In August 2011, OBR made the first step towards the inter-campus network it is today by founding the Cambridge chapter. During the summer and throughout Michaelmas term, OBR-Cambridge hosted a popular seminar series with industry leaders from different sectors within biotech, helped launch the Roundtable Review, and successfully completed its first immersion project. The diverse membership reflects the multidisciplinary makeup of Europe’s largest biotech cluster, and currently consists of academics and industry professionals from across many sectors. We aim to build on the momentum of last term and continue to deliver insightful events, whilst greatly expanding within Cambridge and beyond. Please contact the chapter president Will Briggs for enquires regarding industry partnerships and joining the OBR-Cambridge team.
Will is a current medical student presently reading for an MPhil in Biochemistry, having already obtained a BA, at Cambridge University. His research uses metabolomics as a tool with which to investigate the cardiovascular complications associated with NSAIDs. It forms part of the larger, international, PENTACON project and generally explores NSAIDs as a paradigm example of the possible applications of personalised medicine. Will has also supervised Biochemistry whilst at Cambridge and won three Blues in Rugby Union, Captaining the side in 2013. As Chapter President, he looks forward to building links with industry, academia and medical professionals.
Simon is a second year PhD student at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology and his research is focused on synthetic biology. Previously Simon obtained a BSc in Biochemistry and a MSc in Systems Biology from ETH Zurich and conducted biofuel research at UC Berkeley. Putting an emphasis on experiencing industry during his studies, Simon presided 'ETH juniors', Europe's largest student enterprise and consultancy. Later he got introduced to event management during an internship at Novartis. Currently, Simon is interested in biotech and entrepreneurship.
Michael Harris is a first year rotation student on the Wellcome Trust 4 year PhD in Immunity & Infection at Cambridge University. Prior to this he studied Genetics and Japanese Language/Linguistics at the University of Manchester and worked as research assistant at the University of Colorado. He has also worked in parasitology, conservation biology, and botany. Michael is passionate about scientific research and writing.
Nikola is a third year PhD student at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology and his research is focused on the biochemistry of Wnt signal transduction and its deregulation in colon cancer. He is interested in the intersection of business and science, especially in how companies use scientific innovation and business processes to deliver real impact for people.
Claudia obtained her PhD in Organic Chemistry in 2013 from Pavia’s University. She spent her final year as a PhD visiting student at the Bioengineering Department of Imperial College. She then moved to Cambridge to start a Post Doc at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology as Career Development Fellow. Her research is focused on the chemical understating of the origin of life. As a member of the Cambridge OBR chapter she is eager to foster the networking between academia and industries and to gain experience as consulting project manager.
Siddharth is presently a Postdoctoral Research Associate in Prof. Ashok Venkitaraman’s group at MRC-Cancer Unit, University of Cambridge. His research focuses on deciphering the interplay of signaling pathways in determination of cell fate post DNA damage, using a variety of tools such as single cell analysis, high throughput assays among many others. Utilising his prior industry experience and present academic experience, Siddharth looks forward to fostering fruitful consulting collaborations between industry and academia.
Milena is a student at the Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris, studying Molecular Biology. She is originally from Montenegro but moved to France for her studies and has been living in Paris ever since. She came to Cambridge as an intern at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology. In parallel, Milena is involved in NGO work in Montenegro as External Relations Coordinator at the NGO Organization of Montenegrins studying abroad (OMSA).
Karl is a MPhil student in Biological Anthropology with a focus on human evolutionary perspectives on cancer genomics at the University of Cambridge. Specifically, his current research centres on possible selection pressures of maintaining dynamic systems contribution to cancer susceptibility, working within the Leverhulme Centre for Human Evolutionary Studies. Previously Karl read for a B.Sc. in Psychology with a focus on Cognitive Neuroscience and Behavioural Ecology at the University of Dundee. Karl is interested in the application of distal explanations to biotech and epidemiology.
Marie is a second year PhD student in the Biochemistry department and her research focuses on the biosynthesis of polyketide natural products, specifically rapamycin-like molecules. She completed a BSc in Biology at the University of Alberta, Canada, during which she spent two summers interning at the Intercept pharmaceuticals medicinal chemistry lab in Perugia, Italy. As an OBR events team member Marie aims to run events with speakers from the most innovative life science companies and research groups.
Yelena is a third year PhD student in the Department of Chemistry and Cambridge Research Institute (CRUK) in Cambridge. She is part of the Chemical Biology and Molecular Medicine PhD training programme. Her work is focused on molecular imaging of cancer, in particular imaging aberrant glycosylation patterns in cancer. Previously, Yelena graduated from UCL with a MSci in Natural Sciences, including an exchange year at the Ecole Normale Superieure in Lyon. She is interested in entrepreneurship and applications of chemical biology in the biotech/pharma industry. As part of the OBR Events team, she is looking forward to foster links between academia and industry.
Jack is a Masters student in Bioentrepreneurship at Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. Currently, he is carrying out his masters project in Cambridge, studying innovative regulatory & reimbursement strategies in the European pharmaceutical market. Previously, Jack completed a BSc in Pharmacology from The University of Edinburgh and studied abroad at McGill University in Canada. He gained experience in strategy consulting, while working for Pope Woodhead, a Cambridge health care consultancy. There, he researched medtech market access and orphan drug reimbursement in Eastern Europe. As a part of the OBR Events Team, Jack hopes to get involved in events bridging the industry and academia.
You Li is a biophysics post-graduate specialised in single molecule detection at the National University of Singapore. Her Ph.D research focuses on using a combination of Magnetic Tweezers and Atomic Force Microscopy to investigate the molecular mechanism of protein-DNA interactions governing the pathogenicity of Salmonella and Mycobacteria tuberculosis. Previously You Li obtained a BSc in theoretical physics at Sichuan University, China, and a MSc in optical physics with a focus on sensitive fluorescence detection at the University of Tennessee, US. She is interested in applications of molecular biology and optical physics in the biotech development industry.
Isabel Nascimento Ferreira
Isabel is currently a Scientific Advisor for a Pharmaceutical Company. Her previous experience is in Academic Research. After completing a PhD on Neurosciences focused on gene therapy approaches to neurodegenerative diseases, she moved to Cambridge to work as a Post-Doctoral Researcher on a project exploring pharmacological strategies to delay axonal degeneration. She has experience in bringing science to daily clinical practice and she is passionate about medical education and scientific research.
Anand is a Chemical Engineering graduate from IIT Bombay. He has worked in the management consulting industry, at Zinnov (a boutique advisory firm) and Ernst & Young, where he advised several Fortune 500 companies, Indian government departments and industry associations on globalisation, market access and cost-optimisation strategies. He is currently reading for an MBA with a concentration in Health Strategies at the Judge Business School.
Sir Gregory Winter, FRS
Sir Gregory Winter graduated from Trinity College in 1973 and will become Master of the College in October 2012. He is a genetic engineer and best known for his research and inventions relating to therapeutic antibodies. His research career was based at the Medical Research Council’s Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, and he was until recently the Deputy Director. He has won numerous scientific awards, and also founded three biotech companies: Cambridge Antibody Technology in 1989 (bought by AstraZeneca), Domantis in 2000 (bought by GSK) and Bicycle Therapeutics in 2009.
Professor C R Lowe, OBE, FREng, FInstP, FRSC
Chris Lowe is a biochemist turned polymath who works in the Department of Chemical Engineering & Biotechnology in the area of healthcare biotechnology. He is involved in research ranging from fundamental science to strategic applied science across multiple disciplines and has won a number of national and international prizes including two Queen’s awards, the “Most Entrepreneurial Scientist of the UK” and the BBSRC Commercial Innovator of the Year in 2011. He has been the driving force for the establishment of 11 spin-out companies.
Tom has extensive experience in pharmaceutical development, manufacturing and marketing, and holds an MBA from Harvard University and a BSc from the Georgia Institute of Technology. His previous positions include: CEO of Sirus, a drug targeting and delivery company, based in Cambridge, England; Founder and Chairman, Lotus Healthcare Corporation, an Asian-based integrated pharmaceutical company producing and marketing analgesics, cardiovascular and gastrointestinal products; CEO of Cell Systems Limited, a medical applications company in cryopreservation and algal biotechnology.
One Nucleus was formed in April 2010 by the merger of two regional lifescience networks – Cambridge-based ERBI and the London Biotechnology Network (LBN). Together we form a commercial, clinical and academic powerhouse. London and Cambridge are home to at least 60% of the UK’s life science industry base, four of the UK’s five Academic Health Science Centres and three of the world’s top six universities. The merger of ERBI and LBN recognises that the Cambridge-London network is an international life science “super cluster”. One Nucleus is a membership organisation for international life science and healthcare companies. We are based in Cambridge and London UK, the heart of Europe’s largest life science and healthcare cluster. Our vision for us and our members is to be the top European life science and healthcare network. And our mission is to achieve this by maximising the global competitiveness of our members. More than 500 members include pharmaceutical, biotech, medical device and diagnostic companies and associated technical and commercial service providers.
Imperial Innovations builds and invests in technology and healthcare businesses based on or associated with leading scientific research from the UK’s four leading research universities: Imperial College London, Cambridge, Oxford and University College London. Since 2006, they have raised over £200 million to invest in and grow technology and healthcare businesses based on pioneering research undertaken at the four universities of focus. Imperial Innovations can provide financing from pre-company formation through all stages of development, including leading later stage rounds and prefer to be engaged at the earliest possible opportunity. This is based on their deeply held belief that leading companies begin life with the right financial backers supporting them from their inception.
MedImmune is a pioneering biotechnology company with a legacy of innovation that spans more than 25 years, and develop medicines for unmet medical needs worldwide. As an industry leader in personalized medicine MedImmune develop new products that may allow doctors to prescribe a specific, customized treatment for each patient’s individual needs.
Jonathan is a PhD student at Cambridge and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute where his research focuses on acquired drug resistance to targeted therapies in cancer. Jonathan graduated from the University of Manchester with a BSc in Genetics and while Head of Events in Cambridge took considerable initiatives to establish an OBR chapter in Manchester. His interests lie in the biotechnology industry and consulting.
Daniel is a PhD candidate at the University of Cambridge and the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, where he is working on GPCR biogenesis and the insertion mechanisms of integral membrane proteins. He finishedhis professional training in IT & multimedia production in Germany, received a BSc. in Biochemistry from the University of Technology in Munich andan MSc in Molecular Biophysics from the King's College London. During his time at the Yale School of Medicine as a BMEP fellow his research efforts focused on the cellular DNA damage response and the utilization of microRNA signatures as biomarkers in cancer. Daniel is interested in technology entrepreneurship and intellectual property.
Sophia is a first year PhD student at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute (Cambridge) and Public Health England (London). Last year, she graduated from Imperial College with a BSc in Biology. Her research is focused on the genetics and epidemiology of Legionella pneumophila, the bacterium that causes Legionnaires' disease. In addition to her research, Sophia is passionate about communicating science to the public. Her blog can be found at www.thetripletcode.com.
Zuzanna is a second year PhD student in Physiology, Development and Neuroscience at Cambridge. Her work focuses on investigating neuromodulatory effects of dopamine in the hippocampus to elucidate mechanisms behind reward learning and memory.
Karolina is a second year PhD student in Chemistry at Cambridge. Her research is focused on understanding the mechanism of amyloid fibril formation and aggregation of peptide pharmaceuticals. The project is carried out in academia and in the industry. She graduated from Lund University and Jagiellonian University with a BSc and MSc in Chemistry.