Programme Faculty

Delivery of ODP2 Part 3: DEVELOP

Innovation Experts

David Charron

David Charron has thirty-five years of experience with technology commercialization. He teaches innovation, entrepreneurship, and investing at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. He is the lead faculty in the NSF and NIH I-Corps programs, where he has worked with hundreds of startups. He is actively involved in coaching healthcare innovators at UCSF. David has started several companies and actively advises and invests in new ventures. He has held leadership positions at Berkeley, run incubators and accelerators, and worked across corporate, academic, and government sectors.

Jerome (Jerry) S. Engel

Jerome S. Engel is the Founding Executive Director Emeritus of the Lester Center for Entrepreneurship at Haas School of Business. He is an internationally recognized expert on innovation, entrepreneurship, and venture capital, lecturing and advising business and government leaders around the world. Most recently he has focused on lean innovation entrepreneurship and developing innovation ecosystems globally. Further to Professor Engels’ notable professional achievements, he has been awarded the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance Lifetime Educational Achievement Award, along with the Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers Award for Outstanding Contributions to Advance the Discipline of Entrepreneurship, among others.

Therapeutics Industry Experts

DAve Cook

David has a background in biochemistry, immunology and molecular biology with a PhD from Imperial College, London and three years of academic post-doctoral experience. David has worked in the pharmaceutical industry for over 20 years. He worked in big pharma at AstraZeneca for more than 17 years in a wide variety of R&D roles both in the UK and the US. Whilst at AstraZeneca he worked on numerous drug projects from target selection through to supporting market products. He was also heavily involved in an in-depth analysis of AZ’s drug portfolio and understanding why projects fail and was the lead author on AZ’s “5Rs Paper” describing the learnings from this exercise. David joined Blueberry Therapeutics as Chief Scientific Officer at the start of 2014. In this role, he is responsible for leading the research activities of the business which are focused on developing new treatments for common dermatological diseases.

Peter Simpson

Peter has eighteen years of experience in leadership within major Pharma companies (MSD, AstraZeneca), where he established global technology and assay innovations and led large-scale international collaborations. Peter was the Chief Scientific Officer of Medicines Discovery Catapult, the UK’s centre of excellence in drug discovery, where he enabled over 100 SMEs to access drug discovery expertise, technology and assays. He is Co-Founder of a drug delivery technology SME which he has guided through international VC investment, and he is Chair of a peptide therapeutics SME. Peter holds an Honorary Chair at University of Manchester in Cancer Sciences and sits on Bionow’s strategic advisory board and UKRI national funding panels. At the start of the Covid pandemic, Peter led the establishment of the Alderley Park Lighthouse Lab, which grew to employ 800 staff and delivered around 24 million Covid diagnostic tests.

Kathryn (Kate) Owen

Kate is an independent pharmaceutical physician with more than 22 years’ experience in large pharma and small biotechs. She specialises in early phase clinical development, especially translational packages of preclinical data to develop first in human studies, haematological oncology, clinical trial design and clinical pharmacology with small molecules, biologics and cell therapies.

Naseer Qayum

Naseer is a physician-scientist who has been involved in clinical drug development for almost two decades, with a focus on novel cancer therapeutics. He has worked in both the academic/spin-out and pharmaceutical industry settings, from discovery through to commercial launch.

Nigel Brooks

Nigel is a life science consultant, motivated by the opportunity to translate basic research into clinical application in a way that benefits patients most effectively. He holds a track record of over 30 years in drug discovery and development in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and academic sectors. Most recently, Nigel worked as Director of Translational Science at CellCentric Ltd.

Medtech and Diagnostics Industry experts

Jane Theaker

Jane Theaker is a diagnostics expert.  She has worked for the NHS, Zeneca Diagnostics, AstraZeneca, Qiagen, LGC and Kinomica.  She is currently CEO of PBD Biotech Limited and holds NED positions on the boards of Bionow, (a Lifesciences membership organisation based in the North of England) and ArcticZymes (a Norwegian listed company which is an innovative enzyme developer and manufacturer).  She is motivated by a strong desire to see innovative diagnostics and drugs translated into broadly available new treatments for patients.

David Browning

David is a people-focused entrepreneur, applying over 40 years healthcare experience to deliver transformational change within blue-chip healthcare corporations, not-for-profit and entrepreneurial organisations, complemented with broad-spectrum knowledge incorporating oncology / personalised healthcare, clinical diagnostics, digital health, wearable technologies and nanotechnology. David possesses strong business leadership, board-level experience and an extensive network of world-class industry experts, investors and innovators, combined with scientific orientation to translate disruptive technology to deliver results through excellent interpersonal, communication and team motivational skills.

Nigel Sansom

Nigel originally trained in molecular pathology and has an extensive career encompassing senior roles in both the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, as well as in academia, Government and the NHS. Nigel brings a wealth of experience of HealthTech innovation management and commercialisation of technology innovation, and has been a mentor for SOSV Synthetic Biology Accelerator and the Triple Chasm Accelerator. Whilst working in academia Nigel also trained as a Lean Launchpad facilitator. Nigel works in oncology and is Chair of a company focussed on delivering a machine-learning based blood test for the early detection of cancer.

Gareth Kitchen

Gareth is Clinical Academic, and Honorary Consultant Anaesthetist, interested circadian regulation of susceptibility to disease, particularly respiratory infections. Following an MRC CRTF funded, basic science PhD at the University of Manchester’s Institute of Biological Timing. Gareth progressed to work alongside industry through an an NIHR Developments and Skills Enhancement Award to gain experience working with at the interface of academia, industry and the NHS. This work involves the utilization of continuous vitals signs monitoring outside of critical care and consumer wearable technology at home following clinical intervention. Through AI and deep learning, I aim to provide clinical predictions and aid decision making. Gareth is the Chief investigator of a clinical trial of a medical device currently under assessment by the NIHR HTA panel.

Helen Cole

Helen is a state registered Clinical Scientist in Medical Physics, with around 20 years of experience in Medical Device Evaluation for the National Health Service (NHS). Latterly, she spent 8 years as Head of a National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) External Assessment Centre (EAC), delivering independent evaluations of innovative MedTech and Diagnostic technologies. Helen is currently Executive Lead for Health Technologies and Evaluation in the Northern Health Science Alliance (NHSA), which is a partnership of 10 NHS Trusts, 10 leading research-active Universities and all four Academic Health Science Networks across the North of England, with close links to other regional Life Science cluster support organisations, across the UK. Helen offers extensive experience to MedTech and Diagnostic innovators in developing their value proposition from an NHS commissioner (payer) perspective, and identifying their evidence gaps for any potential future Health Technology Assessment (HTA), towards NHS adoption at scale.

Steve McConchie

With a PhD in biochemistry from Liverpool University, Steve has >30 years of clinical drug development experience, including 25 years at AstraZeneca including >15years supporting oncology projects from preclinical phase to clinical proof of concept. In 2014 he co-founded an oncology-focused clinical CRO, Aptus Clinical based in Alderley Park. In his role as CEO, Steve led this business from a start-up of 3 Co-founder directors to a full service clinical research organisation of more than 40 people. The business was acquired by a US-based CRO , Catalyst in 2022.

Project Managers

Lisa Cox

Lisa is an experienced Project Manager, with over 30 years experience in the pharmaceutical industry. She has managed clinical development projects for novel oncology products from pre-clinical phase up to Phase 2, and in addition to clinical development, she has experience of CMC (chemistry & pharmaceutical development projects), having managed early research projects up to technology transfer for commercial manufacturing.

Kath Lowery

Kath is a highly experienced Clinical Director of oncology development programmes and has extensive knowledge and experience in the design, management and analysis of clinical trials in oncology and haematology: including immunotherapies, CAR-T, radio-immunotherapy and small molecule oncology. Kath is a Chartered Statistician, a Member of the Royal Statistical Society, the Association of Project Managers (MAPM) and the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO).

Programme Director

Ned Wakeman

Ned trained as a scientist, has spent 12 years in investment banking, founded his own biotech company, and has been involved in raising >£600m for VCs & SMEs. As Director of the Alderley Park Accelerator, he built the ecosystem of support including the Accelerator & Scaleup programmes, and Expert Mentor Network. He also led on negotiating with AstraZeneca to establish Alderley Park Ventures. During his time there, Ned and his team supported the creation & growth of over 200 life science companies. In 2021, Ned founded and directed the Alderley Park Oncology Development Programme (ODP1, the precursor to ODP2), where the final 8 innovators have raised over £50million.