PULSE 2020 - Speaker Biographies

PULSE features top-tier speakers from across the life science industry, with an extraordinary depth and breadth of expertise. Last year, the 2020 speaker list included the following speakers. If you are still undecided about registering, we hope that this helps show you the wealth of experience you will benefit from during the programme, and in the months and years to come.

Barbara Domayne-Hayman

Entrepreneur-in-residence, Francis Crick Institute; CBO, Autifony Therapeutics Ltd

Francis Crick Institute

Barbara has worked on the commercial side of life sciences for thirty years, first in a large organisation (ICI/Zeneca/AstraZeneca), before transitioning to the entrepreneurial world of biotech.

Barbara joined the Francis Crick Institute in January 2018 as Entrepreneur-in-residence, where amongst other things, she leads an accelerator programme called KQ Labs, which is focused on start-ups from all over the UK who are making use of data/AI applied to health. She is also Chief Business officer of Autifony, where she is responsible for strategic partnering, fundraising and commercial aspects of drug development for CNS disorders. Barbara was also Chair of Puridify, a UCL spin-out with a breakthrough biotherapeutics purification technology, which was acquired by GE (now Cytiva) in November 2017. She chairs the LifeArc Seed Fund investment committee, and is on the Cambridge Enterprise Seed Fund Investment Committee.

Previously, Barbara was CEO of Stabilitech, and she was Commercial Director at Arrow Therapeutics until the company was acquired by AstraZeneca. Barbara was also Senior Business Development Manager at Celltech.

Barbara has a BA and D Phil in Chemistry from the University of Oxford, and is a Sloan Fellow from London Business School.

Steve Bates.jpg 1
Steve Bates FMed Sci, OBE

CEO Bio Industry Association


Steve Bates has been leading the UK Bioindustry Association as CEO since 2012. He currently chairs the International Council of Biotech Associations and has been a board member of Europabio since 2015. He sits on the UK’s Life Sciences Council. Steve is the visible face of the vibrant UK life sciences industry to government and media. Steve was a founder member of the UK Government’s Vaccine Taskforce in the Covid crisis, sitting on its steering Board alongside Kate Bingham.

Steve has championed, with government, effective industrial incentives like the Biomedical Catalyst, which have crowded in private sector investment into UK SMES. He has forged several links for the sector across the USA, Europe and in China. In his time at the BIA, Steve has developed new member groups focused on cell and gene therapy, genomics and engineered biology. A strong advocate of partnership working, Steve champions sector collaboration with research charities and academia. Proud to lead an organisation with a diverse Board with over 40% female representation, Steve is committed to next generation talent and developing the skills needed for the sector to flourish.

Before the BIA, Steve worked for Genzyme and was advisor to the UK Government of Tony Blair. He was made OBE for services to innovation in 2017 and became a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Science in 2020.

Charlotte Casebourne.jpg 3
Charlotte Casebourne



Charlotte believes in equitable access to effective therapies. She is the CEO and Co-founder of Theolytics - a pre-clinical biotech company harnessing viruses to fight cancer - and has been a BIA Board Member since January 2019. This has included audit committee responsibilities, and the ongoing role of Vice Chair of the BIA's Skills, People and Talent Working Party.

Previously Co-founder and Director of New Medicine Partners, Charlotte has worked with organisations spanning three continents to support the early translation of novel life science technologies. She has taken leadership roles including Curator of the World Economic Forum Global Shapers network, Managing Director of HealthTech Women London, and HelloTomorrow’s London Chair for Healthcare and Medical Technologies.

Charlotte graduated as a University of Cambridge Bioscience Enterprise M.Phil Scholar and was a shortlisted finalist for Cambridge Entrepreneur of the Year. She was most recently named one of Forbes 30 Under 30, and In Vivo’s 30 Rising Leaders in Life Sciences.

Dominic Falcao.jpg
Dominic Falcao

Founder and co-director

Deep Science Ventures

Dom co-founded Deep Science Ventures (DSV) in order to provide funding to support scientists and engineers to come up with new ideas for high impact science companies in Pharmaceuticals (in particular cancer in partnership with Cancer Research UK), Energy (in particular, carbon), Computing and Agriculture. Previously, Dom launched a start-up and social enterprise consultancy and went on to advise more than 100 early stage science-based companies whilst running Imperial College London's pre-accelerator, the Venture Catalyst Challenge.

Nicola Baker-Munton
Dr Nicola Baker-Munton

Chief Executive Officer

Stratagem IPM

Nicola Baker-Munton is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Stratagem IPM. She is a Chartered UK Patent Attorney and European Patent Attorney with a joint honours degree in biology and biochemistry. During her nine years as an industrial practitioner at the Wellcome Foundation Limited, and four years in the private sector, Nicola recognised the need for much greater assistance with management of intellectual property earlier in the development of technologies, and advice and assistance with commercialisation throughout the technology/product life-cycle.

Nicola founded Stratagem IPM in 1999. With Steady growth it has become the leading specialist company providing active strategic management of intellectual property portfolios from inception through development to market, and from academia through startup to stock market listing.

Nick Medcalf.png
Dr Nick Medcalf

Deputy Challenge Director – Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (Medicines Manufacturing)

UK Research and Innovation

Nick Medcalf is currently Deputy Challenge Director for the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (Medicines Manufacturing) at UK Research and Innovation with responsibility for the delivery of a portfolio of capital and R&D funding competitions as well as generating new proposals for grant investment.

Prior to this appointment Nick was Professor of Regenerative Medicine Manufacture at Loughborough University from 2013 to 2017 under an EPSRC Manufacturing Fellowship Scheme following 36 years in the healthcare industry. He has a particular interest in improving the options for manufacture and supply of advanced therapeutics by making available appropriate technology for novel and effective models of business and operation. He is an active member of the Enterprise Hub at the Royal Academy of Engineering.

Terry O'Neil.png
Terry O'Neill

Head of Health

Knowledge Transfer Network

Dr Terry O’Neill is the Head of Health at KTN Ltd. Previous roles include Industry Sector Manager at TWI Ltd with responsibility for the medical sector. Before TWI Terry worked as a business development manager at the Norwich based technology transfer and intellectual property development company PBL. He has a background in project management in the biotechnology industry. Terry was a member of the Management Team at the physics start-up company Antenova where he managed the process of raising over £6m worth of private equity during the companies’ series B funding round. Terry has also worked in the NHS.

Within the KTN Terry is the Head of Health responsible for managing the Health Team with priority activities in medicines development and manufacture, medical technologies and digital health.

Charles Waddell cropped.jpg
Charles Waddell


Pinsent Masons

Charles is a corporate partner in Pinsent Masons' Tier 1 ranked life sciences practice. His main focus is on VC financings, IPOs and M&A in the biotech and medtech sector.

Ed Tate.jpg
Ed Tate

Founder and CSO

Myricx Pharma

Ed is founder and CSO of Myricx Pharma Ltd, Professor of Chemical Biology at Imperial College London, and a satellite Group Leader at the Francis Crick Institute. Ed started as a chemist, finishing his PhD in 2000 followed by a series of research fellowships in biology and chemical biology. He started his lab at Imperial in 2006, and now runs a research group of around 50 scientists across the institutions focused on the applications of chemistry to biomedicine, including therapeutics discovery.

He consults for a range of big pharma and biotech organisations, and with colleagues at the Crick was awarded the 2019 Sir David Cooksey Prize for Translation for their work leading to the founding of Myricx Pharma. Myricx was spun out of Imperial College and the Crick Institute in 2019 by Roberto Solari (Myricx CEO) and Ed with the support of tech transfer teams at both institutions, and is focussed on preclinical development of proprietary drug leads and novel biological insights gained through their academic research. Myricx attracted substantial seed funding in late 2019, and currently employs over a dozen scientists and staff across the spectrum of drug discovery science, from medicinal chemistry to in vivo DMPK.

Roberto Solari.png
Roberto Solari


Imperial College Confidence in Concept

Roberto is a Visiting Professor at NHLI and chairs the Imperial College Confidence in Concept programme. Roberto is a cell biologist and before joining Imperial he was Vice President and head of Biology in the respiratory therapy area at GSK. He also spent 4 years as CEO of MRCT, the technology transfer arm of the MRC, where he was involved in the commercial translation of MRC research and helped the creation of spinout companies such as Heptares. He has served as an advisor to a number of venture capital companies and is currently a Venture Partner with Brandon Capital Partners, an Australian life sciences venture capital investor. He has served on the board of several biotechnology companies and he is currently CEO of Myricx Pharma Ltd, a spinout from Imperial College and the Francis Crick Institute. Roberto obtained a PhD from Nottingham University in 1981 and went on to do two post-docs at the University of Lausanne and the University of Liverpool before joining Glaxo in 1986.

Margaret Duffy.jpg 1
Margaret Duffy

Co-Founder and CSO


Margaret Duffy is co-founder and CSO at Theolytics, a preclinical biotech company developing oncolytic viruses for solid and haematological cancers. She leads the scientific team at the company, harnessing Dawarian selection to identify ‘cancer killing’ viruses, and is committed to the translation of innovative biological approaches into patient care.

Prior to spinning out the Theolytics in 2017, Margaret was a Kay Kendall Leukaemia Fund Research Fellow at the Dept of Oncology, University of Oxford. Before this she spent several years as a postdoctoral researcher in Scotland, and the Netherlands as part of the Marie Curie Industry Academia programme. Margaret has a PhD from the University of Glasgow and recently she was listed as one of BioBeats ‘Movers and Shakers in BioBusiness 2019’.

Adrian Hayday.png
Adrian Hayday

Scientific Founder

GammaDelta Therapeutics

Trained in biochemistry with a PhD in molecular virology, Adrian Hayday took up immunology at MIT where he and his colleagues described the unexpected T cell receptor gamma chain genes. He has since shown gamma-delta T cell biology to differ from conventional T cell biology, and that gamma-delta T cells protect against carcinogens. He has identified mechanisms by which gamma-delta T cells tell tumours from normal tissue, and is committed to their clinical application.

He is first or corresponding author on 120 publications out of a total of 220, and co-authored many patents. His awards include the William Clyde deVane Medal, Yale’s highest scholarship and teaching honour, the UK Business of Science Award, and election as Fellow of the Royal Society and the Academy of Medical Sciences. He led the British Society of Immunology and has organized major meetings including the Gordon Conference in Immunochemistry and Immunobiology and the European Congress of Immunology.

He has chaired Wellcome, CRUK, and ACS funding committees, and served on many advisory boards, including the Pasteur Institute and the University of Kyoto. In the private sector he was on the SAB of MedImmune and has co-founded three extant biotech companies.

Heather Hayes.PNG
Heather Hayes

Global HR Director

Lightsource BP

Heather is a post graduate who has worked as an HR practitioner for over 25 years in industries ranging from North Sea Oil, through Technology, Space and Imaging before landing in Pharma and Biotech with key roles in Roche/Genentech and GSK, over eight years, as a global HR business partner, supporting leadership teams in Research and Development divisions. She relocated to both San Francisco and Switzerland to give her a better understanding of diverse cultures and best working practices throughout her Pharma years. Her journey in Biotech started in 2015 when she joined Horizon Discovery, and learnt to move faster, work more creatively and with a focus on cost. She was able to evolve the people strategy to create imaginative and diverse solutions that fit the uniqueness of Horizon; avoided creating an internal HR industry; and ensure that Horizon’s culture continued to focus on its diversity to deliver the same exciting future for its people, that its science creates for its customers.

She moved in 2019 to another innovative, founder lead organisation, LightsourceBP to deliver their global growth agenda with a mission to tackle another of the big challenges facing our environment - how to create an economic alternate to carbon that will offer continual power to all communities and industries around the world.

Claire Button

Founder and CEO


Dr Claire Button founded Fusion Biomed, a specialist search and investment partner for early stage, high-growth biotech and medtech, to address challenges facing life science and medtech ventures as they grow from interesting technology or science through to exit.

After her PhD in Immunopharmacology, Claire spent over 15 years working with entrepreneurs, stakeholders, and boards of ventures like this. She brings deep understanding and a global network; partnering with ventures to build boards, secure investment, find commercial leaders, design business plans and other elements required for company success.

Claire is CEO of Mentis Cura, a data-driven neuro-tech platform company, diagnosing brain disorders for early intervention and treatment.

She is a member of the medtech committee of Consilience Ventures, an investment fund for early-stage, high-growth ventures.

Claire has co-founded life sciences ventures in several fields, including diagnostics, and understands the value of data platforms and AI to healthcare.

Claire supports initiatives to encourage and support entrepreneurialism; she presents and mentors on programmes such as KQ Labs at the Francis Crick Institute. She is Advisory Board Member, Mentor and Judge for the GAP Summit, and participates in European and China focused Venture Camps, bringing commercial perspectives to start-up ventures.

She is also passionate about empowering women in STEM careers, and actively supports the work of AWiSE.

Oliver Sexton.png
Oliver Sexton

Investment Director

UK Innovation & Science Seed Fund

Oliver invests from UKI2S, an early stage seed/series A fund that backs companies developing complex science and engineering led solutions to global challenges. Specialising in life science investments Oliver joined UKI2S in 2014. He has therapeutic, med tech, agritech and industrial biotech companies in the portfolio.

Prior to joining UKI2S Oliver managed commercialisation of bioengineering and medical technologies at Imperial Innovations and worked at Ark Therapeutics as well as managing a team of biotech buy-side analysts.

Oliver sits on the board of Ikarovec and Gyreox as well as multiple board observer positions.

Pam Garside.jpeg
Pam Garside



Pam Garside has her own management consultancy, Newhealth, specialising in organisational strategy and development in health care, and is a Fellow of the Judge Business School of the University of Cambridge. She advises new entrants to the UK health market including digital and start up companies and is an angel investor.

Pam founded and co-chairs The Cambridge Health Network, a membership group of senior players in UK health,both private and public sector. She sits on the Investment Committee of Cambridge Enterprise, the technology transfer company of the University of Cambridge and is a member of Cambridge Angels.She is a board member of Whizz-Kidz charity, ZPB Ltd and a senior adviser to Smith Square Partners. In 2016 Pam was named one of the 100 most influential leaders in Health Tech by Hot Topics.

Pam began her professional life in management in the NHS and subsequently spent many years studying and working internationally based in the USA. She holds a BSc from the University of Durham and a Masters Degree in Hospital and Health Care Administration from the University of Minnesota. She is an Adjunct Professor at Imperial College Business School.

Kate Rowley.jpg 1
Kate Rowley

General Partner

Global Bio Fund

Dr Kate Rowley is an independent consultant for Symmetrist and a General Partner at Global Bio Fund, a investment fund targeting support to women led businesses in Bio. With over 25 years of life science experience working in both the public and private healthcare sector she advises companies developing innovative science and technology with the potential to transform healthcare.

Kate has a deep history of commercialisation of Life Sciences with experience in investor, founder and non-executive director roles across a variety of businesses in med tech, digital health and drug discovery/development.

Elisa Petris.png
Elisa Petris


Syncona Investment Management Ltd.

Elisa is a Director on the Board of Quell Therapeutics, a company developing engineered T regulatory cell therapies and is an Observer on the Board of Achilles Therapeutics, a company developing T cell therapies directed at clonal neoantigens. Previously she was a Director on the Board of Blue Earth Diagnostics, a commercial-stage diagnostic imaging business recently acquired by Bracco Imaging S.p.A. She was closely involved in the foundation of these companies, including their operational and strategic set-up.

Previously, she was a Senior Associate at Michel Dyens & Co. working on transactions covering the healthcare space, and a member of the Life Sciences team at L.E.K. Consulting based in London. While at L.E.K. she worked on projects for biotech, pharma and private equity clients. Elisa has a PhD in Molecular Biology from Imperial College and an MBA from London Business School.

Rick Davies.jpg
Rick Davis

Senior Director, New Ventures and Transactions, Oncology

Johnson and Johnson Innovation

Rick is Senior Director, New Ventures and Transactions, Oncology at Johnson & Johnson Innovation, London . In this role, Rick leverages his experience and knowledge of the scientific and biotech landscape to identify and evaluate external opportunities and deliver transformative innovation into the pipeline.

Rick has over 17 years of experience in the life sciences sector. Before joining Johnson & Johnson he was the Chief Executive Officer of a European clinical stage biotech company, Trino Therapeutics. Previously, he held a number of key positions at the Wellcome Trust. He was responsible for maximising financial returns on direct healthcare investments in both private and public equities and venture capital funds in their Investment Division. During this time he was on the board of directors of a number of biotech companies and worked closely with management teams on strategy, financing and exits via M&A and public listings.

Prior to this role, Rick was in Business Development where he established and managed a large corporate venture fund, building an extensive external pipeline of preclinical pharmaceutical assets sourced from EU and US academic and biotech labs. After a obtaining a PhD in pharmacology, he started his career in the biotechnology industry at Pharmagene where he helped to establish their therapeutics division and led multi-disciplinary teams in drug development and contract research.

Henning Steinhagen.jpg
Henning Steinhagen

CEO and Director

Epidarex Exeed

Dr Steinhagen co-founded Epidarex Exeed Ltd, and is both CEO and on the Board of Directors. He has 20 years experience in the Pharma, Biotech and CRO/CDMO industries. Prior to Epidarex, Dr Steinhagen was President of R&D at Aptuit. He led significant growth and transformation of the ex-GSK site in Verona. He was a key player in the $300 million sale of Aptuit to Evotec.

Prior to Aptuit, Dr Steinhagen was Senior VP and Head of Global Drug Discovery at Grünenthal. His successes include the build-up of the immuno-inflammation area and advancing Grünenthal’s CNS portfolio, including several R&D and licensing deals. Before joining Grünenthal, Dr Steinhagen served as Director of Medicinal Chemistry at Sanofi-Aventis. He started his career at Bayer Pharma and his experience spans multiple therapeutic areas and R&D phases.

Dr Steinhagen has developed strong business acumen through P&L oversight, M&A and Biotech licensing and fundraising. In 2018 he completed an MBA program at the IMD in Lausanne.

Apart from Epidarex Exeed Ltd. Dr Steinhagen serves on the Board of Directors of Caldan Therapeutics as well as Libra Therapeutics. He is also a member and former chair of the board of MedLife.

Dr Steinhagen has a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Heidelberg with a degree in Molecular Genetics. His academic experiences include a post-doctoral stay with Nobel laureate Prof. E.J. Corey at Harvard as well as an Adjunct Professorship at Trinity College Dublin.

Houman Ashrafian photo.jpg
Houman Ashrafian

Managing Partner

SV Health Investors

Houman joined SV in 2016 as a Venture Partner, was promoted to Partner in 2017 and became a Managing Partner in 2018. He has founded five SV companies; Sitryx, Ervaxx, Zarodex, TrexBio and Alchemab. Houman serves on the Dementia Discovery Fund (DDF) Investment Committee and as a Director of Karus Therapeutics.

Previously, Houman co-founded the services company Cardiac Report in 2003, as well as Heart Metabolics in 2008. Heart Metabolics successfully repositioned perhexiline, as a treatment for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and heart failure. Perhexiline is now in advanced clinical trials and has orphan drug designation. He went on to become Vice President and head of the Clinical Science Group at UCB Pharma.

Outside of SV, following completion of his cardiology training, Houman was appointed as an Honorary Consultant Cardiologist in 2011 at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford. He is Visiting Professor and head of Experimental Therapeutics at the University of Oxford. Additionally, Houman is co-founder and Chairman of Weatherden, a boutique clinical development company.

Ayokunmi Ajetunmobi.jpg
Dr Ayokunmi Ajetunmobi

Venture Development Manager


As Venture Development Manager at BioCity, Dr Ayokunmi Ajetunmobi works with scientific founders and clinical entrepreneurs to build venture-backed businesses solving the biggest health and environmental challenges.

He previously led the next-generation sequencing division at Desktop Genetics, a VC-backed startup partnered with Illumina, where he negotiated projects with global biopharma clients that led to successful regulatory filings of genome-edited CAR-T cell therapies. This activity contributed to the acquisition of Desktop Genetics.

Other roles have included business development for OneStart, a global biotech and healthcare startup accelerator, and co-founder of Evolve Biomed, a national biomedical innovation conference. His academic qualifications include a bachelor’s in neuroscience, master’s in molecular medicine and doctorate in clinical medicine.

Ned Wakeman.jpg
Ned Wakeman


Alderley Park Accelerator

As Director of the Alderley Park Accelerator, Ned is responsible for the strategic direction and leadership of the Accelerator, helping to build the ecosystem and cluster, supporting all aspects of company development from start-up to scale-up. Ned is also the founding director of an ophthalmic drug delivery company at Alderley Park, sits on the advisory board of Alderley Park Ventures, is on the General Committee of ELRIG, and has been significantly involved in the development of 7 start-ups. With proven sector expertise and awareness of market dynamics, he has been involved in excess of $500m of equity fund raisings for North American and European companies, which have a market value of over $2b today. Previously, Ned conducted primary research in neuropsychopharmacology, psychoneuroimmunology, and neuroscience at Yale Medical School and the University of Oxford.

Jason Mellad.JPG
Dr Jason Mellad


Start Codon

Jason is a scientist entrepreneur passionate about translating innovative technologies into better patient outcomes. As CEO and co-founder of Start Codon, a Cambridge based accelerator, he aims to identify and recruit the most disruptive healthcare startups worldwide, seed fund them and leverage the exceptional resources of the Cambridge cluster to de-risk and drive their success. Previously he was CEO of Cambridge Epigenetix and Business Development Manager for Horizon Discovery’s diagnostics division. He also served as an associate at Cambridge Enterprise, the technology transfer office of the University of Cambridge.

Toby Basey-Fisher.jpg 1
Toby Basey-Fisher



Dr Toby Basey-Fisher is the CEO and founder of Entia, a medical technology company enabling life-changing health conditions such as cancer to be treated and managed in the home. Toby is also an honorary lecturer in Entrepreneurship at Imperial College London and sits on the Executive Board of the British In-Vitro Diagnostics Association (BIVDA).

Prior to founding Entia, Toby received a PhD in Biomedical Physics from Imperial College London and was presented with the Blavatnik Enterprise Fellowship from the Royal Academy of Engineering.

Zuzanna Brzosko_Sixfold.jpeg
Zuzanna Brzosko

CEO and Co-Founder

Sixfold Bioscience

Dr Zuzanna Brzosko is the co-founder and CEO of Sixfold Bioscience, a Y Combinator and venture-backed biotechnology company focused on developing drug delivery systems for Cell and Gene therapeutics.

Zuzanna completed her PhD and postdoctoral training at Cambridge University and her undergraduate degree at Oxford University. Following her academic work, she worked in investment banking at Goldman Sachs before founding Sixfold. Zuzanna has been recognized by the Forbes 30U30 in Science/Healthcare, the Maserati’s Top 100 British Entrepreneurs and Aviva’s Women of the Future in Science, amongst others.

Andrew Sandham.jpg
Andrew Sandham

Executive Chairman

PolyProx Therapeutics

Andrew has over 30 years’ experience in co-founding, building and leading biotechnology companies in Europe and the USA. He has served in CXO and board positions in 15 companies including Cantab, Signature, Ionix, Hexagen, Syntaxin, Synosia, Kymab, Bicycle, PredictImmune, PolyProx and LoQus23. He also has 7 years’ experience in venture capital with Abingworth and Syncona. He has worked with investors to create shareholder liquidity through mergers, acquisitions and public offerings. Andrew has a BSc in Chemistry, University of East Anglia and Diploma in Marketing, Chartered Institute of Marketing.

Dan Mahony.jpg
Dr Dan Mahony

Entrepreneur In Residence


Dan was appointed as Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Evotec (UK) Limited in October 2021. Prior to joining Evotec, Dan was Co-Head of Healthcare at Polar Capital where he launched the healthcare business in 2007 growing it to over $4 billion of assets under management. Dan was formerly head of European healthcare research at Morgan Stanley, an analyst at ING Barings Furman Selz in New York and a research scientist including at Schering Plough, CA. He has over 25 years of experience within global healthcare covering biotechnology, medical technology and healthcare services.

Dan chairs the board of the BioIndustry Association (BIA), the industry trade association for UK life sciences, and holds non-executive directorships at the Wellcome Sanger Institute, Trellus Health (an LSE-listed digital health company), Celmatix (a privately held, preclinical-stage women’s health biotech in NY focused on ovarian biology), Keepabl (a UK-based, privately owned provider of SaaS solutions for GDPR compliance), Apian (a privately held healthcare drone startup, founded by NHS doctors in training), and also acts as a mentor for the NHS Clinical Entrepreneur Training Programme, which aims to support junior doctors and health professionals in developing their entrepreneurial aspirations during clinical training.

David Holbrook 1.jpg
Dr David Holbrook

Head of seed funds


David Holbrook is a qualified physician who has spent thirty-five years in medicine and medical innovation, and the last twenty in life sciences spinout investing, principally from academia. After senior business development roles in Glaxo and Roche he headed up Imperial College’s spinout activities, led the life science practice of UK venture capital manager MTI (who raised and managed a fund with The University of Manchester), and most recently was Director of Life Science Seed Funds at Cambridge University Enterprise. David holds degrees from King’s College London, Oxford University, and Harvard University.

Andy Richards small.jpg
Dr Andy Richards CBE


Closed Loop Medicine / Congenica

Andy is an entrepreneur and investor with an established track record in founding and scaling up innovative Life-science, Biotechnology and Digital Health companies in the UK. He is currently Chairman of Congenica, Abcodia, Closed Loop Medicine, Arecor and the Babraham Research Campus and is a Director of Ieso Digital Health, Owlstone Medical, and Cancer Research Technology (the commercial board of CR-UK). He is an advisor to several investment funds, including Cambridge Innovation Capital and the UCL Technology Fund, and is Chair of the CRUK Seed Fund and a Director of the Scale-Up Institute.

Andy is a Cambridge Graduate with a PhD in Chemistry and an early career spanning positions with ICI (now AstraZeneca) and PA Technology. He was a founder and executive director of Chiroscience plc until its merger with Celltech in 1999 and since that time he has founded, invested in and helped to scale more than 30 innovative ventures including companies such as Vectura, Arakis, Cambridge Biotechnology Ltd and Geneservice. Andy is also a founder member of the Cambridge Angels.

Andy is passionate about science and the translation of science to do good for society. The Life-sciences and Healthcare sectors provide the perfect arena for translating science into technology that can help people around the world. He received a CBE for services to investment in life-sciences in 2015.

Rebecca Todd.jpg
Rebecca Todd

Investment Director

Longwall Ventures

Rebecca began venture investing in 2006 while at Oxford Capital, where she took responsibility for the Oxford Gateway Funds’ investments into healthcare and life science companies, and went on to become Director, Healthcare Ventures at Imperial Innovations (now part of IP Group). Her earlier career was as a marketing consultant to pharmaceutical and life science technology companies. Rebecca has a PhD in Genetics from Nottingham University and an MBA from Oxford University. She joined Longwall Ventures after a couple of years sabbatical break spent exploring South America in a VW camper van and focuses predominantly on medical technology opportunities.

Daria Danati.jpg
Daria Donati

Global Director for Business Development and Innovation

GE Healthcare Life Sciences

Daria Donati is focused on driving innovation, bringing forward-looking technology into the everyday lives of GE Healthcare customers and employees by overseeing global collaborations, alliances and technology intake.

Daria’s roots are in academia and public health. She has worked with the MIM-TDR (WHO) supporting capacity building in sub-Saharan Africa as International Liaison manager, leading global collaborations and funding management to support sustainable development projects in healthcare.

She has over 20 years of management and technology solution experience within biotech and biomanufacturing. She joined GE Healthcare in 2008, and has been in her current role since 2018.

She has led key endeavors within vaccine manufacturing solutions and biomanufacturing, developing biopharma manufacturing solutions, providing the tools to enable rapid response and increase access to life saving drugs.

Daria was instrumental in developing KUBio, the first off-the-shelf biomanufacturing facility, now used to enable production of precision medicines in 13 countries.

In 2017 Daria was named European Businesswoman of the Year 2017 in Life Sciences.

She has worked on public health and medicine development in Africa, Europe and North America. She earned a PhD as principal investigator working on malaria, infectious diseases, immunology and vaccines at Karolinka Institute, and a second in Biotech and Transplant Immunology from the University of Pisa.

Dr. Fiona Kellas.jpeg
Dr Fiona Kellas


Maucher Jenkins

Fiona is a UK and European Patent Attorney at Maucher Jenkins. Fiona graduated from the University of Glasgow with a degree in Biochemistry in 1998 and was awarded a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Cambridge in 2003. During her PhD, Fiona carried out research in the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology and the MRC Mitochondrial Biology Unit in Cambridge.

In addition to working in private practice, Fiona has experience of working in-house in the intellectual property department of an antibody technology company.

Fiona has experience of drafting and prosecuting patent applications, preparing and filing design applications, as well as prior art and freedom to operate searching and assessment. Fiona has a lot of experience in working with start ups and entrepreneurs, including providing guidance on IP strategy and IP audits.

Fiona has worked in a wide range of technologies. In particular, she has experience in the areas of biochemistry, antibody technology, industrial biotechnology, in vitro diagnostics, bioenergetics, synthetic biology, medical technologies and devices and digital health technologies.

Dr Karolina Zapadka .jpg
Dr Karolina Zapadka

Investment Manager


Karolina has nearly a decade of experience in building life sciences and healthcare companies within the Cambridge Cluster. She played a pivotal role in securing pre-seed and seed investment from a stellar syndicate of investors. In 2018 she co-founded and successfully delivered the first life sciences startup accelerator with a portfolio of 20 early-stage ventures in Cambridge. She started her career as a scientist at a leading biopharmaceutical company delivering a portfolio of products to clinics.

Karolina completed a PhD in biophysics (diabetes & neurosciences) from the University of Cambridge and carried out a drug development postdoc work at AstraZeneca.

Sally Ann.jpg
Dr Sally Ann Forsyth

Chief Executive Officer

Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst

Sally Ann has been responsible for the strategy, growth and development of 4 internationally recognised science parks including Harwell Oxford (STFC), Colworth Science Park (Unilever), Norwich Research Park (BBSRC) and most recently Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst (GSK/Wellcome). She began her career with Unilever as part of the management training scheme and later had lead responsibility for In-Licensing, Strategic Alliances and Open Innovation within the Unilever Foods and Discovery divisions. Being part of the founding team of Unilever Ventures and Unilever Technology Ventures gave Sally Ann an insight into the needs of growing companies. She gained her property experience through Goodman International where she was Director of Science Parks responsible for the development and management of their UK portfolio.

Sally Ann is passionate about the translation of UK science into world leading innovations and the creation of supportive environments to help early stage companies grow. She has a PhD in molecular biology from the University of Cambridge and is a qualified management accountant (CGMA).