Scientific Advisory Board
Keeping pace with scientific and technological change

The Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) is an OPCW subsidiary body that enables the Director-General to render specialised advice in science and technology to the Conference, Executive Council, or States Parties to the Convention.

The SAB reports to the Director-General, who submits its reports, alongside his own response, to the Executive Council. Every five years, the SAB prepares a larger report on developments in science and technology  for submission to Review Conferences of the Chemical Weapons Convention.

The role of the SAB is to assess and report to the Director-General developments in scientific and technological fields that are relevant to the Convention. On request, the SAB provides advice on technical matters related to the implementation of the Convention, including on co-operation and assistance to the Technical Secretariat.

OPCW Scientific Advisory Board meeting

A Group of Independent Experts

The SAB is made up of 25 independent experts from OPCW Member States. The members serve in a personal capacity (not as representatives of their respective governments) for up to two consecutive three-year terms. The SAB chair and vice-chair are elected annually.

The SAB can also establish and coordinate temporary working groups to draw upon extended expertise for assessment and reporting on specific issues of relevance to the Convention.”

Members of the OPCW Scientific Advisory Board 2018

Members of the OPCW Scientific Advisory Board 2018


(as of January 2018)

  • Chairperson: Dr. Christopher Timperley
  • Vice-chairperson: Mr Cheng Tang

Dr Pål Aas (Norway) is a Chief Scientist at The Norwegian Defence Research Establishment. His professional fields are neurophysiology, pharmacology and toxicology with focus on medical countermeasures to chemical warfare agents. He has been appointed as associate professor of toxicology at the University of Bergen, Norway for 15 years. In 1991 he was appointed by The UN Secretary General as a member of the United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM). He has been the Norwegian representative on several international scientific panels.

Professor Mohammad Abdollahi (Islamic Republic of Iran) of the Tehran University of Medical Sciences holds both a PharmD and a PhD, he is an internationally recognized scientist in the field of Toxicology and Pharmacology. His relevant areas of expertise include Toxicant-Induced Diseases, Mechanistic/Environmental Toxicology, Evidence-Based Medicine, and Pharmacology.

Professor Isel Pascual Alonso (Cuba) is the Titular Professor at the Faculty of Biology, University of Havana, Cuba. Her fields of expertise are on enzymes and their inhibitors with biomedical relevance. In particular her research projects are focused in the development of new natural inhibitors of aminopeptidases involved in human pathologies like cancer, diabetes, CNS disorders and parasitic diseases like malaria mainly from Cuban Biodiversity sources.

Dr. Khaldoun Bachari (Algeria) is the Director- General of the Algerian Public Scientific and Technical Research Centre in The Physico-Chemical-CRAPC, where he also serves as Research Director. Dr Bachari is a member of several national and international panels, inlcuding the Permanent Sectorial Committee (PSC) and Inter-Sectorial Committee (ISC)-Sciences Fundamentals-of Scientific Research and High Education Ministry (MESRS) of Algeria, and the labeling National Committee instituted by the Minister for Agriculture; he also chairs the Inter-Sectoral Commission for the Training, Programming and Evaluation of Scientific and Technical Research at the Thematic Research Agency for Nature and Life Sciences of Algeria. Dr Bachari holds 3 Patents and is co-author on more than 100 peer-reviewed international scientific publications and book chapters. Dr. Bachari’s research is currently focused on analytical development, organic and inorganic chemistry and the environment. His work has received several national and international awards, including the “Algerian Early Career Researcher Award in Chemistry” in 2012.

Dr Renate Becker-Arnold (Germany) is currently head of Global Trade Controls in BASF, Germany, and provides governance and expertise to BASF entities globally on Trade Controls regulations. She is a BASF authorized representative to German authorities for the Chemical Weapons Convention, and the Narcotics and Drug Precursors Convention. Her area of expertise is in chemistry, chemical and trade control regulatory frameworks and chemical industry processes.  She holds membership in export control groups in the German and European Chemicals associations and in the inter-ministerial CWC working group in the German Department of Foreign Affairs.

Dr Veronica Borrett (Australia) has been the General Manager of the University of Melbourne’s Bio21 Molecular Science and Biotechnology Institute (Australia’s top research University) since July 2008. Her areas of expertise are analysis of chemical warfare agents with extensive experience in developing methods relevant to the verification of alleged use of CW agents. Dr. Borrett has been the principal research Scientist responsible for leading the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) scientific programs relevant to chemical, biological and radiological national security and counter terrorism. She has also worked with Australia’s National Institute of Forensic Science as manager of operational programs and research. Dr Borrett additionally serves as the Chairperson of the SAB’s Temporary Working Group on Investigative Science and Technology.

Ms Chua Hoe Chee (Singapore) is Principal Member of Technical Staff at the DSO National Laboratories. She holds a concurrent appointment with Singapore Accreditation Council as a Technical Assessor. Her areas of expertise include verification-relevant science and technology relating to the Chemical Weapons Convention.

Dr Christophe Curty (Switzerland) is in charge of the Organic Chemistry, Detection, Decontamination branch at Spiez Laboratory, the Swiss Federal Institute for NBC-Protection. He is a member of the Swiss National Authority for the Chemical Weapons Convention and the NBC Emergency Response Team. He manages the Swiss Schedule 1 facility. His special areas of expertise are chemical warfare agent synthesis, hand-held detection systems, decontamination methods, threat assessments and incident response.

Professor Vladimir Dimitrov (Bulgaria) is currently head of scientific group at the Institute of Organic Chemistry at the Centre of Phytochemistry (Bulgarian Academy of Sciences). His area of expertise includes organic and organometallic chemistry in particularly for the development of selective methods for synthesis of biologically relevant compounds and compounds with application in materials science. His research involves isolation and chrcterisation of natural products from medicinal plants and thee use of these compounds (and those of similar structure) for drug development; nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and mass spectrometry are indispensable tools in his scientific activities.

Professor Carlos David Gonzalez (Uruguay) of the department of Chemistry of the University of the Republic of Uruguay. His areas of expertise are on organic synthesis and biocatalysis, performing research in greener alternatives to current chemical transformations and hazardous compounds by enzymatic means.

Dr Zrinka Kovarik (Croatia) is Research Adviser at the Institute for Medical Research and Occupational Health, Zagreb. Her professional fields are biochemistry and toxicology with a focus on enzymes reacting with organophosphates, and antidotes for pesticide and chemical nerve agent poisoning.

Dr. Robert Mikulak (United States of America) is currently an expert advisor on chemical and biological weapons issues at the United States Department of State.  From November 2010 until his retirement in July 2015, he was the United States Permanent Representative to the OPCW.  During the negotiation of the CWC, he was the deputy U.S. negotiator and senior U.S. technical expert.  His areas of expertise are the negotiating history and implementation of the CWC, chemical and biological weapons arms control and non-proliferation measures, and convergence of chemical and biological sciences.  He holds a doctorate in physical organic chemistry.

Dr. Evandro De Souza Nogueira (Brazil) is currently an expert advisor on Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Defence and Chemistry Technology issues at the Brazilian Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovation and Communications (MCTIC), he is also expert adviser to the Brazilian National Authority , Professor at the Graduation Programme in Chemistry of the Military Institute of Engineering, and member of the National Committee for Capacity Building Activities under the CWC. From November 1998 until December 2013, he has also worked as researcher at the Brazilian Army Technological Center (CTEx). His areas of expertise are Chemical and Biological Weapons,  Chemical Reactors Design,  Polymer Technology, Computational Modelling and Simulation, Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), Chemical Safety and Security, CWC Implementation issues, Education on peaceful use of Chemicals, and Control on the transference of dual use items. He holds a Doctorate Grade in Chemistry (Chemical Technology ) and Master in Chemical Engineering ( Modelling and Simulation of Chemical Process).

Dr. Daan Noort (The Netherlands) He currently works as principal scientist within the department of CBRN Protection of TNO (Rijswijk, The Netherlands), of which he is also the deputy manager. Dr Noort holds a combined organic chemistry/toxicology Ph.D. degree from the University of Leiden, The Netherlands. His areas of expertise include organic synthesis, analytical chemistry and exposure assessment. He is author/co-author of approximately 80 peer-reviewed publications and is active in various international scientific panels.

Professor Ponnadurai Ramasami (Mauritius), FRSC CSci CChem, (of the Republic of Mauritius) leads the computational chemistry group at the Department of Chemistry of the University of Mauritius.  His areas of expertise are on the use of computational methods to solve chemistry and interdisciplinary problems.

Dr S K Raza (India) is the Director of the Institute of Pesticide Formulation Technology (IPFT), an autonomous Institute under the Dept. of Chemicals & Petrochemicals, Govt. of India.  Earlier, he served in the Defence R & D Establishment (DRDE), Gwalior, India for 26 years. He has been actively participating in various CWC related activities at National and International level from DRDE and IPFT. Dr. Raza is Lead Assessor for ISO/IEC–17025 for Testing and Calibration Laboratories. His areas of expertise are on the development of Mass Spectrometric Techniques for the detection of various CWC related Chemicals in environmental and biological matrices.

Professor Syeda Sultana Razia (of Bangladesh) is a faculty member of the Department of Chemical Engineering, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET). Her areas of interest include diffusive mass transfer and separation processes; process safety; chemical management and security; and zero discharge ETP. Professor Razia serves as an expert for the Government of Bangladesh in policymaking, investigation and selection committees for technological and safety issues of chemical industry, which includes assessing safety and environmental aspects related to chemical industry in Bangladesh. She also leads collaborations between BUET and the Mary Kay O’Connor Process Safety Centre of the Texas A&M University. Professor Razia serves as a resource person to the Bangladesh National Authority of Chemical Weapon Convention, and is a member of Global Advisory Team of Poland based International Center of Chemical Safety and Security (ICCSS).

Mr Valentin Rubaylo (Russian Federation) is in charge of the management of CWC-related issues at the Federal State Unitary Enterprise “State Scientific Research Institute of Organic Chemistry and Technology”. His areas of expertise are enzymology, kinetics and mechanism of the liquid-phase oxidation of organic compounds, homogenous and heterogeneous catalysis, oxidative processes for industrial applications, biotechnology and CW destruction technologies.

Professor Ahmed E. M. Saeed (Sudan) is a member of the department of Chemistry, College of Science, Sudan University of Science and Technology; where he leads research groups in computational chemistry and MCRs. He is also the vice-editor of J. Science and Technology in Natural and Medical Sciences.  His areas of expertise include organic synthesis, organic spectroscopy, QSAR with molecular modeling and analytical method validation of pharmaceuticals.

Dr Yasuo Seto (Japan) is the Vice President of the National Research Institute of Police Science belonging to the National Police Agency. His areas of expertise include forensic toxicology mainly related to analysis and metabolism of volatile toxic substances (chemical warfare agents, cyanide); on-site countermeasure technology such as field detection of chemical warfare agents and toxins; and decontamination of hazardous materials. Dr Seto took part in the forensic investigations of the Matsumoto and Tokyo subway sarin incidents.

Dr Maciej Sliwakowski (Poland) is Head of the Analytical Department at the Institute of Industrial Organic Chemistry, Warsaw, Poland. Dr Sliwakowski was a Coordinator of the gas chromatography retention index (GC-RI) Group in the Validation Group for updating the OPCW Analytical Database and co-author and member of the editing group for VERIFIN “Blue-Book”. He is a former member of United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) and a former OPCW Senior Analytical Chemist, where he was responsible for coordinating OPCW Proficiency Testing. Dr Sliwakowski has served as technical expert to Polish Delegation at the OPCW, and is a member of the Polish National Escort Team for OPCW Inspections. His areas of expertise are chemical warfare agents (CWA) and Chemical Weapons Convention related chemicals, specifically in areas of: synthesis, sampling and identification, detection systems and laboratory analysis employing spectral techniques.

Mr Cheng Tang (China) is currently an adviser to the Chinese National Authority with regard to the CW related issues and disposal of Japanese Abandoned Chemical Weapons. He provided technical advice to the Chinese Delegations during the Chemical Weapons Convention text negotiations in Geneva and to the Expert Group meetings of the Preparatory Commission of the Preparatory Technical Secretariat of the OPCW. His relevant areas of expertise are Chemical weapons/munitions (he was a qualified OPCW group A inspector), chemical protection, chemical demilitarisation and verification.

Dr Chris Timperley (United Kingdom) is a fellow at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), Porton Down, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.  He has participated in the OPCW proficiency tests and is a former member of the United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM). His areas of expertise are on poisons, chemical warfare agents and toxins; organic fluorine and phosphorus chemistry; chemical biology, toxicology and pharmacology.

Mr Francois Mauritz van Straten (South Africa) is a senior scientist at the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation SOC Ltd. Mr van Straten was a committee member representing Protechnik Laboratories on the Chemical Weapons Working committee (CWWC) and Biological Weapons Working Committee (BWWC) for several years. His areas of expertise are the CWC and related National legislation in South Africa, Single Small Scale Facility (SSSF), analytical chemistry and decontamination of chemical warfare agents as well as the analytical chemistry of fluorine and fluorine based compounds.

Ms Farhat Waqar (Pakistan) is Chief Scientist, Head of the Central Analytical Facility Division, and Convener for Chemical Weapons Convention Activities at the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission.  She is a multidisciplinary analytical chemist with vast experience in advanced analytical techniques and the chemical analysis of diverse materials.  Her work includes managing the provision of analytical services to large number of public and private sector, industry and research organizations, as well as university students.  She has been a member of the WIN Global (an International Organization for Women in Nuclear) since 2001 and was elected as General Secretary of the Pakistan Nuclear Society (PNS) in January 2016.

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