Innovation Forum Events

Science during a Crisis

Monday, September 07th 2020

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16:00 – 17:00 (GMT+1h)

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Leaders of the COVID-19 response discuss innovation during a crisis and the path forward for healthcare related start-ups. 

COVID-19 has been a truly unprecedented challenge for scientific and medical communities. But with great challenges come great innovation and fantastic people who rise to organise the response to meet the crisis head-on.

The Innovation Forum presents "Science during a Crisis" an interactive discussion between true innovators who led the charge against the challenge of COVID-19. Hear the stories and discussions between those who led efforts in hospitals to build ad-hoc ventilators to those who set-up large scale testing facilities and more! And get the chance to ask your questions to our distinguished panel.

Join us on Monday the 7th of September at 16.00 (BST) to hear of the international efforts to tackle the COVID-19 crisis in this FREE webinar.  



16.00 - 16.05

Introduction to the Innovation Forum

16.05 - 16.40

Panel discussion moderated by Dr Martino Picardo

16.40 - 17.00

Panel discussion opens to audience questions


Chris Molloy has a 30-year international board and executive career across a unique range of life sciences R&D disciplines. He began in preclinical science and research management at Glaxo, where he was closely involved with the industrialisation of high throughput discovery, combining robotics, informatics, and manufacturing theory. He moved to Asia as COO of MerLion Pharmaceuticals, a Singaporean natural products biotech which became an award-winning multinational anti-infectives R&D company. Chris then ran corporate development for the global informatics firm, idbs – now part of the Danaher group –achieving a Queens Award for Enterprise. Chris spent three years as CEO of the RSA Group, the global life science executive search specialist, building high-value leadership teams. In 2016 Chris became the founding CEO of Medicines Discovery Catapult - the national research technology facility supporting the sector by industrialising and driving the adoption of new R&D techniques for discovering medicines. Chris is the non-executive chairman of Exploristics Ltd and NorthWest EHealth. He chairs the IP Advisory Committee for the Association of Medical Research Charities, and the Industry Advisory Board for Manchester’s Biomedical Research Centre & Health Innovation Manchester.

Chris holds US and EU patents in HIV drug discovery; he is a Member of the Institute of Cancer Research and holds an honorary chair at the University of Manchester.

Dr Kath Mackay is Managing Director of Alderley Park, the UK’s largest single-site life science innovation campus. Her responsibilities include stimulating new business ventures and managing further development of the campus.

Kath joined Alderley Park in 2019 from Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency, which is part of UK Research & Innovation, the £7bn body tasked with creating the best possible environment for research and innovation to flourish. In her most recent role there, Kath was Director for Ageing Society, Health and Nutrition, and part of the executive management team. Kath led a team of PhD educated Innovation Leads and was responsible for growing and scaling businesses working in the biomedical, health, agriculture, and food sectors, including development of new challenges under the Government’s Industrial Strategy. Previously she was on the senior management team leading initiatives in biomedical innovation and was Innovation Lead for Advanced Therapies where led delivery of investment into the UK’s growing cell and gene therapy industry. Kath’s earlier career included Business Development Director with Epistem, then an AIM listed, VC backed personalised medicine company

Kath has extensive experience in kick-starting initiatives that grow companies, enabling businesses to achieve traction, commercial viability, and economic value through investment, high-level business support, and a network of connections. She has expertise in dealing with investment houses, SME Boards; government departments, and bodies such as Office for Life Sciences and DHSC; multinationals and their advisors. Her in-depth understanding of the healthcare funding and innovation process, strategic planning, negotiation, commercial operations, and marketing spans the USA, UK, and Europe.

Kath has a PhD in Pharmacology from the University of Manchester. She is an experienced public speaker and internal and external industry events. Additionally, she has a keen interest and been actively involved in mentoring and developing employees. She has been a mentor with MassChallenge UK, (part of a global not-for-profit startup accelerator for entrepreneurs) and the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association.

Martino joined Amersham International in 1991 and subsequently went on to manage the R&D Technology Transfer Group, based in Cardiff and developing high throughput screening technologies for the Pharmaceutical sector. Following the merger of Amersham with Pharmacia Biotech, Martino became the Science Director for the Cardiff site.

Martino was the first CEO of the Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst (2010-2017) an ambitious concept to develop an Incubator and Accelerator activities, followed by a world-class Science Park for the Life Sciences sector. During that time, Martino was a NED for the Hertfordshire LEP (2013-2016).

Martino is now an Independent Consultant, based in Manchester. He recently had part-time roles as Entrepreneur in Residence at UMIP (2017-19) and with the Central Manchester Trust (2017-2018). Martino has been an Assessor for Innovate UK since 2012 and is also on the MRC-CIC assessment panel for the University of Manchester and also sits on Advisory Panels for NC3Rs, NPL and the NIHR-funded Devices for Dignity group.

Most recently, Martino was appointed to the Board of BIONOW, the Northern Trade Organization for Life Sciences, as a non- Executive Director and as Chairman of the Discovery Park, Sandwich in June 2018. Martino is now also Chairman of a Biotech start-up (VisusNano Ltd.) that has recently attracted investment. In July 2020, Martino also became Chairman of Evidential Ltd., a Manchester -based VR/AR Company.

Creating sustainable and supportive ecosystems for entrepreneurs is both Daniel’s personal and professional passion. Currently, he leads the innovation management process in northern Barcelona, particularly, in Germans Trias i Pujol Hospital, one of the major Catalan hospitals providing high technology and complex healthcare to over 1.200.000 patients. Working in the scope of the Gerencia Territorial Metropolitana Nord, his task is to identify, nurture, and grow innovative projects and initiatives arising from its healthcare professionals and activities. On top of this, he also manages and leads a number of European projects. Daniel facilitates the introduction of new emerging technologies and solutions into everyday clinical practice and mind-set. In the context of COVID-19, Daniel has led a number of initiatives to tackle the impact of the disease and improve the healthcare system capacity.

Before moving to Spain from the UK in 2018, he was an established researcher and academic in Manchester Metropolitan University, where he worked in cardiovascular research, platelet, and endothelial function in the context of inflammation and was part of the executive committee of the British Society for Cardiovascular Research. Interested in new technologies and in entrepreneurship through leadership and innovation, Daniel has many years of experience working and leading international teams focusing on business development, innovation, research and project management, marketing, communication, start-ups, and STEM ecosystem development. He founded the Innovation Forum Manchester in 2012, where he led the global marketing, communication and operations strategies for a number of years. Daniel is also a recurrent reviewer in a number of competitive calls from the European Institute of Innovation and Technology, where he also serves as a mentor for European start-ups. I have an extensive list of scientific publications from my time as an academic in Manchester (United Kingdom), where I worked in cardiovascular research, platelet and endothelial function in the context of inflammation.

Jonathan Ward is the Co-founder & CEO of Genome Biologics, based in
Frankfurt Germany and a resident company of Johnson & Johnson
Innovation, JLABS@BE.

Genome Biologics identifies RNAi therapeutic targets and pipeline drugs and repositions EMA/FDA approved compounds for Cardiovascular and Cardiometabolic Diseases. Capitalising on the power of our patented Artificial Intelligence (AI) driven preclinical multi-modality drug testing technology, we leverage the power of AI-based machine learning with transformative patient-derived tissue screens and in vitro and in vivo transgenesis to dramatically reduce the cost, time and inefficiencies of preclinical research and bring treatments faster to patients.

Jonathan has more than 20 years’ experience in preclinical R&D and toxicology. Jonathan has worked across Europe and Asia, and has held multiple leadership positions, including as HOD at A*STAR Singapore, COO at PWG Genetics Singapore / Korea, Head of Bioresearch at Philip Morris International and more recently as Head of Scientific Administration at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich.

In the course of his career, he led research programs in multiple therapeutic areas, including next-generation products, managed large research facilities, and established partnerships for technology development with multiple pharma/biotech companies and CRO’s.

Jonathan is a stakeholder of The European Quality In Preclinical Data (EQIPD) group, a member of the Royal Society of Biology, and the co-founder of Genome Biologics.

Dr. Maria Chatzou Dunford holds a PhD in Biomedicine, MSc in Bioinformatics and BSc in Computer Science and Biomedical Informatics. She is a biotech innovator and a proud geek, with unique expertise in bioinformatics, medical informatics, High Performance Computing, Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence. A passionate entrepreneur, Dr. Chatzou Dunford has founded two companies: Innovation Forum Barcelona and Lifebit, creators of Lifebit CloudOS and AI Engine — intelligent cloud-based genomics technology that enables integration and analysis of diverse data to accelerate insights in a safe, FAIR, reproducible, standardised, and cost effective way.

As a researcher at the Centre for Genomic Regulation in Barcelona, Dr. Chatzou Dunford designed tools and methods that facilitate the analysis of Big Biomedical Data, enabling biological discoveries and promoting personalised medicine. She was part of the developing team of Nextflow, the programming framework revolutionising the computational analysis of genomic data.

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