Catherine graduated from King’s College, University of Cambridge and received a PhD in Biochemistry from Corpus Christi College, University of Cambridge. In 2003, she joined Abcam where she was a member of the senior management team responsible for R&D and product manufacture. At Abcam, she scaled the in-house laboratory and manufacturing facility from 4 to 40 people and to a 17,500 sq ft dedicated facility. Following a career break, she returned to academic research in 2015 as a Daphne Jackson fellow at the Wellcome Sanger Institute. She co-founded Qkine, a specialist manufacturer of complex bioactive proteins in 2016, whilst completing her academic fellowship. Qkine combines proprietary protein production process development with protein engineering techniques to develop unique and exceptionally high-purity products that tackle fundamental biological and scale-up challenges for the fast-growing stem cell, organoid, regenerative medicine, and cellular agriculture sectors; areas she believes underpin future advances in human health and wellbeing.
Clair has over 30 years of experience in finance. Prior to working at Qkine, Clair was the Head of Financial Planning and Analysis at Abcam. During the 15 years that she worked at Abcam, Clair helped to scale the finance department from just one member of staff to a team of more than 50 people. During her career she has supported three start-up companies through their early growth phases, including Syndicate Room. Clair joined Qkine in 2020 to help build scalable systems and processes within Finance and Operations to enable the company to move into the next phase of its growth.
Alison is a trained microbiologist with an MPhil in Biochemistry from the University of Cambridge. She has more than 10 years of research experience in both academic and pharmaceutical environments. Alison gained her CIM certificate in professional marketing and has worked for multiple global scientific manufacturers in sales and marketing positions. In 2019, Alison grew an established academic account by 10% and was awarded the field sales account manager of the year for Western Europe at Merck. Alison joined Qkine in 2022 to help ensure that the company exceeds customers’ needs and expectations in the growth factor market.
Andy is a molecular and cell biologist with over 20 years of experience in product development and manufacturing. He graduated from the University of Sheffield in 1995 before joining PIC, based in the Department of Pathology at the University of Cambridge. Whilst at PIC, Andy studied part-time for a Ph.D. investigating genes involved in porcine male fertility. He worked at Abcam from 2007 – 2018, before moving to the Wellcome Sanger Institute as a Senior Scientific Manager within the Cellular Generation and Phenotyping team. He joined Qkine in 2022 to expand both Manufacturing and Product Development capabilities within the company to ensure the continuous supply of high-quality reagents to customers whilst meeting future demands.
David has gained more than 20 years of experience working within the biotechnology industry. He graduated from the University of Wolverhampton, U.K., with a degree in Biomedical Science before joining Cytomyx Ltd. In 2005, David moved to Abcam where he initially worked as a Development Scientist. He became In-House Manufacturing QC Team Leader/Interim Head of Cambridge Manufacturing at Abcam in 2010, managing multiple manufacturing pipelines of ~10,000 products. He was responsible for delivering in-house manufactured products to high quality standards whilst improving manufacturing process efficiency.
Luana obtained her Masters degree in Functional Genomics from the University of Trieste, Italy, before completing a Marie Curie funded Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of St Andrews, Scotland. She has over 10 years of research experience in the fields of molecular biology, protein biochemistry and structural biology. In 2017, Luana joined Qkine as a Senior Protein Scientist, before progressing to the role of R&D lead in 2021. She designed and optimised purification procedures for growth factors, while managing workloads within the R&D team. Luana became the R&D Manager at Qkine in 2022, overseeing the strategic plan of the R&D pipeline.
Jim graduated from Christ’s College, Cambridge in 1986 and then joined Analysys Limited where he headed up their IT, software and web development initiatives. In 2000 he moved to Abcam as a Technical Director. He took over the operational management of the UK office as Managing Director in 2004, working on Abcam’s growth plans and efficiency improvement programmes. In 2009, Jim became Chief Operating Officer, with responsibility for overseeing the operational strategy of the Group. Jim left Abcam at the end of 2016 and is currently a NED for Cambridge Nutraceuticals Limited and the AIM listed Quartix Plc.
Marko is a structural biochemist with over 20 years of experience in producing complex proteins for structural analysis. He studied biochemistry at the University of Helsinki and did his PhD at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg. He joined the Department of Biochemistry in Cambridge in 1998. Since 2001 he has been leading a research group, studying the structure and function of TGF-beta family growth factors, with a particular focus on activins. He runs a core facility providing high-quality growth factors and other protein-based tools for the stem cell research consortium at the University of Cambridge.
Cassie is Investment Director with Parkwalk Advisors. She has worked in life sciences investment for over 10 years. She sits on the Boards of several portfolio companies, taking an active role in supporting their strategic, technical and commercial plans. Companies Cassie has worked with have cumulatively raised over £50 million of investment and she has been involved in M&A and licensing deals. Prior to working in life sciences investment, Cassie led drug development programmes based on her academic research into Phase II clinical studies. She holds a PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Leeds.
Rob graduated from Pembroke College, Oxford in 1987 with a degree in chemistry, and then went on to complete his D.Phil. He then joined Oxford Molecular Limited where he worked his way up from junior software developer to head of external collaborations, working with a group of large Pharma clients on innovative software solutions to drug discovery challenges. In 1998, Rob joined CambridgeSoft Inc. As VP of European Operations, Rob was responsible for the growth of a $20m business. Rob left CambridgeSoft in 2010 to become CEO of Cresset, a growing Cambridge-based computational chemistry software and services company.
An Investment manager in the Life Sciences team at Cambridge Enterprise, Christine has a focus on drug discovery with a broad portfolio of technologies, including University of Cambridge spin-outs Carrick, STORM, Z-factor, PhoreMost, Qkine and PolyProX. Christine has extensive experience in Life Sciences Tech Transfer and supporting early stage companies at Board level. She was a Department Director and Project Leader at Biotica, a biotechnology spin-out from the University of Cambridge. Christine has an MA and DPhil from the University of Oxford. She is the author of over 20 peer reviewed journal articles and over 20 patents.