Two alumni of the Institute of Biotechnology provide invaluable inspiration, guidance and practical support to the research and business students currently studying in the department. In their professional lives both Dr Darrin Disley and Dr Sridhar Iyengar have recognised the opportunity afforded by a scientific advance and applied their business and leadership skills to build significant technology companies. Despite the demands on their time in their own companies, both are extremely generous in offering their expertise and time to help the next generation of entrepreneurs studying in the department.
Dr Darrin M. Disley
Darrin is a scientist who has been involved in the start-up and growth of numerous business ventures. He has a track record of securing over $275 million business financing from grant, angel, corporate, venture capital and public market sources as well as closing over $400 million of product, service, licensing and M&A deals. In 2012, he was named Business Leader of the Year at the European Life Science Awards, in 2014 was named Executive of the Year by Scrip a global award recognising leadership in biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies and in 2015 was named UK Quoted Company Entrepreneur of the Year, Cambridge Business Person of the Year and one of the 175 Faces of Chemistry by the Royal Society of Chemistry.
Darrin holds a PhD in Biotechnology from the University of Cambridge has been the author of numerous papers, patents and conference abstracts and has been an advisor on biotech commercialisation strategies around the world.
Darrin supports academic, entrepreneurship and mentoring programs in the UK via the Professor Christopher R Lowe Carpe Diem Enterprise Fund and is an Entrepreneur in Residence at the Judge Business School and Enterprise Fellow at the Department of Chemical Engineering and Institute of Biotechnology both at the University of Cambridge. He is currently Chairman and co-founder of GeoSpock Ltd, Chairman of Desktop Genetics Ltd, Non-Executive Director of Cell Therapy Ltd and serves on the advisory boards of HealX3 Ltd, SimPrints Ltd, the Cambridge Phenomenon, the Cambridge Science Centre and Biotech and Money as well as working with national and international bodies aimed at promoting the thriving UK life science industry.
Dr Sridhar Iyengar
Co-founder, Misfit Wearables, Inc.
Previously Co Founder and Chief Technology Officer, Agamatrix, Salem, NH, USA
Sridhar obtained his Ph.D. as a Marshall Scholar and later, in 2000, co-founded Agamatrix, Inc. http://agamatrix.com/. As Chief Technology Officer and Director, drawing on his many years of research and engineering experience in the mathematical modeling of chemical systems, he implemented of the company’s technology vision. This work has resulted in the launch of numerous products for the control of diabetes, including the range of glucose-monitoring devices marketed under the WaveSense brand and the iPhone-connected meter sold by Sanofi under the brand IBGStar, the first approval by the FDA of a smartphone associated diagnostic device. Sridhar has of late turned his full attention to Misfit Wearables Inc, http://www.misfitwearables.com a company he co-established in 2011 and that is focused on developing wearable products in the consumer wellness and fitness device space.