Optimized human cell products for research
and drug discovery

Management Team

Jonathan Milner PhD

Chairman

Jonathan is an experienced entrepreneur and business leader with a background in genetic research. He gained his doctorate in Molecular Genetics at Leicester University after graduating in Applied Biology at Bath University. From 1992 to 1995 he was a post-doctoral researcher at Bath University working on antibody engineering, following which he worked at the University of Cambridge in the laboratory of Professor Tony Kouzarides studying cancer, specifically the BRCA2 gene associated with hereditary breast cancer. Whilst in research he identified the market opportunity for supplying high-quality antibodies to support protein interaction studies. In 1998, Jonathan founded Abcam with David Cleevely and Professor Tony Kouzarides, to supply the rapidly growing market for antibodies and other life science reagents.

Marcus Yeo PhD

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

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.

Ludovic Vallier PhD

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.

Marek Gumienny ACA

Director

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.