Queen’s Medical Research Institute
University of Edinburgh
47 Little France Crescent
Cambridge Science Park
Dr Méresse Naegelen has over 20 years of experience in research and clinical development of small and large molecule compounds for various indications in oncology. A seasoned physician-scientist, she joined Roche in 2002 where she currently oversees translational and clinical activities related to the in-licensing and acquisition of external assets for Roche, pRED Oncology in Basel. Previously she gained experience in roles that encompassed both early and late clinical development of oncology assets across various technical modalities for the treatment of solid tumours and haematological diseases. Under her leadership, multiple programs have entered and progressed through clinical development, some accompanied by extensive biomarker and translational activities.
Dr Yuxin Cui specialises in bioinformatic analysis of large-scale multi-omics data. He has extensive R&D experience in both academia and industry, including biomarker identification and drug discovery in various solid and liquid cancers and autoimmune diseases. Yuxin obtained his PhD from the University of Nottingham School of Pharmacy and gained postdoc experience from the University of Cambridge and the University of Bristol. Prior, Yuxin was at Apitope where he was responsible for the development of novel vaccine-like drugs and designing immunogenomics-based drug precursors. Before joining Macomics, Yuxin was a Research Fellow at Cardiff University. He is currently helping to enhance the understanding of the biology of tumour-associated macrophages and building an infrastructure-based bioinformatic engine for target identification and validation.
Thomas is a senior scientist at Macomics with over 10 years of research experience and extensive knowledge of the use of unbiased genome and proteome-wide approaches to uncover gene and protein function in a range of biological systems. Thomas obtained his PhD at the University of Dundee where he focused on the use of proteomics approaches to provide functional annotation to uncharacterised proteins in the pathogenic parasite, Trypanosoma brucei. As a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Cambridge, he has utilised CRISPR-Cas9 technologies to further understand mechanisms of epigenetic regulation of viral genetic elements and gained broad expertise in genetic engineering of human cell lines.
Lisa has three years of experience as a licensed animal technician and seven years of experience as an Advanced Laboratory Technician in Clinical Microbiology/virology and Parasitology. She also has over eight years of experience as an Administrator in the insurance and recruitment sector. Lisa Joins from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute where she held technical roles of increasing responsibility. During these roles she has led and contributed to projects involving Schistosoma mansoni and Trichuris muris parasites, including the development of caecaloids to study host-pathogen interactions. Lisa has a BSC (Hons) in Biomedical Science from Cambridge University. She is a Member of IOSH and the Royal Society of Biology. She holds a NEBOSH General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety which includes Management in Health and Safety.
Jacqueline Doody has over 30 years of industry experience and is ex-VP of Immuno-oncology at F-star working on bispecific antibody therapies targeting T cells. Dr Doody headed the Immunology departments at ImClone and Eli Lilly taking antibody programs to the clinical stage, including the macrophage program on CSF-1R.
Mario Leonardo Squadrito is project leader in the Unit of Targeted Cancer Gene Therapy, directed by Prof. Luigi Naldini, at the San Raffaele Telethon Institute for Gene Therapy, Milan, Italy. Dr Squadrito is an expert in cell engineering and is focusing his research in the development of new gene-base strategies to convey antitumor molecules to liver metastases to activate immune functions. Previously, Dr Squadrito pioneered RNA sequencing of tumour associated macrophages and invented genetic tools to exploit circulating microvesicles as a source of tumor antigens for innovative tumor vaccines.
Klaus Okkenhaug is Chair of Immunology, at Cambridge University within the Department of Pathology. An expert in T cell biology, his research focuses on the pathways used by the immune system to instruct and coordinate defences against pathogens. Furthermore, he employs mouse models to predict and understand the effect of drugs on the immune system. Professor’s Okkenhaug work has made major contributions to understanding the role of PI3K signalling in cancer, with several PI3K inhibitors having now received regulatory approval for the treatment of breast cancer and B cell malignancies.
Daniel Speiser is Professor Emeritus at the Department of Fundamental Oncology at the University of Lausanne and formally led the Unit for Investigator-Initiated Trials at the Department of Oncology, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois (CHUV). Professor Speiser has over 30 years of medicine and translational research experience and was previously clinician-scientist at the Ludwig Cancer Research Institute. Professor Speiser has pioneered T cell-based immunotherapy for cancer patients, and made significant contributions to understanding the activation, differentiation and function of human T cells, with special emphasis on direct analyses of immune activatory and inhibitory pathways, and their relation to parameters of cancer biology and inflammation.
Carlos Gomez-Roca is a cancer specialist at the Institut Universitaire du Cancer de Toulouse (IUCT), where he is Co-Chair of the Clinical Research Unit at IUCT-Oncopole and leader in the Early Phase Unit with a focus on targeted therapies and immuno-oncology. His main research interests are early clinical development, phase I trials across solid tumors, innovative methods of evaluation of novel drugs’ clinical activity, personalized medicine and mechanisms of toxicities and resistance of new targeted agents and immunotherapies. He ran the first-in-human trial of emactuzumab, the trail-blazing monoclonal CSF1R antibody targeting tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs).
Karin de Visser is a tumor immunologist with special interest in the crosstalk between the innate and adaptive immune system in cancer. She is a senior group leader at the Division of Tumor Biology and Immunology at the Netherlands Cancer Institute, alongside her appointment as group leader at Oncode Institute and professor of Experimental Immunobiology of Cancer at Leiden University Medical Center. Her research focuses on understanding mechanisms by which the innate immune system influences metastatic breast cancer. Utilizing state-of-the-art transgenic mouse models, Professor de Visser’s research team has made major contributions to understanding how mammary tumors induce pro-metastatic systemic inflammation and how the genetic make-up of breast cancer dictates immune composition and function in tumors.
Sadie brings over 15 years of experience, gained in both commercial and academic laboratories. With a background in cell culture and cell infection assays, her expertise includes confocal microscopy, immunohistochemistry, ELISA, and molecular biology techniques.
Sadie joins from seven years at Napier University where she held technical roles of increasing responsibility. Prior to that gained significant experience at the University of Edinburgh and Moredun Scientific. During these roles, she has contributed to projects across a range of therapeutic areas including immunology, bacteriology, and cancer.
She has a BSC (Hons) in Natural Sciences from the Open University and is an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
Conor has experience in academic and industrial settings. He is a cell biologist experienced in working with induced pluripotent stem cells, immortalised cells, primary cell cultures, and fibroblasts from human skin samples.
He joins from Cignpost Diagnostics, a private Covid testing facility, where he established and ran its qPCR laboratories for COVID-19 testing during the recent pandemic. Prior to this, he completed his PhD at the University of Dundee at the Jacqui Wood Cancer centre, where he gained extensive experience with induced pluripotent stem cells and CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing among other molecular techniques. Prior to this, he gained experience at Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, Oxford and in the microbiology lab at Geneius Lab Ltd. He has a BSc (Hons) in Human Genetics from Newcastle University.
Chantell has extensive experience in tissue culture, cell line development and characterisation, confocal microscopy, and in vitro assay development.
Chantell joins Macomics from the world-leading Roslin Institute at the University of Edinburgh, where she undertook a PhD investigating the acquisition and potential biomarkers of cancer chemotherapy and radiotherapy resistance. She has a BSc (Hons) from the University of Lincoln where she undertook several research placements investigating protein expression in several cancer signalling pathways
Moritz is a molecular immunologist with over 10 years of experience studying human myeloid biology. He has extensive expertise in applying molecular techniques and genomics to complex immunological questions.
He joins from an academic career, most recently as a Research Fellow at the Institute of Child Health, University College London studying brain tumour single-cell analysis. Prior to that, he was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Wellcome Sanger Institute, Cambridge as part of the Open Targets consortium investigating neuroinflammation in the context of Alzheimer’s disease.
Moritz obtained his PhD in Immunology at Trinity College Dublin studying inflammatory signalling in macrophages. He has an MSc in BioMedicine from the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden, and a BSc in Biology from the University of Heidelberg, Germany.
As part of the drug discovery team Stephane is responsible for protein expression and characterisation, including the development of novel in vitro and cellular assays for antibody characterisation. Stephane has a BSc (Honours) in Microbiology and Immunology from the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, Australia, and subsequently undertook research on tissue-resident memory T cells and their role in cancer, gaining extensive experience in a variety of model systems. Stephane has been accepted to study for his PhD at the prestigious Babraham Institute, Cambridge UK, and we hope to have him back at Macomics when he will have completed his studies.
Carmen has over 10 years of research experience with expertise in the use of human and embryonic/induced pluripotent stem cell models and a wide range of molecular biology techniques.
Carmen joins from the University of Edinburgh where she was a post-doctoral Research Fellow at the Centre for Inflammation Research, having started as a Research Assistant. She moved to the UK after obtaining her PhD from the Brain Protein Malfunction Lab at the Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, Spain. She has a M.Sc. in Biomedical Research and a B.Sc. in Biology.
As part of the cell biology and immunology team, Helena is responsible for the maintenance, development, and characterisation of complex cellular models using specialised cell culture methods and a wide range of molecular biology techniques. Helena studied for her interdisciplinary PhD at the Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences and the School of Chemistry, Edinburgh University and has considerable experience in human embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cell lines, Raman spectroscopy, confocal microscopy, immunofluorescence, UV-vis spectroscopy and 3D apparatus design and printing. Previously, Helena received her BSc (Hons) in Human Embryology and Developmental Biology at the University of Aberdeen and undertook a research placement at the Barcelona Stem Cell Bank (BLCB).
As part of the drug discovery team, Alicia is responsible for the development of protein production, purification, and antibody characterisation using in vitro and Flow Cytometry assays. Alicia has broad expertise in early-stage protein purification methods, as well as large-scale downstream processes and optimisation for monoclonal antibody GMP production. Alicia has the extensive biotech experience, previously at Kymab Ltd, first as a Research Associate and later as Research Scientist, and at Novasep. Alicia received a technical degree at the Lycée technique Galilée, a Bachelor of Science from the Pierre and Marie Curie University, and a Master of Science from Polytech Marseille, Aix-Marseille University, France.
Dr Ries has over 20 years of immunology and drug discovery experience and is an internationally recognised expert in macrophage immunology. She formally led Roche’s innate immunity department in cancer immunotherapy and was a member of the pRED immunotherapy discovery leadership team. Dr Ries led the discovery of emactuzumab (CSF1R program) and contributed to its clinical translation, identifying a clinical population in which emactuzumab provided significant clinical benefit. Earlier in her career Dr Ries was a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Dr. McCormick at UCSF, where she discovered her passion for oncology. Dr Ries has over 35 publications and is named an inventor on over 10 patents.
Dr Dancer has over 30 years’ experience in Business Development across biotech, pharma and agrochemicals. She was Chief Business Officer at F-star, VP Business Development at Cellzome and Director, Business Development at MedImmune Ltd (formerly Cambridge Antibody Technology (CAT)). Jane spent the first part of her career in the agrochemical industry where she held research and project management roles in Aventis Crop Science, AgrEvo UK Ltd and Schering Agrochemicals Ltd.
Jane has an MBA from The Judge Institute of Management Studies, University of Cambridge and a PhD and a first degree in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge, UK. Jane is on the board of Spirea, PharmEnable and Chair of the Sir Richard Stapley Educational Trust.
Dr Roper joined Epidarex as a Partner in 2013. She has more than 20 years of experience in the life science and healthcare industry, either as a venture investor or an operating executive. She has held senior operation roles and held various directorships including Chair. She focuses on shaping and building early-stage life science opportunities into successful companies and investments.
Prior to joining Epidarex, Liz was Head of Business Development and part of the management team at Chroma Therapeutics Ltd., where she led the establishment of several major company-building alliances including a multi‐target deal with GlaxoSmithKline. Liz is a former executive with the life science venture capital team at the Investments Division of The Wellcome Trust. She is also a former member of the Life Science team at Atlas Ventures, London.
Liz currently serves on the Boards of Directors of AdoRx Ltd (Chair), Nodthera Ltd., Mironid Ltd., Caldan Therapeutics Ltd., Epidarex Exeed (Chair), EM Imaging Ltd, Macomics Ltd. and Dunad Therapeutics Ltd.
Liz holds a B.Sc. (Hons) in Biochemistry (1st class) from the University College Cork, and a PhD from the Imperial Cancer Research Fund.
Dr Haurum has over 20 years of industrial experience. Dr Haurum is the ex-CEO of F-star, where he built successful biotech with clinical-stage oncology assets and ex-VP of Research at ImClone and earlier a CSO at Symphogen.
Prof. Michele De Palma, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL), leads research into tumour microenvironment including tumour associated macrophages, tumour angiogenesis and immunotherapies. His previous work has led to the first-in-kind clinical trials of engineered monocytes in patients with brain and haematological cancers
Dr Jacqueline Doody has over 30 years of industry experience and is ex-VP of Immuno-oncology at F-star working on bispecific antibody therapies targeting T cells. Dr Doody headed the Immunology department at ImClone taking antibody programs to the clinical stage, including the macrophage program on CSF-1R.
Prof. Karin de Visser, Netherlands Cancer Institute, studies the impact of the immune system on metastatic breast cancer and therapy response and is working on novel immunomodulatory strategies to fight metastatic breast cancer.
Maikel Fransen has over twenty years of experience in R&D in the biotech and pharma sectors (Acambis, GSK, Isogenica, Ossianix). He obtained his PhD at the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, UK; prior to moving to industry, he worked as a post-doctoral research associate at the Departments of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Cambridge, UK.
A biochemist by formation, Maikel has gained extensive expertise in early-stage immuno-oncology projects, with a focus on membrane protein biochemistry and antibody drug discovery, using various biophysical, structural biology, and phenotypic assay techniques.
Currently, he is responsible for the design and execution of hit to lead in-vitro screening of biologics to support the drug discovery program at Macomics. Maikel is passionate about his research and his vision is to deliver pioneering best-in-class antibody treatments specifically targeting macrophages in the solid tumour micro-environment.
Martha Lopez-Yrigoyen is a Senior Scientist at Macomics. As part of the cell biology and immunology team, Martha is responsible for the development of novel complex cell models, myeloid functional genomics and reprogramming approaches, and immunology assays to support target identification, characterisation, and the study of antibody cellular pharmacology. Martha has deep expertise in macrophage biology and has led the field in the development of methods for the genetic reprogramming of macrophages. Martha has published in leading international academic journals including Nature Communications and is a named inventor on macrophage patents. Martha was one of the first two scientists at Macomics, collaborating with the company whilst a post-doctoral research associate at the University of Edinburgh, before joining Macomics full time in 2021. She has a PhD in the genetic programming of human iPSC-derived macrophages from the University of Edinburgh. She has received multiple awards including the Winifred Cullis Prize for outstanding PhD.
Richard Brooks is an experienced executive with over 25 years of experience in start-ups and early-stage technology companies. He is a co-founder of FD Solutions, formerly a market leader in the UK for the provision of part-time finance directors. He is the provider of Head of Finance services to Mironid, AdoRx Therapeutics, Lunac Therapeutics, Neophore and Epidarex Exeed.
Dr Wicher is an experienced drug developer. He was a Director of Research at Ossianix, a biotech start-up developing blood-brain barrier penetrant biologics, using a single domain shark antibody platform. He then served as a Director of Pharmacology and Translational Sciences at Kymab, supporting the preclinical development of immuno-oncology biologics. At MedImmune/AstraZeneca he was involved in creating novel biologics formats for the treatment of autoimmune and other diseases. Krzysztof holds an MSc in Biotechnology from the Jagiellonski University in Kraków and a PhD from the University of Uppsala. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the London Research Institute, CRUK (now part of the Crick Institute), and at the Gurdon Institute, University of Cambridge.
Dr Myatt was appointed CEO of Macomics in February 2021. Steve has over 15 years’ experience of the life science industry gained through leadership positions in commercial, R&D, and executive roles. Steve has diverse experience gained through roles in private biotech companies (Azeria Therapeutics, NeoPhore Limited, AdoRx Therapeutics), venture capital (as a Partner in Sixth Element Capital), early-stage technology transfer (Head of Alliances, Business Development at Cancer Research Technology), and as IND studies program leader for multiple assets. Steve has led and closed numerous commercial partnerships, venture capital financings, IP licensing transactions, and academic collaborations, collectively worth over $1.5bn and has a successful track record of delivering novel therapeutics into clinical trials. Steve has a first-class degree in Pharmacology and a PhD in paediatric oncology drug discovery.
Prof. Jeffrey Pollard is a Director of the MRC Centre for Reproductive Health (MRC-CRH), University of Edinburgh. He has been investigating the roles of macrophages in development, tissue repair and cancer for almost 30 years. His group was the first to show that tumour-associated macrophages promote the progression of tumors to metastasis in part, through the establishment of a suppressive immune microenvironment that supports tumor cell survival. Prof. Pollard has published over 270 scientific papers and is one of the most cited researchers in science. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology, a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences. He has been awarded many honours, most notably the American Cancer Society Medal of Honour for Basic Sciences for his work in tumor immunology in 2010.
Dr Cassetta is a co-Founder of Macomics and is an immunologist with in-depth knowledge of human myeloid cell biology applied to different human diseases. He obtained a PhD in immunology at the S.Raffaele Institute in Milan studying the role of macrophage polarization in HIV pathogenesis; he then moved to NY at the Albert Einstein Medical College in the lab of Prof. Jeffrey Pollard where he studied Tumor Associated Macrophages in breast cancer. He then moved to the University of Edinburgh continuing his studies on TAMs where he established his own lab as principal investigator. His extensive experience in human macrophage biology contributed to the development of the Macomics screening platform. Dr Cassetta is an author of multiple publications in high-impact international scientific journals including Cancer Cell, Nature Communications, Journal of Experimental Medicine, Blood, PNAS, Nature Reviews Drug Discovery. He was awarded the Innovation Prize cup 2019 as a young entrepreneur for the spinout company, Macomics. Dr Cassetta joined Macomics full time as VP Immunology in 2021.