People

Prof. Steve Jackson

Chairman
Steve is the University of Cambridge Frederick James Quick Professor of Biology and Head of Cancer Research UK Laboratories at the Wellcome Trust/Cancer Research UK Gurdon Institute. He is a world expert in the field of DNA repair and DNA-damage signaling. He has founded three companies, one of which, KuDOS Pharmaceuticals, developed the anti-cancer drug Olaparib/Lynparza®, recently partnered by AstraZeneca with Merck and valued as an asset of up to $17BN. Steve’s awards include the 2016 Heineken Prize for Science, the UK GSN Medal and he is a fellow of the Royal Society.

Dr. Darrin M. Disley OBE

CEO
Darrin is a renowned scientist, entrepreneur, angel investor and enterprise champion who has started, grown or invested in over 40 start-up life science, technology and social enterprises, raising $500 million USD in business financing and closing $600 million USD in commercial deals. He was CEO of Horizon Discovery Group plc for 11 years, during which he led the Company from start-up through a $113 million USD IPO, and rapid scale-up powered by multiple acquisitions of US peer companies to become a global market leader in gene editing and gene modulation technologies. He was appointed OBE in 2018 for his services to business and enterprise in the healthcare sector.

Prof. Julian Gough

CSO (Co-founder)
Julian is a biotech entrepreneur and world expert in bioinformatics. He graduated his PhD in molecular biology from the University of Cambridge and was a research fellow at Stanford University. He is now a Programme Leader at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge and Professor of Bioinformatics at the University of Bristol. He has successfully started a number of biotech companies.

Prof. Owen Rackham

CTO (Co-founder)
Owen is world expert in the application of machine learning and complex systems in cell reprograming. He was a career development fellow at the Medical Research Council, UK and was the recipient of a JSPS fellowship to work at the RIKEN Omics Science Centre in Yokohama. He is now an Assistant Professor at the Duke-NUS Medical School in Singapore.

Prof. Jose Polo

CMO (Co-founder)
Jose has worked at the cutting-edge of cell reprograming for over a decade. He graduated his PhD at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York before becoming a research fellow at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute. He was awarded a NHMRC career development fellowship, a Charles Viertel Senior Medical Research fellowship as well as an ARC future fellowship and is now a Professor at Monash University.

Dr. Karin Schmitt

CBO
Karin has over 25 years’ experience with a sustained track record of successful leadership roles within the life sciences, biotech and therapeutic industries at Exelixis, Inc., Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Horizon Discovery Group plc and PredictImmune Ltd. Karin has brought over 20 innovative products to market internationally, across a wide scientific spectrum, with recent emphasis on clinical products and has additional experience in legal, commercial and regulatory pathways. Karin obtained her PhD in molecular biology at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, followed by three years of post-doctoral research in genetics at the University of Cambridge.

Joe Foster

COO
Joe began his career at Horizon Discovery Group plc working within the corporate development team gaining experience in business planning, licensing, technology evaluation and M&A analysis, before becoming Dr. Jonathan Milner's (Co-founder of Abcam plc) Portfolio Manager where he built and managed a complex portfolio of more than 40 early-stage life science companies. Joe holds a degree in molecular and cellular biology from the University of Bath and an MPhil in business management from the University of Cambridge.

Pierre-Louis Joffrin BSc. MSc. (oxon)

Corporate Development Executive
Pierre-Louis has a background in Biochemistry and Pharmacology from the University of St Andrews and the University of Oxford. He previously worked in early stage venture development and investment at Oxford Sciences Innovations (OSI) and Deep Science Ventures (DSV) before becoming the first employee at Mogrify.