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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 is Deputy Head of Life Sciences in the technology transfer team at Cambridge Enterprise, developing the Associate team members who work with technologies across the range of life sciences at the University. Amanda works closely with the Seed Funds team, building and supporting early stage companies who are accessing University Technology.
Highlights include the successful incorporation of PredictImmune Limited, a business dedicated to using the power of prognosis to manage treatment options. As with all projects, this involved building long term relationships with academic teams, winning funding, identifying and building a business opportunity, sourcing fledgling company management and carefully managing the interest of all stakeholders throughout.
Other activities have included complex technology portfolio licences in the materials field and raising funding for University initiatives in the translational space. Amanda is currently a Director of PredictImmune Limited and served on the board of Sphere Fluidics Limited for six years.
Previously Amanda worked for Acambis as the UK Director of Business Development where she notably secured a Phase III out licensing agreement with Sanofi Pasteur and managed the sale of a business unit to Crucell. While working for the Wellcome Trust in a forerunner of the Innovations team, 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. She has seven published academic papers and patent families.
Outside of Cambridge Enterprise, Amanda is a member of the BBSRC Follow on Fund Committee.
Amanda joined Cambridge Enterprise in January 2009 and became Deputy Head of Life Sciences in 2012.
Dr Rachel Atfield - Commercialisation Manager
Rachel is responsible for developing and commercialising new opportunities for all Life Sciences technologies with a focus on therapeutics and diagnostics technologies, medical devices and software, and medical apps.
Rachel’s role includes evaluating new inventions, managing IP protection and helping academics raise translational funding. She also builds teams of experts to develop new opportunities and determines the appropriate route for commercialisation, including licensing and company formation.
Rachel has completed a variety of deals, including a licence with a large US medical company for a technology to revolutionise diabetes treatment. She 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. Rachel has helped many academic teams raise translational funding to develop projects at the University.
Before joining Cambridge Enterprise, Rachel worked as a Patent Analyst at Thomson Scientific, specialising 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.
Rachel joined Cambridge Enterprise in November 2006 as a Commercialisation Associate and became Commercialisation Manager in February 2011.
Dr Emma Barker - Senior Commercialisation Associate
Emma is a Senior Commercialisation Associate in Life Sciences at Cambridge Enterprise responsible for identifying, managing, developing and commercialising a variety of life science IP.
Emma works with academics to secure translational funding and supports further development of IP and licensing – this has led to various multi-£m awards including several from Apollo Therapeutics, the BBSRC Super Follow-on-Fund, The LifeArc Centre for Therapeutics Discovery Programme, and several Seeding Drug Discovery Awards from the Wellcome Trust one of which has subsequently led to a collaboration and licence deal with MSD . She also supports projects as part of the University of Cambridge–GSK Open Innovation Drug Discovery Initiative at the Stevenage BioCatalyst.
Emma led the licence discussions with GSK for the GSK Drug Discovery Partnership with Academia projects at Cambridge, one of which has subsequently led to a licence deal with a US Biotech. She has also supported the licensing of university IP, including to Cambridge spin-outs Cambridge Epigenetix, Morphogen-IX and PolyProx Therapeutics.
Prior to joining Cambridge Enterprise, Emma spent 10 years in the pharma/biotech sector, initially with Oxford Diversity, then BioFocus, involving management of GPCR small molecule drug discovery and optimisation programmes to deliver data packages for subsequent partnering.
Emma has a PhD in Organic Chemistry, 11 academic publications and 4 patent families.
Emma joined Cambridge Enterprise in June 2005.
Dr David Cavalla - Senior Consultant
David provide consultancy support to the Life Sciences team. He has 30 years' experience in various senior scientific and commercial roles within the pharmaceutical industry and 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 the 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 the author or inventor of more than 70 published papers and patents.
Dr Dafne Chirivino - Senior BRC Intellectual Property Associate
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.
She works closely with academics and clinicians to build business opportunities, paving the route to market and securing translational grant funding. She led commercial deals in the domain of stem cells technologies and cancer diagnostics.
She has held senior positions in the area of Market Intelligence and Business Strategy, and worked as an external consultant for several companies such as Roche, Novartis, Bayer, Merck Serono, Alexion, Takeda, Nestlé and Medtronic.
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).
Dafne joined Cambridge Enterprise in January 2017.
Dr Laura Donnelly - Commercialisation Manager
Laura is a Commercialisation Manager in the Technology Transfer Team where she works to commercialise technologies from across the life sciences.
She 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 and drug discovery 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 has also supported multiple projects under development with Apollo Therapeutics and helped manage 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 five 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.
Laura joined Cambridge Enterprise in 2011.
Dr Geoff Elliott - Ceres Agri-Tech Project Development Manager
Geoff is Project Development Manager within the Ceres Agri-Tech Knowledge Exchange Partnership, a unique platform to identify, incubate, invest in and run commercially viable agri-tech development projects coming out of Ceres partner universities.
Prior to this particular role, Geoff was Ceres Agri-Tech Partnership Co-ordinator at Cambridge Enterprise, acting to establish all elements of the Ceres project following the award of £4.8 million from Research England’s Connecting Capability Fund in April 2018. As a Commercialisation Associate in the Life Sciences Technology Transfer team, Geoff was also instrumental in winning this funding.
Geoff has had an extensive postdoctoral career as a microbial geneticist in life sciences research, management, and commercialisation in academia and industry, both in the UK and USA.
Immediately prior to joining Cambridge Enterprise, Geoff worked as an independent research consultant within commercial genetic test development. His role before that was as a Senior Molecular Microbiologist at the James Hutton Institute, working in a wide range of areas including agricultural, industrial and environmental microbial profiling, mitochondrial identification, bacterial resistance and epidemiology, as well as in the evolution of nitrogen fixation symbioses in Central and South America. Geoff attained a Graduate Diploma in Law in 2015.
Geoff joined Cambridge Enterprise in 2016.
Dr Phil Elstob - Commercialisation Director
Phil is Commercialisation Director in the Technology Transfer Team where he works to commercialise technologies from across the life sciences, with a particular interest in new medicines.
University of Cambridge spin out company PolyProx Therapeutics was established in 2019 with Phil’s support, raising £3.4m seed financing.
Prior to joining Cambridge Enterprise, Phil spent 17 years at Cancer Research Technology (CRT), the commercialisation arm of the charity Cancer Research UK, ultimately as Head of Commercial 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, initiated Newcastle’s $31m part-monetization of its royalty interest in cancer drug Rubraca, and was CEO of Demuris Limited, a University spin-out company focussed on antibiotic drug discovery.
Phil has a PhD in developmental biology from the MRC’s National Institute for Medical Research (now the Francis Crick Institute).
With an interest in training and coaching, Phil has been a member of PraxisAuril’s Professional Development Committee since May 2013 and helps to design and deliver courses on technology transfer and strategic partnerships.
Phil joined the Cambridge Enterprise team in March 2018.
Dr Katja Kostelnik - Senior Commercialisation Associate (Life Sciences)
Katja assists academics at the University to turn ideas and inventions emerging from the life sciences into commercial opportunities. Together with her colleagues in the Life Sciences team, Katja provides support for the evaluation, protection and licensing of technologies to achieve global impact.
Since joining Cambridge Enterprise, Katja has worked closely with academics in order to support translational research funding applications, protect inventions via patenting and support the marketing and licensing of technologies arising from the University. Katja also helps academics to access Cambridge Enterprise’s network of expertise by connecting them with Entrepreneurs in Residence, consultants and mentors as well as University programmes such as iTeams Cambridge, Experts in Residence at the Cambridge Academy of Therapeutic Sciences, and EnterpriseTECH at Cambridge Judge Business School.
Prior to joining Cambridge Enterprise, 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.
Katja studied Biology with a focus on Human and Molecular Biology at the Saarland University in Germany with research projects in the area of prostate cancer and obesity. She holds a PhD in Biochemistry from the Leipzig University in Germany having worked on novel peptide-drug conjugates and therapeutic peptides in the fields of breast cancer and obesity. During her PhD she has worked in collaboration with non-university research institutes such as the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research as well as small biotech and pharma companies. She is co-author on six academic publications.
Katja joined Cambridge Enterprise in March 2018.
Dr Ione Meyer - Commercialisation Associate
Ione is a Commercialisation Associate in the Life Sciences team providing support for the evaluation of new inventions, protection of IP, developing commercial opportunities and licensing technologies arising from the University.
Prior to joining Cambridge Enterprise, Ione worked as a Grant Scheme Manager at the Royal Society where she managed a portfolio of international grants. She has a PhD from the UCL Institute of Neurology, which has given her experience of working on translational research. She also has a BSc in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Warwick, and an MSc in Neuroscience from UCL.
Ione joined Cambridge Enterprise in July 2019.
Dr Terry Parlett - Commercialisation Director
Terry is responsible for the commercialisation and diffusion of Life Science and health-related technologies and research arising from the University of Cambridge through the creation of new companies, licensing relationships and partnerships.
In the past year, Terry has been responsible for the commercialisation of several Cambridge technologies, including the licensing of stem cell products and cancer risk prediction tools and the development of investment opportunities in the fields of Flu and Ebola vaccines and a number of opportunities related to cell therapy.
Terry 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’. There he commercialised a variety of technologies including medical devices, software, imaging technologies, laboratory products, novel formulations, in vitro diagnostics and service based IP. He has also been involved in the creation of novel partnerships for the National Health Service such as Viapath (a £500m pathology joint venture with Serco) and Essentia Trading Ltd (a facilities spin-out company). In addition, Terry 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 spin-out companies. Terry was also responsible for founding a Proof of Concept investment fund and setting up a commercial research and consultancy service within the NHS to interface with industry. Prior to this, Terry was Acting Director of MediChIP, the NHS Innovation Hub for SE/SW London. He then became part of the change management team responsible for the merger of the London NHS Innovation hubs to form a single tech-transfer unit (NHS Innovations London).
Terry has a PhD in immunology and gene silencing and held a postdoctoral research position within the UK’s first stem cell spin-out company, Cerestem Ltd.
Terry joined Cambridge in February 2018.
Dr Louise Sutherland - Director of Ceres Agri-Tech Knowledge Exchange Partnership
Louise is Director of Ceres Agri-Tech Knowledge Exchange Partnership. Ceres is a knowledge exchange partnership for the agri-tech sector, helping to connect industry to academia and funding resulting collaborative projects, which seek to take technology to market.
Previously, Louise chaired the Red Tractor Fresh Produce Scheme and was a member of the Assured Food Standards Board. In addition Louise spent 10 years working at Marks and Spencer plc in a number of technical and commercial roles across their Food Business.
Louise has a PhD in Plant Pathology from the University of Reading and enjoyed post doc positions at the Forestry Commission working on novel biocontrol systems for tree diseases.
Outside of Cambridge Enterprise, Louise chairs the AHDB Soft Fruit Research Advisory Panel and is a member of the AHDB Hort Board. She also chairs the Raspberry Breeding Consortium at James Hutton Ltd, which is a joint research and industry consortium.
Louise joined Cambridge Enterprise in June 2019.
Dr Vibha Tamboli - Senior Commercialisation Associate
Vibha works across the Life Sciences Team providing support for the evaluation, protection and licensing of life science technologies arising from the University.
Since joining Cambridge Enterprise, Vibha has provided support by filing various patents, securing translation grant funding and advancing portfolio projects. She has worked on licensing technologies to companies like Qkine Ltd and Elpis Biomed Ltd. She has also helped to establish spin-out companies (eg Bilitech Ltd) and raise investment for them.
Prior to joining Cambridge Enterprise, Vibha interned at the Technology Transfer Office at Cardiff University.
She has a Master’s degree in Biotechnology from the Northwestern University (2012) and completed her PhD in Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at Cardiff University (Marie Curie Fellow) in May 2017.
Vibha joined Cambridge Enterprise as a Commercialisation Associate in January 2017.
Currently on maternity leave.
Dr Helen Young - Senior Commercialisation Associate
Helen works across the Life Sciences Team, providing support for the evaluation, IP protection and licensing of technologies arising from the Schools of Biological Sciences and Clinical Medicine.
Prior to joining Cambridge Enterprise, Helen spent 15 years working for various SME’s in the biotech sector within the Cambridge region, where she held positions in process development and formulation for vaccines and biotherapeutics.
Helen has a PhD in Mucosal Glycobiology from the University of Manchester.
Helen joined Cambridge Enterprise in October 2013.
Nicola Taylor - Life Sciences IP Portfolio Coordinator
Nicola is responsible for the coordination of our Life Sciences intellectual property portfolio held by Cambridge Enterprise on behalf of the University. She is a member of Business Support, the team responsible for business intelligence as well as the administration and management of our portfolio of inventions, patents and agreements.
Nicola coordinates the execution of commercial and internal agreements put in place in relation to our Life Sciences portfolio, as well as ensuring the relevant data is captured and maintained, thereby contributing to the integrity of Cambridge Enterprise’s portfolio data.
Nicola joined Cambridge Enterprise in April 2019.
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.
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.
Elisabeth Barker - Technology Transfer PA
Liz job shares the role of PA to the Technology Transfer team with Zoe Prior.
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.
Liz joined Cambridge Enterprise in 2014.
Dr Callum Benson - Senior Commercialisation Associate
Callum works with academics and industry across the physical sciences and software to help generate impact from University research.
Callum’s broad scientific interest is reflected in the variety of cases he works on at Cambridge Enterprise ranging from mathematics to software to chemistry and manufacturing. He is involved in all stages of commercialisation from assessing new inventions through to advising the formation of spin-outs and licensing of technologies to established industrial outfits.
Prior to Cambridge Enterprise, Callum was a commercial associate in a Cambridge deep tech software start-up and also has industrial experience working for a leading chemical company.
Callum has a PhD in Chemistry from the University of Cambridge and a Masters from the University of St Andrews both focussing on inorganic synthesis. He has also authored and co-authored 7 academic papers.
His experiences in industry and academia have given him insight into the potential of research in the commercial world, and he is passionate about helping solve the complex problems facing early stage technologies.
Callum joined Cambridge Enterprise in August 2018.
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.
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.
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 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.
Julian Peck - Commercialisation Manager
As a Commercialisation Manager for the Physical Sciences team, Julian manages around 60 technology transfer projects. He is also responsible for the Cambridge Enterprise Mentors & Experts Programme, and for 'outreach' from Cambridge Enterprise into Engineering, the largest department in the University.
Julian’s portfolio of technologies runs across all areas of physical sciences and technology, and he has contributed to the formation of 10 spin-outs to date. Alongside his role at Cambridge Enterprise he retains a non-executive role at an automotive injection moulding company, and is also Cambridge Enterprise’s investor director at Silicon Microgravity.
Prior to joining Cambridge Enterprise, Julian spent most of his career as an entrepreneur of IP-backed businesses, forming strategic partnerships and licensing consumer product technologies. He is also experienced in corporate finance and operations management.
Julian’s degree was in Manufacturing Engineering from the Institute for Manufacturing at the University of Cambridge. He is a Chartered Engineer and a member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.
Julian joined Cambridge Enterprise in June 2012.
Zoe Prior - Technology Transfer PA
Zoe shares the role of PA to the Technology Transfer team with Liz Barker.
Zoe has experience in supporting and leading teams and before joining Cambridge Enterprise was PA to the CEO and Office Manager at software company, IPV. Prior to this, her roles included Team Leader within the HR Department at Anglian Water and People Team Coordinator at Redgate Software.
Zoe holds an ISEB Programme and Project Management qualification.
Zoe joined Cambridge Enterprise in October 2019.
Dr Margaret Wilkinson - Commercialisation Manager
Maggie works with researchers across the range of physical sciences to help them achieve impact from their research by building relationships with commercial organisations.
During her time at Cambridge Enterprise, Maggie has led the licensing of university technologies to companies such as Lamina Dielectrics, Cambridge Graphene, Aurelius Environmental, and TE Wire & Cable (for a new design of thermocouple). Maggie has also supported the formation of spin-out companies such as Metalysis, Enval, and Porotech (who won the 2018 postdoc business plan competition).
Prior to joining Cambridge Enterprise, Maggie worked for 10 years at a multinational oil company in various roles, initially working to develop new automotive fuel and oil products, and later in the analysis of environmental and economic data to help formulate business strategy.
She has a scientific background in physics, holding two degrees from the University of Cambridge: an MA in Natural Sciences, and a PhD in solid state physics.
Maggie joined the Technology Transfer Office of the University, which later became Cambridge Enterprise, in March 2001.
Image: University spin-out Sphere Fluidics’ fusion biochip, which was licensed with the help of Cambridge Enterprise’s Technology Transfer teams.