Dr Mihriban Tuna appointed Chief Scientific Officer at new biotechnology start-up
Dr Mihriban Tuna, Executive MBA 2019 participant, has joined biotechnology start-up Adaptate Biotherapeutics as Chief Scientific Officer (CSO).
Dr Mihriban Tuna (EMBA
2019) has joined a new biotechnology start-up, after eleven years leading drug
discovery at F-star Biotechnology.
Specialising in the development of antibody-based therapies that aim to trigger an immune response against cancer, Adaptate Biotherapeutics has attracted investment from Abingworth and Takeda.
As an experienced
leader of drug discovery teams and technology development in previous roles for
F-star Biotechnology and GSK, Dr Tuna is helping shape company strategy and
culture at the pivotal early stages. Her responsibilities include preparing and
overseeing the scientific direction of drug development programmes, managing
collaborations and communicating with scientific advisors and the board of
directors. She manages a team of six scientists.
responsibilities as the CSO of a start-up that’s progressing some very novel
and differentiating concepts into clinical development is going to be
challenging,” admits Dr Tuna, “but it’s also extremely motivating and
making and shaping the direction of a biotech start-up is fundamentally rooted
in doing excellent science,” says Dr Tuna, a member of Darwin College. “But
of equal importance is having a great team, being aware of the competitor
landscape, awareness and understanding of the macroenvironment and seeking the
input of opinion leaders.”
Joining a Scientific Advisory Board
Along with her role at Adaptate Biotherapeutics, Dr Tuna has also been appointed to the Scientific Advisory Board of AI drug discovery company Turbine. Praising Turbine’s unique, artificial intelligence-enabled approach, Dr Tuna says joining the Board is an honour.
“I met Szabolcs
Nagy, Turbine’s CEO, at a networking event in Cambridge. It has been great to
see the Turbine team evolve their thinking and grow the company, they recently
completed a Seed round and formed the Scientific Advisory Board which I am very
happy and honoured to be part of.”
Starting the EMBA programme could not
have come at a better point in my career
Dr Tuna graduated from
Middle East Technical University with a BSc in Biology, before completing an
MSc and DPhil in Biochemistry at the University of Sussex.
“I grew up in the
Balkans, first Bulgaria and then Turkey, and have spent more than 20 years
living and working in the UK. During my PhD at Sussex, I had an excellent
supervisor who enabled me to see opportunities in applying basic research in
industry which is when I decided to focus on a career in drug discovery and
Now an established
technical specialist in her field, Dr Tuna is expanding her leadership
experience through her new role and by investing in her education through the
Cambridge Executive MBA.
EMBA programme could not have come at a better point in my career. I’m learning
and internalising so much in areas like financial evaluations, business
strategy, management science and practice,” she says.
“It has been
great to meet and collaborate with professionals from many different industries
and backgrounds in the cohort. It’s a truly diverse group of people and I’ve
learned a lot from my fellow participants.”
What advice would Dr
Tuna give to science professionals considering an Executive MBA?
EMBA programme is a great choice for scientists who would like to step out of
their comfort zone and expand their horizons.”
“They will learn
the basics of how to run a business, as well as a building a good understanding
of key concepts around financial reporting and evaluations, corporate finance,
management science and practice in general.”