Home Who we are Board


Paul Havelange, President


Relais 22, Belgium

I am a founding member of Relais 22, the French speaking Belgian 22q11 association. I have also founded RADIORG, the Belgian Alliance of Rare Diseases Associations.

I participate to the 22q11 Europe adventure as I am convinced that we are stronger together and that we can further improve the link between patients associations and researchers.

Stephan Eliez, Vice President


Connect 22, Switzerland

Professor Faculty of Medicine and Medical Director of Child Psychiatry and Special Education, Office Médico-Pédagogique Geneva.

He is specialized in the use of new brain imaging techniques. Since 1995, he has been conducting research on 22q11 microdeletion and is currently leading a program to monitor a longitudinal cohort of affected children, adolescents and adults, funded by several Swiss and international research funds.

Maude Schneider, Scientific Coordinator

Maude Schneider obtained her Master degree in psychology from the University of Geneva in 2009. She then started a PhD with Prof. Stephan Eliez and Prof. Martial Van der Linden to study social difficulties in adolescents and young adults with 22q11.2 deletion syndrome.

In 2015-2016, she was trained in KU Leuven (in the lab of Prof. Myin-Germeys) to use the Experience Sampling Method (ESM), a structured diary technique that allows to collect information in the flow of daily-life. She is now working as a senior research at the University of Geneva is conducting studies on social impairments in neurodevelopmental disorders using the ESM technique. In parallel to her research activities, she completed her postgraduate training in child and adolescent psychotherapy and is working as a clinical psychologist at Fondation Pôle Autisme in Geneva.

Conor McGurkin, Board Member


22q11 Ireland, Ireland

Thomas Franken, Board Member


KiDS-22q11 e.V., Germany

My name is Thomas Franken. I have two children, the youngest of whom has the 22q11 deletion.

Since 2010 I have been a board member of the German self-help organization KiDS-22q11 e.V., since 2016 CEO. I have a university degree in economics and a masters degree in tax law. Professionally, I am the owner of a home care service, a lecturer at a college and an organizational consultant in the field of health care and non-profit organizations.