skip to navigation skip to content
 

Mentors

Back to People

Mentors and coaches are essential to the development of ventures at an early stage as they provide both specialised and general advice. They support businesses and help them grow. Their expertise and investment helps to create the next generation of meaningful ventures out of Cambridge.

Interested in mentoring our Accelerate Cambridge ventures? Sign up online 

Michael Anstey

Michael Anstey

Bio

Dr Michael Anstey is an Investment Director specialising in healthcare investments.

Before joining CIC he was a Principal in the Healthcare Practice Area at The Boston Consulting Group's (BCG) Toronto office. Michael has experience in advising multinational healthcare businesses across North America, Europe, India, and Japan on a broad range of topics, including corporate strategy, sales and marketing, market access, research & development strategy, and mergers & acquisitions.

Michael was also co-founder and COO of an early-stage biotechnology company focused on developing small molecule drugs that target protein-protein interactions implicated in disease.

Prior to BCG, Michael worked in venture capital, where he focused on investing in early stage healthcare and life science businesses.

Michael earned his DPhil in Zoology in the field of neurobiology, jointly supervised by professors at the University of Cambridge and the University of Oxford.

Michael sits on the board of Bicycle Therapeutics, Congenica and Storm Therapeutics.

Amelia Armour

Amelia Armour

Specialities: fundraising, venture capital, financial modelling, business planning.

Bio

Amelia Armour joined Amadeus Capital Partners Limited in 2009, she serves as a Principal in the Early Stage Funds with an investment focus of Autonomous Systems, AI & Machine Learning, Digital Health and Medical Technology. Prior to Amadeus, she worked at Barclays Investment Bank as a manager in the structured capital markets team with responsibility for running a portfolio of multi jurisdiction transactions. Amelia has also worked in structured finance at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. She qualified as a chartered accountant with Deloitte in the corporate tax department. Amelia holds a BSc in Chemistry and Biology from Durham University.

Being based in Cambridge she has a particular interest in supporting spin-outs from the University and is a director on the board of Cambridge Touch Technologies, a company developing the next generation of force touch for mobile phones and tablets, and an active board observer at machine learning company prowler.io and Paragraf, the graphene technology development company.

Ashley Blackmore

Ashley Blackmore

Bio

Complex twenty first century challenges require agile, dynamic solutions. Leveraging over 25 years of business development experience, Ashley Blackmore helps companies develop and implement strategies that facilitate growth today - and positions them to capitalise on opportunity tomorrow.  

Throughout his career, Ashley earned a reputation as a forward-thinking leader. He joined the Sales Plus Profit team of Associate Sales Directors in 2015. His deep knowledge of cleantech, circular economy and the triple bottom line made him a natural choice to build a division for sustainability-focused businesses. He believes that enabling nine billion people to live on the planet fully-resourced will be the fourth economic revolution – and his clients will be ready to lead.

Ashley works hands-on with companies to: develop growth strategies, improve sales processes, challenge product propositions, uncover new market entry opportunities, leverage networks.

Christian Bunke

Christian Bunke

Bio

Christian Bunke, Managing Director at Basck, is an expert in the commercialisation of Intellectual Property (IP) and disruptive innovation. Following his MBA at Cambridge Judge Business School he was part of various management teams and co-founded a number of start-ups in areas such as biotechnology, clean tech, ICT and IP services. Christian is passionate about innovation and technology so founded Basck to allow start-ups to have access to the best advice in intellectual property rights for early stage ventures.

Suranga Chandratillake

Suranga Chandratillake

Bio

Suranga joined Balderton as a General Partner in 2014. He was previously an entrepreneur and engineer. Suranga founded blinkx, the intelligent search engine for video and audio content in Cambridge in 2004. He lead the company for eight years as CEO through its journey of moving to San Francisco, building a profitable business and going public in London where it achieved a peak market capitalisation in excess of $1Bn. Before founding blinkx, Suranga was an early employee at Autonomy Corporation - joining as an engineer in the Cambridge R&D team and ultimately serving as the company's US CTO in San Francisco.

Suranga has a MA in Computer Science from the University of Cambridge. He holds patents in the area of video discovery and online video advertising and was awarded the Royal Academy of Engineering's annual Silver Medal for his work in the field. He was also elected a Fellow of the Academy in 2012 and was chosen as one of the World Economic Forum's Young Global Leaders in 2009.

Susanne Chisti

Susanne Chisti

Bio

Susanna Chisti is CEO & Founder of FINTECH Circle, Europe's first Angel network focused on FinTech opportunities. A Senior Capital Markets Manager, entrepreneur and investor with strong financial services expertise, she is aware of new trends across the FinTech sector, B2C and B2B growth opportunities and regulatory requirements. She has more than 14 years' experience across Deutsche Bank, Lloyds Banking Group, Morgan Stanley and Accenture in London and Hong Kong. An experienced leader and non-executive director for FinTech start-ups, she has a positive, "can do" attitude and enthusiasm to solve complex capital markets challenges. Her focus is on corporate strategy, finance and the successful launch of innovative products and services while providing access to senior leaders in the City/Canary Wharf for investment (angel investors) and business advise (non-executive directors).

Gordon Coutts

Gordon Coutts

Specialties: strategy, leading change, strategic market access, market placement and optimisation.

Bio

Gordon Coutts is a Chief Executive, qualified doctor, Harvard business education, and healthcare sector specialist. He has senior leadership experience across three continents, in large businesses in the private, private equity and public sectors. He has held P&L responsibility for £350m+ organisations and leadership experience of headcounts exceeding 4,000. Gordon has worked as an advisory board member and non-executive for a variety of organisations, and has co-chaired international business associations for the past 15 years. 

Experience:

  • Board experience - operated as a Chief Executive, Managing Director and Non Executive Director within the NHS and multibillion dollar pharmaceutical companies. 
  • Organisational leadership - proven track record leading large complex organisations within heavily regulated environments. 
  • Governance - operated within a unitary board environment.
  • Strategic capability - operated at a strategic level on three continents having led significant business units and functions in the US, Europe and Asia.
  • Organisational change - driven change agendas that have created new industry business models and transformed corporate culture. 
  • Financial leadership - successfully conducted financial turnaround of underperforming business units. 
  • Commercial development/partnerships - led joint ventures in Japan, USA and Europe and hands-on experience of mergers and acquisitions in the private and private equity sectors in the UK.
Peter Cowley

Peter Cowley

Specialities: angel investment, charity governance, mentoring, entrepreneurship, software and electronics technology, property/construction.

Bio

Peter is a University of Cambridge Engineering/Computing graduate who founded and ran technology and construction businesses for 35+ years and, since then, has angel-invested in over 60 startups in Cambridge and London, and is a non-executive director of five of those.

He was UK Angel of the Year in 2014, is chair of the Cambridge Angels, and has mentored countless entrepreneurs. He setup and runs the Martlet startup investment fund of Marshall of Cambridge. He is also a Fellow in Entrepreneurship at Cambridge Judge Business School. For over 15 years, Peter was involved in charity and social enterprise governance as chair and treasurer of several trustee boards. He is sharing his and others' experience in podcasts and a book at investedinvestor.com.

Lennart Hergel
 

Lennart Hergel

Bio

Experienced entrepreneur and senior manager with proven success in building businesses from foundation to creating high-value finance deals and corporate strategy consulting. Successfully led and funded multiple client projects with in-depth negotiation, business development and leadership across early stage, SME’s and major corporates, in industries ranging from investment banking, aerospace and technology.  Special interest in social enterprise: identifying new business opportunities, mentoring ventures, developing investor networks, building new strategic partnerships and networks. 

Maarten de Jong

Maarten de Jong

Bio

Maarten de Jong has advised entrepreneurs building technology companies for the past 15 years through all stages of growth including strategic advisory, VC fundraising, corporate development, M&A and IPOs and has completed over 60 transactions in Europe and the US. He spent the early part of his career in San Francisco with Robertson, Stephens and Hambrecht & Quist before moving to London with JPMorgan where he led the emerging Communication Technologies effort in Europe. Following JPMorgan Maarten was Managing Director and Head of TMT for Bryan, Garnier in London and most recently headed the Technology practice as Managing Director for Kepler Equities Landsbanki in London.

Mainda Kiwelu

Mainda Kiwelu

Specialities: digital products and publishing, IP and innovation management, marketing/brand strategy, business development, e-learning and training.

Bio

Mainda draws inspiration for taking new products and services to market from the vibrant, fast-evolving technology and media scene in East Africa where she grew up, coupled with her background working for national and global organisations in the UK for over 12 years. She has industry experience in publishing, information technology, television, travel, education and legal services. She has predominantly worked as a marketer with global portfolio responsibility and has successfully supported key business development initiatives in the US, South America, Europe and Asia.

Having a keen interest in intellectual property issues and the creative industries, Mainda has been involved in various initiatives and projects supporting individual practitioners to commercialise their work. She also ran a professional network, hosting speaking programmes and advising on policy.

With a strong belief that we all benefit as individuals and as a society when we are empowered to: Make. Be. Do, Mainda is looking to be involved with enterprising individuals whose inspiring ideas, when developed, impact our lives - our physical well-being, the way we learn, how we are entertained, engage with others or experience the world around us.

In addition to the start-up scene, Mainda enjoys travel, fitness, art, drumming, coffee and cafes.

Jack Lang

Jack Lang

Bio

Jack Lang is a serial entrepreneur and business angel with high-tech and Internet companies based in Cambridge, where he is Entrepreneur in Residence, and Fellow at Cambridge Judge Business School, an affiliated Lecturer at the Computer Lab and a bye-fellow of and Director of Studies in Management at Emmanuel College. Jack's recent ventures include the Raspberry Pi, an ultra-low cost computer for education, and Moviestorm, which makes 3D animation systems.

Robert Marshall

Robert Marshall

Bio

Robert was appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Marshall Group of Companies in January 2012. Marshall is a fourth generation family company with annual sales of £1.3 billion. The company's primary businesses are aerospace and defence systems and motor retail. It also owns and operates Cambridge International Airport and has extensive property holdings in Cambridge. The company is based in Cambridge and employs 4,400 people. It is a founder member of the Cambridge Network of high-tech companies, promoting new business using the skills uniquely available in the Cambridge region.

After attaining a First Class Degree in Engineering at the University of Cambridge, Robert spent some time in the USA as a Scientific Research Associate with Lockheed Martin, later founding a business designing and manufacturing specialist equipment for use in microbiology laboratories.

Robert joined Marshall of Cambridge in 1994, initially working for Marshall Aerospace with responsibility for all engineering projects. In 2000 he was appointed Chief Executive of Marshall Specialist Vehicles and in 2006 took on the role of Development Director for the Marshall Group. In January 2010 Robert was appointed Chief Operating Officer for the Marshall Group of Companies.

Robert is enthusiastic about engineering and the education and training of engineers in the UK. He retains a strong interest in the University of Cambridge Engineering Department and sits on the Board of the EEF. Marshall is a major employer of engineers and has one of the longest running apprenticeship schemes in the UK.

Robert is an Alumni of Harvard Business School and a fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society. He is also a keen aviator and holds a Private Pilots Licence.

Jo Parfrey

Jo Parfrey

Bio

Jo is an experienced and successful investment professional with more than 10 years in the private equity industry. A qualified accountant, ACA, by training, she has worked in the corporate finance departments of FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 companies.

Having been a member of the Investment Committee of a leading private equity house, Jo is experienced in investment appraisal. Skilled in the evaluation of businesses, her strengths include identifying value creation opportunities at both a revenue and profit level. Having supported businesses in growth through investment and cost management, Jo has a wealth of knowledge to assist in positioning businesses to maximise their potential. She brings experience of developing business plans and working with businesses to secure appropriate financing.

Passionate about growing businesses, Jo has worked closely with entrepreneurs/management teams. She has a wealth of experience of arranging, working with and managing complicated shareholder structures, including a broad range of stakeholder groups. She has a proven track record of working with businesses to drive strategic initiatives and deliver outstanding financial results. 

Jo has had significant board exposure, having held a number of non-executive posts. She has a chemistry degree from Oxford University.

Alan Platt

Alan Platt

Bio

Alan graduated from the University of Cambridge in 1997 with a degree in Engineering. His experience covers a wide variety of industries Broadcast and Film through to Pharmaceuticals and Software. He has held executive and board roles in Engineering, Sales, Marketing and General Management.

Passionate about technology, Alan combines a strong technical background in software, electronics and mechanical engineering with experience of solving real world problems for non-technical customers. He has developed and launched numerous new products and has strong international experience, having managed teams in the US and Europe and taken products to market across the globe. Alan has led change management and strategy development programmes on numerous occasions, leading to several successful business turn-arounds and rapid growth. 

As a consultant, angel investor and active member of Cambridge Capital Group, Alan currently advises several early stage tech companies. He will also join Bradford and Sons Ltd, a leading group of companies in the building industry, as non-executive director in 2017.

Thomas Sawyer

Thomas Sawyer

Specialties: Private equity; fundraising, strategy; corporate finance; technology; biotechnology.

Bio

With a background in academic research and 12 years of experience in starting businesses, consulting and private equity investment in biotechnology, IT, logistics and natural resources in the UK, US and Africa, Dr Sawyer is enthusiastic about creating new ventures, discovering and helping to develop exciting projects. Having been involved in all stages of the business cycle from bedroom start-ups to corporate structuring, IPOs, mergers and raising significant capital, he brings a breadth of experience gained from the lessons learned at every stage, as well as a pragmatic and supportive approach. Thomas is based in London and graduated from the University of Cambridge's Executive MBA programme in 2012 and is a visiting lecturer at the University of Exeter, teaching Corporate Finance and Behaviour to MSc students. His most recent project has involved raising capital, corporate structuring and strategy in a private equity backed US/UK based biotechnology company.

Simon Thorpe

Simon Thorpe

Specialties: angel investing, coaching, mentoring, consulting, non-executive directorships, research focused on the technology and finance sectors, chartered accountancy.

Bio

Simon is an angel investor, coach, mentor, and acts as non-executive director to and growth consulting with, technology companies. He runs his own business, Delta2020, is a senior advisor to Eleven Canterbury, a member of Cambridge Capital Group and Angel Academe. 

He is a participating mentor at the University of Manchester, Accelerate Cambridge and Angel Academe’s female entrepreneur program, and actively supports female entrepreneurs.

‘The digital revolution is the new industrial revolution’.

Sports/outdoor enthusiast, cyclist, skier, petrol/electric head, volunteer litter picker, traveller.

Access Simon Thorpe's LinkedIn profile

Alex Van Someren

Alex Van Someren

Specialties: mentoring, bootstrapping start-ups, early-stage evangelism, executive leadership, entrepreneurship, commercial negotiation, private equity raising, M&A, UK public company corporate governance.

Bio

Alex is an early-stage technology investor at Cambridge- and London-based venture capital firm Amadeus Capital Partners.

Previously, he has been a serial entrepreneur specialising in IT software and hardware product development businesses. Two of his businesses have had exits through IPOs - AIM:ANTP and LSE:NCH.

Julie Wallis

Julie Wallis

Specialties: value creation; business development; commercialisation; business and executive coaching

Bio

Julie is Founding Director of Meomics, a London-based executive coaching practice, working with business leaders and innovators bringing great ideas to life.

Julie’s experience spans over 20 years in healthcare and the biopharmaceutical industry. Julie has held scientific roles in academic and clinical settings, and business development and commercial leadership roles in biotechnology, life sciences and global pharmaceutical companies, building and leading teams to commercialise science and technology. As a scientist turned corporate deal-maker turned executive coach, she now focuses on value creation and works with individuals and organisations engaged in change.

Julie received her BSc (Hons) Pharmacology from the University of Edinburgh, PhD in Reproductive Medicine from the University of Leeds, and Executive MBA from the University of Cambridge. She is a qualified business coach.

Miranda Weston-Smith

Miranda Weston-Smith

Specialities: fundraising, biotech, business strategy, technology transfer, marketing.

Bio

Miranda helps early stage biomedical businesses to attract investment and develop their business strategy. Miranda founded and runs BioBeat, a programme to inspire the next wave of bioentrepreneurs and business leaders.

Miranda has worked with many entrepreneurs to grow their early stage biotech and healthcare ventures. She is experienced in fundraising, business planning and technology transfer. 

She brings experience as a Technology Transfer Manager at Cambridge Enterprise, University of Cambridge, where she assessed and marked life science technologies, negotiated licences and spun-out companies. She was responsible for technology transfer at the University of Cambridge for the Cambridge-MIT Institute. In her five years at the seed capital firm, Cambridge Research and Innovation, she identified and invested in early stage technologies. Miranda co-founded Cambridge Network with Hermann Hauser.

Miranda holds an MA (Cantab) in Natural Sciences, University of Cambridge, is a Fellow of the Linnean Society and holds the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants' Diploma in Management Accounting.

John Yeomans

John Yeomans

Bio

John is Chairman of Cambridge Angels; of Wazoku, an ideas management software business; of Zanran, in numerical web search; and of Merchanta, a performance marketing and real time bidding specialist. He is a director of FirstCapital, which finds investment for and sells technology ventures; of SharedBand which offers faster, more reliable internet communication on fixed phones and smartphones; of Lungfish which makes scuba diving rebreathers; and of Find the Rabble, a new style of fun exercise. He specialises in business software, digital media and communications, and has skills in engineering, marketing and finance.

He was a founder of an office automation start up in the early 1980s, exiting successfully. At Mitel, a high growth entrepreneurial digital communications business, he gained product management, sales and marketing experience. He was a strategy consultant at KPMG, with clients such as BT, C&W, Hughes, Oftel, Verizon and Vodafone, and at Regis McKenna, where the technology book 'Crossing the Chasm' was written. He became Global Head of Telecom, Media and Technology Corporate Finance at HSBC, leading international M&A deals and IPOs. Clients included Hutchison, Telenor, NTT DoCoMo, MTNL, OTE, Orange, Esprit Telecom and MSI and he ran deals worth over $40bn.

He mentors entrepreneurs and is a regular conference chairman and speaker.

Visit the FirstCapital website

john@yeomans.org.uk

Read John Yeomans' blog

Access John Yeomans' LinkedIn profile

Phil Ambery

Phil Ambery

AstraZeneca mentor - Expert Clinician

Bio

Phil Ambery is an expert clinician in Diabetes and Endocrinology who has over 16 years industry experience in drug development from Phase 1 to Phase 4, and in medical affairs. For the last three years he has built the diabetes and obesity clinical team for Medimmune in Cambridge, which he has led to bring one new biological from start to phase 2b/3, and a number of others into the phase 1/2 space. Previously he led the diabetes clinical group in GSK, and was European Medical director for medical affairs in diabetes and cardiovascular disease for Glaxo. He is a dual fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, and the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine, a Specialist Pharmaceutical Physician and a consultant in Acute Medicine at University of Cambridge Hospitals Trust. In his spare time he is the specialist partner for Academic and Research Certification with the General Medical Council.

Caroline Austin

Caroline Austin

AstraZeneca mentor - Transaction Director

Bio

Caroline is a Transaction Director within the Business Development Operations function at AstraZeneca and is based in Cambridge. She has been working in Business Development for 15 years and has worked on the search and evaluation of opportunities, negotiation of a variety of deal types including academic partnerships, licensing of discovery and development stage assets as well as on market products, divestment and acquisition, and has also led alliance management and business integration activities. Caroline has broad experience of working in transactions in many different therapeutic areas including respiratory, inflammatory, cardiovascular, diabetes and infectious diseases.

Prior to working in Business Development, Caroline worked in R&D in the Respiratory and Inflammation Therapy area at AstraZeneca. Caroline's academic qualifications and experience include: PhD in Pharmacology, University College London and postdoctoral research at the Institute of Otorhinolaryngology, University of London and in the Division of Allergy and Clinical Immunology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Rachel Barbour

Rachel Barbour

AstraZeneca mentor - Director of Communications

Bio

My career started at the BBC working for the classical music station, Radio 3, and then in the drama, series and serials department in television. I also did extra work (to gain extra live broadcasting experience) on some news programmes. I then moved to the City (the 'square mile' in London's financial district) where I spent the next 20 years working for financial institutions on a whole host of their communications requirements. For the last 10 years, I have worked for a wide range of organisations in communications roles, including the Private Equity industry's trade body, The Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Unilever, BP, GSK and now AstraZeneca.

What I enjoy most is working with people to develop the content of their talks (irrespective of length or topic) and then, helping them rehearse to be able to deliver with confidence while being authentic and true to themselves.

I am also an inveterate reader and enjoy learning about other cultures – both on business and in my personal life - having travelled to more than 55 countries. Having studied languages, I know what it can be like to engage and influence people in words that are not your mother tongue! Being a musician (having started to learn the piano at the age of five), I know what it is like to perform… and in public. In other words, I know the mindset required plus the benefits of training and practice. Hence my passion and my empathy when coaching others to tell their story.

Emma Barton

Emma Barton

AstraZeneca mentor - Alliance Management & Integration

Bio

Emma has over 15 years' professional experience in the pharmaceutical industry. Before joining AstraZeneca's Alliance Management and Integration team, heading up cross functional teams responsible for smooth transition of products between company pipelines, she spent two years working in Corporate Development responsible for search, evaluation and business case preparation and delivery for transformative deals including mergers and acquisitions across established and emerging markets and pharmaceutical landscape reviews across a number of territories. Previously, Emma was part of the AZ Oncology business development team, evaluating opportunities and transacting across a variety of deal types and phase of development with academia, biotech and peer pharma companies. Emma started her career with AstraZeneca in a scientific capacity working in the Cardio Vascular and Respiratory & Inflammation therapy areas; prior to AstraZeneca Emma worked for MSD and Rohne Poulenc Rorer and received her PhD in Organic Chemistry from Southampton University in 2000.

Paul Baverel

Paul Baverel

AstraZeneca mentor - Clinical Pharmacology, Pharmacometrics and DMPK, MedImmune R&D

Bio

Paul joined MedImmune in August 2015 as a Senior Pharmacokineticist in the department of Clinical Pharmacology, Pharmacometrics and DMPK (CPD) in Cambridge (UK), one of three global sites providing clinical pharmacology and modelling and simulation support to the MedImmune pipeline of biologic molecules, from early discovery to late stage development. He holds a degree from the Pharmaceutical University of Paris (France) and completed his PhD in the field of modelling and simulation in Uppsala University (Sweden). His core responsibilities include using quantitative pharmacology in the support of several projects in drug research and development, mainly in the Oncology and Respiratory, Inflammation and Autoimmunity therapeutic areas, with the ultimate goal of setting the right dose in the right patient population. The technical skill sets and scientific background of Paul is complemented by a strategic mindset and an entrepreneurial 'can do' attitude that is critical for innovation and success of any drug development program.

Jonathon Bell

Jonathon Bell

AstraZeneca mentor - Due Diligence Director

Bio

Jonathon Bell's experience includes five years as a management consultant conducting strategy work and technology evaluations in the early biotech space, followed by eight years in AstraZeneca's UK Marketing Company, where he became head of Licensing and New Product Development for the UK. From 2010 to 2015 he worked in Eisai and GSK in Business Development and R&D Aligned Commercial Roles. He rejoined AstraZeneca in July 2015 and works in Global Business Development Operations as a Due Diligence Director.

Matthew Bowden

Matthew Bowden

AstraZeneca mentor - Senior Counsel, Corporate Legal

Bio

Matthew is a Senior Counsel in AstraZeneca's Corporate Legal group and is based in Cambridge. Matthew is an experienced life science corporate/commercial and transactional lawyer. He has a particular focus on public and private M&A, joint ventures, licenses and corporate reorganisations.

Matthew joined AstraZeneca in 2010 and has spent most of that time leading legal teams on the structuring, negotiation and completion of significant corporate and partnering transactions, including the recent agreement with TerSera Therapeutics for Zoladex rights in North America. AstraZeneca's buy-out of its diabetes collaboration with BMS in 2014 and the acquisition of Spirogen in 2013. In 2015-2016, Matthew was Chief Legal Counsel and an Executive Team member of AstraZeneca’s Canadian business. Prior to joining AstraZeneca, Matthew was a trainee and an associate at Slaughter and May in London.

Matthew has a BA (Hons) in Law from the University of Cambridge (Queens' College) and qualified as a solicitor in 2003.

Karl Bradshaw

Karl Bradshaw

AstraZeneca mentor - Director, Corporate Development

Bio

Karl is currently a Director in the Corporate Development team at AstraZeneca which is responsible for driving business strategy, including mergers and acquisitions, divestitures and investments to bolster core growth platforms and therapy areas. He joined AstraZeneca in 2013 as the Competitive Intelligence Director for Infection Neuroscience and GI where he was responsible for bringing an intelligence-driven independent point of view into recommendations across science, regulatory and commercial to influence product forecasts and business cases and to help shape the Therapy Area strategy. Following this, Karl joined the AstraZeneca Antibiotics business unit and was the lead on competitive intelligence and business development and partnering projects. Prior to joining AstraZeneca, Karl was a Vice President in equity research at Morgan Stanley, where he gained extensive experience of financial analysis, modelling and valuation of Biotech and Medtech companies. With a first class degree in biological sciences, Karl went on to gain his doctorate in Neuroscience from University College London, and postdoctoral experience at the National Institute for Medical Research. He later completed an MPhil in Bioscience Enterprise from Cambridge University and MIT.

Wayne Brailsford

Wayne Brailsford

AstraZeneca mentor

Bio

Wayne has 17 years of experience with the pharmaceuticals industry. A PhD Organic Chemist by training, Wayne spent seven years working as a bench chemist before moving into the commercial world as a medical affairs manager within the Nexium brand team. After three years working within commercial, Wayne moved into global project management, managing and leading a number of early development projects, three years on and an MBA later, Wayne moved on to a Director role within the clinical area, leading clinical project teams and line managing a team of Directors and Associate Directors. After four years within Clinical, Wayne is now on a secondment within the CVMD iMed working as a Project Leader.

Nick Brown

Nick Brown

AstraZeneca mentor - Technology Incubation Lab Director

Bio

Nick heads up the Technology Incubation Lab in Cambridge for AstraZeneca's IT organisation. This group scouts new, emerging technologies and gets hands on to pilot them in partnerships with business customers across AstraZeneca, including R&D, Operations and Commercial.

Nick originally joined AstraZeneca in 2000, working within drug project teams developing software to analyse experimental microarray studies with thousands of data points. In 2004, he became a team leader in Advanced Science & Technology Labs, managing large computational clusters (100TB+) and designing automated image algorithms to screen millions of high-throughput screening images per day. His passion for handling big data grew further in 2007 in a new department, New Opportunities, focussing on identifying new disease areas for AstraZeneca to pursue, through drug repositioning, in-licensing and acquisitions.

Here Nick work closely with external partners to develop business intelligence applications by designing an internal search-based platform with over 60 million scientific documents. Nick led the programme to deliver this from idea to enterprise adoption before creating the TechLabs to work with external biotechs, startups and research labs to apply new IT breakthroughs within AstraZeneca.

Andrea Burgos

Andrea Burgos

AstraZeneca mentor - Associate Director, Alliance and Integration Management

Bio

Andrea Burgos is Associate Director in Alliance and Integration Management at AstraZeneca, based in Cambridge (UK), focusing on both alliances and integration & divestment activities. Prior to joining AstraZeneca in 2014, Andrea acted as Global Alliance Manager at Almirall (Barcelona) focusing on leading commercial and development alliances across several therapeutic areas from 2011 to 2014. Before joining Almirall’s Alliance Management Team, her previous role was in Almirall Commercial Reporting Operations.

She received her degree in Business Administration in 2010 at the university of ESADE in Barcelona in conjunction with the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.

Martin Cadman

Martin Cadman

AstraZeneca mentor - Due Diligence Director

Bio

Martin joined AstraZeneca in March 2018 as a Due Diligence Director within the Business Development Operations team, based in Cambridge. BDO is a standalone business unit that pursues a range of business development opportunities that have a clear strategic fit with AZ's portfolio and commercial capabilities, ranging from alliances and acquisitions in our main therapy areas, to externalisation activities to streamline AZ's focus. BDO works across the full deal lifecycle, from partner networking, due diligence, negotiations and deal-making, to the subsequent alliance and integration management of partnerships. Martin's principal role is to manage due diligence for buy- and sell-side deals undertaken by BDO.

Prior to joining AZ, Martin spent 13 years at GlaxoSmithKline, latterly as a Science & Technology Licensing Director within GSK's Worldwide Business Development function. Martin gained broad BD and deal team experience at GSK, and led due diligence for over 20 in-licensing opportunities from pre-clinical to late-clinical development stage, including for the licensing of MOR-103 (MorphoSys, anti-GM-CSF mAb, phase 2) with upfront & potential milestones of approximately €450 million. On the sell-side, Martin led diligences for key divestments, including the license of ofatumumab (anti-CD20 mAb, phase 3) to Novartis for MS and autoimmune indications, with upfront & future milestones of over $800 million.

Martin's earlier career includes roles in competitive intelligence (GSK), computational drug discovery research (de Novo Pharma) and consumer product R&D (Procter & Gamble). He has masters degrees in both Chemistry and Cheminformatics, and postgraduate qualifications in both Intellectual Property and Corporate Finance.

Dave Carter

Dave Carter

AstraZeneca mentor - Genomics Programme Manager

Bio

Dave Carter recently joined AstraZeneca as Genomics Programme Manager; working within the Centre for Genomics Research (CGR). The programme is a ten year initiative to develop a database of up to two million human genomes for future drug development. His current role sees him handling a significant budget for the programme, managing stakeholders and ensuring that the programme delivers on its promises. Prior to starting at AstraZeneca, Dave served as an officer in the British Army. He has a background in engineering (BEng (Hons) Mechanical Engineering) and served with the Corps of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) in various locations including Northern Ireland, Germany and Afghanistan. More recently, he has completed a BSc (Hons) Intelligence & Security which largely covers aspects of digital forensics and cyber security, and is finalising his thesis for a MSc Information Capability Management where he plans to assist in the CGR’s initiative through developing a layer of graph technology to aid in understanding the relationship between genotypes and phenotypes. He has worked on a number of large initiatives including various relocations of military units (Germany to UK and within the UK) and the closing of Camp Bastion in Afghanistan. His significant experience includes engineering, change, project and people management and he has a good understanding of the capabilities, limits and development of information systems. In his spare time, Dave has also attempted to dabble in the entrepreneurial arena. As well as a few offline ideas, he has developed an interest-based social networking application, a crowd-verified news aggregator and a site for reviewing educational courses.

View Dave’s LinkedIn profile

Julie Charlton

Julie Charlton

AstraZeneca mentor - Director, Scientific Project Management, Oncology Translational Medicine Unit

Bio

Julie joined AstraZeneca in April 2015 from Prostrakan/Kyowa Hakko Kirin.  She has a BSc in Biology, is a qualified teacher and gained a PhD in the Physiology Department at King’s College London (including a case study with Zeneca) predicting transport across the blood-CNS barriers, working with Professor Mike Bradbury.  She has completed postdoctoral research and teaching at the Welcome Surgical Institute, University of Glasgow from which her work was published in Nature Genetics.  

Julie has managed oncology drug discovery programmes for University of Newcastle Spinout Company, E-therapeutics plc, including the company’s lead oncology development compound ETS6103. She was Operational Manager for the Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trials Research Centre in Newcastle, UK for 5 years and later managed the Newcastle Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC) and was a member of the Northern Institute of Cancer Research (NICR) Executive Board at Newcastle University.

Andrew Cook

Andrew Cook

AstraZeneca mentor - Senior Patent Attorney

Bio

Andy is accountable for defining and implementing the intellectual property (IP) strategy for a number of AstraZeneca’s on-market products and development compounds in both the Respiratory and Oncology areas. His work has included managing the IP portfolio and overall IP strategy for the Tudorza/Eklira and Duaklir respiratory products as well as the late-stage products arising from the 2013 acquisition of Pearl Therapeutics. Andy works closely with commercial and BD colleagues across many aspects of portfolio strategy development and of course has a breadth of experience in a wide range of IP and legal matters which relate to drug products. An area of particular expertise for Andy is in loss of exclusivity assessment, for which Andy provides advice to all AstraZeneca attorneys on maximising product exclusivity through the strategic use of patent term extensions, regulatory data exclusivity, orphan drug exclusivity and paediatric extensions. Andy started his working life as a solicitor, spending seven years as an employment solicitor for a large UK law firm, before following his love of science and joining AstraZeneca as a research scientist and then a team leader and project leader in drug discovery. He moved to the IP group in 2010.

Andy holds an MA in Law from Oxford, a BSc in Chemistry from the Open University and a PhD in Organic Chemistry from Leeds. He is also a qualified European and UK Patent Attorney.

Sabina Cosulich

Sabina Cosulich

AstraZeneca mentor - Director of Bioscience, Oncology Innovative Medicines

Bio

A senior leader with 18 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical industry. The field of expertise throughout my career has been Oncology. My responsibilities have included managing, leading and delivering pre-clinical research to support a number of drug discovery projects aiming to deliver compounds into clinical development. I have led cross disciplinary teams as well as small to medium size groups of scientists (PhD level, Master degrees, postdoctoral scientists and graduates). I have initiated, directed and delivered research projects as well as drug discovery projects working in partnership/collaboration with a number of academic institutions, non-profit making organisations and biotechnology companies.  

I obtained my first degree in biochemistry from Imperial College and my PhD in biochemistry from Cambridge University. Following my studies, I went on to research the role of p53 in cancer and subsequently the mechanism of action of the Bcl family of proteins in apoptosis. My main focus at AstraZeneca has been to study cellular signalling, particularly PI3K/AKT/mTOR and ER/AR signalling in cancer. I have contributed to the development of a number of compounds that are now in clinical trials. After 14 years at AstraZeneca, I moved to Switzerland to take up a role of director of Oncology Drug Discovery at Novartis. In 2014, I moved back to the UK to take a role at AstraZeneca leading a new bioscience department in Cambridge, UK.  

Phil Coxon

Phil Coxon

AstraZeneca mentor - Associate Director of Business Development

Bio

Phil joined AstraZeneca in 2018, as Associate Director of Business Development in the Scientific Partnering and Alliances team, with responsibility for preclinical and early clinical stage partnering opportunities in oncology.

Prior to joining AstraZeneca, Phil spent four years at Teva Pharmaceuticals in Amsterdam, most recently as Director of Business Development. As a key member of the Global Business Development and Strategy team, Phil led global or regional in-licensing and divestment transactions of clinical stage and commercial opportunities in a number of therapeutic areas including oncology, central nervous system disorders, respiratory and transplant. Phil also spent time managing a number of strategic partnerships including Teva’s Global Cooperation with Lundbeck on the development and commercialisation of Azilect®.

Before joining Teva, Phil gained a wealth of experience in technology transfer having spent five years working at LifeArc (formerly known as MRC Technology), a leading UK medical research charity. There his roles included Business Development Manager, which included promoting LifeArc’s collaborative drug discovery capabilities and identifying new collaborative projects from within academia and industry, and leading the Therapeutics Review Team, that was responsible for carrying out due diligence for all potential new collaborative drug discovery projects.

Phil did his PhD in oncology at The Institute of Cancer Research, London and BSc at University of Leeds.

Sally Curran

Sally Curran

AstraZeneca mentor - Senior Patent Director for Respiratory, Inflammation & Autoimmune (RIA)

Bio

Sally is Senior Patent Director for the Respiratory, Inflammation & Autoimmune (RIA) therapy area, as well as being the IP lead for AstraZeneca's open innovation portal and Discovery Sciences group.

Sally joined AstraZeneca in 2010 after more than a decade in private practice IP firms handling drafting, prosecution and defence of IP in the pharmaceutical industry. In private practice Sally's global client base ranged from large pharma to universities, spin-outs and start-ups. In her current role Sally is accountable for defining and implementing the IP strategy for all of AstraZeneca's pipeline and on-market products in the RIA area, including the major brands Symbicort and Pulmicort and the IP arising from AstraZeneca's recent deal with Almirall and the 2013 acquisition of Pearl Therapeutics. Sally leads a team of attorneys with experience of all stages of the patenting process, from drafting and prosecution of key chemical entity filings, through life cycle management strategies and patent term extensions, to loss of exclusivity projections and contentious proceedings. A key part of the AstraZeneca IP department's role is to advise on the strengths and weaknesses of third party patent portfolios in advance of deal negotiation, as well as being closely involved in the forecasting models for our internal assets, competitor products and potential licensing or acquisition targets.

Sally holds an MA in Natural Sciences from Christ's College, Cambridge, as well as being a qualified European and UK Patent Attorney.

Tom Dowdall

Tom Dowdall

AstraZeneca mentor - Associate Director of Study Management

Bio

Currently working as Associate Director of Study Management in the Oncology therapeutic area of AstraZeneca Early Clinical development (ECD). I have been in this role for 10 months since joining AstraZeneca in June 2015.

The role includes management of study and programme level activities around clinical trials including:

 

  • Plan and deliver phase I to II internal AstraZeneca clinical studies.
  • Management of outsourced ECD led clinical studies on the programme.
  • Ensure operational aspects of the programme adhere to agreed timelines.
  • Ensure adherence to GCP of all trials within programme.
  • Input into Strategy development for the programme phase I to II.
  • Identify and implement new technologies within the clinical development arena.
  • Write study protocols and other key documents.

My previous role was as a Global Study Manager with a mid-sized Biotech within the Cambridge area where I was responsible for all aspects of Clinical Trial Management at a Global level, primarily with large phase III studies.

I have over 10 years’ experience in Clinical Study management from phase I to phase IV over a wide range of therapeutic areas including Oncology, Immunology, and Cardiovascular.

Jonathan Dry

Jonathan Dry

AstraZeneca mentor

Bio

Jonathan completed a BSc (hons) in Biomedical Science at the University of Manchester where his research focused on the genetics of diabetes, exposing him to the richness of information in DNA that can be uncovered with computational tools. Following this interest he was awarded a scholarship at the University of Exeter to study Bioinformatics, where he collaborated with GlaxoSmithKline to develop computational models determining the risk of recombinant protein breakdown by proteases in host cells. In 2003 Jonathan joined AstraZeneca as the first member of the newly formed Oncology Bioinformatics team. As a scientist and senior scientist he drove adoption of ‘omic data to establish molecular line of sight for new targets, specializing in gene expression microarrays. He introduced a number of pioneering approaches harnessing gene expression data from cancer cell lines to uncover the mechanisms of pathway/drug target dependency, discovering biomarkers of drug response. Throughout his career he has supported and influenced a number of programs, including drugs targeting PARP (olaparib), mTOR (AZD8055), PI3K (AZD8186) and ERBB (AZD8931). Perhaps most notable is his work for the MEK inhibitor selumetinib, where he identified a transcriptional readout of MEK activity that became the first transcriptomic PHC hypothesis tested in AstraZeneca clinical trials. As a team leader and now Director Jonathan has gone on to build a global group focused on harnessing next generation sequencing and genomic data to further AstraZeneca’s oncology drug programs and precision medicine. His team are recognised as leaders in the field, with a number of high profile publications and algorithms now adopted by leading research centres around the world such as the VarDict NGS variant caller. Jonathan carries a strong collaborative attitude and is a champion of open innovation to harness the world’s data and expertise for actionable discovery.

Ashley Easter

Ashley Easter

AstraZeneca mentor

Bio

BioAshley Easter is a scientist, turned innovation consultant, turned project manager. He likes to cultivate ideas and turn them into viable products and services by building teams, removing roadblocks, and enabling the team to work to their full potential.

Originally from New Zealand, where he studied organic chemistry and enzyme dynamics, he came to the UK for his PhD at the MRC LMB in Cambridge to investigate RNA processing complexes using cryo-EM and native-MS. He has a particular fondness for protein purification, characterisation and analysis methods, and isn’t afraid of delving into the details or the intricacies of large-scale project delivery. Whilst in New Zealand he worked for several biomedical start-ups performing research and market analysis, as well as an analytical chemistry laboratory.

More recently, at Innovia Technology in Cambridge, Ashley helped to discover and invent breakthrough innovations for global companies. He has consulted on or managed over 35 breakthrough innovation projects, working across biology and chemistry in fields as varied as pharma and food to shoes and biofuels. His projects often also incorporated product design, physics, engineering and behavioural science, as he works best at the intersections between disciplines.

Now at AstraZeneca, Ashley manages molecular diagnostics projects from biomarker validation through to lifecycle management, giving him an overview of medical device regulatory frameworks and pharma as a whole. His ideal project would have elements of all the sciences, use data and analytics, and would solve an exciting unmet biomedical need.

John Easton

John Easton

AstraZeneca mentor - Head of Business Operations

Bio

John holds a BSc and a PhD in Physiology, both from the University of London. After a post-doctorate position at the London Hospital Medical School, John joined the CNS team at May & Baker (then a division of Rhone Poulenc) in 1985. In 1988 he co-founded a start-up CRO (Campbell Charles Associates), moving on in 1992 to be Clinical Research Director at Bios and then again in 1996 to join IBAH (later Omnicare Clinical Research, now Theorem) where he held a number of positions including Vice President, International Business Development and Regional General Manager for Northern Europe.

John joined PAREXEL in 2001 to head a customer business unit and moved to HQ in Boston early in 2002 to run the global sales organisation for the Clinical Research Services division. He joined AstraZeneca in 2004 to head Global Clinical Outsourcing and then joined the newly formed Strategic Partnering & Business Development team at AstraZeneca in January 2007. He has held a number of roles as the Business Development team has evolved and is currently the Head of Business Operations for BD, a role which encompasses most of the back-office functions for BD in addition to leading the Due Diligence team.

Lorna Ewart

Lorna Ewart

AstraZeneca mentor - Head of Strategy and Enabling Services

Bio

Lorna Ewart is currently Head of Strategy and Enabling Services in AstraZeneca's Drug Safety and Metabolism function and is based in Cambridge. Her current role is to ensure successful externalisation of all safety and metabolism studies through key strategic partners as well as smaller contract research organisations and/or academics. She also oversees the data and information integration for the function as well as capacity and resource management. Lorna has set a strategy for the function and is managing its implementation via scientific collaborations and key stakeholder inputs. More recently she has been leading a team across innovative medicines exploring the future of drug discovery and development with a particular focus on translational models such as microphysiological systems. Lorna has over 17 years' experience in the pharmaceutical industry primarily in the respiratory and inflammation therapy area. She has a unique blend of experience driving the efficacy (pharmacology) and safety (toxicology and metabolism) aspects of drug discovery and development. She received her honours degree in Pharmacology from the University of Aberdeen and her PhD at the William Harvey Research Institute, London.

Rebecca Fairclough

Rebecca Fairclough

AstraZeneca mentor - Associate Principal Scientist, Emerging Innovations Unit

Bio

Rebecca is an experienced preclinical bioscientist with diverse industry experience spanning pharmaceutical, biotech, tech transfer and academic sectors working in laboratory and virtual R&D environments. Her laboratory research experience spans gastroenterology, immunology, hepatology, muscle disease, endocrinology, oncology, dermatology and neurology, where she worked on targets including GPCRs, signalling proteins, enzymes, pumps and transcription factors. She has wide and varied molecular, cellular and physiological biology expertise in both in vitro and in vivo experimentation which, accompanied by her wide therapy area and target exposure, forms the basis of a solid understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying disease and effects across physiological systems. Rebecca spent several years managing a high profile small compound drug discovery program for Duchenne muscular dystrophy at the University of Oxford (Prof. Dame Kay E. Davies) in collaboration with biotech and pharma partners. She played a key role in the development of a potential first in-class compound for utrophin modulation, currently in Ph2 development. She later co-founded MuOx Limited; a company based on the in vitro and in vivo screening tools she developed to identify next generation utrophin modulators. MuOx has since been wholly acquired by Summit plc. At Norgine, Rebecca was responsible for management of the Company’s early gastroenterology discovery pipeline, focussing particularly on inflammatory bowel disease. She also worked closely with the VP Preclinical & Pharmaceutical Development to identify and review of new business opportunities including small compounds, biologics and diagnostics in gastroenterology. Rebecca currently works within AstraZeneca’s Open Innovation team within the Emerging Innovations Unit, Scientific Partnering and Alliances, based in Cambridge, UK. The team make a selection of high quality, clinical-phase compounds available to external academics for repurposing in new indications. Her work covers both preclinical and clinical studies in a very wide range of disease areas, including both common and rare disorders. Working with research funding agencies, Rebecca’s team have established a number of innovative grant schemes over the last few years to provide academic researchers with a funding route for Ph2 clinical repurposing. She is also involved in some outlicencing activities. Rebecca has a BSc in Biology (Genetics) from the University of Birmingham and a DPhil from the University of Oxford (Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics).

Andrew Foxley

Andrew Foxley

AstraZeneca mentor - Senior Director, Scientific & Project Management & Clinical Programme Director

Bio

Andrew’s career spans 27 years and all phases of drug development. Originally from an arts background, he has worked in cardiovascular and oncology clinical research focused primarily on clinical stage development. Within AstraZeneca, he has held positions in both clinical operations and strategic drug development including project and line management roles and has led groups varying in size from 10 to over 100 staff. His current role combines project and line management with his role extending to the review of early stage clinical development programmes in small molecule oncology early clinical development and representation of AstraZeneca on the Experimental Expert Network at the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI).

At the project level, his role as Clinical Project Director for AZD5363 involves partnering with medical and scientific colleagues to shape and deliver the clinical development programme for the compound; this includes the development of business cases and their presentation to senior governance bodies within AstraZeneca. He has also represented AZ at interactions with health authorities as part of securing approval for clinical and diagnostic development strategies.  

Before joining AstraZeneca, Andrew was employed by Nottingham Clinical Research Limited, a university spin-off company established as a CRO specialising in the conduct of large-scale cardiovascular studies which he joined as a graduate recruit in 1988. There, he held positions of increasing responsibility and was appointed an Executive Director in 1997 and served as a Board Member of the company until 2002. During this time, he was responsible for spearheading the definition and launch of new service offerings and the development of novel approaches to the challenges of conducting large-scale clinical studies. Andrew also took the lead in developing a refreshed external identity for the company, securing a grant from the Department of Trade and Industry as part of a government scheme aimed at spring-boarding SMEs.    

Eleanor Fung

Eleanor Fung

AstraZeneca mentor

Bio

Eleanor leads competitive intelligence for the Respiratory Franchise at AstraZeneca, where she focuses on assessing external scientific and commercial developments in the asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease market. By leveraging critical insights and deep analysis, she is a key contributor to shaping business and investment strategy decisions. Prior to joining AstraZeneca, Eleanor worked as an Equity Research Analyst, covering the European pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors, and as a strategy consultant involved in corporate, portfolio and asset level strategy development in life sciences. She is also an Honorary Visiting Researcher in the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of Leicester.

Vincenzo Garzya

Vincenzo Garzya

AstraZeneca mentor - Director of Project Management, Global Medical Affairs

Bio

Vincenzo is Project Director at AstraZeneca in Cambridge-UK for a Global Medical Affairs programme. Prior to his current role, Vincenzo was the Patient Centricity Excellence Director responsible for the strategic direction and delivery leadership of the overall capability programme to enable lifecycle teams to build patient value into research and development. Following his passion for advancement of medicines for patients, before joining AstraZeneca, Vincenzo has led several projects at GlaxoSmithKline-UK while working in World Wide Business Development, in the Centres of Excellence for Drug Discovery, in Global Project & Portfolio Management and in Global Medical Affairs. While at GSK, Vincenzo has contributed to several patented inventions, he has successfully led the in-licensing of indevelopment Gene-Therapy treatments and he was responsible for the global strategy, operations and governance for Externally Sponsored Research. Vincenzo is a Doctor in medicinal chemistry with an international project management accreditation and an MBA in strategic management. Vincenzo has recently published on patient-centric approaches within pharma.

Ana L Gomes dos Santos

Ana L Gomes dos Santos

AstraZeneca mentor - Principal Formulation Scientist

Bio

Ana is an experienced formulation scientist with expertise acquired from bridging the development of drug products in the biopharmaceutical industry and the academic environment. She received her PhD in pharmaceutic sciences at the University of Paris Sud, France (2005). Following an academic career at the University of Santa Catarina (UFSC- Brazil) with a research focus in the fields of drug delivery using nanotechnologies for targeted or local delivery of small molecules, nucleic acid and biologics. She was head of the Pharmaceutic Sciences Department at UFSC from 2006 to 2010 leading a partnership between the School of Pharmacy from Federal University of Santa Catarina and the local public health services in co-managing a pharmacy. With the aim of improving service, training undergraduates and developing research towards strengthening the Brazilian Health Care System. Dr Gomes dos Santos joined the biopharmaceutical industry in 2010. Currently, she is a Principal Formulation Scientist at MedImmune/AstraZeneca (Biopharmaceutical Development) leading the parenteral formulation development of therapeutic peptides from the early discovery phase through clinical trials. She leads the CMC strategy for peptide candidate selection and optimisation to ensure quality molecules for development. Her key activities include developing formulation capabilities and strategy for peptide development including several formats such as synthetics, conjugated, recombinant and semi-synthetics. Ana steered the formulation of the first synthetic peptide at Medimmune to reach the clinical trials. She also drives several academic collaborations with Cambridge and other European Universities in the areas of peptide self-assembly, peptide solubility, drug delivery and peptide aggregation.

Shaun Grady

Shaun Grady

AstraZeneca mentor - Vice President, Business Development Operations

Bio

Shaun is a Vice President in Business Development Operations; leading AstraZeneca's transaction execution, due diligence and Alliance and Integration Management function including late stage and on-market licensing and partnering, M&A and divestments.

Previously Shaun worked in ICI, Zeneca, AstraZeneca roles in corporate, pharmaceuticals and US legal departments, HR and business development.

Major projects include the AZ merger, the creation of Avecia and Syngenta, the acquisition of CAT, MedImmune and Amylin, and the spinout of Albireo.

Matthew Gregory

Matthew Gregory

AstraZeneca mentor - Group Financial Planning & Analysis Manager

Bio

Matthew is a manager based in the group financial planning and analysis team with remit over the enterprise level planning process and especially foreign currency, deals and central commercial arrangements.

Over the last three years’ divestments have become a major focus within AstraZeneca resulting in Matthew getting involved in a wide range of commercial relationships.

Prior to this role, Matthew worked for 10 years at PricewatehouseCoopers (PwC) in an audit and assurance capacity with work including advising startup and SME businesses in different phases of their life cycles. Within PwC, Matthew also worked extensively internally on people management related matters both in special project and ongoing management capacities.

Kara Herlihy

Kara Herlihy

AstraZeneca mentor

Bio

Kara Herlihy received her PhD in 1997 in Bioinorganic Chemistry from University College Dublin, Ireland. Kara subsequently moved to the United States to pursue postdoctoral studies at the Physics department, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia. These studies focused on the application of rapid freeze-quench kinetics techniques together with Mössbauer spectroscopy to investigate ferroxidase reactions involved in iron storage mechanisms.

In 1999, Kara joined Biacore, a small Swedish biosensor technology company that had recently been launched in the US. At Biacore, Kara’s work focused on supporting new and existing biosensor researchers and facilitating implementation of biosensors in a wide range of research applications. In 2007, Biacore,  was purchased by GE Healthcare and Kara had the opportunity to work with a broad range of technologies in the Advanced Systems division.

In 2009, Kara was recruited by Novartis to lead a group that provided biochemical and biophysical support for target validation initiatives, medicinal chemistry efforts and biotherapeutic development. In addition, Kara served as project leader for several multi-disciplinary Oncology drug discovery projects and contributed significantly to early discovery strategies and lead optimisation campaigns.

Kara joined AstraZeneca in 2014 as the discipline lead for Biochemical assay development and continues to utilise her drug discovery experience to contribute to pre-clinical Oncology projects.

Darren Hodgson

Darren Hodgson

AstraZeneca mentor - Senior Principal Translational Scientist

Bio

Darren is Senior Principal Translational Scientist, Oncology iMED at AstraZeneca having previously had positions in Global Medicines Development, academia, biotechnology and diagnostics sectors. Darren has over five years’ experience as a core member of a multi-functional global product team and has been responsible for strategy, internal and external assay development, clinical deployment and regulatory representation for biomarkers used as primary, secondary and exploratory objectives of clinical studies at all stages of drug development.

Originally a biochemist, Darren spent a period developing new DNA-based technologies at Zeneca diagnostics before subsequently joining Renovo, an anti-fibrosis and wound healing biotechnology startup, where he led the Genomics facility from an empty lab through several biomarker driven clinical studies and a successful MHRA inspection.

Most recently Darren was the translational science lead for Lynparza, AstraZeneca’s first in class PARP inhibitor approved in 2014 for ovarian cancer indications in Europe and the US defined by loss of function mutations in tumour suppressor genes. Darren is author of numerous reviews, original patents and papers, journal editor, chairman of the Manchester Consumer Healthcare Ethics committee and lectures at the Universities of Manchester and Leeds.

James Hoeksma

James Hoeksma

AstraZeneca mentor - Senior User Experience Professional

Bio

I have introduced user experience (UX) design into multiple organisations as an internal discipline. Building high performing teams, creating business value by marrying consumer needs and goals into innovative solutions. Not only delivering tactical and quantifiable value but also continuously delivering successful strategies and interactive experiences. Using a holistic service design approach, I have been able to create new value propositions by challenging and changing business processes.

Having been at the vanguard of user experience design for 17 years I have lead in the creation and development of new approaches and capabilities within the user experience design practice, repeatedly selling the value of UX and extending engagements through delivering success and building on this. Working as a contractor and a permanent member of staff both in agencies and large multinational organisations.

Supporting teams at every stage of the product development lifecycle: using the User Centred Design process and tools (e.g. user interviews, ethnographic research, concepts, design validation, implementation, launch, and post-launch evaluation). Throughout the engagement, continuously advocating user experience, and ensuring the teams remain focused on the customer.

Equally happy to work at a strategic level or hands on role, creating and delivering industry leading customer centred solutions; creating the full end to end service design via workshops to final UX deliverables.

  • AstraZeneca: driving and selling UX within AstraZeneca, evangelising and winning business, changing working practises. Delivering User Centred Design, winning the 2017 CIO award for simplifying the Code of Conduct training.
  • Microsoft: winner at the eConsultancy 2014 Digitals awards in the ‘Technology, Media and Telecoms’ category with my ‘Link Generator’ tracking system. This tool allows any marketer to place an attributed tagged link in any online artefact and to track this to a sale on any tagged partner site, using the bespoke FusePump affiliate marketing platform that we had created over four years at Nokia.
  • T-Mobile: business owner for UK web redesign. Changes made at the HTML/display layer. Created the vision and the core team; delivered on time (12 weeks) and in budget. Redesign increased sales by 25 per cent, delivering £3.25 million additional revenue per annum from Pay Monthly alone.
  • Uovo (agency): Argos in store ‘Quick pay’ kiosk. A fast track project that required delivery for Christmas 2001. Rapidly developed using in store ethnographic research and engagement with the Argos board to iterate and sign off the design. The kiosk is still in stores today.
Penny James

Penny James

AstraZeneca mentor - Vice President Operations, Innovative Medicines and Early Development (IMED)

Bio

Penny James is currently Senior Director, Strategic Planning and Operations in Innovative Medicines and Early Development (IMED) and has more than 20 years' experience working in Pharmaceutical and Chemical industries. In her current role she works directly with the senior leadership team in IMED to drive critical business objectives and strategic projects - including the transition of AstraZeneca from Cheshire to Cambridge.

Penny has worked closely with both manufacturing and R&D teams at all organisation levels to drive process efficiency, effectiveness and enable them to achieve their goals. She has led Lean Sigma programmes at Eastman Chemical company working at sites and with management teams all over Europe and the US. Penny has delivered more than $30 million in cost savings over her career through a variety of change projects - including organisational transformation from internal to global external CRO resourcing models. Penny also spent 10 years working as an industrial statistician - consulting in manufacturing and product development.

Penny has much experience in developing and communicating clear business cases, managing risk and influencing stakeholders and is a keen mentor of both individuals and teams. Penny is a Chartered Statistician, Lean Sigma Master Black Belt and holds an MSc in Medical Statistics.

Mark Johnston

Mark Johnston

AstraZeneca mentor - Deal Finance Manager

Bio

Mark is a finance professional with experience across the pharmaceutical value chain. He currently works as the finance lead for AstraZeneca’s Discovery Sciences and Drug Safety Management business units, the areas of the AstraZeneca R&D organisation responsible for identifying and developing safe and efficacious drugs prior to their use in human clinical trials. Prior to this, Mark has worked in Business Development, Portfolio Strategy, Commercial and Corporate Reporting roles. Mark uses his finance training (ACMA/CGMA) and broad understanding of life science businesses to help AstraZeneca’s R&D science leaders manage the financial performance of their organisation and prioritise their investments in new technologies, capabilities and drugs. 

Musaddiq Khan

Musaddiq Khan

AstraZeneca mentor - Associate Director, Study Management, Oncology Translational Medicine Unit

Bio

I currently work as Associate Director, Study Management in the Oncology Translational Medicine Unit and have been in the industry for almost a decade. I have worked across various CROs as well as pharma and my speciality is within early clinical development across a range of therapeutic areas including respiratory, neuroscience, metabolism, ophthalmology, virology and oncology. Prior to joining the commercial world, I was involved with academic work primarily looking at developing educational interventions for early diagnosis of lung cancer.

Craig Lambert

Craig Lambert

AstraZeneca mentor - Director of Clinical Pharmacology

Bio

I am a delivery focused and collaborative scientific leader with proven adaptive leadership experience with a record of leading change and developing an innovative, enterprise culture within organisations.  I am excited by new ideas and thinking.  I have greater than 20 years working experience in all phases of the drug development process from lead optimisation through to life cycle management of established brands.  Currently I am working in Early Clinical Development as a chief of operations in Quantitative Clinical Pharmacology which builds mathematical models based on biology to guide drug development decisions. Responsible for outsourcing decisions and experienced in supporting recent start up contract research organisations in UK, Sweden, Switzerland and Russia.

Previously, global head of Clinical Pharmacology Science leading a team of >40 PhD level scientists across 3 regions.  Experienced in building large scale business plans for change within the business.  Previously worked in discovery in drug metabolism and worked in close collaboration with toxicology and biopharmaceutics.  I have principally worked in respiratory and oncology therapeutic areas.  Experienced in evaluation and due diligence activities both out-licensing and in-licensing (eg. Lynparza team member). 

I have worked previously in a small virtual drug development company. I have a degree in Pharmacology from Aberdeen University and a PhD in Pharmacology from Liverpool University.

 

 

Pierre Lao-Sirieix

Pierre Lao-Sirieix

AstraZeneca mentor - Associate Director in Precision Medicine and Genomics

Bio

Pierre is a translational scientist with 18 years' experience in the development of diagnostic tests and medical devices, mainly in Oncology. He has developed a deep understanding of the expectations and needs of the academic, health care and commercial sectors.

Pierre is a trained molecular and cell biologist with a focus on cell cycle and biomarker discovery across protein based, PCR based and sequencing technologies. During his 13 years in academic research at the University of Cambridge, Pierre led the activities leading to the commercialisation a diagnostic test aimed at early detection of upper-gastrointestinal malignancies. Following a successful engagement with Venture Capitalists and large companies, the patents for the technology were licensed to the MedTec leader, Medtronic. Pierre then joined Medtronic to lead the transfer of this academic assay into a commercial test and was involved in setting the strategy to enable market access in Europe and the US. As part of his role at Medtronic, Pierre was the diagnostic lead of due diligence activities for new acquisitions.

Pierre joined the Precision Medicine and Genomics group at AstraZeneca as an Associate Director three years ago where he leads the development of companion diagnostics from biomarker to life cycle management in the Oncology therapeutic area to enable patient access to our drugs. His projects span early phase studies, late phase studies with registration intent as well as Medical Affairs studies. As part of this role, Pierre has gained a greater understanding of the technical and regulatory requirement of medical devices.

Pierre is keen to use his well-rounded understanding of various sectors and technologies to ensure that key innovations reach patients to improve quality of life and survival in a cost-effective manner.

Mat Leese

Mat Leese

AstraZeneca mentor - European Patent Attorney, Legal Group

Bio

Mat is a UK and European Patent Attorney in AstraZeneca’s global legal group and, among other responsibilities, is a lead contact for intellectual property (IP) issues in the Emerging Innovations group. A chemist by training, Mat carried out academic research in the UK and Japan prior to joining a spin out biotech company where he worked for over a decade as a medicinal chemistry team leader. During this time, Mat saw the company progress from a startup funded by an out-licencing deal, through venture capital fundraising rounds to acquisition by a mid-size pharmaceutical company.

Having gained experience of IP from the inventor’s perspective, Mat transitioned into the world of patent law with a Cambridge firm where he worked with clients ranging from University inventors, startups and spin-outs to global pharmaceutical companies. During his time in private practice, Mat enjoyed a diverse work load ranging from pan-European litigation surrounding SPC applications for an antibody-drug conjugate, opposition and appeal work at the European Patent Office and more conventional drafting and prosecution activities. At AstraZeneca, Mat is involved in programs at all phases from lead optimisation phase through to the market. Mat is currently a visiting lecturer at the University of Birmingham where he teaches on IP as part of the MSc in Pharmaceutical Enterprise and also serves as a clinician giving IP advice on behalf of CIPA.

Neil Mackillop

Neil Mackillop

AstraZeneca mentor - Senior Medical Leader

Bio

20 years in large Pharma based in UK and US. Have led teams through all the major decisions in phase 1 to phase 4 and Medical Affairs. Mainly Rheumatology and Urology but also bone disease, local anesthetics, GI.

Worked for four years as a GP in UK, Australia, Canada but more of Development cross-functional generalist than a medical super-scientist. Need to start with big picture and purpose and “Why…” and then good at getting into detail. Tend to focus on numbers, Commercial, logic, analysis, efficiency, economy (wife says meanness!), processes and what could go wrong and then Plan B. Cool, calm but not for those who need sympathy or lots of encouragement.

MBA (minimally remembered).

Appraiser of UK doctors wanting to retain their licence to practice.

Have been a mentor internally at my employer and with a few external individuals. For a couple of years volunteer counsellor for SMEs with SCORE which is a quasi-govt organisation in US.

Outside Pharma main interest is in Environmental/Green issues.

Andrew McDonagh

Andrew McDonagh

AstraZeneca mentor - IT Director

Bio

An experienced IT Director with 18 years IT industry experience across multiple industries. Currently providing Agile Transformation and Delivery across AstraZeneca.

Over 16 years’ experience of Agile enablement, delivery, coaching, and training teams on SCRUM, eXtreme Programming, Lean, and SAFe to deliver world class products.

Core competencies:

  • TDD/BDD
  • XP
  • SCRUM
  • Lean
  • SOA
  • SaaS
  • ITSM
  • IT governance
  • Service delivery
  • Strategic vendor management
  • Influencing change
  • IT procurement
  • Business-IT integration
  • Programme & project management
  • Strategic contract negotiation
  • Strategy & planning
  • ITIL
Katy Montague

Katy Montague

AstraZeneca mentor - Academic Alliances Manager, Scientific Partnering & Alliances

Bio

Katy is an Academic Alliances Manager at AstraZeneca, based in Cambridge, UK. In this role she facilitates collaborations between scientists in AstraZeneca’s Innovative Medicines and Early Development Biotech Unit and academic organisations. Her role particularly focusses on supporting academic collaborations for Oncology, the Emerging Innovations Unit and Early Clinical Development. Katy has 10 years’ experience in technology transfer and negotiating industry/academic agreements.

Prior to joining AstraZeneca, Katy was the Commercialisation Manager at the Babraham Institute, an academic bioscience research institute in Cambridge. Katy was responsible for managing and commercialising the Institute's patent portfolio, facilitating collaborations between the Institute and industry, and arranging commercial access to the Institute's scientific services and expertise.

Katy also previously worked for Health Enterprise East (an NHS Innovation Hub), where she assisted NHS Trusts with protecting and exploiting their intellectual property relating to novel medical technologies. Katy holds a PhD in molecular biology and biochemistry from the John Innes Centre in Norwich, and an MA in Biological Sciences from St. Peter’s College, University of Oxford.

Shethah Morgan

Shethah Morgan

AstraZeneca mentor

Bio

I am a Clinical Research Professional with management skills & a strong science background, with comprehensive understanding of international drug development and 18 years’ experience within the pharmaceutical & CRO industries. My global clinical development experiences span small molecules (TKI inhibitors) & large molecules (immuno-oncology). The AstraZeneca roles I’ve held include effective people management & dynamic leadership, e.g. as Director Clinical Development & Molecular Diagnostics Group Director. I have co-ordinated strategic planning & operations with internal teams, academic collaborators & commercial providers e.g. Sarah Cannon Research Institute, Quintiles, Parexel.

I’ve built a distinguished career at AstraZeneca, taking on roles of increasing responsibility across several areas of the organisation being accountable for the design, initiation, oversight, analysis and reporting of clinical programs. I’m a highly motivated and versatile pharmaceutical PhD scientist and team leader with strong communication skills and a proven ability to promote and foster team spirit within a diverse range of working environments. My skills include a robust ability to interact at all levels, using both written and verbal forms of communication. In my career I’ve built an extensive experience of leading projects, advancing scientific capability and managing change at the interface of drug discovery and early phase development. I’m passionate about the discovery, development and commercialisation of meaningful, innovative new medicines that will improve the lives of patients. An analytical and strategic mind-set has enabled me to be efficient and delivery focused, whilst ensuring completion of projects to high quality, on time and within budget.

Greg Mueller

Greg Mueller

AstraZeneca mentor - Deputy General Counsel, International & Japan

Bio

In his current role as Deputy General Counsel, International & Japan for AstraZeneca PLC, Greg has responsibility for managing all commercial legal risks for the company outside of the US, Canada and the EU. His geographic responsibility includes Asia-Pacific, the Middle-East & Africa, Russia & Eurasia and Latin America, a combined region in which AZ employs over 20,000 people and generates almost USD 10 billion in annual revenue. 

Prior to his current role, Greg was the Regional Legal Director for AZ’s Asia- Pacific region and before that, he was the Legal Director for AZ’s Canadian affiliate. Before joining AZ, he worked for Blake, Cassels & Graydon, LLP, and a law firm, based in Toronto, Canada, where he practiced Corporate and Commercial law, with a focus on the pharmaceutical industry. 

Greg holds a Bachelor of Commerce specialist degree (B.Comm) from the University of Toronto and a law degree (LLB) from Queen’s University in Canada. 

He has worked and lived in Canada, Singapore and China and is currently based in Cambridge, UK with his wife and two children.

Rim Mukherjee

Rim Mukherjee

AstraZeneca mentor - Senior Global Marketing Director

Bio

Rim Mukherjee is a senior global marketing Director at AstraZeneca with over 17 years’ experience in launching pharmaceutical products across several therapy areas namely Cardiovascular, Oncology, Rheumatology and Pain. Her expertise spans across sales and marketing globally.

Within her current role Rim leads the global digital strategy and tactics for a major breakthrough therapy in lung cancer.

Before joining AstraZeneca she worked for Sanofi in global and International functions. Rim has both a scientific and business background and holds a Pharm D degree from University Paris XI and an MSC in Management from ESCP business school in Paris. She is trilingual and has a strong international background having lived in the US, Singapore, France and the Middle East.

Lynne Murray

Lynne Murray

AstraZeneca mentor

Bio

Lynne A. Murray has a PhD from Imperial College London in Immunology and Pathology and did a postdoc at UCLA. Lynne then moved into industry and set up fibrosis research first in Centocor/ J&J in the US, and at Promedior, a startup developing therapeutics to treat fibrosis. Now in MedImmune in Cambridge, UK, Lynne initially established MedImmune’s fibrosis research efforts, both internally and with external collaborators. After doing an MBA at the Cambridge Judge Business School, she is now in the Partnering & Strategy group, focused on business development and external partnerships.

Fergus Payne

Fergus Payne

AstraZeneca mentor - Finance Business Partner

Bio

Fergus is the Cardiovascular and Metabolic Diseases Finance Manager at AstraZeneca and he works within the Global Product and Portfolio Strategy Department. Fergus joined the department in April 2016 and his responsibilities include presenting financial options and providing tangible insights in order to influence the strategy of the CVMD Therapy Area. Fergus also identifies new commercial opportunities and helps prioritise investment in new R&D projects in order to meet clinical spend targets. Fergus has ownership of brand performance management at a global P&L level and also provides post-deal management for on-market brands, ensuring that key milestones are delivered, royalties are paid or received, and compliance standards are met.

Fergus joined AstraZeneca from Ernst and Young (EY) where he qualified as a chartered accountant and gained four years’ experience as an auditor. At EY, Fergus audited companies across a wide range of industries, including: aerospace and defence, consulting, pharmaceuticals and technology. Client sizes ranged from small enterprises to FTSE100 listed firms. Fergus gained knowledge of financial controls, processes, and International Financial Reporting Standards. Fergus also has experience of event management, gained whilst working at the London 2012 Olympics as the Equestrian Sport Information and Technical Officials Team leader, where he managed two teams of volunteers at Greenwich Park.

Fergus’ areas of interest include financial systems and processes, financial strategy and performance, debt and equity, growing businesses and raising finance. He is also interested in Big Data use. Fergus is originally from Cambridge and he has a BSc (Hons) Banking, Finance and Management from Loughborough University.

Bojana Popovic

Bojana Popovic

AstraZeneca mentor - Principal Scientist

Bio

Bojana Popovic has a PhD from University of Cambridge in Structural Biology where she also did her postdoc on structural biology of antibiotic biosynthesis. Bojana moved to industry in 2007 to set-up computational structural biology within MedImmune (formerly Cambridge Antibody Technology).

Bojana is a Principal Scientist in Antibody Discovery and Protein Engineering at MedImmune, Cambridge. She has significant experience in the pharmaceutical industry working on early and late drug discovery projects from target selection through to lead isolation, lead optimisation, development, manufacturing and clinical development. Together with her team she spends most of her time supporting biologics projects across all therapy areas with structural bioinformatics and structural biology tools to deliver atomic resolution insights and knowledge to drive projects, inform experimental design and challenge our science.

Bojana has been a project lead on early drug discovery projects with project management responsibilities and a cross functional team leader with strong experience of driving collaboration and industry partnerships, leading teams, developing individuals and driving the science.

Hitesh Sanganee

Hitesh Sanganee

AstraZeneca mentor - Director of Emerging Innovations

Bio

Dr Hitesh Sanganee is currently a Director in the Emerging Innovations group. His main role is to participate and execute the open innovation strategy within the innovative medicines function in AZ. This involves collaborating with academic institutions such as MRC (UK) NIH (US) to identify novel uses for our medicines and hence build a portfolio of projects. He has also been involved in internal ideation events (open innovation within a large company setting) in AZ.

Previously his role was in the science function within AstraZeneca. His main role was as a chemistry cluster lead inputting into external and internal drug repositioning projects and potential in-licensing projects. Other roles also have included CDL (candidate drug leader) working on regenerative medicine, and a Team Leader in the respiratory & inflammation therapeutic area. He originally received his degree and DPhil from Oxford University in chemistry and subsequently held a postdoctoral research position at Florida State University. He joined AstraZeneca as a Medicinal Chemist in 1999 conducting research within respiratory & inflammation related disease areas and has led teams to successful milestone transitions in all phases of drug discovery. He has over 40 patents and publications.

Daniel Schmidt

Daniel Schmidt

AstraZeneca mentor - Director, Global Analytics and Insights team

Bio

Daniel is a Director at AstraZeneca. He is a member of the Global Analytics and Insights team in Oncology and helps support important business decisions by deriving insights from data and analysis. He has a good understanding of the business needs and considerations in the pharma industry while also being able to understand currently available data sources and data challenges for Pharma. Before joining AstraZeneca he has worked at ZS Associates where he was focused on Pharma Marketing and Sales Force Effectiveness. Dan holds an MEng in Manufacturing Engineering from the University of Cambridge which included extensive focus on product design.

Elizabeth Shaheen

Elizabeth Shaheen

AstraZeneca mentor - Director, Global Immuno-Oncology Marketing

Bio

Ms. Shaheen is currently responsible for global marketing for the gastro-intestinal immuno-oncology portfolio for AstraZeneca, a multinational biopharmaceutical company. Currently based in the United Kingdom, Ms. Shaheen has lived and worked in the world’s three largest economies: China, Japan and the United States.

Ms. Shaheen has a diverse technical background that centers around Asia. Most recently, she led the acceleration of AstraZeneca’s immuno-oncology product launches in Asia, helping to reduce regulatory preparatory timelines by 60 per cent and accelerate bringing medicine to patients in Greater China by 25 months. She has also managed commercial strategies for increasing BRCA (BReast CAncer susceptibility gene) and ATM (Ataxia Telangiectasia Mutated gene) testing globally. Prior to that she headed International Communication for AstraZeneca, in which she was responsible for communications across nine languages in more than 75 emerging markets, as well as Japan, Australia and New Zealand.

Twice in her career, Ms. Shaheen worked in Japan. From 2010-2012, she headed and built an executive and employee communication team for AstraZeneca’s Japanese market, while based in Osaka. In 2004, while living in Sendai, Ms. Shaheen worked with the Japanese Miyagi Prefectural Government on an international public relations campaign to attract foreign industry to the prefecture. During that time, she aided the prefectural government in building their first English web site.

Ms. Shaheen’s authentic and robust knowledge of working effectively across culturally and geographically diverse teams has directly helped AstraZeneca win two industry awards: the 2014 PR Week Global Award for Best Employee Communication and the 2014 Melcrum Excellence in Employee Engagement Award. She has also been recognized for brand marketing work as a recipient of the 2006 Yahoo! Big Idea Chair Award for Best Branded, Integrated-Marketing US Campaign.

Ms. Shaheen has a China MBA from Shanghai’s Jiao Tong University in China and a Bachelor of Arts in East Asian Studies, a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication and Japanese language minor from the University of Delaware in the United States. She is conversant in Japanese has a level 2 HSK certification in Mandarin from the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China.

Chris Sheldon

Chris Sheldon

AstraZeneca mentor - Search & Evaluation Director, Oncology

Bio

Chris has worked in the UK at AstraZeneca for nearly 14 years and currently works as a Search & Evaluation Director in AstraZeneca’s Oncology Global Product & Portfolio Strategy Team.

He is responsible for leading the technical evaluation of new in-licensing, out-licensing (divestment) and collaboration opportunities in clinical stage oncology. Most recently, he led the evaluation of AstraZeneca’s recent majority stake investment in Acerta Pharma for $4 billion as well as multiple signed novel immuno-oncology combination deals for AstraZeneca’s PD-L1 antibody durvalumab.

Prior to this Chris worked in early stage oncology business development and was involved in all aspects of evaluation, due diligence, transaction negotiation and execution of deals. Before his business development career, Chris worked in R&D at AstraZeneca as a senior research chemist. He also holds a PhD in chemistry from the University of Bristol and a first class honours degree from the University of Sheffield.

Karen Sutherland

Karen Sutherland

AstraZeneca mentor - Vice President, HR, Innovative Medicines & Early Development

Bio

After completing her undergraduate degree in Psychology, Karen undertook PhD research in the occupational psychology field examining psychosocial factors impacting an offshore employee population in the oil & gas industry. In 1989 she began working for Ford Motor Company as an Occupational Psychologist based at their Ford of Europe training headquarters in the UK, responsible for the company’s range of learning & development programmes in interpersonal, behavioural & recruitment themes. Karen moved into a broader HR role with Ford at their Halewood Operations as an Employee Relations Officer providing broad HR support. In 1992 she joined GlaxoSmithKline as an HR Generalist and over the next five to six years assumed roles of increasing complexity and seniority culminating in the role of HR Manager for their Scottish primary manufacturing sites. In 1992 Karen joined the multinational oil & gas major Conoco UK (later ConocoPhillips after merger) as their UK Upstream HR Manager. Between 1998 and 2007 she held a number of positions in the organisation including Regional European Support (UK, Russia, Norway, Netherlands), Merger HR Team Lead for Change workstream, Manager of Global Leadership Development (USA) and lastly as Regional HR Manager for Europe & Africa (based out of Norway).

In 2007 Karen joined AstraZeneca as Global HR Business Partner for Clinical Development – the largest function within the company’s R&D function. Karen became Vice President, HR – Innovative Medicines & Early Development (based UK) in 2009.The Innovative Medicines organisation has approximately 3000 employees (mainly PhD scientists and support staff) engaged in the discovery of new, ethical pharmaceutical medicines. AstraZeneca has one of the most widely admired research pipelines in the industry – a significant turnaround from three to four years ago. Currently engaged in a major transformation with a plan to relocate their UK employees to Cambridge. Karen’s responsibilities include leadership of all Cambridge relocation and recruitment efforts. Karen also acts as the governance lead for HR matters in the UK, including deployment of a new HR technology platform.

Katarzyna Szafranska
 

Katarzyna Szafranska

AstraZeneca mentor - Information Manager

Bio

Katarzyna recently joined the IMED Oncology team at AstraZeneca as an Information Manager, being responsible for the scientific information governance management and aligning the communication strategies with the oncology pipeline business acumen. Prior to this role, she worked for a CRO, being accountable for cultivating relationships with key business partners; and at Amgen where she conducted a business insight project to evaluate market share. Katarzyna is passionate about oncology and neuroscience clinical research development, knowledge transfer, market insight, scientific communications and a new application of AI in the healthcare market. She has a strong experience in mentoring of startups, not-for-profit organisations and social enterprises.

Background

Katarzyna completed her MSc in Clinical Drug Development and Management at Queen Mary University- Barts and The London School of Medicine, collaborating with University of London, where her research project focused on clinical research recruitment and retention strategies of patients with neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease.

She holds a BSc degree in Biomedicine and an Eng. degree in Pharmaceutical Technology from the Medical University of Lodz (Poland). As a part of Erasmus Student exchange programme at the Munich Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition (Germany) and Uppsala University (Finland) where she focused on pharmaceutical IP innovation. For the past years, she has been involved in many projects to support the small businesses in the UK and global organisations such as WHO, UNICEF, United Nations internationally. She was leading teams (five to 10 people), organising conferences (more than 300 attendees) and workshops (10-20 attendees) around knowledge and technology transfer.

Amy Taylor

Amy Taylor

AstraZeneca mentor - Associate Director Strategic Planning and Operations

Bio

Amy Taylor joined AstraZeneca in February 2016 as Associate Director Strategic Planning and Operations within Early Clinical Development (ECD). Within this role Amy is responsible for improving ECD business operations including business data tracking and reporting, communications, achieving scorecard objectives and managing a portfolio of non-science projects such as simplification initiatives.

Amy has an MA in Biological Sciences from the University of Cambridge and went straight from reading Biology into the world of consultancy, starting her career at OC&C Strategy Consultants. Amy then developed an interest in delivering big projects and moved to Crossrail Ltd working directly for the Chief of Staff to set up Europe’s biggest civil engineering project for success. From there Amy took her passion for project delivery and strategy development back into consultancy and joined the Advisory practice within Ernst & Young (EY). As a Manager in the Strategy and Programme Management Advisory practices within EY Amy successfully delivered a number of national and international strategic and operational improvement projects for FTSE 100 companies and held key accountabilities around Key Performance Indicators, reporting and change control.

Throughout her career Amy has had a number of fruitful mentoring and coaching relationships. Amy is a passionate believer in the importance of personal development and in helping others to achieve their full potential.

Simon Todd

Simon Todd

AstraZeneca mentor

Bio

Simon has worked at AstraZeneca for four years and is Science and Innovation Leader in the area of Devices, Packaging and Sensors, where he develops early technologies to a point where they can be implemented into AstraZeneca projects or external ventures. Although technology areas of interest are broad there is particular focus on injection systems, local access and targeted delivery, adherence monitoring & digital connectivity as well as smart packaging technology. Simon has also held roles as project lead in developing medical device mobile applications, giving unique insight into development of software as a medical device, and has been involved in the development and launch of currently on-the-market injection systems.

Prior to his time at AstraZeneca Simon was Interim CTO at a multi award-winning startup company from the University of Manchester, which develops medical device technologies, including biosensors and a novel treatment for oedema using microneedles. Simon played a pivotal role in setting up the new company and was responsible for all technical activities, including defining quality and regulatory strategies, key to taking products to implementation. Simon has extensive experience of taking small companies through investment rounds including pitching to VCs and other investors, raising over £2 million in private and public funding. Simon has a PhD in Biomedical Materials Engineering from the University of Manchester and a BSc (Hons) from the University of Nottingham.

Steve Twait

Steve Twait

AstraZeneca mentor - Vice President of Alliance and Integration Management (AIM)

Bio

Steve has responsibility to continue to shape AstraZeneca's alliance and integration strategy and capabilities in line with more diverse and varied externalisation deals. 

Steve recently joined AstraZeneca from Lilly's Alliance Management and M&A Integration group with responsibility for acquisition integration as well as alliance management for development, commercial and manufacturing alliances. Steve was a founding member of Lilly's Office of Alliance Management and over 14 years played an integral role in worldwide partnerships with BMS, BI and Daiichi Sankyo. Steve's experience also includes the post-acquisition integration of ImClone Systems, Alnara Pharmaceuticals, and Avid Radiopharmaceuticals. 

Steve holds an MBA, Marketing from Indiana University - Kelley School of Business and a BSEE, Electrical Engineering from Valparaiso University.

Mohib Uddin

Mohib Uddin

AstraZeneca mentor

Bio

Dr. Mohib Uddin is a graduate of King’s College London (BSc Pharmacology) and holds a Doctorate from the University of Cambridge (PhD, Immunopharmacology). Following Visiting Post Doctoral Fellowship at the Harvard Medical School (Brigham & Women's Hospital), he joined AstraZeneca and is currently a medical scientist in the Early Clinical Development based at Cambridge UK. Mohib has over a decade of academic and pharmaceutical experience in translational biomedical research, drug discovery, drug repurposing, technology transfer, biomarker profiling, personalised healthcare & diagnostics in inflammation and autoimmune diseases. He has published high quality research articles in top-tier Respiratory journals and works collaboratively with academics around the world.

Mohib has been actively involved with a number of entrepreneurship and innovation initiatives previously. He was a board member of three governance research committees at Harvard (Boston) mentoring international postdoctoral scientists. Through a combination of administrative initiatives and educational activities, mentors actively assisted postdoctoral scientists in developing their career-oriented innovative skills, network formation and unlocking their entrepreneurship potential within academia and in developing and emerging markets.

Paolo Vicini

Paolo Vicini

AstraZeneca mentor - Senior Director & Head of UK Clinical Pharmacology and DMPG (CPD)

Bio

Paolo Vicini joined MedImmune in August 2015 as Senior Director and head of the Cambridge, UK Clinical Pharmacology and DMPK (CPD) department. This is one of three global Medlmmune sites providing translational and clinical pharmacology and bioanalytical support for the biotherapeutic products pipeline. His responsibilities include establishing strategy, direction, and objectives for the CPD site and all aspects of CPD for products at discovery, nonclinical and clinical stages of development.

Paolo holds a Ph.D. in Bioengineering from the Polytechnic of Milan and a MBA from the University of Southern California. His previous affiliation was with Pfizer Worldwide R&D in San Diego, where he was a Research Fellow in the Pharmacokinetics, Dynamics and Metabolism – New Biological Entities department. His research was on quantitative pharmacology approaches in support of various discovery stage programs, with emphasis on translational PKPD (molecularly targeted agents in oncology) and systems pharmacology. Before Pfizer, Paolo was a faculty member in the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Washington, Seattle, with a joint appointment in the School of Pharmacy. At the University of Washington, he worked on the development of data analysis software (including the SAAM II software system) and the application of computer modelling techniques to clinical and preclinical data analyses in diabetes and cancer.

Paolo served on the National Institutes of Health Biomedical Computing and Health Informatics Study Section from 2005 to 2009. He was elected Fellow of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) in 2011. He published to date 120 peer-reviewed articles in journals such as Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, American Journal of Physiology, Drug Metabolism and Disposition, Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, Clinical Cancer Research, Annals of Biomedical Engineering and BMC Systems Biology. He is an Associate Editor of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics: Pharmacometrics and Systems Pharmacology and is on the Advisory Editorial Board of the Journal of Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics.

He is a member of the American Society of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists, the Biomedical Engineering Society, the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, the International Society of Pharmacometrics, the International Society for the Study of Xenobiotics, the American Diabetes Association and of Beta Gamma Sigma.

Steven Walls

Steven Walls

AstraZeneca mentor - Senior Patent Attorney, Legal Group

Bio

Steven joined AstraZeneca in 2017 after nine years in private practice where he handled intellectual property (IP) matters in the fields of pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, general chemistry, and laser-activated dyes. Before his move into IP, Steven worked as a medicinal chemist in the pharmaceutical industry. In private practice Steven’s responsibilities included IP strategy, cost forecasting, drafting and prosecuting patent applications, and defending or opposing granted patents. Steven was also active in deal making, where he represented SME and venture capital clients during the purchase, licensing, and sale of IP assets. For example, Steven provided due diligence advice to Danish evergreen investors Lundbeckfond Emerge, leading to investments in the bioscience companies: Insusense Therapeutics, IO Biotech, and NDM Pharma. Steven also represented Cambridge-based pharmaceutical company Proximagen during its acquisition by US pharmaceutical company Upsher Smith Laboratories. At AstraZeneca Steven will be responsible for managing the IP portfolio and the overall IP strategy for a number of drug products at pre-clinical and clinical stage, as well as marketed products. Steven holds an MChem from UMIST, a PhD from the University of Nottingham, and is a qualified European and UK patent attorney.

Lorraine Webber

Lorraine Webber

AstraZeneca mentor - UK Head of Emerging Innovations Unit

Bio

Lorraine Webber is the UK Head of the Emerging Innovations Unit within AstraZeneca R&D. This is a small, externally-focussed R&D group primarily involved in drug re-purposing through pioneering ‘open innovation’ partnerships with a global network of external investigators, as well as internal drug repositioning.  Lorraine has a broad background in drug development and, prior to joining the Emerging Innovations team, led drug projects in early clinical development in a number of therapy areas including respiratory, dermatology and women’s health. Lorraine has also held roles in the global commercial organisations at AstraZeneca and Novartis. Lorraine holds a degree in Medicine (MBBS) from Guy’s and St. Thomas’s Hospitals, London.

David Weston

David Weston

AstraZeneca mentor - Digital Programme Lead

Bio

David Weston is the Digital Programme Lead in AstraZeneca’s Innovative Medicines and Early Development (IMED) Biotech Unit, where he is responsible for identifying innovative digital technologies and capabilities for use within the early research & development portfolio. A neuroscientist by training, David holds a PhD in Molecular Neuroscience from the University of Cambridge, where he investigated the structure and function of ligand-gated ion channels in both eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms. Prior to joining AZ, David was a strategy consultant for PwC’s Strategy& where he advised life sciences' companies and public organisations on topics related to R&D strategy, M&A, pricing and market access, and growth strategy. David maintains an active network in Cambridge, London and beyond and interacts with numerous startups, particularly within the digital health space. He is also interested in entrepreneurship and understanding how pharma can support innovation.

Ro Wickramasinghe

Ro Wickramasinghe

AstraZeneca mentor - Evaluation Director, Oncology

Bio

Dr Ro Wickramasinghe joined AstraZeneca in 2015 as an Evaluation Director in the Oncology Business Development team. He is responsible for leading the evaluation of new in-licensing and out-licensing (divestment) opportunities in late stage oncology (assets with Proof of Concept data in Phase 1, or from Phase 2 onwards). Most recently, he led the divestment of AstraZeneca's rare disease thyroid cancer therapy Caprelsa to Sanofi/Genzyme for up to $300m from the Oncology Search and Evaluation side.

Prior to joining AstraZeneca, Ro was Associate Director of Business Development at Creabilis SA, a European clinical stage biotechnology company developing drugs in dermatology, inflammation and pain. Whilst at Creabilis, Ro led interactions with multiple Business Development contacts in Pharma and negotiated several term sheets. He also led two successful grant applications totalling €4m in non-dilutive funding for clinical-stage assets and drug discovery projects, and has co-authored several publications.

Ro received his PhD in Oncology from Trinity College, Cambridge on a Gates Cambridge Scholarship, and has an MBA from Cambridge Judge Business School.

Mark Wigglesworth

Mark Wigglesworth

AstraZeneca mentor - Director High Throughput Screening

Bio

Mark Wigglesworth holds a BSc. degree in Neuroscience from Nottingham University and gained his PhD at Leeds University by completing a project on forced evolution. This project was sponsored by British Biotechnology, attracted Ministry of Defence funding and was subsequently pitched for VC funding. Since then he has worked for both GlaxoSmithKline and AstraZeneca, focusing on early stages of drug discovery, target validation and screening applications.  He now leads AstraZeneca’s Global High Throughput Screening Centre and is an active member of the European Laboratory Research and Innovation Group (ELRIG) including co-director responsibility for their Research and Innovation conference. Mark has contributed to numerous publications in the field of GPCR pharmacology, hit identification and Compound Management including editing a book describing the Management of Biological and Chemical Samples for Screening Applications. In his current role he leads a team of more than 20 scientists dedicated to identifying novel chemical starting points for drug discovery programmes and maintains a collaborative interest in Synthetic Biology.

 

Jon Wildin

AstraZeneca mentor - Global Medicines Lead VP, Transitions Team, Global Medicines Development

Bio

Jon graduated from the Chelsea School of Pharmacy at King's College, University of London in 1986, and took his postgraduate studies at the University of Manchester. He holds a PhD in Clinical Pharmacology.

Jon joined Zeneca in 1991 and held a range of roles in the commercial organisation at both country and global level, including nearly four years in Japan. Jon has experience across many therapy areas but has spent the most time working in Oncology. He has worked on major business development deals both within Oncology and beyond.

From 2013 to 2015, Jon was Head of Early Commercial in Oncology during the development stages of recent key AstraZeneca Oncology launches, including the leadership of major development investment decisions, before moving to a GML VP role in Global Medicines development, where he headed two mid-stage Oncology projects. Since 2017 Jon has been the Global Medicines Lead for multiple Oncology projects transitioning from early to late stage development.

Jonathan Wingfield

Jonathan Wingfield

AstraZeneca mentor - Principal Scientist

Bio

Graduated from University of Wales, Cardiff in Microbiology with Genetics before gaining a PhD from the School of Pure and Applied Biology, University of Wales in 1990. After taking the opportunity to work overseas came back to the UK in 1994 to work for a research institute in Oxford funded by a Japanese Pharma and was seconded to Mike Waterfield’s lab at the Ludgwig institute for Cancer Research working with SH3 domain containing proteins. In 1996 the parent company decided to focus the UK institute on drug discovery and I took the opportunity to build a HTS assay development function, this included the installation of the first UK Beckman core automation system. Joined AZ in 2000, as part of a team responsible for delivering automation solutions and technology into the disease area teams post HTS. Was invited to establish a Lead Generation Automation team within Oncology and this evolved into a centralised biochemical screening team in 2006. The centralised team utilized leading edge technology to deliver high quality data to global projects, this included delivery of acoustic droplet ejection technology and the first European installation of a HighRes Biosolutions automation system. To achieve our broader objective we established a LIMS platform, the value of this system was recognized with the 2008 Microsoft Innovation in Pharma award. When the Discovery Sciences function was established within AZ, I moved into a science role supporting across a wider range of functions beyond biochemical SAR. I remain interested in landing technologies that can add value to our core business, one such example is the acoustic mass spectrometry collaboration between Labcyte and AZ. This project won the Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening Innovation award (2015) and has generated a significant amount of external interest. In addition I have an interest in applications for Nanotechnology in drug discovery and 3D printing.  

Adrian Wong

Adrian Wong

AstraZeneca mentor - Creative Director, Technology Incubation Lab

Bio

Adrian is a multi-disciplinary Creative Director, strategist and technologist with a background in Advertising, Marketing & Brand and a strong Interactive Design and User Experience focus. He’s worked in-house in video games, publishing, TV and iGaming, agency side on dozens of top brands and has worked for several tech start-ups.

He has worked for AstraZeneca for two years in the Technology Incubation Lab which is responsible for catalysing technology innovation by scouting, hands-on evaluation and rapidly prototyping new and emerging technologies that have the potential for 10X disruption, engaging with start-ups, institutions and VCs globally. The Lab’s current focus is Big Data, Deep Learning, IoT and Interaction.

During his time at AstraZeneca, Adrian has also concepted and designed web and mobile apps including an open innovation platform for IT, helped to build the AZ User Experience Competency Centre, given keynote conference talks on technology innovation and is also in the process of building a technology showcase lab and Makespace at Granta Park.

 

 

Duncan Young

Duncan Young

AstraZeneca mentor - Associate Director, Scientific Partnering and Alliances

Bio

Duncan is Academic Alliances Manager in the Scientific Partnering and Alliances team at AstraZeneca - responsible for oncology and open innovation interactions but also acting as a point for contact for the University.

Duncan has a wealth of experience in technology transfer and translational research. Duncan joined MRCT as a Business Manager involved in the identification, protection and commercialisation of MRC intellectual property. As MRCT business model changed, Duncan moved into a newly created role of Business Development Manager to promote MRCT's collaborative drug discovery capabilities, find new collaborative projects within academia and industry, and then source a commercial partner to help develop those projects to the clinic. These roles gave him experience in establishing and managing a wide variety of contractual relationships with academic, research charity and industrial partners, including shared-risk research, consortia models and licences. In recent years, Duncan has been responsible for sourcing over £3m in non-dilutive funding for translational project, commercial licences of over £25m in value, and led with Alzheimer's Research UK on the formation of the Dementia Consortium, a novel business model to bring together the charity and Pharma sectors to drive new therapies to the clinic.