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Faculty

The MBE Programme is based at and managed by faculty of the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, with the expert guidance of industry sector specialists, each of whom takes responsibility for the design of specific taught modules.

Cambridge is the home of Europe's largest biotech cluster and the course draws heavily on the expertise of executives from local and national businesses, many of whom have strong interest in furthering the education of the next generation of life science business development talent and bio-entrepreneurs. Each year over 90 individuals from companies engage with the course, providing scientific, technical and managerial insights through their lectures, as well as a diversity of practical case examples and internship opportunities for MBE students. The course is further enhanced by specialist input from the University’s academic researchers, many of whom also have significant business experience, and by a close association with the Cambridge Judge Business School, which provides several management training elements.

 

MBE Faculty        Senior Associates        Associates              Enterprise Fellows

Nigel Slater

Professor Nigel K.H. Slater FREng, FIChemE, Director

Nigel is a Fellow and former President of Fitzwilliam College in the University of Cambridge. He is a Professor of Chemical Engineering and was formerly Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Enterprise and Regional Affairs and Head of the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology at Cambridge. He is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Institution of Chemical Engineers and is a Chartered Engineer. 

Nigel has research interests in the manufacture of biopharmaceuticals including proteins, DNA, viruses and cells. He was awarded the Donald Medal by the Institution of Chemical Engineers for services to Biochemical Engineering and is Qiushi Chair Professor at the University of Zhejiang, China.

Nigel has previously worked in bio-manufacturing for Unilever Research in the Netherlands and Wellcome Research in the UK and was a non-executive director of Cobra Bio-Manufacturing plc from its IPO in 2002 until its acquisition in 2010. He was Chairman of the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Science, Innovation and Industry Council and has been a board member of the GCGP Local Enterprise Partnership, the Greater Cambridge City Deal Executive Board and of Cambridge Enterprise Ltd.

 

Professor Sabine Bahn, Director

Professor Sabine Bahn, Director of the Cambridge Centre for Neuropsychiatric Research, is a practising psychiatrist and leading research scientist. Her main research interests are to understand the molecular basis of neuropsychiatric disorders, with a focus on schizophrenia and mood disorders.  She co-founded  Psynova Neurotech Ltd. which together with Rules Based Medicine Inc. launched the first blood test aiding in the early diagnosis of Schizophrenia, before being acquired by NASDAQ-listed Myriad Genetics. Professor Bahn continues to be director and chief scientific officer for Psynova Neurotech as well as Senior Medical Director for Neuropsychiatric Disorders for Myriad RBM and Myriad Genetics. Sabine also holds a Chair in Translational Neuropsychiatry at the Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam, NL.

 

Jenny Versnel

Dr Jenny Versnel, Academic Director

Prior to joining the MBE Programme, Jenny was Director of Research and Business Innovation at Muscular Dystrophy UK. With a PhD in Biotechnology from the University of Cambridge, and an alumna of the MBE Programme herself, Jenny has worked as a scientist in the academic, commercial and charitable sectors for more than 20 years. She has also held numerous appointments to boards, consortia and committees with advisory and policy responsibilities across diverse health sectors.

Jenny’s PhD involved the development of holographic sensors for the detection of a wide range of chemical entities. Her postdoctoral experience involved the application of this technology for a US startup company interested in the detection of date rape drugs. A significant proportion of Jenny’s career has been spent in the field of neuromuscular disease where she has worked with academic scientists, clinicians and industry developing cutting-edge treatments for muscle wasting conditions.

 

Maximilian Ge

Maximilian Ge, Programme Co-ordinator

Maximilian read maths and computer science at the University of Cologne and holds an MSc in International Strategy and Economics from the University of St Andrews. Prior to joining the MBE Programme, he worked at the Cambridge Judge Business School Entrepreneurship Centre on Accelerate Cambridge and various entrepreneurship programmes. Maximilian conducted PhD research into business models of hi-tech and biotech companies at the Institute for Manufacturing, Cambridge University Engineering Department. He supervises students in theoretical computer science, software design, UX design and business studies at the Department of Engineering and the Department of Computer Science and Technology (formerly the Computer Laboratory). Maximilian worked on startups in tech and media in the UK and Germany. He served as President of the Cambridge University Technology and Enterprise Club and is a founding member and trustee of Hack Cambridge. Maximilian is an active member in the wider Cambridge enterprise ecosystem.

 

 

 

Senior Associates

Dr Ken Seamon

Ken brings a wealth of experience of USA and European biotech to the programme. In his role as Development Director, Science at the Cambridge Cancer Centre he is working to progress the development of scientific interactions across Cambridge. Formerly Ken was Vice President, Regulatory Affairs at Amgen Corp., with responsibility for the Regulatory CMC Group as well as for developing policy for Follow on Biologics and Biosimilars. Earlier in his career, Ken was Senior Vice President, Drug Development at Immunex Corporation, Seattle, Washington State and spent 13 years with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), latterly as the Director of the Office of Therapeutics Research and Review and Associate Director for Research at the Center for Biologics Research and Review at Bethesda, Maryland.

 

Stephen Capsaskis

Dr Stephen Capsaskis

Stephen has been working in venture capital for almost 20 years, first at a major Greek VC firm as head of its Technology Investments Group, with investments in Greece, Ireland and the US West Coast, and then as Partner in a small independent fund investing in technology and telecoms businesses based in SE Europe.

Prior to that, he worked in London in commercial banking for a decade and, before that, worked at a start-up industrial software company (a spin-off from a major UK university), where he first saw what venture capital is all about.

Stephen holds MEng and PhD degrees in Chemical Engineering from Cambridge University and is a non-executive director of a major Athens-listed investment group.

 

Cathy Prescott

Dr Cathy Prescott

Dr Cathy Prescott brings over 20 years of experience in research, management and business within the life-science and venture capital sectors.  She is the Founder Director of Biolatris Ltd. a specialist biotech-consultancy and co-founder director of Quartet Innovation Partners Ltd which develops innovative financial products for the healthcare sector. She is also a non-executive director for the regenerative medicine company Videregen and an advisory board member to Trakcel Ltd and to the WPI Life Sciences committee (US). Cathy is a respected opinion leader within the stem cell and regenerative medicine business sector, and co-editor of the book ‘The Delivery of Regenerative Medicines and their Impact on Healthcare’.

Prior to Biolatris, Cathy spent seven years as a director for the venture capital firm Avlar BioVentures and was a non-executive director to several portfolio companies. She was formerly head of drug discovery at Ribotargets Ltd and assistant director and group leader for SmithKline Beecham. Cathy held post-doctoral fellowships at Max Delbruick Centre for Molecular Medicine and Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics, both in Berlin, and Brown University, USA. Cathy holds a DPhil from the University of Oxford.

 

Keiron Sparrowhawk

With 36 years of biopharmaceutical industry and consulting experience, Keiron is an acknowledged global drug development, pricing and market access expert.  He is also a successful entrepreneur and in 2012 sold the healthcare strategy consultancy PriceSpective, a company he founded and guided for almost ten years, to ICON plc.  Since then he has expanded his other business interests in therapeutic development and in personal growth companies, notably following his absolute passion for improving cognitive health when he founded MyCognition .  Keiron initiated the department’s Biopharmaceutical Market Access and Pricing Strategy professional practice programme, and in 2011-12 led the UK Chapter of the Entrepreneur’s Organisation, an association encompassing more than 8,000 entrepreneurs worldwide. 

 

David HamptonDr David Hampton

David is a biomedical research scientist and entrepreneur in medical device innovation and global business development.  David is founder and CTO of CamStent Ltd, an MBE programme spinout, and the managing partner at Acacia Designs BV and Stone Bridge Biomedical BV.  He was preciously an elected Research Director and Fellow at Medtronic’s Bakken Research Center in Maastricht, and is a founding member of the medical design partnership bioMRC.  His academic background includes the MBE, with distinction, a certificate in management science from Stanford University, doctorate and master’s degrees in biomedical engineering from Northwestern University, and a bachelor’s degree, cum laude, in physics and applied mathematics from Vanderbilt University.

 

Associates

Dr Fiona Marshall

Fiona is a molecular pharmacologist with more than 20 years of experience in pharmaceutical research, particularly in the field of progressing novel genomic targets through to drug discovery. She is founder and CSO of Heptares Therapeutics Ltd, a drug discovery company spun-out from the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, that applies structural knowledge of G-protein coupled receptors to the design and development of drug molecules. Dr Marshall was previously Director of Pharmacology, Europe, for Millennium Pharmaceuticals and spent 12 years at GlaxoSmithKline, where she held a number of senior positions, including Head of the Department of Molecular Pharmacology and Head of G-Protein Coupled Receptor Research. 

Dr Tim Allsopp

Tim is Head of Cell Improve Outreach Programme at Neusentis, a Pfizer Research unit. Tim has extensive experience in the biotech sector, founding, building, resourcing and managing change in small to medium sized enterprises, and in leveraging public sector opportunities to resource product development strategies. Tim has developed experimental strategies and managed discovery to innovation, putting into practice the delivery of products from the biology of human cells. He holds a B.Sc. in Zoology and PhD in Biophysics, Cell & Molecular Biology from the University of London.