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Management Team

Marek Gumienny ACA

Marek Gumienny ACA

Chairman

After leaving Warwick University with a degree in Pure Mathematics, Marek qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Price Waterhouse prior to joining Candover at the end of 1986. Over the next twenty five years he led over thirty deals with an aggregate value of over £8bn. He has operated in a diverse range of sectors including financial services, insurance, energy, leisure support services and industrials. He retired as Chairman of Candover/Arle Capital partners at the end of 2011. He is now a Director of 24 Haymarket, an active group of investors providing private capital to a range entrepreneurial ventures in fields including information and communications technology, sport and nanotechnology.

Dr Marcus Yeo

Dr Marcus Yeo

Chief Executive Officer

Dr Marcus Yeo is a founder and CEO of the company. He is an experienced Company Director and life scientist who took the Oxford-based diagnostics biotechnology company Cybersense Biosystems Ltd to acquisition in 2008 by the FTSE 100 company Severn Trent. He oversaw the integration of the business into the Severn Trent ISO 17025 structure and led sales and marketing of the Severn Trent analytics division. Marcus previously worked for the University of Oxford company Zyoxel Ltd (now CN Bio Innovations), which markets advanced 3D human tissue culture systems to the investigative toxicology drug discovery sector. He specialised in the development of next-generation stem cell derived liver toxicology products and disease modelling systems for drug discovery lead optimisation. He has a PhD in Molecular Biology and is an accredited European Commission Technology Expert who has managed in excess of £15m of R&D funding.

Richard Willock

Richard Willock

Chief Business Officer

Richard’s research background is in Genomics and Molecular Genetics, he graduated from Sussex University and then worked for 5 years as a Research Scientist at GlaxoSmithKline, where he focussed on the development of genetic biomarker strategies for personalised medicine. He has over 15 years of experience in global business development roles at companies such as Packard Bioscience and PerkinElmer, where he was responsible for sales and commercial strategy in the automation and assay technology sectors. He spent nine years at Asterand Bioscience, a human-tissue based research services provider, where he was responsible for transformative revenue growth across Europe and USA. As an Executive Director of DefiniGEN, he oversees the creation and execution of the company’s global business development strategy.

Dr Filipa Soares

Dr Filipa Soares

Director Strategic R&D

Filipa heads R&D activities and manages product to market operations. She is also responsible to identify strategic collaborations and oversee custom projects delivery. She has 11 years of experience in Product Development and R&D in the field of stem cells and regenerative medicine and development of cell culture bioreactor processes with several publications.  Filipa holds a PhD from the University of Cambridge where she worked in primary cell isolation, iPSC reprograming, scale up and differentiation into pancreatic progenitors. She co-stablished the Sanger Cellular Genetics hiPSC platform for large scale hiPSC reprograming and developed automation protocols for iPSC handling. She has extensive knowledge in hiPSC-differentiation into pancreatic, hepatocyte and intestinal organoids. Filipa has managed several grants such as the EBiSC European Stem Cell bank partner and Innovate UK grants.

Professor Ludovic Vallier

Professor Ludovic Vallier

Chief Scientific Officer

Ludovic holds key senior faculty positions at the SANGER institute as well as the University of Cambridge and coordinates and manages large-scale stem cell production activities and disease research grants for multiple bodies including ERC, MRC, Wellcome Trust and NIHR. The Vallier laboratory studies mechanisms controlling the differentiation of pluripotent cells into pancreas and liver cell types. They have advanced the state of the art regarding the use of iPSC as an in vitro model of development. This has included the development of a platform technology enabling the controlled differentiation of human stem cells into specific endodermal cell types including pancreas and liver progenitors. He has created the Cambridge NIHR BRC iPSC core facility and he is now coordinating this large scale HIPSCI project. This aims to derive iPSC lines from 1500 patients within the Sanger Institute and also with institutions worldwide such as the NIH. Ludovic has published several high impact factor articles on iPSCs and are used for modelling liver diseases and cell based therapy. He has also developed a strong interest in pancreatic development by establishing robust protocols of differentiation to generate homogenous population of beta-like cells. Ludovic is a Professor of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cells

Professor Sir John Savil

Professor Sir John Savil

Non-Executive Director

 

Prof Sir John Savill’s expertise in research, innovation and translational science led to his appointment as Chief Executive of the Medical Research Council (MRC) in 2010. Within this role managing a budget of £800m he was responsible for delivering the MRC’s biomedical science strategy to improve human health through world-class medical research. Alongside the MRC role, Savill was also Vice-Principal and Head of the College of Medicine at the University of Edinburgh. In a key scientific advisory role for DefiniGEN his experience in supporting research into new therapies will deliver the company’s vision to partner with pharma to develop new medicines for metabolic disease.