External Commercialisation Board Members


Lawrence Young (Chair)

  • Head of College of Medical and Dental Sciences and Professor of Cancer Biology
  • Director of Alta Innovations Ltd
  • Non-Executive Director of Birmingham Children’s Hospital
  • President of the International Association for Research on Epstein-Barr virus and associated diseases
  • Previous Director of a gene therapy company (Cobra Therapeutics) that subsequently merged with ML Laboratories
  • Consultant for both pharmaceutical industry and biotechnology companies mainly on biological therapies for cancer

Nigel Barnes

  • Founding partner of Sudbrook Associates LLP; an FSA regulated healthcare corporate advisory business that bridges the gap between early stage Life Science companies and the capital markets
  • Co-founder and Director, SabrePharm Ltd
  • Founder and Director, Consensus Forecasts Ltd, a provider of collated sell-side broker forecasts
  • Former First Vice President, Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc.
  • Senior member of the European Pharmaceutical equity research team, which was consistently top-ranked in the various leading investor opinion polls
  • Former Director, Hoare Govett & Co
  • Former member of Glaxo Sales & Marketing Division

Geoffrey Beanland

  • Company director with over thirty years experience in the healthcare and biotechnology markets, with a focus on the commercialisation of leading edge science.
  • Much of Geoffrey’s work has been in the life sciences, however it has also included work in advanced materials, electronics and in economic development policy.
  • He has managed funds for early stage investment, has advised a wide client base on technology exploitation and has been a Non Executive Director and Chairman of several companies leading to a number of successful exits.
  • Previously worked for a number of major companies including Baxter International, Bristol Myers Squibb and for leading specialist organisations PA Consulting (Head of Technology Strategy) and as Head of the Healthcare and Biotechnology Division of the Scottish Development Agency.

Alan Boyd

  • Founder and Director, Alan Boyd Consultants Ltd
  • Board member of Genable Technologies Ltd, Celentyx Ltd, BioEden Ltd
  • Acknowledged pharmaceutical physician and expert in all phases of drug development across a number of therapeutic areas
  • Former R&D Director, Ark Therapeutics (pre- and post-IPO)
  • Fellow of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine; Royal College of Physicians in recognition of his expertise in medicine development. Board Member of the Faculty and he also acts as Chairman of the Higher Medical Training Sub-Committee for the Faculty, which oversees all the activities across the UK relating to the training of doctors working within the Pharmaceutical Industry
  • Former Director, Clinical & Medical Affairs, ICI Pharma, Canada

Simon Campbell

  • Fellow of the Royal Society
  • CBE for "Services to Science”
  • Senior Vice President, World-wide discovery, Pfizer
  • Medicinal chemist (co-authored over 110 publications and patents). Career highlights include being a major part of the teams that discovered the drugs Cardura (to treat prostate enlargement and high blood pressure), Norvasc (to treat high blood pressure and angina) and Viagra (to treat erectile dysfunction). By the time of his retirement from Pfizer in 1998, Dr Campbell was the company's senior vice president for world-wide discovery and medicinal research and development in Europe
  • Royal Society of Chemistry Award for Medicinal Chemistry (1989), the Herschberg Award from the American Chemical Society (1997), and the Industry Research Institute (US) Achievement Award (1997)

Mark Clement

  • A Chartered Accountant and Fellow of the Securities Institute. Corporate finance experience with Coopers and Lybrand, Price Waterhouse, Hoare Govett, and Panmure Gordon
  • Co-founder and former Finance Director, Celsis International plc
  • Co-founder of Merlin and former CEO, Merlin Biosciences Ltd, one of Europe's leading biomedical venture-capital firms (excess of €450 million of equity capital)
  • Former non-executive director of investee companies of the Merlin Biosciences Fund and of the Merlin General Partner II Ltd

Clive Dix

  • Chairman of the Board, Bioindustry Association; www.bioindustry.org
  • Chairman of the Board, Auralis Ltd
  • Chairman of the Board, Modern Biosciences plc
  • Previously the Chief Executive Officer of PowderMed Ltd, the Oxford-based vaccines company. In 2004, led the spin-out of PowderMed from Chiron Vaccines, a business unit of Chiron Corporation, backed by £20 million in venture capital from a syndicate of leading life science investors. Oversaw the sale of PowderMed to Pfizer Inc in October 2006
  • Former Senior Vice President, Research and Development and a Board member of PowderJect Pharmaceuticals plc, the world-leading independent vaccines company that was acquired by Chiron for £550 million in 2003
  • Former Research Director, Glaxo Wellcome UK where co-chaired the management group that oversaw all of the company’s research projects worldwide

Tim Harris

  • B.Sc. with honors in Biochemistry and a Ph.D in Virology from the University of Birmingham in 1974
  • 7 years working on picornaviruses at The Institute of Animal Health (Pirbright) and the State University of New York
  • Formally Senior Molecular Biologist at Celltech (now UCB Pharma) from 1981
  • Formally Group Research as Director of Biotechnology at Glaxo
  • Formally SVP, R&D and CSO at Sequana Therapeutics in San Diego which became Axys Pharmaceuticals
  • Founder of SGX Pharmaceuticals (formerly Structural Genomix) where he built the company to 130 employees, raised $85M, and generated $20M per year in revenue over a 6-year tenure as CEO
  • Currently Chief Technology Officer and Director of the Advanced Technology program at SAIC Frederick, a government contractor running the FFRDC for the National Cancer Institute. Board of Directors of several small Biotechnology companies including BG Medicine, Origen Pharmaceuticals, Gryasol technologies and Novation PharmaChairman of the SAB for Bionomics

Martin Murphy

  • MVM Life Sciences Partners LLP
  • MVM was founded in 1997 and manages three funds totalling more than US$500million
  • MVM has invested in biopharmaceuticals, diagnostics, drug delivery, gene therapy, healthcare services, medical devices, OTC medicines, research tools and vaccines. Current portfolio companies are based across Europe and in the US. MVM makes at least half its investments in start-up companies
  • Martin joined MVM in 2002. He was previously a member of the healthcare investment team at 3i. Prior to that, he was an Engagement Manager with McKinsey & Company based in London and Mumbai
  • Martin is a member of the boards of Argenta Discovery Ltd., Healthcare Brands International Ltd., Heptares Therapeutics Ltd., PregLem SA, Serentis Ltd., and Vantia Therapeutics Ltd

Malcolm Skingle

  • Director, European Academic Liaison, Global External Affairs, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) responsible for research interactions and collaborations with universities and small biotechs
  • Member of the BBSRC Strategy Board, EEDA Science and Industry Council, the CBI academic liaison group and several UK University Department advisory groups
  • Chairs several groups including the BBSRC Bioscience for Industry Panel, the Diamond (Synchotron) Industrial Advisory Board, the Inner Core Lambert working group on boilerplate agreements and the ABPI group working on academic liaison
  • Awarded a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) in the Queen’s Birthday honours list in June 2009 for services to the pharmaceutical industry.

Stephen Reese

  • Partner in the Intellectual Property Group and Head of Life Sciences, Olswang LLP
  • Expert in both contentious and non-contentious IP matters including patents, trade marks, trade secrets and copyright and has extensively advised on the protection, enforcement, exploitation and monetisation of IP rights
  • Honorary Teaching Fellow at the University of Manchester

Gary Thorpe

  • Industry and Technical Innovation Lead for the West Midlands Central HIEC
  • Director of Gary Thorpe Associates Limited
  • Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists, Medical Biochemist with PhD, MSc (The University of Birmingham)and MBA (Aston University)
  • Non-executive director of the Medical Devices Agency Committee on the Safety of Devices (2001-2009) and Medilink WM from 2004.
  • Co-inventor on ‘enhanced chemiluminescence’ patents, awarded Queen's Awards for Technological Achievement and Enterprise in 1990 and 2004.
  • Co founder of the Midlands MEDICI consortium with the aim of creating a more entrepreneurial culture in academic scientists

University of Birmingham Representatives

Nicholas Barnes

  • Professor of Neuropharmacology and College Lead for Commercialisation, College of Medical and Dental Sciences, University of Birmingham
  • Director of the Cellular and Molecular Neuropharmacology Research Group, which investigates the actions of the neurotransmitter and local hormone 5-hydroxytryptamine (serotonin)Chair, International Union of Basic and Clinical Pharmacology (IUPHAR) Nomenclature Committee for Serotonin Receptors
  • Editor-in-Chief and Executive Editor for Frontiers in Neuropharmacology and Neuropharmacology, respectively
  • Co-founder and CEO, Celentyx Ltd. A VC funded company focussed on discovering novel treatments for diseases of the immune system
  • Founder and CSO, Epileptyx Ltd. A single product company developing a novel treatment for temporal lobe epilepsy

Kate Bishop

  • Head of Research and Knowledge Transfer, College of Medical and Dental Sciences
  • Kate is a UoB alumnus and was previously the College's Research Business Development Manager.
  • The primary remit of the Head of Research and Knowledge Transfer is to establish, implement and manage research strategy, including maximising translational aspects of research across the College; managing the existing research portfolio and facilitating an increase in research in future years

Paul Stewart

  • Professor of Medicine and Director of Research & Knowledge Transfer, College of Medical and Dental Sciences
  • Honorary Consultant Physician, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust
  • Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of London
  • Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences
  • Chairman, The Wellcome Trust Molecular and Physiological Sciences Strategy Committee
  • Member, Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC) Science and Research Policy Committee
  • General Secretary, Society for Endocrinology
  • NIHR Senior Investigator, National Institute for Health Research
  • Secretary-Treasurer, International Society of Endocrinology
  • Board of Governors, US Endocrine Society