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ABOUT

Personal Profile

An experienced, PhD-qualified CEO with an extensive track record of developing, implementing and commercialising disruptive artificial intelligence-based technologies which drive new product development in the healthcare and personal care sectors. Key strengths include: steering and contributing to Board-level discussions to embed common aims and define effective operational strategies; implementing and working within regulatory frameworks to drive compliance in tightly regulated environments; managing stakeholder relationships, including challenging where necessary, to ensure collaborations are smooth-running, productive and profitable; developing and applying transformative technologies which actively improve customer and patient outcomes; and developing compelling commercial propositions to attract external investment.

As an accomplished complex system scientist completed postdoctoral research fellowships at Stanford University School of Engineering (2000 to 2002) and Newcastle University School of Computing Science (2002 to 2005).

During research at Stanford and Newcastle, developed mathematical models for assessing and estimating structural significance of complex interacting components and methods for predicting hidden topological structures in complex systems. The knowledge gained in previous research was applied at e-Therapeutics PLC for identifying synergistic multiple points of interventions in integrated interactomes and clinically validated multi-target drugs with polypharmacology.


Key Expertise:

  • Strategic planning

  • Risk & performance management

  • Stakeholder management

  • Regulatory compliance

  • New product development

  • Financial management

  • Commercialisation

  • Project management

  • Delivering innovation at pace

  • Driving organisational diversity

 

Career Highlights

  • HexisLab required a platform to enable screening of candidate ingredients and blends for functional activity. As CEO and Founder led development and commercialisation of this platform. Defined working brief; engaged with stakeholders in the cosmetics industry; led software development; validated new platform; and publicised platform. Succeeded in developing a platform that enabled HexisLab and their clients to be the first companies in the world to utilise predictive technology in cosmetics new product development.

  • As a start-up, HexisLab required capital funding to enable the progress of scientific research. As CEO & Founder sought to secure this funding. Identified potential sources of funding; devised and developed a compelling business proposition; created an invitation for potential funding partners; engaged with stakeholders to set out funding terms agreeable to all parties; and carried out final negotiations. Succeeded in securing a total investment of £320k from Northstar Ventures.

  • e-Therapeutics, as a new drug discovery company, required a drug discovery IT platform. As Programme Manager, devised and created a novel platform from the ground up. Defined brief and secured buy in from internal stakeholders; assembled Discovery Team; developed project plan, defined milestones and assigned responsibilities; wrote all coding; validated and de-snagged coding; and led user acceptance testing. Succeeded in building a platform which attracted a total of £40 million in external funding.

 

Career History

Company: HexisLab Limited

Position:CEO/Founder

Dates: 2013 to Present

Based on the Newcastle University campus, HexisLab is comprised of a team of world-class scientists who are disrupting the cosmetics and personal care sectors by creating and validating unique skincare and dermatological products for different skin types and conditions.

  • As CEO and Founder of this innovative company, leads on a range of commercial ventures and project partnerships with businesses across the personal care and pharmaceutical sectors.

  • Working internationally with major players in the cosmetics, personal care and nutraceutical sectors, HexisLab technology enables companies to decrease development costs and reduce time to market.

  • The technology also enables the identification of ethically and sustainably sourced replacement substitute ingredients, potentially opening new client markets.

  • Coordinates with HexisLab Scientists to devise and develop game-changing proprietary technologies which are now being used in new product development by the personal care industry.

  • Engages with internal and external stakeholders (including multiple academic stakeholders at Newcastle University and Teesside University) to elicit requirements, embed collaborative modes of working, develop project roadmaps and navigate obstacles.

  • Develops platforms which utilise in silico methodologies to screen large libraries of candidate molecules, identify those with therapeutic or functional value and predict their functionality.

  • Project lead, collaborating with a major London listed ingredient manufacturing company, for an Innovate UK grant focussed on the use of an AI-guided approach for the development of senolytic and senostatic compounds for use in the pharmaceutical and personal care sectors.

  • Successfully pursued the following funding: EPSRC Impact Accelerator Account project in 2016 and 2018 to work on novel activities in skin ageing and in silico screening of novel compounds; Innovate UK KTP project on pathways of skin ageing; and a current ERDF IIIP PhD programme linking skin ageing, lifestyle and skin type (with particular emphasis on pigmentation) via an in silico approach.

  • Successfully built a one-of-a-kind platform which has revolutionised cosmetics R&D by eliminating guesswork from the development process and has in turn attracted significant external funding.

  • Invited speaker at several international events on African development through Leader’s Summit, presenting to heads of state and industry thought-leaders.

  • Currently an advisor for the post-graduate degree programme at Newcastle University and Teesside University on the application of big data and AI in healthcare.

  • In 2019, collaborated with Professor Bernard Golding to devise, organise and implement the annual Celebrating Diversity in Science event aimed at recognising the contribution of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic individuals to the scientific and engineering sectors in the North East UK.


Company: Blugate Software Technologies

Position:Director & Co-Founder

Dates: 2010 to 2008

Blugate is a software development company specialising in cloud computing, data analytics and platform development technologies. They sell into a variety of industries and segments.

  • As Director and Co-Founder led the company from startup to its current position as an established player in the software development and integration market.

  • Manage projects including engaging with key stakeholders; developing project plans and ensuring on-time delivery.

  • Coordinate outsourcing including vendor management.

  • Work collaboratively across international borders


  • Lead building of technical infrastructure and software architecture for client projects across biomedical literature searching, and data mining.


Company: e-Therapeutics PLC

Position: Programme Manager

Dates: 2005 to 2010

e-Therapeutics PLC is drug discovery company spun out from Newcastle University.

  • Founding member of e-Therapeutics with responsibility for building the technical infrastructure for drug discovery R&D.

  • Managed discovery projects and technical infrastructure.

  • Managed and supervised multiple teams in the UK and India.

  • Oversaw all key elements of strategic planning and recruitment.

  • Developed novel methods for identifying therapeutic targets and selecting compounds for clinical development.

  • Developed complex system analysis methods and tools.

  • Led the discovery of seven repositioned candidates in only two years. One candidate, Dexanabinol, is currently in advanced oncology clinical trials at hospitals across the UK and US.


Earlier Career:

  • 2002 to 2005: Newcastle University School of Computing Science: Research Fellow

  • 2000 to 2002: Stanford University/NASA Ames Research Centre: Research Fellow

  • 1997 to 2000: Newcastle University School of Mathematics & Statistics: Research Assistant & PhD Student

  • 1994 to 1996: Shell Petroleum: Management Accountant

  • 1991 to 1994: Arthur Anderson: Business Advisory & Financial Account Auditor


 

Volunteer Work

Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust

Trust Governor (2008 - 2010)

Established in 2005, Gateshead is one of the UK’s first NHS Foundation Trusts, employing around 4200 staff and providing 600 beds in addition to community/outreach healthcare services in partnership with other organisations.


As elected Trust Governor represented the public voice in the delivery of NHS services in the Gateshead area. The role involved scrutinising the performance of the Trust and the Management Team; providing input into the Trust strategy; implementation of national strategy and regulatory compliance frameworks; reviewing Directors’ renumeration, annual budgets and financial accounts.

 

Publications

  • Controlled Release Treatment of Depression, WO/2010/004256, 2010

  • Antibacterial Combination Therapy, WO/2009/013480, 2009

  • Dexanabinol with Inhibitors of BRAF or MEK for the Treatment of Melanoma, WO/2009/047505, 2009

  • Treatment of Melanoma, WO/2009/007700, 2009

  • Compositions and Methods for the Treatment of Fibromyalgia, WO/2009/136176, 2009

  • Treatment of Depression, WO/2009/001040, 2009

  • Clotrimazol for Treating Staphylococcal Infections, WO/2008/059261, 2008

  • Imidazoles for Treating Multi-drug Resistant Bacterial Infections, WO/2008/059258, 2000

  • Melanogenic Difference Consideration in Ethnic Skin Type: A Balance Approach Between Skin Brightening Applications and Beneficial Sun Exposure. Clinical Cosmetic Investigation Dermatology. 2020; 13:215–232.

  • DNA damage in human skin and the capacities of natural compounds to modulate the bystander signalling. Open Biology 2019; 9(12):190208.

  • Personalized skincare: From molecular basis to clinical and commercial applications. Clinical Cosmetic Investigational Dermatology. 2018; 11:161–171.

  • Evaluation of the antioxidant efficacy of extracts & ingredients used in skin care products. Journal of Phytocosmetics Natural Ingredients. 2018; 5(1):7

  • Involvement of the nuclear structural proteins in aging-related responses of human skin to the environmental stress. Cosmetic Investigational Dermatology. 2018; 11:297–307.

  • Bacillus Subtilis Protein Interaction Network Analysis. IEEE Computational Systems Bioinformatics, 2004.

 

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