coiled-coil structure of streptococcal M protein and defining the conserved region of this molecule for a non-type-specific vaccine against S. pyogenes. It was also the first to identify lytic enzymes as novel therapeutics targeting major antibiotic resistant bacterial pathogens. The first lysin against methicillin resistant S. aureus (MRSA) infections is currently in phase 3 testing; the first antibiotic alternative to achieve this milestone. Professor Fischetti’s group was also the first to identify the LPXTG motif, necessary for attaching surface proteins on the gram-positive cell wall which is now a target for antibiotic development.

Professor Fischetti is a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, the National Academy of Inventors, and was the recipient of two NIH MERIT awards. He has been Editor-in-Chief of the scientific journal Infection and Immunity for 10 years and serves as Advisory Editor for the Journal of Experimental Medicine and Trends in Microbiology among others. Professor Fischetti serves on the scientific advisory board of ContraFect, Bioharmony, Lumen and Persica and the Trudeau institute where he is also a Trustee. Professor Fischetti has published over 250 primary research articles, over 70 textbook chapters and has co-edited two major books on gram-positive pathogens. He is an inventor of over 40 issued patents dealing with the control of infectious diseases.


Dr John Tanner is a Musculoskeletal / Sports Physician and Medical Osteopath having trained first as a GP at the Royal London Hospital. He has over 30 years’ experience and previously worked as an Associate Specialist at Odstock Rehabilitation in the Pain Management team for 10 years. More recently, Dr Tanner  developed the Oving Clinic, a specialist centre for musculoskeletal medicine and sports injury, where he offers treatment for all types of sports injuries including minimally invasive spine interventions. He also instructs for the Spine Intervention Society on these techniques. Dr Tanner pioneered the use of extracorporeal shockwave therapy in tendinopathy in the UK and has a special interest in chronic musculoskeletal and spinal pain, interventional pain relief techniques and psychological management.

Dr Tanner teaches and lectures both nationally and internationally and is a member of the International Academy of Manual and Musculoskeletal Medicine. He set up a new course for Post Graduate Modular training for doctors in Musculoskeletal Medicine offered by the British Institute of Musculoskeletal Medicine, where he is a past President and teaches diagnostic ultrasound at AECC Bournemouth University MSc programme.

Dr Tanner has authored several books on back pain the most recent being ‘Your Guide to Back Pain’ by the BMA. He has served as a referee for the Editorial Board of Spine, as Editor for International Musculoskeletal Medicine and published numerous articles in peer reviewed journals. He also writes for textbooks in Musculoskeletal medicine and training manuals. He is an adviser to the Education committee of the British Association of Sports and Exercise Medicine. In recognition of his contributions, Dr Tanner has been awarded a Fellowship of the Faculty of Sports and Exercise Medicine in the UK and Ireland.


Dr. Joshua Hirsch is an Interventional Neuroradiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital. He is the Vice Chair of Procedural Services, Service Line Chief of Interventional NeuroRadiology, Chief of NeuroInterventional Spine Service and has his academic appointment at the Harvard Medical School. Dr. Hirsch is a past president of both the American Society of Spine Radiology (ASSR) and the Society of NeuroInterventional Surgery (SNIS).  Dr. Hirsch is the President Elect of the American Society of Neuroradiology and the chair of the Cerebrovascular Coalition as well as the Health Policy Committee of the SNIS.

Dr. Hirsch is considered a pioneer in minimally invasive treatments of the spine.  He performed the first vertebral augmentation in New England and been a thought leader in that space over many years.

In terms of Health Policy and Economics, Dr. Hirsch is very active at multiple societies including serving as the multi-year representative of the ASNR to the RUC as well as being the founding chair of the Health Policy and Economics Committee at the Society of NeuroInterventional Surgery.  He chairs the future trends and academic committees of the economic commission at the American College of Radiology.  Dr. Hirsch is a grant recipient from the Neiman Health Policy Institute where he serves as a senior affiliate research fellow.

Dr. Hirsch has received numerous awards has published more than 500 articles in the peer reviewed literature and authored many chapters and edited many books. Dr. Hirsch is a founding editor of the Journal of NeuroInterventional Surgery (JNIS) and has served on multiple other editorial advisory boards.

Dr Chris Gilligan, MD, MBA

Dr. Gilligan completed his medical studies at Yale University. His initial post-graduate training was in Emergency Medicine, with subspecialty training in Pain Medicine, where he has focused on pain of spinal origin. 

Dr Gilligan’s clinical expertise is focused on the treatment of pain related to disorders of the spine. He also treats patients with a wide range of pain conditions, including cancer related pain, complex regional pain syndrome, and post-herpetic neuralgia. Dr Gilligan’s research focuses on clinical trials of new interventions, devices and medications for the treatment of pain.

Following on residencies at Brigham and Women’s Hospital as well as a Fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital during which time Dr Gilligan completed his specialist training in Pain and Anesthesiology. He currently heads the Division of Pain Medicine, is Vice Chair for Strategy,

Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine

Brigham & Women’s Hospital. Dr Gilligan is an Assistant Professor of Anaesthesia, Harvard Medical School.

Dr Michael Rud Lassen

Dr Michael Rud Lassen completed his medical studies at the University of Copenhagen in 1982 and went on to become a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon. He has held leading positions at several university hospitals in several different regions in Denmark. He was the Chairman of the Clinical Trials Unit at the University of Copenhagen from 2002-11 and Chairman of the Spine Section, Orthopaedic Department at Zealand Hospital from 2016.  Michael has published more than 140 papers in peer reviewed international medical journals in the period from 1985-2019 in addition to 11 invited authorships in international journals.  More than 250,000 patients have been included in clinical trials that Michael has participated in. He has given more than 50 oral presentations at various international scientific meetings, plus > 40 poster presentations.  Michael has sat on numerous medical advisory boards of leading international pharma and medical instrumentation companies.

“Persica’s Medical Advisory Board also includes leading clinicians and basic scientists from leading European and American Universities and hospitals.”