Speakers BBMS 2022

Spinning Biomedical Research into Action

Gillian Leng

Gillian Leng is a visiting professor at King’s College London and the former Chief Executive of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). She became Deputy Chief Executive at the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence in 2007. In April 2020, she succeeded Andrew Dillon as NICE’s CEO where she oversaw the creation of new guidelines on COVID-19. Previously she was responsible for the initial set up and running of NICE’s clinical guidelines programme. As a junior doctor she was struck by variations in clinical practice and this developed into a passion for using evidence to improve care. Her career has spanned research, evidence synthesis, management and healthcare. She was an editor of the Cochrane Collaboration, and chair of the Guidelines International Network.

Michael Anstey

Michael Anstey is a Partner at Cambridge Innovation Capital (CIC) specialising in life sciences investments. Before joining CIC he was a Principal in the Healthcare Practice Area at The Boston Consulting Group’s Toronto office. Michael has experience in advising multinational businesses across North America, Europe, India, and Japan.

Michael was also co-founder of an early stage biotechnology company focused on developing small molecule drugs that target protein-protein interactions implicated in disease. Prior to BCG, Michael was an Investment Analyst at Oxford Capital Partners.

Michael earned his DPhil in Zoology in the field of neurobiology from the University of Oxford.

Neelam Patel

Neelam Patel is CEO of MedCity (an organisation that aims to grow the health and life sciences sector and helps put the UK at the centre of research and innovation globally) and Non-Executive Director of the NHS Health Research Authority.

She has substantial experience in the pharmaceutical industry across R&D, commercial and administrative functions, and has led programmes in the National Institute for Health Research and the public sector. Across these roles, her focus was bringing high quality clinical research into the UK for the benefit of patients and the economy.

Nitzan Rosenfeld

Nitzan Rosenfeld is a Senior Group Leader at Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute. He is a pioneer and world leader in developing liquid biopsy tests for cancer using circulating tumour DNA. He has developed multiple clinical diagnostic tests for cancer, based on microRNA expression profiling and on circulating cell-free tumour DNA in plasma. He co-founded Inivata Ltd., one of the UK’s leading genomics companies that was amongst the first to offer clinical liquid biopsy tests for cancer genomic profiling. His research group continues to develop sensitive methods for detection of cell free tumour DNA in body fluids, and ways to apply these for cancer detection and monitoring.

Mark Kotter

Mark Kotter is a stem cell biologist and neurosurgeon at the University of Cambridge. By combining synthetic and stem cell biology, his team has developed a benchmark technology for the efficient and consistent production of human cells for use in research, drug development, and cell therapy. He has founded a number of synthetic biology startups, most recently the human synthetic biology enterprise, Bit Bio. The focus of his mission is to transition biology to engineering so as to be able to address some of the most important needs of patients and sustainability.

Prashant Shah

Prashant Shah is a serial entrepreneur in life sciences and tech. He co-founded o2h Ventures which is involved in seeding, incubating and investing in early stage life science and technology companies.

In his early career he worked with the Strategy group at Accenture followed by co-founding two companies in the technology and life sciences sector. The second of these companies focused on drug discovery was acquired by a public company. He holds a BEng, an MSc, in which he worked on the Human Genome Program at the Sanger Centre, and an MPhil in Management from the Judge Institute.

Ala Alenazi

Ala Alenazi is an Investment Associate at Ascension. She is responsible for sourcing, screening and performing due diligence on investment opportunities for Ascension’s Life Fund. Ala also assists across the investor relations and fundraising functions of the business.

Before joining Ascension, Ala was the regional Accelerator manager for EIT Health, a pan-EU HealthTech Accelerator backed by the European Union. Ala’s passion in this space stems from her background as a Molecular Geneticist. She holds a Doctorate in Molecular Genetics from Cambridge University, where her research explored the pathways that lead to metastasis. Ala also investigated the molecular mechanisms of ageing at UCL’s Cancer Institute and holds a Master’s degree in Human Molecular Genetics from Imperial College London.

David Fairen-Jimenez

David Fairen-Jimenez leads the Adsorption & Advanced Material Laboratory. His research into the application of metal-organic frameworks in energy applications and nanoscale drug delivery is underpinned by fundamental studies into molecular recognition and adsorption processes in nanoporous materials.

He is also a founder and Director at Immaterial Labs Ltd.,  and Vector bioscience Cambridge, a company using MOFs for drug delivery applications. In 2016 he was awarded a European Research Council Consolidator Grant for the “Design of NanoMOFs Capsules for Drug Delivery and Bioimaging” in cancer diagnosis and therapy.

Olivia Rossanese

Olivia Rossanese is a drug discovery professional and cancer biologist, currently heading the Division of Cancer Therapeutics at the Institute of Cancer Research in London. She obtained a PhD in molecular genetics and cell biology from the University of Chicago, followed by a post-doctoral fellowship in the Section of Microbial Pathogenesis at Yale University. Dr Rossanese has gained extensive drug discovery experience through her work with GlaxoSmithKline and later as group leader at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

Jason Mellad

Jason Mellad is a scientist entrepreneur passionate about translating innovative technologies into better patient outcomes. As CEO and co-founder of Start Codon, a Cambridge based venture builder, he aims to identify the most disruptive healthcare founders and innovations worldwide, seed fund them and leverage the exceptional resources of the Cambridge cluster to de-risk and drive the success of their start-ups. He was previously the CEO of Cambridge Epigenetix and Business Development Manager for Horizon Discovery’s diagnostics division. He also served as an associate at Cambridge Enterprise, the technology transfer office of the University of Cambridge.

Mike Roddis

Mike Roddis is an independent consultant pathologist and an independent medical Leadership Consultant. His company specialises in working with doctors to improve their performance, focusing on individual and team coaching, behavioural coaching, diagnosis and interventions in dysfunctional teams, leadership development and working with trusts to identify problems with capability and conduct. His publications include articles on moral leadership in medicine, dealing with difficult doctors, senior medical career development, image management, the need for medical management skills, team working and doctor-employer relations for the Health Service Journal, the BMJ group and Independent Practitioner Today.

Maximilian Jakobs

Maximilian (Max) Jakobs is a co-founder of DeepMirror Ltd, a biotech start-up with the aim of accelerating AI usage for biomedical data. Dr Jakobs graduated with a BSc and MSc in physics from Cologne University (Germany), followed by a PhD in developmental biology at the University of Cambridge. DeepMirror offers a wide range of applications, including tools for advanced analysis of microscopy images (DeepMirror Spark).

Marcel Gehrung

Marcel Gehrung is the co-founder and current CEO of Cyted Ltd, a Cambridge-based company focusing on providing a digital diagnostic infrastructure for disease detection. He received his Bachelor and Master degree at the University of Tuebingen, followed by a PhD at the University of Cambridge, focusing on machine learning in healthcare and medical sciences. Dr. Gehrung holds several awards, including the Alexander Fleming Prize and was recently included in the Forbes 30 Under 30 (2021) list in the field of Science & Healthcare.