BIA regional focus: vaccine manufacturing and collaborations at Harwell

Thursday 1 October 2020

Join us online on our virtual event platform for this networking event with a regional focus on vaccine manufacturing and collaborations at Harwell, Oxford.

This a great opportunity to network, meet new contacts, and hear from industry speakers working based at Harwell.


15.30   Sign in and networking
16.00   BIA update, Steve Bates, CEO, BIA
16:15   Welcome and update from Harwell
16:20   Presentations followed by joint Q&A
17:20   Networking
18:15   Close

Virtual format & tech requirements

We are excited to bring you this BIA regional focused networking event in virtual format.

You will be able to join us online to network and, similar to an in-person event, move from virtual table to table to mingle with other attendees. The platform we will be using also includes useful features which will allow you to message directly with other attendees and share LinkedIn details to connect. There is also a general chat for all attendees.

During the presentations/discussion you will be able to submit and vote on audience questions and we will try our best to cover everything in the time allocated.

What are the technical requirements to attend the virtual event?

  • There is no software installation or download required.
  • Please attend using a laptop or desktop computer with audio and video capabilities (webcam and microphone). The mobile or tablet views are still in the beta stage.
  • You will need to use one of the supported browsers to have the best user experience:
    Chrome, Safari, or Firefox.
  • If you want to check the technical requirements in more detail, you can view their checklist here.

If your company has firewalls or browsing restrictions in place, please test your connection and liaise with your IT team in advance to ensure you are able to fully participate in the event.

Cost and T&Cs

This event is free to attend for both members and non-members.

By registering for this event you accept our Terms & Conditions.



Steve Bates

Chief Executive Officer


Steve Bates has been the CEO of the UK Bioindustry Association since 2012. He currently chairs the International Council of Biotech Associations and has been a Board member of Europabio since 2015. Steve is the visible face of the vibrant UK life sciences industry to government and media. He sits on the UK’s Life Sciences Council and Life Sciences Industrial Strategy Implementation Board. Steve has championed with government effective industrial incentives like the Biomedical Cataylst which have crowded-in private sector investment into UK SMES. He has forged links for the sector across the USA, Europe and in China. In his time at the BIA Steve has developed new member groups focused on cell and gene therapy, genomics and engineered biology. A strong advocate of partnership working, Steve champions sector collaboration with research charities and academia. Proud to lead an organisation with a diverse Board with over 40% female representation, Steve is committed to next generation talent and developing the skills needed for the sector to flourish. Before the BIA, Steve worked for Genzyme and as an advisor to the UK Government of Tony Blair. He was made OBE for services to innovation in 2017.

Matthew Duchars



Dr Duchars is an executive with over 30 years of experience in biotechnology and prior to joining the Vaccines Centre in 2019 he was the president of Genie BioLogic LLC a company specialising in providing strategic direction and technical advice for the development of medical countermeasures in the US.

Before 2018, he spent three years as a VP Product Development for Emergent Biosolutions, three years at United Therapeutics focused on developing host based antiviral small molecule drugs, five years as a Chief Scientific Officer initially for Avecia Vaccines and then for PharmAthene, when they purchased the vaccine business in 2008.

Dr Duchars has worked on a wide variety of vaccine and therapeutic platforms as well as medical countermeasures, for multiple indications including Anthrax, Plague, Ebola, Smallpox, Marburg, Dengue, Zika, radiation and chemical agents.

He has led the development of multiple biopharmaceutical products from pre-IND laboratory stages through GMP scale up, to their final validation at a commercial operating scale. His experience extends into the development of human clinical and animal model data for the licensure of products, using both conventional and the animal rule path, and has been an invited speaker at both biopharmaceutical and FDA-sponsored conferences and workshops.

Dr Duchars earned a BS in microbiology and a PhD in microbial physiology from the University of Sheffield.

James Naismith


Rosalind Franklin Institute

Prof Naismith grew up in Hamilton in west Scotland attending local state schools. He graduated from Edinburgh in 1989 with a BSc in Chemistry.

As a Carnegie scholar, James obtained a PhD in Structural Biochemistry from Manchester in 1992. Following a NATO fellowship (1993-1994) in the lab of Steve Sprang in Dallas, he took a lectureship at St Andrews Chemistry in 1995.

He has been awarded Colworth Medal, Corday Morgan Medal, Dextra Medal and Jeremy Knowles Medal. He was elected to fellowship of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, the Academy of Medical Sciences, the Royal Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and was elected a member of EMBO. In 2019 he was awarded the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Tilden Prizes.

He graduated as a DSc from St Andrews in 2016, where he held the Bishop Wardlaw Chair, and was Director of the Biomedical Sciences Research Complex. James moved to University of Oxford in 2017.

Ji is a world leading expert in structural biology, blending structural analysis, mechanistic study and developing new approaches biochemistry to answer chemical problems in biology. The Naismith group, based at Harwell and Oxford, comprises 10 members.

He became Interim Academic lead at the Franklin in 2017, leading the design and specification of the building, and is also theme lead for Structural Biology at the Institute. In June 2019, James became the first full Director of the Rosalind Franklin Institute.

Ailsa Powell

Industrial Liaison Scientist

Diamond Light Source

Dr. Powell is a structural biologist currently working at Diamond Light Source as an industrial liaison scientist for the XChem fragment screening platform. With a background in protein crystallography, she has worked in both academic and biotech environments. Following her BSc in Biochemistry from University of Cardiff, she gained her PhD from Bristol, focusing on protein crystallography. She gained further research experience at the Medical University of South Carolina and the University of Oxford before joining Crysalin Ltd. as a Senior Scientist.

Since being part of Diamond Ailsa has worked with numerous pharmaceutical and biotech companies from across the globe, guiding their drug-discovery projects through the fragment-based screening pipeline. She is part of the Diamond team who rapidly performed fragment screens on the SARS-CoV-2 targets this year.

Event partner


Thank you to our event supporter


Part of European Biotech Week


BIA Annual Supporters