Optimized human cell products for research
and drug discovery

Technology Founders

Roger Pedersen PhD

Roger A. Pedersen received an A.B. (with distinction) in biology from Stanford University in 1965 and a Ph.D. in biology from Yale University in 1970. He did postdoctoral work in mammalian embryology at Johns Hopkins University. In 1971, he began a research program in mammalian reproductive and developmental genetics at the University of California, San Francisco, where he explored for three decades issues of developmental potency, fate and the influence of the environment on embryonic development. That work, together with clinical service directing the UCSF in vitro fertilisation laboratory during the 1990s, led him to studies of human embryos and stem cells. In early 2001, his laboratory generated two of the human embryonic stem cell lines named on the so-called President’s list, which became eligible in late 2001 for U.S. Government funding. By then, Pedersen had relocated to the University of Cambridge in the UK, where he continues his research on human embryonic stem cells as Professor of Regenerative Medicine and Director of the Cambridge Centre for Stem Cell Biology and Medicine.

Tamir Rashid BSc, MBBS, MRes, PhD, MRCP

Tamir Rashid obtained his doctorate in stem cell biology from the University of Cambridge, having graduated in medicine from Imperial College London (St Mary’s Hospital). He went on to complete higher specialist training in Gastroenterology & Hepatology as a Lecturer in the Department of Medicine, Cambridge before moving to King’s College London as a group leader and MRC Clinician Scientist Fellow in the newly formed Centre for Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine. His continued interest in stem cells as a treatment for liver disorders is complimented through his clinical practice as an Honorary Consultant in the Institute of Liver Studies, King’s College Hospital. Tamir’s contributions to the stem cell and liver fields have been recognized via several prestigious awards in recent years including the American Liver Association Fellows’ Prize, the British Liver Association’s Sheila Sherlock Prize and the Academy of Medical Sciences UK Young Investigator Award. His doctoral research provided the pivotal IP leading to the spin out of DefiniGEN (Rashid et. al., JCI 2010). Tamir is an international authority on clinical applications of stem cell biology.

Nicolas Hannan PhD

Scientific Founder Nicholas R.F Hannan is currently a senior research associate at the Anne McLaren Laboratory for Regenerative Medicine, University of Cambridge funded by the LivES European liver consortium. He has worked in the human stem cell field for 10 years and has extensive expertise in stem cell pluripotency, developmental patterning specifically towards endoderm and the differentiation of stem cells using defined, xeno-free culture conditions. Prior to joining the University of Cambridge Nicholas completed his PhD at Monash University in the Australian Stem Cell Centre in Melbourne Australia. He has published research articles in high-impact journals in the fields of pancreatic and liver hepatocyte cell differentiation in defined conditions, identification of human foregut stem cells and the modelling of inherited metabolic liver disease and their subsequent genetic correction. This ground-breaking work has contributed to the development of the OptiDIFF platform for the production of iPSC- derived liver and pancreatic cells. Nicholas’s current research interests include the generation of endoderm-derived cell types including hindgut intestinal epithelium, hepatocytes, cholangiocytes, pancreatic cells and lung epithelium.

Candy Cho PhD

Scientific Founder Candy Hsin-Hua, Cho is currently a research associate at the Anne McLaren Laboratory for Regenerative Medicine, University of Cambridge funded by the Medical Research Council. She was awarded a PhD degree in differentiation of pluripotent stem cells into pancreatic islet cells at University of Cambridge, which was funded by MRC, Cambridge University Overseas Trust and Ministry of Education in Taiwan. She has worked in the human stem cell field for over 8 years, has extensive expertise in stem cell pluripotency, developmental patterning specifically towards endoderm and the differentiation of stem cells using defined, xeno-free culture conditions. Prior to joining the University of Cambridge Candy completed her B.Sc. in Biochemistry at University of Bristol, U.K. She has published research articles in high-impact journals in the fields of pancreatic and liver cell differentiation in defined conditions. This ground-breaking work has contributed to the development of the OptiDIFF platform for the production of iPSC-derived liver and pancreatic cells. Candy’s current research interests include the generation of pancreatic progenitor cells and its maturation into functional glucose responsive pancreatic islet cells.