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IISS flyer - all info on rest of page

WE ARE GOING VIRTUAL FOR JUNE! - Prof Bill Haynes site head for Novo Nordisk Research Centre Oxford will give his seminar virtually.

Due to Covid-19 the April & May seminars have been Postponed - Rescheduled information will be provided soon. 

 To view and register for all seminars click below

Click to Register

Hosted by the Business Development and Partnering team and sponsored by the BioEscalator the Industry Insights Seminar Series will kick off on Wednesday 4 December and then continue in the new year on the first Tuesday of every month. Select industry speakers will provide seminars scientific in nature across a range of medical or health topics, which will be followed by lunch and a networking opportunity.

Speakers will be encouraged to bring along colleagues to enhance the networking opportunity and one to one meetings can be facilitated upon request. This is an opportunity to, not only attend a scientific seminar of interest, but also to network with industry scientists. Seminars will be suitable for all academics with some knowledge or interest in each topic area, from PhD students to PIs. Although mostly aimed at an academic audience, those located in the BioEscalator and Wood Centre with an interest as well as local spinouts are welcome.   

  • Limited spaces available so please register for the event(s) of your interest below
  • First Tuesday of every month
  • @ BioEscalator, ORC, ground floor, 12.00 -1.30 pm
  • Lunch included!
  • Networking & 1:1 meeting opportunities 
  • Questions?


Have an industry partner you would like to invite to speak? - Contact us!


Seminar Schedule: 12.00-1.30 pm @ BioEscalator, ORC

7 April 20 - Isansys - Postponed 

5 May 20 - GSK - Postponed 

2 June 20 - Novo Nordisk

7 July 20 - Janssen R&D


1 September 20 - Ipsen


5 May 2020 - Postponed 

Company: GSK


2 June 2020 - A multi-omics approach for type 2 diabetes target discovery: identification and characterisation of disease-specific small open reading frame encoded peptides (Click to register)

 Company: Novo Nordisk

 Bill Haynes photo

Presenter: Dr. Bill Haynes, Site Head and Vice President, Novo Nordisk Research Centre Oxford

Bio:  Bill is a physician-scientist with more than 25 years of experience in academic-industry translational research across diabetes and cardiometabolic diseases. Following a successful career as a physician, and 10 years as Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine and Endocrinology (University of Iowa, US), Bill went on to lead multidisciplinary discovery research groups at Novartis and AstraZeneca. Bill joined Novo Nordisk Research Centre Oxford (NNRCO) in December 2018 to help drive the identification and validation of novel targets for Type 2 diabetes and cardiometabolic diseases. NNRCO employs advanced bioinformatics, state-of-the-art discovery screening technologies and human centric systems, taking advantage of academic-industrial collaborations, human genetics and big data to conduct world-class discovery and translational research.

 Changes to event format

These events are usually in person @ Oxford Universities BioEscalator, however this seminar of the IISS series will be held virtually. 

Information about attendance and video conference details will be provided via email to those registered via Eventbrite the day before and thus registration is required by 11am 1st June 2020.

Many thanks for your patience and flexibility in the way in which this seminar will proceed. The seminars are a great way for local collaborative networking, but I hope that the silver lining may be that by hosting virtually we will be able to engage a wider audience.

 7 July 2020 - (Registration not yet open)

Company: Jannsen R&D

 Presenter: Luke Devey, VP Translational science

August - Summer break no seminar


1 September 2020 - Biotherapeutic medicines from botulinum neurotoxins. (Click to register)

Company: Ipsen

 Matthew Beard photo IPSEN








Presenter: Matthew Beard

Bio: Matthew Beard is Senior Director, Neuroscience Toxin Expert, with Ipsen R&D, supporting Dysport and new recombinant neurotoxin programmes. He has worked in biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, developing new protein therapeutics, since 2006. Before joining the drug discovery industry, Matthew did academic research into cell signalling, protein trafficking, and neurotransmitter release, in world leading academic laboratories at Glasgow, Yale, and Columbia Universities. He has published over 20 research articles and spoken extensively about Ipsen’s neurotoxin research at international scientific conferences.




Previous talks


Company: Silence Therapeutics

 Marie Silence T

Presenter: Dr Marie Wikstrom Lindholm - VP Head of Technology Innovation 

Bio:Marie joined Silence Therapeutics in December 2017 as Head of Innovation Technology (now Molecular Design), leading a skilled team focusing on fine-tuning design of GalNAc-conjugated siRNA and exploring extra-hepatocyte siRNA targeting. Before that, she got >10y experience with LNA oligonucleotide research at Santaris Pharma (now Roche Innovation Centre Copenhagen). Marie has authored >50 patents and scientific publications, many in the fields of oligonucleotide drug design, safety, and function.

Abstract: Silence Therapeutics explores different options for fine tuning of GalNAc-conjugated siRNA design. Areas of special interest include siRNA modification patterns, end stabilisation, linker chemistry, and the number and location of GalNAc units. One in house discovery is that two single GalNAc units, positioned a distance apart on the sense strand, demonstrated increased activity and duration of action in wild type mice for a tool compound targeting TTR, compared to a “traditional” GalNAc triantennary design of the same siRNA sequence. At day 27 after single injection the novel design resulted in 85% reduction of target serum protein, compared to 36% reduction by equimolar amount of the control molecule. This design, as part of a molecule design toolbox, is being validated for novel siRNA GalNAc conjugates that may eventually be used as therapeutic options in liver-centric disease. We are also optimistic that the same design/synthesis principle will be useful when designing siRNA conjugates for extra-hepatic purposes.




Company: Perspectum Diagnostics Ltd

 Andera D Perspectum IISS

Presenter: Dr Andrea Dennis - Head of Biomarker Sciences

Bio: Working primarily as a biomarker scientist, Andrea works closely with the data to explore and report on the diagnostic accuracy of our data, and to examine biomarker utility for screening and enriching clinical trials. Prior to joining PD Andrea was a Post-Doctoral researcher at the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, and a Junior Research Fellows at Linacre College, Oxford University, working on a variety of projects utilising advanced MRI to explore changes in brain structure and function in disease and rehabilitation.  

AbstractAdvances in imaging science have enabled the extraction of richer information from medical images than is possible with visual assessment alone. Quantitative imaging biomarkers (QIBs) are quantifiable features derived from medical images with utility for the diagnosis, prognosis, assessment of severity, or tracking of change in disease. QIBs are emerging across many fields of medicine, demonstrating value in clinical decision making, and in trials, where they can provide more powerful end-points and/or better targeted selection of patients.

Perspectum Diagnostics span out of the University of Oxford to commercialise MRI derived QIBs for liver disease. Our flagship product, LiverMultiScan (LMS), is a non-invasive procedure that can quantify the health of liver in a simple 15-minute scan. LMS has been successfully adopted worldwide for clinical trials investigating non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, including a pivotal phase 3 trial expected to deliver the drug for this condition to the market in 2020. 

The new era of personalised medicine aims to stratify patients based on combinations of their genotype, phenotypic information, and disease course, to enable enhanced individually tailored treatment strategies. QIBs are a key component of precision medicine, bridging the gaps between the information from patient-level clinical information and from circulating biomarkers (e.g. blood tests), with non-invasive organ-specific information.

This talk will (1) describe the benefits of implementing quantitative image analyses in clinical trials and clinical practice; (2) Describe the key challenges of generating standardized quantitative measures from clinical imaging scans; and (3) Provide examples from the work of Perspectum Diagnostics on approaches to resolving some of these challenges.



Company: Sensyne Health 

 Rabia Sensyne Health


Presenter: Dr Rabia Khan - Chief of Translational Medicine 

Bio: Rabia has a background in immuno-genetics with a passion for bridging the worlds of science, business and technology. She completed her BSc in Biology and Economics from McGill University in Montreal, Canada and went on to complete a PhD in Genetics studying the genetics underlying the host immune response to Typhoid.

Following this, she joined Meta, an artificial intelligence company using NLP to uncover knowledge within the biomedical literature. In her role as VP Commercial Partnerships, she worked with the CEO to understand product-market fit, built products for commercial partners and was instrumental in the IAPRA partnership. Meta has since been acquired by Chan Zuckerberg BioHub.

Following Meta, she went on to a post-doctoral fellowship at the Francis Crick Institute under Dr. Frickel, where she worked on establishing cellular models for the immune response to Toxoplasma infection in induced pluripotent stem cell derived macrophages. She returned to working at the intersection of Biology and Technology and joined BenevolentAI, an AI-enabled drug discovery company, as a scientist and established a number of pre-clinical drug-discovery programmes. She worked closely with the BenevolentAI product team to define product vision based on drug-discovery needs and rose to the role of Associate Director Strategy and Planning working closely with Prof. Jackie Hunter.

Abstract: Discovering and developing drugs remains expensive and time consuming with dauntingly low efficacy rates.  Disease definition is still based on signs and symptoms, but these are not the best descriptions given a disease will manifest itself within the underlying biology well before the onset of symptoms.  Have we have misunderstood disease altogether?  If we are to move from patient-care to health-care, we need a much deeper biological understanding of disease to promote prevention and intervention, well before the onset of disease precursors.  Treating disease by targeting the mechanism is rapidly advancing, but should we not also be defining diseases based on mechanism?  What if we started again with all the technology available to us today – machine learning, big data, stem cells, Crispr?  Would we still define disease by symptoms or differently?



Company: GE Healthcare

Aby M GE HC for IISS

Presenter: Dr Abolfazl Mehranian - Imaging Scientist 

Bio: For the last 8 years, Abi has been involved in developing advanced model-based image reconstruction and data correction techniques in PET and (f)MRI imaging. He graduated in radiological sciences and medical physics in 2015 from University of Geneva before joining King’s College London as post-doctoral researcher for developing multi-modal synergistic reconstruction algorithms. In 2019, he was selected as the researcher of the year at School of Biomedical Engineering at King’s and was awarded the IEEE Medical Imaging Young Investigator Award. At GE Healthcare, he is involved in developing deep-learning based image enhancement and reconstruction models and AI-aided diagnostic tools for PET imaging.

Abstract: Reducing radiotracer dose and total scan time of positron emission tomography (PET) without compromising the quality and diagnostic value of the images is of paramount importance, particularly in paediatric patients, follow-up examinations and PET centres with overloaded referrals. In this talk, I’ll give a short introduction of PET, as a one of the most important molecular imaging techniques, as well as the factors that deteriorate image quality in this modality. In particular, the adverse impact of reducing injected dose or scan time on image quality will be highlighted. In this project, we aim to leverage the power of deep learning (DL) methods in order to enhance image quality of short-duration PET scans toward their target standard of care images. For this purpose a short introduction of deep learning and convolutional neural networks will be given, which will be followed by a brief description of our initial experimentation and training a DL model . Finally some initial results will presented and future directions will be highlighted in the context of GEHC and NCIMI collaboration.



Company: Isansys 

 Keith Isansys speaker

Presenter: Keith Errey, CEO

Bio: Keith Errey is the CEO and co-founder of Isansys. Before Isansys he was the CEO and co-founder of Toumaz (London AIM TMZ) and is a strong advocate of digital and data driven methods in healthcare.

A serial entrepreneur with a long practical interest in technology businesses that originate from translational research, he was a founder of an early spin-out from Oxford University, Oxford Lasers Ltd. He then set up Oxford Synergetics Ltd, a technology transfer and facilitation consultancy where he developed a number of tools and methods for identifying and auditing technologies and developments most likely to succeed. He has wide experience in several industries including mining, telecommunications, instrumentation and medical devices, and a life-long commitment to education, having worked both as a school teacher and university lecturer.

He has physics degrees from Oxford University and the University of New South Wales.

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