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30 Rising Leaders In The Life Sciences

In Vivo’s List Of ‘Ones To Watch’ In Biopharma And Medtech

Executive Summary

Revealed: In Vivo’s list of 30 Rising Leaders across the biopharma, medtech and health technology sectors. Find out who made the cut. 

In this first edition of In Vivo's ‘Rising Leaders’ list, the focus is on entrepreneurs and innovators who represent the next wave of creativity in health care. Included are academics, CEOs of small and mid-sized companies, and rising employees in larger biopharma and medtech businesses.

There is no age restriction to being included, but all those named below have been recognized for bringing something new to the game. The list focuses on achievements, talent, creativity and strong leadership qualities.

Look out for other features in this Rising Leaders series, including exclusive interviews with innovators and disruptors, alongside insights from more established industry executives on fostering the next generation of talent and building the best teams.

In Vivo’s 2020 Rising Leaders in the life sciences are listed in alphabetical order.

Ali Afshar

Cytera CellWorks

Co-Founder and CEO

Ali Afshar has a PhD in printable inorganic photovoltaics from Imperial College London. His studies focused on developing a non-toxic, stable, efficient and flexible photovoltaic technology, designed to be cheap and quick to manufacture. He has co-founded two businesses: Vellum Devices and Cytera CellWorks.

Privately held Cytera, which was founded in 2016 by Afshar and Ignacio Willats and raised $1.8m in seed funding, is developing machines that can automate the growth of mammalian cells for biotech companies. Afshar describes himself as “a mixture between a scientist and an engineer, having solved challenges both using physics and chemistry, as well as through building hardware and software … I see entrepreneurship as a tool to bring together strong teams and affect change.”

As well as Cytera, in 2013 Afshar co-founded Vellum Devices, a hardware start-up that aims to recreate a paper-like experience in a new digital device.

 

Iraj Ali

Achilles Therapeutics Ltd.

CEO

  Ali Iraj

Prior to becoming CEO of Achilles Therapeutics, Iraj Ali was a managing partner at Syncona Investment Management. During his time with the venture capital group, he was a board member for companies including Nightstar Therapeutics PLC (acquired by Biogen Inc. in 2019 for $800m), Blue Earth Diagnostics (sold to Bracco Imaging in 2019 for $450m) and Achilles Therapeutics.

Achilles is developing novel cancer immunotherapies targeting clonal neoantigens: protein markers unique to each individual that are expressed on the surface of every cancer cell. Achilles uses DNA sequencing data from each patient, together with a proprietary bioinformatics platform, to identify clonal neoantigens specific to that patient and enable the development of personalized cell therapies. Ali held the role of CEO at Achilles on an interim basis for some time before joining as the permanent chief executive in 2018.

Ali graduated from the University of Cambridge in 2001 with a PhD in biochemistry. Prior to his time at Syncona and Achilles, he was an associate principal at global management consulting firm McKinsey & Company.

Read more: Interview - Achilles Advances Armed With £100m

 

Derk Arts

Castor

CEO and Founder

Derek Arts

Derk Arts holds a PhD in decision support from the University of Amsterdam, and while studying epidemiology and medicine at the Vrije Universiteit, he realized there was no efficient application for simple and affordable data management. As founder and CEO of Castor, he developed the first version of its Electronic Data Capture (EDC) tool around 2011, as a cloud solution for capturing medical research data in clinical trials.

Castor’s goal is to accelerate medical research by unlocking the potential of every byte of research data, tackling the issue that 85% of medical research data is never re-used. This is usually due to poor data quality, lack of standardization, and the data being inaccessible to others. 

Castor’s EDC platform enables researchers to set up data capture forms, collaborate with colleagues, invite patients through questionnaires and import, export and analyze their data in a secure, compliant cloud environment, all without elaborate training or technical skills.

Read more: Why Reusable Data Matters For Future Of Pharma

 

Christophe Bancel

TISSIUM

CEO and Co-Founder

Christophe Bancel

Ex-Serono and UCB Group executive Christophe Bancel, CEO of French medtech innovator TISSIUM, has made a career in various parts of the health care products industry, identifying business opportunities, founding, directing and leading ventures, and planning for contingencies.

TISSIUM is a medical device company developing disruptive surgical solutions for patients, based on a versatile platform of polymers developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The company launched in 2013 and started its first clinical program in 2016. It obtained its first CE mark in 2017 and started to build its manufacturing capabilities the following year.

Bancel holds a master’s degree in molecular biology from the University of Tokyo, a master’s degree in engineering technology from Ecole Centrale Paris and a bachelor’s degree in engineering physics from Lycée Sainte-Geneviève. Prior to starting Tissium, Bancel also founded iBionext, an investment fund and start-up studio based in Paris, France.

Read more: TISSIUM CEO’s Vision Is To Make The Tissue Recon Label Stick

 

Virginie Buggia-Prevot

University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

Senior Research Scientist

Virginie Buggia-Prevot

Through her work with the Neurodegeneration Consortium (NDC), Virginie Buggia-Prevot is driving novel research aimed at improving the lives of patients with neurodegenerative diseases. As a translational neurobiologist responsible for managing strategic alliances, she is a key member of MD Anderson’s Therapeutics Discovery team – a drug discovery and development engine built within a leading US cancer hospital.

Buggia-Prevot is focused on early-stage target discovery in neurodegenerative conditions, including the neurotoxic effects of cancer treatment, with the goal of bringing novel therapeutics to the clinic.

In her present role, she serves as the liaison for the multiple academic institutions that make up the NDC, as well as managing research agreements with multiple strategic biopharmaceutical partners.

Additionally, Buggia-Prevot leads the Novel Targets team of the NDC, where she supervises a team of scientists focused on four main areas: neuroprotection, tau, neuroinflammation and ApoE. Her work on target validation data for one neuroprotective small molecule led to the launch of Magnolia Neurosciences, a company focused on the development of a new class of neuroprotective medicines. Additionally, data generated by her team led to a new strategic research agreement with Denali Therapeutics.

Buggia-Prevot completed her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University Joseph Fourier and received her PhD from the University of Nice-Sophia Antipolis.

 

Silvia Caballero

Vedanta Biosciences Inc.

Scientist II

Silvia Caballero

At Vedanta Biosciences Inc., Silvia Caballero is striving to identify bacteria that can effectively control three potentially lethal bacterial strains often found in hospitals and nursing homes. Caballero’s work led to the identification of a bacterial cocktail derived from human gut flora that can control all three types of bacteria. Vedanta expects to start clinical trials of this drug candidate in 2021.

Alterations of the human microbiome are increasingly recognized as a key factor in autoimmune, metabolic, infectious and many other diseases. Vedanta is developing a novel class of therapies that modulate pathways of interaction between the human microbiome and the host immune system. Vedanta was co-founded by PureTech Health and a group of world-renowned experts in immunology and microbiology.

The company’s pipeline also includes a partnered Phase II program in Clostridium difficile, partnered Phase I programs in inflammatory bowel disease and cancer immunotherapy, as well as an in-house candidate being developed for food allergies.

 

Charlotte Casebourne

Theolytics

CEO

Charlotte Casebourne

Charlotte Casebourne is CEO and co-founder of Theolytics, and a board member of the UK BioIndustry Association (BIA). Prior to this, Casebourne co-founded New Medicine Partners, a strategic consultancy supporting health innovators to translate advanced science and technology into effective practice. She graduated as a University of Cambridge Bioscience Enterprise M.Phil scholar in 2016.

Founded in 2017, Theolytics is a preclinical-stage biotech using oncolytic viruses to combat cancer. The company is leveraging a convergence of emerging technologies within the viral therapy field – long-read sequencing, sophisticated bioinformatics and advanced genetic engineering – to accelerate discovery and development. It launched with £2.5m in seed investment from Oxford Sciences Innovation (OSI), a £600m fund focused on commercializing ideas originating from the University of Oxford.

BIA is a trade association for life sciences in the UK, representing over 300 member organizations including bioscience and pharmaceutical companies, academic, research and philanthropic organizations, and service providers to the biosciences sector.

Read more: What Does It Take To Launch And Lead An Oncology Biotech Today?

 

Ryan Cawood

OXGENE

Founder and CEO

Ryan Cawood

Ryan Cawood founded Oxford Genetics or OXGENE in 2011; it is a specialized contract research organization offering services to support the discovery, development and production of biologics, and gene and cell therapies.

The company believes it can address some of the most important and challenging questions in modern biology within gene therapy, antibody-based therapeutics and CRISPR gene editing. Its technologies enable precise and robust mammalian cell engineering. “Our automation and informatics driven approaches mean we solve the problems that no-one else can to advance the delivery of new therapeutics,” OXGENE says.

Cawood has been CEO of the company for nine years. He holds a PhD in oncology from the University of Oxford and a bachelor’s degree in genetics from the University of Leeds.

 

Raquel Deering

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Associate Director, Immuno-Oncology

Deering

While earning a dual doctorate degree in immunology from Harvard Medical School and biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Raquel Deering also had the opportunity to study the human genome at the Broad Institute. From there, she did a postdoctoral fellowship at Novartis AG where she studied the use of nucleic acids to develop novel infectious disease and cancer vaccines, and T-cell therapies.

Now, as associate director of immuno-oncology at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Deering leads a team of researchers that are focused on "outsmarting cancer." She is responsible for Regeneron’s cancer vaccine development efforts, oncology clinical trial biomarker study design and analysis, and human tumor and immune cell sequencing and functional assay development.

Deering’s team uses next generation sequencing methods to extract information from patient samples that inform the design of more strategic therapies. They are also working to develop next generation cancer vaccines and combine those vaccines with other immune-modulatory drugs to evaluate the potential benefits.

Deering was previously a consultant at venture capital firm Third Rock Ventures, eventually becoming head scientist at one of Third Rock’s portfolio companies, Neon Therapeutics.

 

César de la Fuente

University of Pennsylvania

Presidential Assistant Professor 

Cesar de la Feute

César de la Fuente graduated from the University of British Columbia in 2014 with a PhD in microbiology and immunology. He is now a presidential assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania, where he leads the Machine Biology Group.

The group aims to develop computer-made tools and medicines that will replenish the world's antibiotic arsenal. Current research projects being conducted in the de la Fuente lab include building artificial antibiotics; discovering new antibiotic molecules in biological information; generating technologies for microbiome engineering; developing tools for synthetic neuromicrobiology; and engineering living medicines.

 

Thomas de Vlaam

Amylon Therapeutics BV

Founder and CEO

Thomas de Vlaam

Thomas de Vlaam is founder and CEO of Amylon Therapeutics. He previously studied with the ambition of becoming a neurosurgeon, but a diagnosis of Scheuermann’s disease caused him to forgo a medical career. De Vlaam instead turned to another a career that would allow him to help patients – biotech.

He previously worked as head of CNS at ProQR, a company in the Netherlands developing novel drugs to treat rare orphan disorders. An expert in researching new approaches to treating amyloid disorders, de Vlaam started a new company in this space, Amylon Therapeutics.

Amylon, founded in September 2017, is developing RNA modulation technology to target rare genetic disorders of the central nervous system. The biotech has “high ambitions and wants to change the way the world looks at neurological disorders.” Its most advanced asset, AT-01, is a first-in-class antisense oligonucleotide being developed for hereditary cerebral hemorrhage with amyloidosis dutch type (HCHWA-D), also referred to as Katwijk’s disease. HCHWA-D is a serious familial disorder characterized by the formation of amyloid-β, a toxic protein, which aggregates in the blood vessels of the brain and causes strokes in middle age.

De Vlaam holds a bachelor’s degree in international medicine and global health from the University of Groningen.

 

Tomas de Wouters

PharmaBiome AG

Co-Founder and CEO

Tomas De Wouters

Tomas de Wouters is convinced that microbiome-based therapies will revolutionize medicine. An engineer with a PhD in biology, de Wouters’ expertise in the microbiome resulted in the founding of PharmaBiome, where he established a platform technology for product development in the microbiome field.

PharmaBiome, based in Zurich, takes a bottom-up approach by engineering bacterial consortia based on their interactions. Its platform has provided new insights and allowed the development of new strategies for the development and production of multi-strain bacterial networks. The resulting microbiome therapies are function-based and can be tailored to specific indications.

The company is developing treatments for ulcerative colitis, cancer and graft-versus-host disease. There remains a high unmet need in ulcerative colitis that is not addressed by current therapies. “This is where a therapy that addresses the microbiome holds much promise. We have observed very encouraging results in preclinical models and are rapidly advancing towards the clinic,” PharmaBiome says.

Cancer immunotherapy and colorectal cancer have been shown to have a direct link to the microbiome, while emerging research also points to an important role of the microbiome in graft-versus-host disease in transplant patients. These therapy areas are in earlier research phases for PharmaBiome.

 

Jason Foster

Ori Biotech

CEO

Jason Foster

Jason Foster is CEO and executive director of Ori Biotech, a London and Philadelphia-based innovator in cell and gene therapy manufacturing. The company’s goal is to put “complex manufacturing challenges in the past.” By fully automating and standardizing cell and gene therapy manufacturing in a closed platform, Ori offers developers the opportunity to scale from preclinical process development to commercial scale manufacturing. This addresses one of the biggest challenges still facing cell and gene companies, as more products candidates move through the pipeline. 

Foster joined the company as CEO in June 2019. Prior to this role, he was managing director of consultancy group Health Equity Consulting.

Foster says he helps to “build organizations that maximize the value of their products and services to improve health and achieve significant returns for investors.” 

 

Francesco Gatto

Elypta

Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer

Gatto Francesco

Francesco Gatto holds a PhD in biomathematics, bioinformatics and computational biology from Chalmers University of Technology. He co-founded Elypta in 2017 with the goal of moving cancer diagnosis and treatment decision-making away from medical imaging. Elypta is focused on liquid biopsies for several types of cancer, in which a set of biomarkers make it possible to detect cancer at an early stage.

The molecular diagnostics start-up wants to improve the survival outlook of cancer patients by developing systems biology-driven biomarkers. He has invented a diagnostic and prognostic test for renal cell carcinoma based on an accurate liquid biopsy, one of the first based on cancer metabolism. Unlike other liquid biopsies that analyze the genetic material that flows through the blood (for example, pieces of DNA from tumor cells), Elypta detects a panel of 19 metabolites called glycosaminoglycans (GAGs). The level of these substances in the blood is an indicator for the detection of various types of cancer.

 

Tim Guilliams

Healx Ltd.

Founder and CEO

Time Fuilliams

Tim Guilliams is a tech entrepreneur from the Cambridge Cluster, UK. He is passionate about using big data and artificial intelligence to accelerate treatments for rare diseases. Along these lines, Guilliams founded Healx Ltd, a tech company focused on treatment predictions for rare diseases.

Healx has developed the Rare Treatment Accelerator, a partnering program that gives patient groups and Healx the opportunity to work together to quickly discover and develop repurposed treatments for rare diseases using AI. The company has committed a total of $20m for finding new treatments – investing up to the value of $1m in AI and drug discovery resources per project.

“We collaborate with biotech partners to jointly progress new treatments toward the clinic and build each other’s rare disease pipelines,” Healx says. Its pipeline currently includes nine preclinical partnered programs in rare neurology, oncology and metabolic disorders.

Guilliams is also the co-founder and trustee of the Cambridge Rare Disease Network. He obtained a PhD at the University of Cambridge in the field of biophysics and neuroscience, developing nanobody technology for Parkinson's disease.

Read more: AI Firm Healx Raises $56M To Develop Affordable Rare Disease Treatments

 

Anne Heatherington

Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd.

Head of Data Science Institute

Anna Heatherington

Anne Heatherington, head of Takeda’s Data Science Institute and a member of the R&D senior leadership team, earned her bachelor’s degree in pharmacy from Queen’s University Belfast, and her doctorate degree in pharmacokinetics from the University of Manchester.

At Takeda, Heatherington is tasked with ensuring the company is creative in how it brings its best people, technology and ideas together to build and infuse digital culture across R&D. This includes growing the company’s informatics capabilities in research, pioneering new approaches to modeling and simulation, and promoting learning through artificial intelligence. To achieve these goals, she applies quantitative strategies in all aspects of drug development to drive innovation, efficiency and decision making across the organization.  

Before joining Takeda, Heatherington worked as head of clinical development at Summit Therapeutics PLC. She also spent 13 years at Pfizer Inc., where she held several executive leadership roles, including vice president and head of quantitative clinical sciences.

 

Patrick Hsu

University of California, Berkeley

Assistant Professor

 

Patrick Hsu is an assistant professor and faculty fellow at the University of California, Berkeley. His goal is to understand and manipulate the genetic circuits that control brain and immune cell function for the next generation of cell and therapies.

The Hsu lab aims to create new molecular technologies for genome and transcriptome engineering, perturb complex cellular processes at scale, and develop next-generation gene and cell therapies. Recently, the Hsu Lab discovered and developed novel CRISPR systems that expand the gene editing toolbox beyond DNA to RNA.

Hsu’s work is supported by the University of California at Berkeley, the NIH Director's Early Independence Award, and the National Institute on Aging among others. He holds a PhD in biochemistry and biological engineering from Harvard University.

 

Michael R Hufford

Harm Reduction Therapeutics

CEO

Michael Hufford

Michael Hufford has spent 20 years as an entrepreneur, co-founding multiple pharmaceutical, medical device and mobile health companies across a wide range of therapeutic areas. He has raised money from both public and private markets, including VCs and angel investors.

An addiction researcher by training, Hufford received his PhD from the University of Pittsburgh and completed a clinical and research fellowship in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Now he is co-founder and CEO of Harm Reduction Therapeutics, a non-profit company focused on preventing opioid overdose deaths by making low-price naloxone available over the counter.

“To succeed in getting naloxone into the hands of everyone who might benefit from it, money from non-profit foundations with an interest in public health and reducing the scourge of opioids must be combined with drug development expertise to bring naloxone to every drug store in America,” says Hufford.

 

Bhavna Hunjan

C4X Discovery Holdings PLC

 Head of Corporate Strategy and Development

Bhavna Hunjan

Bhavna Hunjan holds a master’s degree in biochemistry from the University of Oxford. She joined C4X Discovery in 2016 as senior corporate strategy manager before becoming head of corporate strategy and development in 2017. C4X Discovery is an early-stage biotechnology company focused on small molecule drug discovery. At the company, Hunjan is responsible for a number of activities including business strategy, M&A, licensing-focused business development, alliance and partnership deal-making, as well as external strategic communications.

The company’s DNA-based target identification platform Taxonomy3 utilizes human genetic data sets to identify novel patient-specific targets, which it hopes will lead to greater discovery productivity and increased probability of clinical success. Its near-term goal is to drive returns through early-stage revenue-generating deals with the pharmaceutical industry. Its in-house pipeline is primarily focused on inflammation, neurodegeneration and cancer (including immuno-oncology).

Prior to joining C4X, Hunjan was a senior strategy manager at Cancer Research UK, where she led several strategic projects and worked closely with the scientific community.

 

Rabia Khan

Sensyne Health PLC

Chief of Translational Medicine

Khan_Rabia_400.jpg

Rabia Khan is chief of translational medicine at Sensyne Health, a health care technology company focused on accelerating the discovery and development of new medicines and improving patient care. This is achieved through the analysis of real-world evidence from large databases of anonymized patient data in collaboration with Nationa Health Service Trusts in the UK.

Sensyne Health is listed on the London Stock Exchange's AIM and is based in the Schrödinger Building in Oxford Science Park.

Before her current role, Khan was vice president of systems medicine at Sensyne Health. She also previously worked for BenevolantAI as an associate director of strategy and planning.

Khan has a PhD in human/medical genetics from McGill University and a master’s degree in business administration from Concordia University.

 

Jinxing Li

Stanford University

Postdoctoral Scholar 

Jinxing Li

“It has always been a part of my approach to think about who outside of my lab might be able to help me think about my work in new ways.”

Jinxing Li is a postdoctoral scholar in chemical engineering at Stanford University, who has designed rocket-like micromotors that run on gut fluids and biodegrade after use. He also holds a PhD in nanoengineering and bioengineering from the University of California, San Diego, and a master’s degree in microelectronics from Fudan University.

Li has been developing “microrobots” to deliver therapeutics in the body. He has been working on loading antibiotics onto a microrobot for direct delivery to a bacterial infection in the stomach, a method he says has been six times more efficient in killing a bacterial infection than typical antibiotic capsules.

Recently, Li demonstrated that magnetically powered nanomotors cloaked in membranes from platelet cells could navigate through blood to remove toxins and pathogens without being cleared by the immune system.

 

Angeli Möller

Bayer AG

Head of Global Data Assets, Pharma Digital Transformation and IT

Angeli Moller

Angeli Möller has a PhD in molecular biology from the University of Edinburgh. She joined Bayer in 2016 as an IT business partner in the clinical sciences business, part of Bayer Pharmaceuticals. She has quickly risen through the ranks at Bayer. In 2018 she became head of IT business partnering research, followed by a promotion in 2020 to vice president and head of global data assets, pharma digital transformation and IT. Before joining Bayer, Möller worked as a data scientist for translational medicine at Thomson Reuters and as a researcher at Cancer Research UK.

Möller’s role is two-fold: she co-leads Bayer’s artificial intelligence work stream and is responsible for the research digital investment strategy. The scope of the AI work stream includes R&D, medical affairs, pharmacovigilance, commercial and product supply. The projects are run by teams working across Bayer’s value chain and are supported by external partnerships.

As well as leading Bayer’s digital transformation, Möller is co-founder and executive officer of the non-profit Alliance For Artificial Intelligence In Healthcare (AAIH).

Read more: What Does AI Excellence Look Like In Big Pharma?

 

Greg Mullen

Theragnostics

CEO

Greg Mullen

Greg Mullen was promoted to CEO of Theragnostics in January 2017, having held the position of chief operating officer since 2015.

Theragnostics is developing a complete portfolio of radiopharmaceuticals for the management and treatment of cancer patients; from initial diagnosis, to treatment planning and monitoring, to therapy.

Mullen is passionate about exploring the synergy between therapeutics and diagnostics technologies in drug development. Prior to joining Theragnostics, he was chief scientific officer for Molecular Imaging at Mediso Medical Imaging Systems. He was also head of vaccine formulation at the US National Institutes of Health, and holds a PhD in chemistry from the University of Kent.

Read more: Theragnostics Ltd: Developing New Radiotherapies Targeted To PARP

 

Carlo Rivis

Computational Life Inc. and InnovationDiscovery

Board member and CEO

Carlo Rivis

Carlo Rivis holds a bachelor’s degree in applied computer science and business management from the Free University of Bozen. He is CEO of San Diego-based InnovationDiscovery, a worldwide database of innovations that aims to promote, diffuse, acquire and sell innovative ideas.

Rivis has founded or co-founded several businesses, including Computational Life. The Delaware-based company’s vision is to provide a Digital Avatar Platform (DAP) that simulates the human and animal body through modern mathematical models. Computational Life’s software is able to concurrently simulate arterial and venous systems; heart dynamics; microcirculation; pulmonary circulation; cerebrospinal fluid; and brain interstitial fluid.

Rivis says he is focused on creating companies that can provide "scalable technology solutions that align technology investments with business goals."

 

Nevada Sanchez

Butterfly Network

Co-Founder and Research Scientist

Nevada Sanchez

Nevada Sanchez is a graduate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He co-founded Butterfly Network in 2011 as a digital health company with a mission to democratize health care, by making medical imaging universally accessible and affordable.

At Butterfly Network, Sanchez leads R&D efforts and contributes to product definition and system architecture. He leads the largest team in the company to design and implement powerful integrated circuits.

Powered by a single silicon chip on a handheld device connected to a smartphone, Butterfly iQ – the company's device – provides a complete diagnostic imaging solution that is less expensive than traditional systems.

 

Noor Shaker

Glamorous AI

CEO

Noor Shaker

Noor Shaker is a Syrian entrepreneur and computer scientist. She founded Glamorous AI to be able to apply innovative artificial intelligence tools to drug discovery. The London, UK-based startup was incorporated in March 2020.

Previously, Shaker co-founded GTN, where she was CEO from April 2017 to August 2019. She also founded Phenogeneca, a privately held AI company that launched in November 2019. Phenogeneca is focused on the development of AI solutions and consultancy for AI, healthcare and life sciences businesses. 

Shaker holds a PhD in machine learning, effective computing and computer games from the IT University of Copenhagen and a master’s degree in artificial intelligence from KU Leuven. She is "passionate about changing the world through technological innovations" and is a "believer in the power of data and machine learning and their revolutionary impact on the future."

 

Lauri Sippola

Kaiku Health

CEO and Co-Founder

Lauri Sippola

Lauri Sippola holds a master’s degree of science, industrial engineering and management from Aalto University. Kaiku Health is a digital therapeutics company with a mission to improve quality of life through health data science. It was founded in 2012 by five software developers, including Sippola.

The company has built an intelligent platform for digital health interventions in cancer care, and its algorithms enable early interventions and personalized patient support. More than 50 European hospitals and clinics use the platform to better monitor patients, reducing manual work and allowing prioritization of clinical actions.

Kaiku Health is backed by Debiopharm Innovation Fund, TESI and Reaktor Ventures, along with other venture capital funds and private investors, and is supported by Business Finland, the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation.

 

Laura Soucek

Peptomyc

Founder and CEO

Founded in 2014, Peptomyc is a company focused on the development of a new generation of cell penetrating peptides (CPPs) targeting the Myc oncoprotein for cancer treatment. Laura Soucek is a leading figure in the Myc field and has pioneered studies on Myc inhibition since designing Omomyc when she was an undergraduate student.

Omomyc is a dominant-negative Myc inhibitor that shows therapeutic promise in a variety of cancer types. Peptomyc aims to further develop the Omomyc peptide – and improved variants – into clinically viable therapeutics for the treatment of cancer.

Since early 2011, Soucek has also headed the Mouse Models of Cancer Therapies Group at the Vall d’Hebron Institute of Oncology (VHIO), Barcelona, Spain. Her research at VHIO has been recognized through several national research awards and grants. In addition, she holds a PhD in genetics and molecular biology from Sapienza Università di Roma.

 

Jhaymee Tynan

Atrium Health

Assistant Vice President of Integration

Jhaymee Tynan

“My passion is leading organizations to align strategy with execution and achieve positive results and outcomes.”

Jhaymee Tynan is assistant vice president at Atrium Health, one of the largest non-profit health care systems in the US. Previously known as Carolinas HealthCare System, Atrium Health provides a full spectrum of health care and wellness programs throughout the Southeast region. Its diverse network of care locations includes academic medical centers, hospitals, freestanding emergency departments, physician practices, surgical and rehabilitation centers, home health agencies, nursing homes and behavioral health centers, as well as hospice and palliative care services. The group works to enhance the overall health and well being of its communities through high-quality patient care, education and research programs, as well as collaborative partnerships and initiatives.

Tynan is also leading the way when it comes to advancing women of color in the health care industry. She has set a goal of sponsoring 100 women of color in health care by 2030. She hopes this sponsoring will help to advance the careers of the women she supports. Actions will include nominating women of color for industry awards to gain visibility, serving as an advocate for the next executive role to strengthen the talent pipeline, and celebrating the achievements of women of color in public and in private. "It means utilizing my network to make warm introductions to women of color that are making an impact in health care. Sponsorship means taking action and holding myself accountable for the results," she said in a February 2020 Forbes article. 

Prior to joining Atrium, Tynan was manager of business model transformation at Deloitte. She holds an MBA in health care from Emory University, a master’s degree in project management from George Washington University and a bachelor’s degree in finance, insurance and business law from Virginia Tech.

 

Thomas Ybert

DNA Script

Co-Founder and CEO

Thomas Ybert

Thomas Ybert co-founded DNA Script in 2014 to tackle one of the major challenges in the life sciences: being able to write DNA as fast and as simply as reading it. DNA Script’s core R&D efforts have produced innovations in enzyme engineering, surface and nucleotide chemistries and instrumentation. The company has developed SYNTAX, a benchtop DNA printer powered by enzymatic technology.

In 2020, the SYNTAX prototype will be tested by public and private research teams in molecular biology and DNA Script plans to recruit 60 or more staff by the end of the year.

Ybert previously worked at Amyris Inc. and Sanofi. He has a PhD in biotechnology from Ecole Polytechnique, Paris.

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