Technology Transfer

Life Sciences

Dr Iain Thomas - Head of Life Sciences

Iain is Head of Life Sciences at Cambridge Enterprise, responsible for a team that is working across the life sciences sector from human health therapeutics to agritech and research tools.

Highlights from the team include acting as a founding partner for Apollo Therapeutics, a £40 million fund in early stage drug development, and the Ceres Agritech Knowledge Exchange Partnership. Spin-outs include X01 Therapeutics, Predictimmune Limited, PhoreMost, Z-factor and Cambridge Epigenetix. Iain also led discussions with GSK in respect of the University of Cambridge–GSK open innovation drug discovery initiative based at the Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst.

Previous experience includes time working at Plant Bioscience Limited (PBL) in technology transfer.

Iain has a PhD in Organic Chemistry and has nine academic papers published.

Iain joined Cambridge Enterprise in November 2003.

Dr Amanda Wooding - Deputy Head of Life Sciences

Amanda joined the team in 2009 and has managed project portfolios and negotiated complex licenses across a wide range of life science technology areas. Recent activities have involved licensing a portfolio of technology assets in the biomaterials field, the establishment of a new genomics related spin-out company Inivata Ltd and raising funding for University initiatives in the translational research space. Amanda sits as the CE Investment Director on the board of Sphere Fluidics Ltd.

Before joining Cambridge Enterprise, she gained over 10 years of experience in technology commercialisation from roles within The Wellcome Trust and at Acambis. As the UK-based Director of Business Development at Acambis, she was responsible for in- and out-licensing, most notably securing a Phase III out-licensing deal with Sanofi Pasteur. While at the Wellcome Trust, she served as the Wellcome Trust observer to the Board for three start-up biotechnology companies. Amanda has a PhD in molecular endocrinology from the University of Cambridge and enjoyed post-doctoral research positions both at Cambridge and in industry.

Dr Rachel Atfield - Commercialisation Manager

Rachel joined Cambridge Enterprise in 2006 and has experience of commercialising technology from a variety of sectors including diagnostics, medical devices and software.

She has completed a variety of deals including a licence with a large US medical company for a technology to revolutionise diabetes treatment and has particular experience of working in the field of psychiatry and cognition where she has negotiated licences with multiple partners including a US based molecular diagnostics company. Before joining Cambridge Enterprise, Rachel worked as a Patent Analyst at Thomson Scientific, specializing in patent searching and patent-based intelligence for the biotech and pharmaceutical industries. Rachel has a BSc in Biology from Imperial College London and a PhD in Virology from the University of Cambridge.

Dr Laura Donnelly - Commercialisation Manager

Laura joined Cambridge Enterprise in 2011 and has experience in identifying, managing, developing and commercialising a range of life sciences IP.

She has particular experience of working in the fields of stem cell research, medical devices, biomarkers and microfluidic technologies and has worked on a variety of deals including a licence with a large US medical company for a technology to revolutionise diabetes treatment. Laura also supports projects as part of the University of Cambridge – GSK Open Innovation Drug Discovery Initiative at the Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst. As part of her role at Cambridge Enterprise, Laura spent 5 months on secondment as a business development manager at one of Cambridge Enterprise’s spin-out companies, Cambridge Epigenetix.

Before joining Cambridge Enterprise, Laura worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Manchester, studying the regulation of cardiac function and disease by cell signalling pathways. Laura obtained a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Manchester and a BSc in Biochemistry from the University of York.

Dr Emma Barker - Senior Commercialisation Associate

Emma is a Senior Commercialisation Associate in Life Sciences at Cambridge Enterprise with experience of identifying, managing, developing & commercialising a variety of life science IP.

She led the licence discussions with GSK for the GSK Drug Discovery Partnership with Academia projects at Cambridge. Emma also works with academics to secure translational funding and further development of IP – this has led to various multi-£M awards including from Apollo Therapeutics, BBSRC Super FOF, MRCT Centre for Therapeutics Discovery Programme and several Seeding Drug Discovery Awards from the Wellcome Trust. She also supports projects as part of the University of Cambridge – GSK Open Innovation Drug Discovery Initiative at the Stevenage BioCatalyst. Before joining Cambridge Enterprise, Emma enjoyed 10 years in the pharma/biotech sector, including managing BioFocus GPCR small molecule drug discovery & optimisation programmes in a variety of therapeutic areas and management of the IP portfolio to deliver data packages for subsequent partnering. Emma has a PhD in organic chemistry from the University of Leicester.

Dr Helen Young - Senior Commercialisation Associate

Helen joined Cambridge Enterprise in 2013. She brings over 15 years' industrial experience, having worked for various SMEs in the biotech sector within the Cambridge region.

She has held senior positions in the areas of process development, manufacturing and formulation development for vaccines and biotherapeutics, and has additional experience within the field of clinical biomarkers through employment with Merck Serono. She has a PhD in Biochemistry from Manchester University.

Dr Dafne Chirivino - Senior BRC Intellectual Property Associate

Dafne joined Cambridge Enterprise in January 2017. Dafne has several years of industrial experience, having worked for various major International Pharmaceutical and Medtech Companies.

She has held senior positions in the area of Market Intelligence and Business Strategy, and worked as an external consultant for different companies such as Roche, Novartis, Bayer, Merck Serono, Alexion, Takeda, Nestlé and Medtronic.

Dafne works with Cambridge University Hospitals (CUH) Department of Research and Development and Cambridge Enterprise to identify and commercialise intellectual property originating from research carried out within the NIHR Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre, a partnership between Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Cambridge.

Before joining Cambridge Enterprise, Dafne worked as a Market Intelligence Analyst at Debiopharm International and as a Project Manager at Alcimed. Dafne obtained a PhD in Biology from the Institute Curie (Paris, France) and the University Paris XI (Paris, France) as well as a Master Degree in Molecular Biology from the University “La Sapienza” of Rome (Italy).

Dr Vibha Tamboli - Senior Commercialisation Associate

Vibha is a Senior Commercialisation Associate in the Technology Transfer Life Sciences team. She joined Cambridge Enterprise as a Commercialisation Associate in January 2017. She has a Master’s degree in Biotechnology from the Northwestern University and completed her PhD in Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at Cardiff University in May 2017.

Vibha focused on generation of synthetic receptors for detection of prostate cancer biomarkers during her PhD. She worked on development of a synthetic receptor-based biosensor for detection of prostate specific antigen (PSA). Prior to joining Cambridge Enterprise, Vibha interned at the Technology Transfer Office at Cardiff University.

Dr Geoff Elliott - Commercialisation Associate

Geoff joined Cambridge Enterprise in 2016, following an extensive postdoctoral career in life sciences research, management, and commercialisation in academia and industry, both in the UK and USA, and the subsequent attainment of a Graduate Diploma in Law in 2015.

Prior to joining Cambridge Enterprise, Geoff most recently worked as an independent research consultant within commercial genetic test development, and prior to this was a Senior Molecular Microbiologist at the James Hutton Institute, working in industrial and environmental pathogen detection methodologies, microbial profiling and bacterial epidemiology.

Dr Keith Blackwood - Commercialisation Associate

Keith joined Cambridge Enterprise in late 2017, bringing a background of working in academia and industry in medical devices. He has a PhD in tissue engineering from the University of Sheffield.

After finishing his PhD in 2010, Keith worked at the Restoration of Appearance and Function Trust (RAFT) on the final preclinical development steps of the synthetic dermal replacement scaffold Smart Matrix™. This work included assisting in various parts of the setup of the spin-out company Smart Matrix Ltd.

Keith went to work at the Queensland University of Technology QUT designing, constructing and testing state-of-the-art melt electrospinning platforms. Here he co-authored a number of successful national grants. Upon leaving QUT Keith went to Xeltis in the Netherlands where he worked on the preclinical process development stage of the Restorex technology platform.

Dr Phil Elstob - Commercialisation Director

Phil joined the Cambridge Enterprise team in early 2018, with a background in commercialising new medicines. He has a PhD in developmental biology from the MRC's National Institute for Medical Research and spent 17 years at Cancer Research Technology (CRT), the commercialisation arm of the charity Cancer Research UK, ultimately as Head of Commericial Portfolio.

During his time at CRT, Phil established a strategic partnership with Newcastle University, and worked part-time across both organisations in a technology transfer role. Notably he led the formation of Newcastle University’s five year cancer drug discovery alliance with Astex Pharmaceuticals, and was CEO of Demuris Limited, a University spin-out company focussed on antibiotic drug discovery.


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Dr Katja Kostelnik - Commercialisation Associate

Katja joined Cambridge Enterprise in March 2018. She has a PhD in Biochemistry having worked on novel peptide-drug conjugates and therapeutic peptides in the fields of breast cancer and obesity.

Katja studied Biology with a focus on Human and Molecular Biology at Saarland University and holds a PhD in Biochemistry from Leipzig University. Before joining CE Katja worked as a postdoctoral researcher at Queen Mary University of London in the field of microvascular research investigating the role of endothelial junctional proteins in inflammatory diseases.

Dr Terry Parlett - Commercialisation Director

Terry joined Cambridge Enterprise as Commercialisation Director in 2018. He was previously the Head of Intellectual Property and Commercial Research at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital for over 10 years, having founded and grown a technology transfer department that commercialised NHS inventions from ‘bedside to business’.

Terry was also responsible for founding a £750,000 Proof of Concept fund in a joint initiative with Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity and setting up a commercial research and consultancy service to interface with industry. Terry has licensed a variety of technologies including software, medical devices, imaging technologies, laboratory products, novel formulations, in vitro diagnostics and service based IP to spin-outs such as Viapath (a £500M pathology joint venture with Serco) and Essentia Trading Ltd. Terry also supported the formation of technology-based spin-out companies including Cydar and SpOtOn Clinical Diagnostics amongst others and has served as a Director for several of the Hospital’s spin-out companies. Prior to this Terry was part of a team responsible for the merger of the London NHS Innovation hubs and has a background in immunology, gene silencing and stem cell research.

Dr David Cavalla - Senior Consultant

David has 30 years' experience in various senior scientific and commercial roles within the pharmaceutical industry. He is currently involved with a number of biotech companies at Board level. Previously he was founder and CEO of Arachnova Ltd, a company focused on therapeutic switching; previous affiliations included Glaxo Group Research Ltd and Napp Research Centre.

He is author of Modern Strategy for Pharmaceutical R&D – Towards the Virtual Research Centre, and Off-Label Prescribing: Justifying Unapproved Medicine. He is one of the first advocates of drug re-purposing, and has used this strategy to create three first-in-class developmental products to have successfully passed human proof of concept clinical stages.

David frequently contributes articles on pharmaceutical strategy and is on the editorial board of Drug Discovery Today. Formerly he was Chairman of the Society for Medicines Research. He obtained a first degree and PhD at the University of Cambridge and spent two years as a visiting Fellow at the NIMH, Washington, DC. He is author/inventor of more than 70 published papers and patents.

Physical Sciences

Dr Malcolm Grimshaw - Head of Physical Sciences

Malcolm leads the Physical Sciences team at Cambridge Enterprise, working to help researchers commercialise technologies from across the whole range of the Schools of Physical Sciences and Technology.

The Physical Sciences team is dedicated to providing efficient support to researchers who have a clear idea of their commercial objectives as well as inspiring, developing and supporting plans for those who are taking their first steps towards commercialisation. Over the last five years, the team has doubled the number of licences completed that have high impact potential and has developed a portfolio representative of the breadth of technologies in the University.

During his time at Cambridge Enterprise, Malcolm has been involved in the formation of Eight19 and ROADMap and in the licensing of many technologies, including CASTEP and the Inerter.

Prior to joining Cambridge Enterprise, Malcolm enjoyed 18 years in the cryogenic and vacuum instrumentation industries, initially as an engineer before moving into sales, marketing and new product development.

His scientific background is in physics, with a first degree from the University of Oxford, a PhD from the University of Nottingham and a postdoctoral position at the CENG in Grenoble.

Malcolm joined the Technology Transfer Office of the University, which later became Cambridge Enterprise, in June 2002.

Dr Margaret Wilkinson - Commercialisation Manager

Maggie focuses on the commercialisation of technologies from engineering and physical sciences (including software), and joined Cambridge Enterprise in 2001.

Prior to this, she worked for a multinational oil company, initially developing new oil and fuel products for the automotive sector, and more recently in the analysis of environmental and economic data to help formulate business strategy. Maggie holds a degree in Natural Sciences and a PhD in Solid State Physics from the University of Cambridge. Maggie has experience in the commercialisation of technology across the range of physical sciences and has worked with the spin-outs Enval, Metalysis and Camfridge.

Dr Gillian Davis - Commercialisation Director

Gillian is the Commercialisation Director of the Technology Transfer Team, working with researchers to help them commercialise their research.

She has worked with scientists in the Physical Sciences space to bring together teams that have turned research ideas into investible opportunities, such as aqdot, Silicon Microgravity and Fluidic Analytics.

Gillian has previously worked in technical and business development roles in both small and multinational companies in the UK, US and Japan.

She holds a BA in Natural Sciences from Oxford University, a doctorate in laser application and an MBA.

Gillian joined Cambridge Enterprise in 2009.

Julian Peck - Commercialisation Manager

Julian has been with Cambridge Enterprise since 2012, working across physical sciences and technology, including software.

He is a Cambridge graduate from the Institute for Manufacturing and a Chartered Mechanical Engineer, with considerable industrial and commercial experience, especially in automotive, consumer products and technology. He has worked in corporate finance and is a serial entrepreneur, and has now been patenting inventions and commercialising innovations for over 20 years.

Dr Olivia Nicoletti - Commercialisation Manager

Olivia joined Cambridge Enterprise as a Commercialisation Associate at the beginning of 2015. She holds a degree in Physics from the University of Milan (Universitá Statale di Milano) and a PhD in Materials Science and Metallurgy from the University of Cambridge, where she was also a postdoc for a year.

She specialised in nanotechnology, with particular focus on optical physics at the nanoscale, working in fields such as nanophotonics and plasmonics. Prior to joining Cambridge Enterprise, Olivia was involved in scientific publishing, working as an associate editor at Nature Materials within the London office of Nature Publishing Group.

Dr Jennie Flint - Senior Commercialisation Associate

Jennie works closely with others in both the Physical and Life Sciences teams to support commercialisation of research outputs primarily from the School of Physical Sciences and the School of Technology in the University of Cambridge.

With a focus on creating positive societal impact, Jennie is proactive in assessing technology with the most potential to be disruptive, and then working closely with our academic and internal stakeholders to find the best routes to market.

Prior to joining Cambridge Enterprise, Jennie worked as a Product Specialist for a major biotechnology company, with an emphasis on global regulatory compliance.

Jennie has a Masters degree in Chemistry from the University of Sussex and a PhD in Chemistry from the University of Cambridge. Jennie’s Master’s research focused on quantum dot synthesis for single molecule fluorescence applications for her Masters. This led her to study the aggregation of amyloid beta 42 (a peptide implicated in Alzheimer’s Disease) using single molecule fluorescence techniques and microfluidics during her PhD.

Jennie joined Cambridge Enterprise in August 2016.

Dr Callum Benson - Commercialisation Associate

Callum joined Cambridge Enterprise as a Commercialisation Associate in the Physical Sciences team in August 2018.

He has a Masters Degree in Chemistry from the University of St Andrews and a PhD in Inorganic Chemistry from the University of Cambridge. His research focused on synthetic inorganic chemistry, making new materials for metal complexation, gas storage and cluster information. Over his academic career he was also involved in various energy and materials projects relating to quantum dots, carbon capture storage, and battery materials. Prior to joining Cambridge Enterprise, Callum worked in marketing and business development for a Cambridge based software start-up.

Cristina Calatayud Domingo - Commercialisation Associate

Cristina is a Commercialisation Associate in the Physical Sciences team.

Prior to joining Cambridge Enterprise, Cristina worked as a Technology Transfer Officer at the Barcelona Supercomputing Centre. Previously, she was a trainee at the European Patent Office within the Pan-European Seal Programme and also has experience as a R&D Consultant.

She has a Masters Degree in Environmental Engineering and a Bachelors Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Valencia.

Cristina joined Cambridge Enterprise in December 2018.


Sarwat Howe - Commercialisation Associate

Sarwat is a Commercialisation Associate in the Physical Sciences team. 

Prior to joining Cambridge Enterprise, Sarwat was a Senior Analyst at Oakland Innovation, a technical consultancy firm. She has also worked as an Associate (Renewable Energy) at Cambridge Innovation Consulting, and was a Device Fabrication Engineer at Hewlett-Packard Laboratories, developing next-generation displays. She has a MSci in Chemistry from the University of Bristol, an MRes in Photonic Systems Development and a PhD in optoelectronic devices from the University of Cambridge. Sarwat joined Cambridge Enterprise in January 2019.


Elisabeth Barker - Technology Transfer, PA

Elisabeth Barker joined Cambridge Enterprise in 2014 as PA to the Technology Transfer team.

Liz has 15 years of executive assistant experience within investment banking in the City of London. Before starting work with Cambridge Enterprise, Liz worked at Cambridge & Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust in Mental Health for the Head of Professional Nursing and the Trust Lead for Allied Health Professions

Leila Guichard - Technology Transfer, PA

Leila joined Cambridge Enterprise in 2018 and has 12 years of experience in varied roles providing high-level Business Support primarily within the Banking industry.

Before joining Cambridge Enterprise, Leila was Business Support Manager/Executive Assistant to the Head of Banking at Private Bank, Coutts, in the City of London. Prior to this, she provided PA and Administrative support to a Senior Commercial Banker and looked after a portfolio of high net worth commercial clients within the Media Industry.

Image: University spin-out Sphere Fluidics’ fusion biochip, which was licensed with the help of Cambridge Enterprise’s Technology Transfer teams.