Women in Biotech Networking Evening - September

Women from across the sector are invited to enjoy an evening of great networking and a thought provoking talk from our guest speakers, Professor Melissa Hanna-Brown, UK/EU and Analytical Lead, Pfizer and Dr Emma Sceats, CEO, CN Bio Innovations

Setting the agenda: women leading innovation within life sciences

Continuing our celebration of ten years of Women in Biotech, we are thrilled to welcome two inspiring speakers for this evening to discuss the role of women as both intrapreneurs and entrepreneurs in the life sciences.  Innovate UK’s recent infocus Women in Innovation campaign was established to challenge the low numbers of women entrepreneurs in the UK and to address some of the barriers to female entrepreneurship – lack of relevant role models and lack of confidence in applications for finance being two of them.  Why do these barriers persist and how can we tackle them? 

This evening will explore some of these themes, reflecting both on speakers’ personal career paths and learnings as successful innovators in life science – and also on the broader implications for the sector of the untapped potential of women in innovation, and the challenges of increasingly interdisciplinary nature of scientific discovery.

Melissa Hanna-Brown

Melissa is Technology and Innovation EU Lead for Pfizer Global R&D, Visiting Professor at the Department of Chemistry at the University of Warwick and President of the Analytical Division of the Royal Society of Chemistry. Melissa’s career history has a common thread of science spanning Academic and Industrial sector. She currently works in Pfizer Pharmaceutical Sciences as the Technology and Innovation Lead for the EU, a role involving strategy development and implementation with science and business leaders across the global Pharm Sci organisation. She also spends time developing knowledge and strategy around innovation ecosystems and how they can be monitored and shaped to best influence future strategic priorities.

Melissa's previous roles in Pfizer have included Analytical Lead for cross disciplinary teams leading the charge on late development activities towards new drug applications, where she has experience representing Pfizer Pharm Sci to global regulatory agencies. The first part of Melissa’s career was as an academic in Department of Pharmacy, King’s College London where she taught Pharmaceutical Chemistry and led a research group. During this time she won an International award for Innovation (Desty) and successfully obtained funding from RCUK, EU and industrial sources.

Emma Sceats

Emma is CEO of CN Bio and recipient of an infocus Women in Innovation award from Innovate. An entrepreneur with ten years’ experience in biotech, licensing and spin-outs including three years’ Board experience as Executive Director of Oxford University spin-out, CN Bio Innovations. Emma has led the company’s transformation from Oxford university spin-out to a world leader in human Organs-on-Chips (OOC). Emma was responsible for licensing key OOC technology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2012, and in the same year secured a $26 million US government contract to develop a human Body-on-a-Chip. Emma led in-licensing of Bristol Myers Squibb’s Hepatitis B portfolio in 2016 and has steered CN Bio’s negotiations in 25 successful deals with pharmaceutical firms.




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