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Cambridge (UK) Chapter


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.

Chapter President, OBR-Cambridge

Will Briggs

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.

Events Lead, OBR-Cambridge

Simon Brunner

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.

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Outreach & Marketing Lead, OBR-Cambridge

Emma Martinez-Sanchez

Emma is a Research Associate at the WT-MRC Stem Cell Institute where she investigates the role of posttranslational modifications in stem cell homeostasis. After finishing her M.Sc in the Complutense University of Madrid, Emma moved to the Netherlands where she obtained a PhD in cellular biology. During her graduate studies she investigated vesicular traffic and uncovered the cooperative role of two GTPases in docking and fusion of secretory vesicles. Emma is passionate about communication and outreach as exemplified by her participation in several committees during her PhD and now as a postdoc. As the marketing and outreach lead, Emma wants to engage all sectors of the thriving Cambridge scientific atmosphere using the experiences she gained in these committees.

OBR_N+M Choice
Consulting Project Manager, OBR-Cambridge

Nikola Novcic

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.

picture for Website Claudia
Consulting Project Manager, OBR-Cambridge

Claudia Percivalle

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.

Consulting Project Manager, OBR-Cambridge

Siddharth De

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.

Events Team, OBR-Cambridge

Milena Stankovic

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).

Events Team, OBR-Cambridge

Marie Yurkovich

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 Wainman
Events Team, OBR-Cambridge

Yelena Wainman

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.

Events Team, OBR-Cambridge

Jack Ziomek

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.

Events Team, OBR-Cambridge

You Li

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.

Events Team, OBR-Cambridge

Alessandra Bittante

Alessandra is a second year PhD student on the Wellcome Trust 1+3 Infection and Immunity programme, based at the Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Cambridge. Her interest in all things bacteria developed during her undergraduate degree and independent research projects at the University of Exeter, and now has followed into a PhD project researching the recognition of Salmonella by host Pattern Recognition Receptors. Event organisation and management has been playing an important role throughout her time at university so far, and OBR is the perfect platform for coupling events with her passion for science.

Events Team, OBR-Cambridge

Miha Pipan

Miha is a second year undergraduate student reading Natural Sciences at the University of Cambridge. His scientific interests are mainly focused on cancer biology and virology. Miha is currently a member of the University of Cambridge iGEM 2014 team, aiming to introduce a new model organism to the competition. He is interested in biotechnology and is actively working towards learning more about the industry from both scientific and market perspectives. As a member of the OBR team, he aims to popularise the importance of academia and industry cooperation amongst undergraduates.

Karl Byrne
Ambassador, OBR-Cambridge

Karl Smith-Byrne

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.

Ambassador, OBR-Cambridge

Anand Tatambhotla

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.

Ambassador, OBR-Cambridge

Gavin Rutledge

Gavin is currently a secondary school biology teacher in Luxembourg City, Luxembourg. He will join Cambridge University and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute as a PhD student in October, 2014. His background includes an MSc in Quantitative Biology from Imperial College, an MA in English Literature from King’s College, and a BSc in Biology and English from Keele University. Gavin is passionate about bioinformatics, biotechnology and entrepreneurship, as well as connecting academics and industry professionals internationally.

Ambassador, OBR-Cambridge

Rishika Kundra

Rishika is a first year PhD student and a Dr. Manmohan Singh Scholar in the Department of Chemistry, University of Cambridge. Her research is focused on Alzheimer’s disease – what causes the proteins to aggregate and form plaques that initiate a cascade of cellular collapse. She is looking into the fundamental properties of proteins that could make them vulnerable to aggregation in stress conditions. She obtained a Masters degree in Biomedical Science and BSc (Honours) in Zoology from University of Delhi. She is passionate about bridging the gap between academia and industry, as well as generating an awareness of the potential each has to offer.

University of Cambridge

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.

Director, Institute of Biotechnology, University of Cambridge

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.

CEO of Arecor (Cambridge, UK)

Tom Saylor

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.

Wednesday, 4th June 2014 @ 7:00pm

Cambridge (UK) Chapter: Moving Genomics to the Clinic

Sanger Building, Department of Biochemistry, Sanger Building, Old Addenbrookes Site, 80 Tennis Court Road, Cambridge CB2 1GA
Wednesday, 7th May 2014 @ 7:00pm

Cambridge (UK) Chapter: Turning Smart Molecules Into Business Opportunities

The Gillespie Centre - Riley Auditorium, Clare College, Burrell's Walk, University of Cambridge
Monday, 3rd March 2014 @ 6:45pm

Cambridge (UK) Chapter: Contesting Cancer, Where Cutting Edge Ideas Compete to Be Tomorrow’s Hottest Story in Cancer Research

The Gillespie Centre - Riley Auditorium, Clare College, Burrell's Walk, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire CB3 9AJ, UK
Wednesday, 26th February 2014 @ 2:00pm

Cambridge (UK) Chapter: Catenion: Risky Business Workshop Cambridge 2014

Bowett Room, Queens’ College, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, CB3 9ET

One Nucleus

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.



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.

Former Chapter President, OBR-Cambridge (12-13)

Jonathan Brammeld

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.

Former Outreach and Marketing Lead, OBR-Cambridge (12-13)

Daniel Prado

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.

Former Chapter Correspondent, OBR-Cambridge (12-13)

Sophia David

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

Former Events Team, OBR-Cambridge (13)

Zuzanna Brzosko

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 Zapadka_OBR-Cambridge President_ bio
Former Chapter President, OBR-Cambridge (13)

Karolina Zapadka

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.

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