Below you will see the biographies for the candidates for this year's  BIA Board election - to vote in the election click here.


David Atkins

Chief Executive Officer


Dr Atkins has over 25 years’ experience as a global leader in genomics, digital health, medical devices, and diagnostics. He has held senior leadership positions in R&D, business development, operations and sales and marketing. He has extensive commercial experience in markets in North America, EMEA, Asia and Latin America.
David has been CEO of Congenica since January 2018 and has successfully led the business through a major business transformation, several rounds of fund raising and established Congenica as one of few UK “scale up” businesses. Prior to joining Congenica, Dr Atkins has over 20 years’ experience with Johnson & Johnson based in Australia, US, Canada, and UK in a broad range of roles including R&D, business development and in global commercial roles. In addition, he was CEO of Synevo, a clinical diagnostic laboratory service business operating across Germany and Eastern Europe and global head of the Advanced Staining pathology business unit for Leica Biosystems, a Danaher Company.
David has been an active contributor to the development of biotech and device industries in several geographies and has had leadership roles in professional associations throughout his career including most recently BIVDA and EDMA. His breadth of experience in industry sectors, functional roles and geographies make him an experienced candidate for the BIA role.

Ross Breckenridge

Chief Executive Officer

Arjuna Therapeutics

Ross is the founder and CEO of Arjuna Therapeutics. He believes that the immediate future for biopharma in the UK will be very exciting and hopes to be able to contribute to it through BIA Board membership.
Ross read Medical Sciences at Cambridge then went on to clinical medical training at Oxford, before returning to Cambridge for junior medical jobs and his PhD. He underwent specialist medical training at UCL/UCLH under Patrick Vallance and started a lab to study hypoxia signalling at Mill Hill (which turned into the Crick). While at UCL, he chaired the Use of Medicines Committee, running a £100MM annual medicines budget, and Chaired the UK National Clinical Pharmacology Specialist Advisory Committee overseeing national training for the specialty. In 2016 he became CEO of Silver Creek Pharmaceuticals in San Francisco, returning at the end of 2018 to found ARJUNA Therapeutics which is developing a platform of small molecules to treat cancer.
Ross’s background in the NHS and Academia as well as biotech companies in the US and Europe gives him a perspective on some of the key opportunities for the industry in the next few years. His experience running a national medical training programme has given him experience that will help with recruitment to the industry and interaction which is likely to be an important focus of UK biopharma.

Olivia Cavlan

Head of Business & Operations


Olivia is a Board experienced Biotech executive with a background in venture, company building and pharmaceutical operations and transformation. She is a former academic clinician with experience in pediatric medicine, so understands the challenges and opportunities of clinical science and how it enables the NHS. Olivia leads Business and Operations at Alchemab, an advanced-analytics enabled therapeutics company which she co-founded and invested in having been a Principal at SV Health Investors. Prior to that, she was a Partner at McKinsey and at QuantumBlack, focused on advanced-analytics projects for pharmacos. She has got to know the BIA through Jane Osbourn, Ruth McKernan and Alchemab’s work on the Covid Antibody Task Force. Through this, she has been impressed by the team, network and approach of the BIA towards the pandemic. It’s highlighted the collective power and global standing of the UK’s scientific community and the impact and influence the BIA has in supporting that community. Olivia is passionate about UK science, translational medicine and company creation and would love to use her experiences as a BIA Board member. She brings a broad, grass roots scientific network through her academic background, work at Alchemab and as an advisor to CRUK, and has a strong network across the VC community.

Adam Hacker

Senior Vice President, Regulatory Affairs and Quality


Adam Hacker has over 20 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical industry. He joined Autolus as Senior Vice President, Regulatory Affairs and Quality in August 2018. He is both a member of the Executive Committee and Chair of the Development Committee. Based at Autolus’ London Headquarters, Adam has global responsibility for both the regulatory and quality organisations and his team has grown from 5 to over 70. He is responsible for all health authority interactions and is active in shaping both local and international standards for ACGT products. Adam’s successful collaboration with the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult–Manufacturing Centre in Stevenage has resulted in two successful MHRA GMP inspections.
Prior to joining Autolus, Adam spent ten years at Janssen Pharmaceuticals, where he most recently served as VP, Head of Vaccines and Scientific Innovation Projects. In this role, Adam was responsible for leading regulatory activities including driving Janssen’s policy agenda via the establishment of scientific innovation project teams, related to the Company’s work on the Microbiome, Disease Interception, Regenerative Medicines & Advanced Therapeutics, and Clinical Trial Innovation/Digital Technology, amongst others. During his tenure at Janssen Pharmaceuticals, he also led haematology and oncology therapeutic areas for regulatory and medical affairs functions for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Jackie Hunter



Jackie is currently a member of the BIA Board and is seeking re-election for a second term. She believes the BIA is making a significant contribution to the Bioscience Industry in the UK and provides tremendous support to its member companies.
In addition to the BIA, Jackie is also a Board Director of BenevolentAI, a company that uses AI to augment the research capabilities of drug scientists and has recently become Chair of the Board of the Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst. She also has her own consultancy company, OI Pharmapartners Ltd, which is focused on advising companies on open innovation and is a member of the Technology Advisory Board for BP Plc.
Jackie has over thirty years of experience in the bioscience research sector, working across academia and industry including leading neurology and gastrointestinal drug discovery and early clinical development for GlaxoSmithKline. She has served on numerous academic, industry and government Boards and panels in both Europe and America e.g. in the establishment of the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI), a 2B euro public-private partnership between the pharmaceutical industry and the European Commission. She served on the IMI Board and was Chair of the EFPIA Research Directors Group.
Jackie is familiar with the issues faced by large and small companies and mentors a number of entrepreneurs across the biotechnology and digital health space.

Gita Khalili Moghaddam



Gita is interested in joining the BIA Board to use her business acumen and academic insights and help stakeholders of biosociety act upon predictive data analytics.
She is currently a Borysiewicz Biomedical Sciences Fellow based in Clinical Neurosurgery at the University of Cambridge. From this October, she will be at GSK Global Health as a UKRI Innovation Scholar, taking a leading role in the use of AI in tuberculosis drug development.
She has been the driving force for the establishment of Bio/MedTech and social initiatives including TumourVue and GlycoVue. Her success has been recognised by being listed as one of the UK’s top 18 women in AI and a finalist for the Techpreneurs Awards for Women 2019.
She will bring passion to enhance the impact of bioindustry; multidisciplinary knowledge ranging from fundamental sciences to market analysis; knowhow of technology transfer and working at the interface of academia and industry; willingness to synchronise demands of regulatory bodies with technology advancements, particularly in the design of clinical trials; understanding of entrepreneurial challenges, managing SMEs and collaborating with the NHS and potential systematic solutions; experience of identifying unmet healthcare needs, addressing them through product innovation in three continents; collaborative mindset to establish partnership strategies that strengthen our ecosystem; a role model attitude and diversity as a female in STEM from a minority background.

Kyriacos Mitrophanous

Chief Scientific Officer

Oxford BioMedica

Kyriacos obtained his PhD in Molecular Biology from the University of London. Following this he carried out research in lentiviral vectors for gene therapy at Oxford University. He joined Oxford BioMedica (OXB) in 1997, shortly after the company was founded. Since that time he has been involved in the research and development of therapies to treat diseases such as Cancer and Parkinson’s disease. He was appointed Chief Scientific Officer at OXB in 2014 and is a member of the American, European and British cell and gene therapy associations.
Kyriacos has been a member of the BIA board since 2017 and previously on the BIA Cell Therapy and Regenerative Medicine Advisory Committee.
This is an exciting time for the life sciences with gene and cell therapy being at the forefront of medical innovation. Many such therapies have shown considerable clinical benefit to patients with an increasing number obtaining regulatory approval including Kymriah (Novartis) for the treatment of r/r ALL and DLBCL (with OXB being sole supplier of lentiviral vector).
In the next few years he expects to see an increasing number of gene and cell therapy products being launched. However, there are several challenges ahead to ensure that these therapies reach their full potential for patient care and commercial success. The UK is well positioned to establish a home for these technologies and help set the standards for the future of this industry.

Deborah O'Neil

Chief Executive Officer


Deborah would like to build on previous work with the BIA on ensuring Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) moves back up, and stays on, the UK’s policy agenda at a time when the coronavirus pandemic has demonstrated the consequences of pandemic unpreparedness and underinvesting in infectious diseases. She believes it’s important for a representative from the Scottish biotech cluster to be involved with the BIA board.
Deborah is a biotechnology entrepreneur and immunologist by training with over two decades of experience in the field of antimicrobials research & drug development. She studied at University College London and then worked in postdoctoral positions in internationally acclaimed laboratories in San Diego and Ghent before moving to Aberdeen where, she formed NovaBiotics; successfully spinning the business out of the University of Aberdeen’s Rowett Research Institute in 2004.
She has grown NovaBiotics to a leading global biotechnology business developing a portfolio of first-in-class antimicrobial drug candidates. NovaBiotics’ technology addresses the urgent, unmet need for safe and effective antimicrobial therapies for difficult to treat and drug resistant infections, rare and respiratory diseases. She is an elected Director and founding member of the BEAM Alliance, was a member of the Scottish Life Sciences Industry Leadership Group and sit on the Boards of the Scottish Life Sciences Association and Opportunity North East Life Science/BioAberdeen.

Karin Schmitt

Chief Business Officer


Karin is the CBO and Deputy CEO at Mogrify, a UK biotech company with a focus on cell and gene therapy. She has valued highly the BIA throughout her career and Mogrify has been a member since the early days of the company and a former company Horizon Discovery, where she led global R&D, was a member and flagship sponsor. Mogrify has received vital support from the BIA, from Brexit briefings, leadership throughout the COVID crisis and networking events. Now Karin wants to offer her experience, knowledge and drive to the BIA and its members.
Karin is a globally experienced science and business executive with more than 25 years of diverse experience in biotech drug discovery, platform development and medical devices companies. She has recently focused on cell and gene therapy. Her career spans the Boston area, Silicon Valley and the Cambridge cluster. She has been an early employee in several successful start-ups, including Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Exelixis and Horizon Discovery making significant contributions to the rapid growth of these companies to IPO and beyond.
Her contributions to the BIA will be focused on providing the right expertise to scale up companies and talent development. Her track record in rapidly building small companies to successful businesses has taught her that the right people, the right strategy and the right scale-up processes can be the “make or break” in this transformation.

Charles Sermon

General Counsel

Mereo BioPharma Group

Charles is the General Counsel of Mereo BioPharma Group plc, a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on oncology and rare diseases. He is also one of the founders of Mereo. The Company was established five years ago and is now listed on AIM and Nasdaq with offices in London and San Francisco.
Over the last twenty five years he has worked with inventors, entrepreneurs, SMEs and global pharmaceutical companies as well as with leading life science investors and advisers on seed stage financings through to initial public offerings and mergers and acquisitions.
Charles qualified as a lawyer at Freshfields in London before joining Nomura as an Associate Director in 1998, working in Nomura’s life science venture business and investing in a range of public and private biotech companies in the UK, US and Europe. He then worked as a Partner with Phase4 Partners following the MBO from Nomura in 2010.
From 2013 until 2016 he was also a member of the Digital, Creative, Science and Technology Group of the London Enterprise Panel. Working with the Office of the Mayor, London universities, London boroughs and leading businesses he helped to identify strategic actions to support economic growth and job creation for science and technology businesses in London.
BIA member companies will continue to grow and remain globally competitive, but Charles wants to assist the BIA in shaping the strategy to assist this development over the next few years.

Raja Shariff

Chief Executive Officer


Raja Sharif is the Founder and CEO of FarmaTrust. He is driving the company’s vision and mission of protecting the vulnerable by eliminating deadly counterfeit medications on a global scale. Raja has managed a number of technology and media projects worldwide for some of the best known brands, including British Telecom and Al Jazeera. He is a Barrister by background, having worked as General Counsel and company secretary managing legal affairs, risk and good corporate governance.
I believe that I will bring an interesting and slightly different perspective to the Board. I have a legal background, having qualified as a Barrister in 1992. Since then, I have moved from practice, to working as General Counsel of a number of companies, including Guardian IT Plc, British Telecom, COLT, and Al Jazeera. In most cases, I have been a director of the companies that I have worked with.
I have significant international exposure, working on global projects, and living in a number of different countries. Specialising in technology, media and telecoms, I think my experience in the digital sectors can help the BIA get views of technical innovation, as well as scientific progress, ensuring the UK is at the forefront of international developments.

Ian Shott

Executive Chairman


Ian Shott CBE is the co-founder and Executive Chairman of Arcinova, a Contract Development and Manufacturing Business formed around the acquisition of a Pharmaceutical Research site in Alnwick. In 2004, he founded Excelsyn, a Pharmaceutical Development business, which he sold to US multinational AMRI in 2010. Ian previously held several global leadership positions, with multi-national life science companies (ICI, AstraZeneca, Lonza, ChiRex and Rhodia) and was based in the UK, Switzerland, USA and France.
He served on the Governing Board of Innovate UK and is past President of the Institution of Chemical Engineers. He is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng), creating the Enterprise Hub and chairing the Enterprise Committee. He started up and was the Chair of the UK’s Leadership Forum for Industrial Biotechnology and was made CBE in 2009, receiving Honorary Doctorates from Nottingham University (2010) and Imperial (2019), and an Honorary Fellowship from Newcastle University (2015). He helped form the Chemistry Growth Partnership working with government to deliver Economic Growth through the Industrial Strategy.
He was appointed a Biotechnology Specialist Adviser to the House of Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology in 2013. He also led the formation, and was then appointed Chair, of the Scottish Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre in 2014. Enterprise Hub and took the lea


Mary-Jane Elliott

Managing Partner

Consilium Strategic Communications

Mary-Jane Elliott leads the healthcare-focussed strategic communications and investor relations firm, Consilium Strategic Communications and could bring experience from the City and the international healthcare sector to the Board of the BIA. She has more than 20 years of healthcare experience from leading communications agencies and the pharmaceutical industry and is an expert in financial, corporate, investor and scientific communications and has been particularly involved with how healthcare companies navigate through the COVID-19 issues, threats and opportunities.
Prior to founding Consilium in 2013, Mary-Jane set up and ran the international healthcare practice at M:Communications where she advised a range of public and private companies internationally across all sub-sectors of healthcare and successfully led the management buy-out. She has extensive experience having led the advisory work on a wide range of high profile IPOs, secondary fundraisings, private equity placements, friendly and hostile M&A transactions, crisis communications, clinical data and product launches.
Mary-Jane previously spent six years at WPP’s Financial PR firm, Buchanan Communications, as a Partner, where she advised a range of companies across the healthcare and other sectors.
Prior to moving to the City, Mary-Jane worked for six years at FTSE250 firm PowderJect Pharmaceuticals plc in Oxford, UK as a scientist before joining the corporate communications team.

Adrian Ibrahim

Head of Innovation

Wellcome Genome Campus

Adrian is the inaugural chair of the BIA Genomics Advisory Committee and Head of Innovation at the Wellcome Genome Campus.
Adrian has over 20 years of experience in delivering innovation from translational science. He has extensive experience in spinning out companies, launching novel pharma-academia consortia, technology licensing and delivering innovation strategies across the biopharma sector. Adrian has held a number of board positions and is currently attends boards at Congenica – a rare disease analytics company that serves as clinical decision support partner to Genomics England - and Open Targets – a multi-pharma initiative focussed on applying large data and AI-driven approaches to improve drug target validation. Adrian has particular expertise in the fields of oncology, genomics and digital technologies and was an adviser to the government in relation to the formation of Genomics England. Over an extended period Adrian has worked across public, private and charitable sectors to develop innovation across the UK.
Adrian has been a consistent champion for the BIA – in chairing the Genomics Advisory Committee, lobbying at various Parliament Days and participating in and chairing various BIA conference sessions.

Nick Stephens

Executive Chairman

RSA Group

Nick passionately shares the same goals as the BIA; to enable the UK’s world-leading research base to deliver healthcare solutions that can truly make a difference to people's lives.
He believes that three things are required to build a world class ecosystem; great science, access to capital and the right people in place to deliver new therapies to a global market.
Nick is a law graduate with broad commercial experience in various roles spanning metals trading, medical devices, pharmaceuticals and the British National Health Service.
Nick Stephens is the Executive Chairman of The RSA Group. He has been a Director of The RSA Group since 1986.
Nick also serves as an Independent Non-Executive Director of Soft Cell Laboratories: A Utah-based early stage biotech company with a proprietary platform in oncology, anti-infectives and diagnostics currently running over 1,000 COVID-19 tests every day. An investment company focusing on cannabinoid, sanitisation and Internet-of-Things businesses ICE ICT: An IT business specialising in healthcare, travel and cybersecurity GrowPura: An advanced AgriTech business NeuroBio: An Oxford-based Alzheimer’s Biotech developing a novel Alzheimer’s therapeutic and biomarker
For over 25 years Nick has helped to build hundreds of life science companies across the world and has pioneered the unique “Data Driven Due Diligence” methodologies that minimise risk and maximise success in building and developing Boards, leadership teams and companies.

Clare Terlouw

Head of LifeArc Ventures


Clare is an experienced life sciences corporate finance and investment specialist, with significant expertise in growth funding for innovative life sciences companies in the private and public markets. Clare has been on the BIA board since January 2019 and is now seeking re-election. Clare joined LifeArc in July 2020 as Head of LifeArc Ventures, responsible for developing and implementing a strategy for LifeArc’s investments across the life sciences sector, enhancing LifeArc’s commitment to funding the translation of promising life sciences research. LifeArc’s strategic investments in innovation are a key component of its charitable model, supporting both the ability to create impact for the benefit of patients and aims to contribute to its long-term sustainability.
Clare was recently at FTSE250 listed healthcare investment company Syncona Investment Management, where she was Head of Corporate Development. She also has over 15 years’ experience in healthcare investment banking and was Managing Director and Co-Head of Healthcare and Life Sciences at Numis Securities, specialising in equity capital markets and M&A for London listed companies. Clare is also a Non-Executive Director at the Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst.
Clare has been an enthusiastic supporter of the life sciences sector and understands the opportunities and challenges that funding growing companies in the sector brings. She is currently a member of the BIA Audit Committee and intends to continue in that role.