Meet the team

AllTeamBoardAdvisors
Jelena Aleksic
CBO AND CO-FOUNDER

Dr Jelena Aleksic

Marta Arimont
PRINCIPAL SCIENTIST

Dr Marta Arimont

SCIENTIFIC ADVISOR & CO-FOUNDER

Dr Andreas Bender

Tom Blackburn
Scientific Advisor

Dr Tom Blackburn

Dr Keith Blundy
Investor Director

Dr Keith Blundy

Peter Charlton
Scientific Advisor

Dr Peter Charlton

Senior Scientist

Dr Avene Colgan

Ian Collins
Non-Executive Director & Scientific Advisor

Prof Ian Collins

Peter Curran
Senior Scientist

Peter Curran

James Dale
DIRECTOR OF DRUG DISCOVERY

Dr James Dale

Jane Dancer
CHAIR & NON-EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Dr Jane Dancer

Lenny Dang - Scientific Advisor
Scientific Advisor

Lenny Dang

James Donald
Senior Scientist

Dr James Donald

David Ford
BOARD OBSERVER

David Ford

Tracey Green
Executive Assistant

Tracey Green

Dr Kyla Grimshaw
Director of Biology

Dr Kyla Grimshaw

Thomas Hogberg
Scientific Advisor

Dr Thomas Hogberg

PharmEnable Finance Manager
Finance Manager

Helen Housden

Jessica Legre
Programme and Alliance Manager

Dr Jessica Iegre

Sarah Kidd
PRINCIPAL SCIENTIST

Dr Sarah Kidd

Natalia Mateu
CSO & CO-FOUNDER

Dr Natalia Mateu

Peter McPartland
INVESTOR DIRECTOR

Peter McPartland

Dr Dragana Mitic Potkrajac
Business Analyst

Dr Dragana Mitic Potkrajac

Jeffrey Moore
Investor Director

Jeffrey Moore

Gemma Moses, communications consultant
Communications Consultant

Gemma Moses

Ruth Shepherd, HR
HR

Ruth Shepherd

Hannah Sore
CEO, CO-FOUNDER & BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Dr Hannah Sore

David Spring
SCIENTIFIC ADVISOR & CO-FOUNDER

Prof David Spring

Non-Executive Director and Scientific Advisor

Dr Ian Tomlinson

Dr Ignacio Viciano
Senior Scientist

Dr Ignacio Viciano

David Vidal
Director of Technology

Dr David Vidal

Joseph Yap
Scientist

Joseph Yap

CBO AND CO-FOUNDER

Dr Jelena Aleksic

Jelena is a geneticist and serial entrepreneur, passionate about the potential of biotechnology to improve patients’ lives. She brings significant commercial and business development experience and is leading PharmEnable’s business efforts. She was the founder and CEO of GeneAdviser, an online marketplace for clinical genetic tests (now owned by the UK NHS). She also founded a life science and business strategy consultancy, SparkBio Ltd. She completed her PhD at the University of Cambridge in Genomics and Computational Biology and has an academic background in genome regulation and rare diseases.

PRINCIPAL SCIENTIST

Dr Marta Arimont

As a computational chemist, Marta is responsible for PharmEnable’s drug discovery computational pipeline. She brings expertise and experience in ligand-based and structure-based methods, as well as in the application of ML/AI techniques for drug design and discovery. She has eight years of research experience in computer-aided drug design and structural biology. Marta has completed a PhD at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam focusing on in silico drug discovery.

SCIENTIFIC ADVISOR & CO-FOUNDER

Dr Andreas Bender

Andreas is a life science data analyst who is committed to developing new methods in the field (using AI/ML) and their application, primarily related to chemical biology, drug discovery and in silico toxicology. He is an Associate Director of Computational ADME and Safety within Clinical Pharmacology and Safety Science at AstraZeneca Cambridge, as well as a Reader in Molecular Informatics at University of Cambridge, with a successful history of spin-outs. He completed a Ph.D. in Cheminformatics at the University of Cambridge, followed by a postdoctoral stay with Novartis in Cambridge/MA.

Scientific Advisor

Dr Tom Blackburn

Tom has spent over 45 years in the biotech and pharmaceutical industry with leading roles from early drug discovery to big pharma and biotech across several therapeutic areas. An internationally recognised speaker on drug discovery and biotech start-up companies, Tom has worked as a C-Level executive, company secretary and VP/director of various therapeutic projects and portfolio management organisations. His extensive experience includes venture capital, investment, strategic business development plans and due diligence for in-and out-licensing drugs for biotech and pharma. A President Emeritus and Honorary Fellow of the British Pharmacological Society, he holds a PhD, DSc from Manchester University and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology (FRSB).

Investor Director

Dr Keith Blundy

Keith joins PharmEnable as the Investor Director from Cambridge Enterprise. He has experience in drug discovery, strategy and licensing as well as extensive venture capital fund raising experience gained as CEO of both Cancer Research Technology (CRT – CRUK’s world leading cancer technology commercialisation company) and a pioneering biotech start-up (Storm Therapeutics Ltd). He was formerly a director of KuDOS Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Mission Therapeutics, Cancer Therapeutics Pty and Inivata Ltd. Keith has a BSc and PhD in genetics and an MBA from the London Business School.

Scientific Advisor

Dr Peter Charlton

Peter has a long history of working in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry. Before becoming a drug discovery and development consultant, Peter held a number of senior posts in industry including Vice President of Biology at Vertex Pharmaceuticals. In this role Peter was responsible for the development of the UK Research Portfolio from target identification through to nomination of clinical candidates. Peter has worked across a number of therapeutic areas including oncology, neurodegeneration and multiple sclerosis and has managed many collaborations with industry and academia. Peter has a DPhil in Chemistry and Enzymology from the University of Sussex and started his career as a medicinal chemist before moving into biology. Peter is an Honorary Professor at the University of Warwick.

Senior Scientist

Dr Avene Colgan

Avene is a synthetic chemist with extensive experience in developing novel and efficient chemical methods using catalysis to access stereochemically complex molecules. She holds a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry and a B.Sc. in Medicinal Chemistry and Chemical Biology from University College Dublin. Her Ph.D. included a Marie Skłodowska-Curie funded industrial placement at CURIA in Spain, as part of 3D-Net – a European-wide consortium of industry and academic partners. She joined PharmEnable following her postdoc at the University of Cambridge.

Non-Executive Director & Scientific Advisor

Prof Ian Collins

Ian Collins is Professor of Medicinal Chemistry at The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR). He brings more than thirty years’ research experience and a track record of delivering leads and candidates in oncology and CNS disease. Following a PhD at Cambridge University and an early medicinal chemistry career at The Neuroscience Research Centre of MSD, he moved to establish a medicinal chemistry team at the Cancer Therapeutics Unit of the ICR. He was a Scientific Co-founder of the protein degrader company Monte Rosa Therapeutics Inc., and since 2022 has pursued his career as an independent scientific consultant.

Senior Scientist

Peter Curran

As a Cheminformatician, Peter is developing tools and systems to enhance PharmEnable’s platform to enable the rapid exploration of synthetically accessible chemical space. He brings expertise and experience of in silico drug discovery and scientific software development. Peter is completing his Ph.D in Computational Chemistry at the Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre (CCDC) in partnership with the University of Cambridge where he is exploring the application of fragment hotspot detection methods to small molecule library design.

DIRECTOR OF DRUG DISCOVERY

Dr James Dale

James has over 18 years experience in drug discovery, with expertise in synthetic and medicinal chemistry. At PharmEnable, he is leading the drug discovery and pipeline strategy, focusing on candidate progression to develop novel therapeutics. In his previous roles at Nanna Therapeutics, Benevolent AI and Novartis, James was responsible for leading teams to successfully generate pipelines of novel medicines. He completed his Ph.D in synthetic organic chemistry at Cardiff University.

CHAIR & NON-EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Dr Jane Dancer

A highly experienced CBO, Jane brings a wealth of knowledge about business development and driving company growth. As the PharmEnable company Chair, she has an active role in advising on business strategy and governance processes. Her past roles include Chief Business Officer at F-star, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company. Prior to this, she was Vice President of Business Development at Cellzome Ltd and Director of Business Development at Cambridge AntibodyTechnology, later acquired by AstraZeneca. She holds an MA and Ph.D. in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge and an MBA from The Cambridge Judge Business School.

Scientific Advisor

Lenny Dang

Lenny Dang is an independent consultant on drug discovery and early clinical development. Until recently, he served as Vice President, Head of Research and Translational Biology at Agios Pharmaceuticals, where he is the inventor who led the translational development of the FDA-approved PYRUKYND to treat rare hemolytic anemias. He also led the breakthrough discovery of the mechanism of mutant IDH in cancers, which led to the discovery and marketing approval of IDHIFA, TIBSOVO, as well as vorasidenib (under FDA/EMA review). Prior to joining Agios, he was a senior research biochemist at Millennium Pharmaceuticals and at ProScript, with a discovery focus on targeting signaling and protein degradation pathways to treat hematological cancers. He is a graduate of Harvard in Cambridge, Massachusetts with a degree in Physics.

Senior Scientist

Dr James Donald

James has extensive experience in organic chemistry centred around the synthesis of 3-D small molecules, often at the academic/industrial interface. At PharmEnable he is working to enrich virtual chemical space with synthetically tractable diversity generating methodologies. James has held postdoctoral positions in both the UK (University of Oxford and the University of York) and USA (University of Texas at Austin and Princeton University) and completed his PhD in organic chemistry at the University of York.

BOARD OBSERVER

David Ford

David is an Oxford-based life sciences angel investor, with a passion for working with early-stage companies to realise an ambitious idea and attract investment capital for growth. He has over 20 years’ experience in asset management globally and across a range of asset classes. Since 2016, David has been focused on early-stage investing, managing the Arrowfield Capital syndicate.

Executive Assistant

Tracey Green

Tracey has over 25 years’ experience providing PA support to senior management and has worked in the property sector for the majority of the last 20 years. Prior to that she worked in the pharmaceutical industry. At PharmEnable she liaises directly with the management team and manages their diaries and travel arrangements as well as supporting the wider team with a variety of administrative tasks. Tracey works closely with the Operations Manager to ensure the smooth day to day running of the business.

Director of Biology

Dr Kyla Grimshaw

Kyla has over 20 years’ experience in the drug discovery and biotech industry. Her specialism is in cancer biology, where she has been involved in programs spanning early target identification through to leading new drugs into the clinic. She brings a wealth of experience to PharmEnable, having held positions at Sentinel Oncology, Horizon Discovery, Astex Therapeutics and Millennium Therapeutics.  She completed her PhD in Pharmacology at the University of Cambridge.

Scientific Advisor

Dr Thomas Hogberg

Thomas has over 45 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry with leading roles at AstraZeneca, ALK-Abelló, 7TM Pharma, LEO Pharma and Mind the Byte. During his career, Thomas has headed various departments and led collaborations with other companies across several therapeutic areas, from early drug discovery to marketed products. His extensive experience includes business development as well as due diligence during in- and out-licensing. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, Thomas holds a PhD in organic chemistry and became Associate Professor at the Royal Institute of Technology in 1985. His scientific work includes over 110 published papers and book chapters, and he is co-inventor on over 50 patent applications.

Finance Manager

Helen Housden

Helen is a qualified certified accountant with over 25 years post qualification experience in a number of finance roles in various industry sectors. More recently she has been working back in practice and going forward will be responsible for all aspects of company finances.

Programme and Alliance Manager

Dr Jessica Iegre

Jessica is a chemical biologist with extensive experience in drug discovery and in managing research activities and projects. Her role at PharmEnable includes project management of co-discovery alliances and identifying and supporting the in-house drug discovery programmes by negotiating agreements with external providers and collaborators. Jessica joined PharmEnable from the University of Cambridge where she worked as a research lab manager and postdoctoral researcher whilst leading the commercialisation efforts of research ideas within the research group. She completed her PhD from the University of Cambridge and had worked as a scientist at AstraZeneca before that.

PRINCIPAL SCIENTIST

Dr Sarah Kidd

Sarah is a medicinal chemist with wide experience in diversity-generating methodologies, as well as in the identification and optimization of novel small molecules for drug discovery. Sarah joined PharmEnable from the University of Leeds where she worked as a postdoctoral researcher developing novel inhibitors of an RNA helicase. She undertook a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry at the University of Cambridge which was funded by AstraZeneca and involved collaborative projects with Diamond Light Source and the Structural Genomics Consortium.

CSO & CO-FOUNDER

Dr Natalia Mateu

Natalia is an organic and medicinal chemist leading the development of the PharmEnable scientific portfolio. Her strong chemistry background, with a particular focus on diversity generating methodologies, has shaped the scientific methods that form the foundation of PharmEnable’s unique offering. She brings over 14 years or organic and medicinal chemistry research within the pharmaceutical sector and academia, from the University of Cambridge and Janssen/J&J. She has a PhD in Organic Chemistry from the University of Valencia.

INVESTOR DIRECTOR

Peter McPartland

Peter joins PharmEnable as the board appointee of the non-Cambridge Enterprise seed round investors. He brings significant expertise in venture capital investment, finance, and governance, having been involved with over 30 start-up and early-stage life science businesses – with a majority of those at board level. Peter has focused principally on the drug discovery and development sector, covering a wide variety of therapeutic areas. Formerly a co-founder and General Partner with SV Health Investors, he is currently a life sciences consultant with Martlet Capital.

Business Analyst

Dr Dragana Mitic Potkrajac

Dragana has extensive experience in managing research activities and projects, market analysis and competitive intelligence, and scientific knowledge extraction and data integration. Her role at PharmEnable focuses on boosting the company’s business development efforts. She has over 10 years of experience working in biotechnology, including at Cambridge Cell Networks and Metisox Ltd, collaborating on projects with academics and industrial partners, in the field of toxicology across a range of different diseases. She completed a PhD in Biological Sciences at the University of Düsseldorf.

Investor Director

Jeffrey Moore

Jeff is President of MP Healthcare Venture Management (MPH), a Boston-based biotech venture capital firm affiliated with Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation. He has been working in the biotech sector for 25 years, both as an investor and in operating roles at Millennium Therapeutics and Scriptgen. Jeff has a DPhil in Pathology from Oxford, an MBA from MIT, postdoctoral training at Harvard Medical School, and was a participant in the Kauffman Fellows VC program.

Communications Consultant

Gemma Moses

Gemma has extensive experience in marketing and communications, having worked for a number of companies across varying sectors from life sciences to engineering. She has a degree in Biochemistry from the University of Leeds. Gemma works on a freelance basis on all aspects of PharmEnable’s communications.

HR

Ruth Shepherd

Ruth brings 25 plus years of HR experience to the PharmEnable business. Her experience spans a variety of sectors and she has spent the past 5 years supporting growing businesses to achieve their strategic and operational goals. She is an EMCC qualified coach and an Insights Practitioner, both of which approaches run throughout her more generalist HR work.

CEO, CO-FOUNDER & BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Dr Hannah Sore

A medicinal chemist by training, Hannah is recognised for championing innovative methods for discovering much needed new drugs. She brings over 20 years of research expertise within the life sciences and drug discovery sector at Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Astex Therapeutics and at the University of Cambridge, including 10 years consulting and business experience across healthcare sectors at Frost & Sullivan and HFS Scientific Ltd. She completed her PhD at the University of Cambridge in Organic Chemistry and has authored over 40 peer-reviewed journal articles and is an inventor on 13 patents.

SCIENTIFIC ADVISOR & CO-FOUNDER

Prof David Spring

Dave Spring is a world-leading expert with decades of experience in methodologies for diversity-oriented synthesis, leading a large and active academic research group in this space. He is a Professor at the University of Cambridge within the Chemistry Department and a Fellow of Trinity College. His research interests originate from a desire to understand and exploit biological systems using organic synthesis. He holds a DPhil from the University of Oxford for work on the biosynthesis of manzamine alkaloids under the supervision of Sir Jack Baldwin. He also worked at Harvard University with Stuart Schreiber before joining the faculty at Cambridge.

Non-Executive Director and Scientific Advisor

Dr Ian Tomlinson

Ian brings over 25 years of experience in the life sciences sector from academic research to biotech startup to big pharma. He is Chairman of the Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst, UK’s first open innovation biomedical campus, Chairman of the Investment Committee for Apollo Therapeutics and Chairman of Start Codon, the Cambridge-based life sciences accelerator. Ian co-founded Domantis Ltd with Sir Gregory Winter (acquired by GSK). He then served as SVP, Head of Worldwide Business Development and Head of Biopharm R&D at GSK. Ian holds a PhD from Cambridge University, and spent 11 years at the MRC LMB working on antibody technologies.

Senior Scientist

Dr Ignacio Viciano

As a computational chemist, Ignacio is responsible for the computer-aided design of novel molecules within PharmEnable’s drug discovery projects. He brings substantial experience in molecular modelling and in silico drug discovery spanning both academia and industry. Before joining PharmEnable, he led the computational arm of drug discovery projects within a Mechanobiology focused research group at the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC). Ignacio has also worked as a scientific consultant at Mind the Byte, a company specialising in computational drug design. He earned his PhD in Theoretical Chemistry and Computational Modelling from Jaume I University.

Director of Technology

Dr David Vidal

David is a chemist by background, with over a decade of experience in developing methods for computational drug discovery. At PharmEnable, he is leading the technology development, focusing on implementing innovative modelling techniques and algorithms as part of our drug discovery platform. In his previous role at Mind the Byte, he led the R&D department; a multidisciplinary team of scientists and software engineers developing new modelling technologies for in silico drug discovery. He completed his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry at the University of Barcelona.

Scientist

Joseph Yap

An organic chemist by training, Joseph leverages his experience in software development to streamline computational and medicinal chemistry, with retrosynthesis and chemical diversification as primary objectives. His responsibilities also include the consolidation of our constantly evolving codebase, as well as the maintenance of continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) pipelines. He obtained his master’s degree in Chemistry at the Technical University of Munich.

A Cambridge story

Our story emerges out of the research and the collaborative ecosystem that is typical of Cambridge University. Cambridge brings together scientific expertise and commercial experience, to produce innovations with global impact.

In particular, our team was brought together and our early scientific efforts were founded on the principles of chemical diversity coming out of Prof David Spring’s lab. 

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