The Executive Management Team is responsible for the day-to-day running of the charity under authority delegated by the Board of Trustees. The team, under the leadership of the CEO, proposes to the Board where the charity should invest its time, money and expertise. It is also responsible for developing the financial and operational plans for Board approval and monitoring financial performance.
Stéphane Maikovsky is the Interim Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at LifeArc, succeeding Dr Melanie Lee who stepped down from the role in September 2023.
Stéphane joined LifeArc as Chief Financial Officer and Trustee in June 2022. He heads up the Finance, Investment, Early Ventures, Information Technology and Operational Effectiveness teams.
Stéphane was previously CFO at the Francis Crick Institute, where his responsibilities included financial strategy, financial planning and operations, strategic and commercial partnerships, sourcing, grants management, risk management and the oversight of facilities and infrastructure.
He has held a number of senior financial, commercial and strategic roles in global biotechnology and business. Stéphane is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (FCMA, CGMA), has an LLM in Medical Law and Ethics from the University of Edinburgh, and a BSc in Business Administration from Northeastern University.
Rachael is an experienced General Counsel and Company Secretary, now working primarily in interim roles. She was most recently at CDP, a not for profit providing a global environmental disclosure system. Prior to working at CDP Rachael spent time at the National Grid in a range of roles including responsibility for non-financial support functions including legal, compliance, ethics and risk management and led the legal team supporting its Ventures team as National Grid explored interests outside its core regulated sector. Rachael also supported the UK electricity and gas boards as their Company Secretary.
Rachael acted as Executive Sponsor for National Grid’s work on wellbeing which included sitting as a non-executive representative on the Government’s Thriving at Work Steering Group, and the Business In the Community group for wellbeing. To support her interest in wellbeing and mental health Rachael has also recently completed a Masters of Science in Neuroscience and Mental Health.
Graham Duce is LifeArc’s Chief Investment Officer (CIO), responsible for managing the proceeds from LifeArc’s monetisation of our royalty interest in Keytruda® (pembrolizumab) and ensuring that we have a sustainable approach to income generation.
Prior to joining LifeArc, Graham was Global Head of Distribution Solutions at Aberdeen Standard Investments, having first started with the company as portfolio manager and progressing to become the holder of a successful career in multi-asset investments with a proven track record in both retail and institutional funds.
Graham works alongside David Zahn, who was appointed in 2019 as Board trustee and Chair of the Investment Management Committee.
Fiona French is Chief People Officer at LifeArc, delivering an HR agenda to enable the business to deliver its corporate goals and business strategy.
Fiona has over 20 years’ leadership experience, working as an HR Director in both a permanent and interim capacity across a number of sectors and businesses.
Fiona has a passion for partnering with businesses to release the potential and performance of their people to meet business goals. Her experience includes enabling organisations to be effective, including the development of leaders the management of talent and working to deliver strategic change, she has a relentless focus on brilliant execution and delivery.
As a committed people leader and coach, Fiona delivers results through others via direct leadership, performance coaching, sharing best practice and developing strong partnerships with business leaders.
Dr Dave Powell joined LifeArc as Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) in 2022, as the next step in his 25 years in R&D. With cross therapeutic experience in drug discovery and development across big pharma and biotech, Dave is passionate about discovery innovation, breaking down borders between industry and academia and in training the next generation of drug discovery scientists.
Dave’s previous roles include leading preclinical drug discovery and the phase lll antibiotic research programme at Summit Therapeutics. He began his life sciences career at SmithKline Beecham (now GSK), gaining deep platform and project experience across numerous therapeutic areas, including neurosciences, oncology and infectious disease. Dave helped to start and then led the collaboration between GSK and the Francis Crick Institute in London.
Dr Karen Skinner is LifeArc’s Chief Project and Portfolio Officer accountable for shaping and leading our portfolio of Translational Challenges. She is passionate about accelerating the progress of scientific discoveries to create medical breakthroughs through effective project leadership and management.
Karen has more than 25 years’ experience within life sciences, from early exploratory to launch in a variety of therapeutic areas, having held numerous global leadership roles in portfolio management, pre-clinical and clinical development, R&D operations, product development and alliance management.
Prior to LifeArc, Karen held the role of VP Immuno-Oncology at the high-growth biotech BTG, where she was accountable for building their immunotherapy research portfolio through in-house research and collaborative partnerships. She began her R&D career within the pharmaceutical industry at Merck where she gained a strong grounding in drug discovery and has a DPhil in Pharmacology from the University of Oxford.
Dr Jason Slingsby joined LifeArc as Chief Business Officer in May 2023.
He is responsible for developing, leading, and implementing LifeArc’s business development and partnering strategies, playing a critical part in delivering our long-term vision, to drive early-stage innovation towards patient impact.
Jason joined LifeArc from Oxford Biomedica, where he held a number of senior roles, latterly serving as Chief Business and Corporate Development Officer. Jason was responsible for M&A, spin-outs, restructurings and other strategic business transactions to drive revenue growth and geographical expansion.
He led the acquisition of Homology Medicines’ manufacturing business in 2022, which introduced Oxford Biomedica to the US market, and was responsible for establishing and maintaining commercial relationships with pharmaceutical companies, including AstraZeneca, Bristol Myers Squibb, Boehringer Ingelheim and Novartis. He chaired joint steering committees for strategic pharmaceutical partnerships and negotiated manufacturing agreements with AstraZeneca for the commercial supply of over 100m Covid-19 vaccine doses to the UK and EU.
Jason was also previously founder and CEO of ProtAffin AG, a clinical stage university spin-out based in Austria & the UK. Jason holds a degree in Biochemistry from the University of Oxford, a PhD from Imperial College London in Genetics and an MBA from London Business School.
As Chief Communications Officer, Anna works alongside LifeArc’s executive team to drive and shape our 2030 strategy and enhance our profile as an independent charity.
Anna has more than 20 years’ professional experience in communications at global and national levels in a number of sectors, including healthcare and professional services. More recently, she was Chief Communications and Engagement Officer at Genomics England.
She is accomplished at managing complex, integrated communication initiatives and has a proven track record in corporate reputation management, media relations, issues and crisis management, internal communications, executive and change communications.
Anna holds a degree from the University of Cambridge and began her career in investment banking. Since then she has held roles including Global Communications Director at US health giant, Aetna and Group Head of Marketing and Communications at InHealth Group.
David has 30 years’ experience in oncology research after gaining a degree in biochemistry from Brunel University. He completed a PhD at the University of London before joining Cancer Research UK as a postdoctoral researcher. David then led the biology at a company developing therapeutics to control the switching ‘on’ and ‘off’ of genes in cancer. David worked for Cancer Research Technology where he gained experience in technology assessment, protection, development and licensing. While in this post, he introduced several innovative approaches to ensure the progression of discoveries towards patients, such as securing orphan designations, industry co-funding agreements and the establishment of industry-academia drug discovery alliances. David joined The Brain Tumour Charity as Chief Scientific Officer, where he transformed the scientific funding for the charity, growing their international networks and establishing the charity as the pre-eminent funder of research into brain tumours, committing over £50m during his 7-year tenure. He led on a number of innovative programmes, including the funding of complex innovative trial designs to support translation in the UK, establishment of a career-support funding scheme to encourage the future leaders in the field and the first centre dedicated to studying paediatric low-grade brain tumours in Europe. After a year as Interim Chief Executive Officer, steering the charity through the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, he led on the development of a new research strategy, building on the strong foundations of underpinning research, to introduce translational funding schemes to ensure discoveries impact on patients.
Dr Catriona Crombie is an expert in translational medicine, specifically moving research out of universities and into the commercial environment. She has worked for over 15 years in research funding in the state and charity sectors.
Catriona is Head of the LifeArc Rare Disease Translational Challenge. She has responsibility for LifeArc’s rare disease research portfolio, which includes grant funding for academics to progress their research towards patient impact as well as the awards made in partnership with others e.g. Innovation Hubs for Gene Therapy funded in partnership with the MRC.
Dr Catherine (Katy) Kettleborough leads the LifeArc Chronic Respiratory Infection Translational Challenge.
The goal of the challenge is to enable people living with bronchiectasis and cystic fibrosis to live longer with improved quality of life by breaking the vicious cycle of infection, inflammation and lung damage associated with these conditions.
Prior to this role, Katy led the LifeArc Biology Group, a team of scientists providing early drug discovery support across a range of disease areas, and moving novel targets from academia into the drug discovery pipeline. She has led a number of first-in-class antibody and small molecule programs, some of which have progressed into clinical trials.
Katy has 30 years plus experience of working at the interface between academic research and pharma/biotech as a bench scientist, project manager, team leader and start-up director. Her career has been driven by wanting to apply scientific innovations into new interventions to treat disease and recognising that to achieve this, collaboration and partnership are key.
Dr Mike Strange joined LifeArc as consultant in May 2022 and took on the role of Head of Global Health in April 2023. Mike oversees our three Global Health Translational Challenges in: Antimicrobial Resistance, Neglected Tropical Diseases and Emerging Viral Threats.
These challenges aim to reduce the burden of infectious diseases by enabling the translation of scientific innovations, accelerating their path to deployment in underserved populations.
Mike previously spent more than 20 years at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), where he held several senior strategic and operational roles in pharmaceutical and vaccine R&D. For the last 12 years at GSK, he worked in Global Health, where he led the creation of several industry-leading collaborative initiatives including the Tres Cantos Open Lab, the Africa Non-Communicable Diseases Open Lab, and a collaboration with Novartis exploring genetic diversity and response to medicines in African patients.
Mike’s most recent role at GSK was Vice President Global Health Catalyst, where he was responsible for partnerships/external funding, business strategy and operations, and product strategy/market access within GSK’s Global Health Pharma Unit.
Mike has a PhD in Applied Mathematics, an MSc in Mathematics and Biology, a BSc in Mathematics, as well as an Executive MBA from London Business School.
Dr Paul Wright leads the Motor Neuron Disease (MND) Translational Challenge.
He joined LifeArc in 2011 and leads the development of our Challenge strategy, with overall responsibility for the delivery of our MND portfolio across drugs, devices, diagnostics and digital.
Paul works with LifeArc’s science and funding groups to help deliver benefit to MND patients. As part of LifeArc’s Therapeutics Discovery group, he has led multiple projects focused on Neuroscience and collaborated with international pharmaceutical companies, academics and CROs.
Paul has 20 years’ experience working within the neuroscience field. Previously, he worked at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London, as well as at Harvard Medical School and the University of Massachusetts Medical School, where he focused on MND research.
Paul has a PhD in Neuroscience and was a participant on the second round of the prestigious Academy of Medical Sciences Future Leaders in Innovation, Enterprise and Research (FLIER) program.
Clare Terlouw is Head of LifeArc Ventures, responsible for LifeArc’s portfolio of direct and LP investments across the life sciences sector. The venture investment fund focuses on early stage life sciences companies at seed to Series A, with significant follow-on investment reserved for successful portfolio companies.
Clare has significant expertise in funding innovative life sciences companies in the private and public markets. She was previously Head of Corporate Development at Syncona Investment Management Ltd, a FTSE250 healthcare investment trust which builds and invests in life science companies, and has more than 15 years of biotech and healthcare financing experience as a UK investment banker at Nomura, Numis Securities and Peel Hunt. Clare was a physiotherapist in Canada prior to moving into finance.
Clare is a board member of the UK Biotechnology Industry Association and director of a number of venture-backed companies.
Imran Hamid is Senior Investment Principal, responsible for both leading new investments and managing existing portfolio companies.
Imran has over 15 years of biopharma, digital health and med tech experience with a career spanning clinical practice, strategy, entrepreneurship, M&A, R&D and venture investing.
Prior to joining LifeArc, Imran was Senior Director of New Ventures and Transactions at Johnson & Johnson Innovation, Director of Business Development and Licensing at Mallinckrodt and Director of Commercial Discovery at Merck & Co.
Imran received his medical degree from Imperial College London, where he graduated with joint honours from the Imperial College Business School. He is a member of the Royal College of Surgeons.
Sohaib Mir is a Senior Investment Principal at LifeArc.
Most recently he was an Investment Director with ALSA Ventures, focused on therapeutics investing. Prior to that he was a Principal at Cambridge Innovation Capital and he has also worked at Perella Weinberg Partners.
Sohaib qualified in Medicine at the University of Birmingham where he also completed a PhD in CNS regeneration. He practised medicine at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge and gained an MPhil in Bioscience Enterprise from the University of Cambridge.
Chris joined LifeArc as Investment Principal at LifeArc Ventures in 2021. He is responsible for new investments and managing existing portfolio companies.
Chris has held key business development roles in the investment and charity research industries, sourcing, assessing and converting life science opportunities. Previously, he was an Associate at the trans-Atlantic venture investor Advent Life Sciences, leading the diligence on a range of therapeutic and medical device opportunities, and supporting the growth of several portfolio companies.
Chris worked for 10 years in the university technology transfer sector with UCL Business and Cancer Research Technology. He successfully supported and commercialised a number of oncology and gene and cell therapy opportunities, and in addition, he was involved in executing a number of strategic initiatives such as the CRUK Stratified Medicine Programme and Grand Challenge awards.
Chris received his M.Biochem from the University of Oxford and a PhD in Genetics from the University of Cambridge in the lab of Prof. Fiona Watt.
Ken Ho joined LifeArc as Investment Associate at LifeArc Ventures in 2021. He is responsible for new investment opportunities with a particular focus on health-tech.
Ken has more than 10 years’ experience in ventures and venture capital in strategic and financial analytics roles. Prior to joining LifeArc, Ken was Senior Financial Analyst at Arts Alliance Ventures, looking across an industry agnostic, tech-enabled ventures portfolio and started his career in financial advisory roles at Lebara and Ernst & Young.
With a master’s degree in physics from Oxford University, Ken takes a keen interest in world-positive innovations, engineering, and fitness.
Business Development (BD)
Leading our business development and alliance activities to drive our LifeArc Translational Challenges, and to advance our Translational Science platforms and portfolio
Dr Linda Bradley is LifeArc’s Head of Business Development, responsible for leading LifeArc’s business development, partnerships and alliance management activities to drive our Translational Challenges and to advance our Translational Science platform technologies and portfolio.
With over 25 years of business development experience in the pharmaceutical industry, most recently at GSK, Linda has a strong track record of leading teams to in-license, divest and establish collaborative alliances for both technology platforms and development assets, as well as the ability to meet strategic and financial goals. She has worked and led teams in both the US and UK, and has led deals in Asia, US, and Europe.
Linda has a scientific background in genetics and a PhD in molecular immunology.
Dr Lucy Buckingham works across LifeArc’s Translational Challenges and antibody humanisation portfolio. Lucy is responsible for sourcing and setting up new partnerships, collaborations and strategic alliances with industry. She has a background in structural biochemistry and was previously a fellow on the LifeArc-AUTM Technology Transfer Career Training programme.
Dr Julie Brady leads business development for LifeArc’s translational challenge in global health – infection, working closely with a team of scientists to deliver patient impact in the fight against infectious diseases globally. She develops and manages strategic alliances with stakeholders in global health, delivering translational research and product development partnerships.
Julie has more than 20 years’ experience in business development in the life sciences sector, including commercialisation of preclinical assets, business strategy, and alliance management.
Kevin is responsible for identifying early stage targets, small molecules and monoclonal antibodies for our drug discovery group and the licensing of mature programmes to industry.
Wendy Jacquemet-Ross, PhD, CLP
Wendy leads business development in the area of paediatric oncology, working closely with internal scientific teams and external collaborators to build translational partnerships and alliances that will deliver impact for this patient population. Wendy also leads the development of medical device opportunities across LifeArc’s translational challenge themes.
Wendy has over 20 years of broad experience in the identification, development and commercialisation of life science technologies and healthcare product opportunities, having worked in both technology transfer here in the UK and most recently in healthcare innovation in the USA.
Dr Niall McLaren is Business Development Manager, responsible mainly for diagnostic opportunities, commercial partnerships, and collaboration activities.
Reporting to Linda Bradley, Head of Business Development, Niall works to ensure opportunities provide the maximum impact for patients.
Niall originally trained as a Molecular Biologist and is a Saltire Fellow with over 15 years’ experience within the Life Sciences industry, working across a number of areas including: Preclinical, Clinical Trial Supply and diagnostic software.
Derek is responsible for identifying early stage targets, small molecules and monoclonal antibodies for our drug discovery group and the licensing of mature programmes to industry.
Bouran is responsible for sourcing new partnerships and collaboration activities, along with licensing of programmes to industry. She holds a PhD in Biotechnology and a BSc in Biochemistry, both from University College London.
Zhang is responsible for identifying early stage targets, small molecules and monoclonal antibodies for our drug discovery group and the licensing of mature programmes to industry, particularly in China.
Diagnostics and Therapeutics
Translating cutting-edge science into therapeutic and diagnostic assets that will transform the lives of patients
Dr Antony Smith is Head of Assay Development and Diagnostic Operations at LifeArc’s ISO13485 certified facilities in Edinburgh where he leads the group which helps develop and deploy diagnostic tests.
After receiving his PhD in Bioengineering from the University of Strathclyde, followed by post-doctoral research, he went on to work in a number of senior R&D roles within the global medical device industry where he led teams that developed products that are used by patients and health care providers globally, and then joined LifeArc in 2020.
In addition to teams of scientists, the diagnostics group led by Antony includes both the quality and clinical functions. The team is also connected with the wider science and data science teams in LifeArc. The diagnostics group has internal capability to take early-stage ideas from concept through to a full design and development pathway to be ready for commercialisation and patient benefit.
Jeff joined LifeArc in 2010 and heads the Translational Matrix Group (TMG), a team of multidisciplinary scientists primarily focussed on delivering the vision of LifeArc’s Translation Challenges.
Comprised of highly experienced leaders in their respective fields, the team refines strategy, leads programs and projects, and translates ambition into practicable solutions. Developing both inter- and intra-company alliances, the team also works within matrices to define and support preclinical discovery, to ultimately improve patient quality of life.
Jeff has a passion for delivering safe and efficacious medicines, very much with a patient-centric focus, and for reducing late-stage drug attrition.
He is a Molecular Pharmacologist and prior to joining LifeArc worked for over 20 years as a neuroscientist with GSK, supporting the development of therapeutics for both psychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases.
Dr. Volker Germaschewski joined LifeArc in 2022 and is heading Therapeutic Platforms which includes all lab-based activities at our Stevenage site and at the Francis Crick Institute. Currently these platforms mainly include antibody-based drug discovery, antibody humanisation, cell biology and small molecule drug discovery that support our Translational Challenges and external collaborations.
Volker has 25 years’ experience in the pharma and biotech industry. After studying Biology in Germany and then receiving his PhD in Molecular Biology from the University of Edinburgh, he joined Unilever in Bedfordshire where he worked on various biotechnology applications in consumer products. Following that he spent over 10 years at GlaxoWellcome and then GSK where he led antibody humanisation and engineering and domain antibody discovery units working across disease areas within Biopharm R&D.
He then moved to biotech and Cambridge-based start-up Kymab where he spent 10 years building a successful Antibody Discovery team and eventually leading the Haematology Disease Area for several years. Prior to LifeArc he joined Belgian mRNA specialists eTheRNA where he was SVP R&D heading research and pre-clinical functions focussing on vaccines in infectious disease and oncology as well as mRNA-based therapeutic across various disease areas.
Tech Transfer and Philanthropic Funding
Technology transfer expertise and strategic translation advice for our partners. Advice and funding for charities and rare disease projects.
Rachael works as part of the team delivering the LifeArc Philanthropic Fund, is Development Gap Fund Manager and provides technology transfer services to the LMB PNAC (shared).
Sandra is part of a team that provides technology transfer services to MRC researchers at the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences.
Sandra also leads the management of the MRC’s research reagent catalogue and LifeArc’s expert advice service Advise & Connect. After completing a PhD at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory and post-doctoral training at Stanford, Sandra transitioned into a career in technology transfer and academia-industry partnerships first at Imperial College London and now at LifeArc.
Dr Joanna Davidge is a Principal Business Manager in the Technology Transfer team. Her remit includes Intellectual Property management, research funding and charity engagement.
Joanna is an experienced translational research professional whose career to date has involved roles in industry, academia, and research funding.
After completing her PhD in Neuropharmacology at UCL, Joanna worked at Pfizer on ion-channel related small molecule targets. This was followed by roles at PwC and then at the MRC, where she was involved in setting up the Developmental Pathway Funding Scheme.
Prior to joining LifeArc, Joanna worked in academia, using her experience to plan, win funding for, and help deliver translational research for patient benefit. Most recently she spent seven years in the Translational Research Office at UCL, where she gained a deep understanding of leading translation in an academic environment, including in Advanced Therapies.
Kieran provides technology transfer services to the Mary Lyon Centre at MRC Harwell and is part of the team that supports scientists at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB). He also leads the management of MRC’s Reagents Catalogue, a portfolio of research tools and reagents that are made available for use and licensing by the wider scientific community.
Kieran has a master’s degree in chemistry from the University of Oxford and a PhD in chemical biology from the University in Bristol. He also completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, before joining adMare BioInnovations, a Canadian leader in the translation and commercialisation of life science research. Prior to joining LifeArc, Kieran supported industry partnerships for Queen Mary University of London’s Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry.
Madhu looks after IP issues for our charity partners.
Anji Miller MS.c Ph.D CLP RTTP (She/Her)
Anji Miller is a Senior Business Manager in the Tech Transfer team.
She leads on LifeArc’s support for academic-led gene therapy innovation, with responsibility as the overall LifeArc lead for the Innovation Hubs for Gene Therapies, the LifeArc Gene Therapy Innovation Fund and advancing the hubs’ gene therapy skills agenda.
She has management responsibility for specific projects within LifeArc’s Philanthropic Fund.
A seasoned tech transfer professional, Anji leads both the AUTM and LifeArc Fellowship programmes and is a Board Director of AUTM, ASTP and member of the BioIndustry Association Cell & Gene Therapy Advisory Committee.
An EDI in STEM advocate, she directs all technology transfer skills activity and translational STEM outreach programmes. She is an active participant in LifeArc’s policy engagement.
François-Xavier is part of a team that provides technology transfer services to MRC researchers at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology.
Prior to joining LifeArc in 2015, François-Xavier was an Intellectual Property Analyst at GALVmed, a charity supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the UK Department for International Development, where he was responsible for the management of their IP portfolio and legal matters. François-Xavier holds a MSc in Biotechnology and Enterprise from the University of Exeter.
Steven covers Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine (MMC & HGU) and MRC Clincal Sciences Centre (shared).