Could you describe your career background?
From a young age, I had always been around entrepreneurial people, with my parents owning a small business. I also knew that I wanted to become a scientist and was particularly interested in inventing drugs for diseases that were not yet treatable.
With this in mind, I studied Medicinal and Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the University of Loughborough before completing a PhD and moving onto the University of Warwick for my post-doctoral research in Chemical Biology. My post doc focused on screening and immobilising molecules – a project which I later commercialised in the University of Warwick spin-out, a2sp Ltd - a company that identified protein binding partners of small molecule drugs through our proprietary screening technology.
I then expanded across further areas of science, working in small company virtual biotechs and completing commercial transactions which allowed projects to progress through multiple companies, including ValiSeek, a joint venture between SEEK and ValiRx. After contributing to several ValiRx projects and closely collaborating with the team, I officially joined the Board of ValiRx in 2020.
What does an average day look like for you?
There is an incredible amount of variety in my job, as I work across all executive functions and teams. I particularly enjoy working with a diverse range of colleagues, from scientists to business professionals, as they each bring specialist expertise to the business, and I continue to learn from them every day.
There is no ‘average day’ in my role, but I can usually be found in Board and scientific update meetings, attending training demos for new equipment and software, having conversations with and drafting proposals for potential clients and project partners, or attending industry events with the ValiRx and Inaphaea BioLabs teams.
What is your proudest ValiRx moment so far?
I am most proud of the trusted team we have built here at ValiRx and how well our blend of experience and expertise works for the company. The combination of my background working in small biotechs; Kevin’s with large, fast-growing biotechs; Gerry’s with financial aspects of all types of company; Martin’s with AIM-listed companies, and Stella’s investor expertise, has created a powerful Board at ValiRx, and we recognise that we are greater than the sum of our parts. Not only this, but we also have a scientifically brilliant operational team which has been integral to our ongoing growth.
Another source of pride for me is how far we have come in setting up Inaphaea BioLabs. With a strong scientific and commercial team behind it, Inaphaea is well on its way to becoming a thriving service business and we are excited to begin accelerating the drug discovery projects of biotechs around the world.
Click here to learn more about ValiRx’s board of directors and management team.