Scientific Advisory Board
Maureen Bunger, PhD
Dr Maureen Bunger is Product Manager for ADMETox and hepatocytes at Lonza, being responsible for Lonza’s product portfolio in these areas. She has extensive knowledge about ADMETox and hepatocytes, and how they can best be used in drug discovery.
With over 20 years of experience in the life science domain, Maureen combines hands-on experience with life science tools, including mass spectrometry, sequencing, molecular biology, stem cells, genetics and animal models, with effective project management, strategic planning and new product development.
Maureen received a PhD in Molecular Toxicology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2001 and completed postdoctoral training at the National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) which is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Dr. Paul H. Dear got his D. Phil from Oxford in 1989, for developing techniques in genome mapping and analysis. After a post-doc in Oxford, he joined the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge in 1992, first as a post-doc under Sir Greg Winter, and then as group leader. He focussed initially on genome mapping, and went on to develop the basis for a single-molecule, microfluidic-based DNA sequencing technology currently being developed with Base4 Innovation. In 2015, he left the LMB to start his own genome editing company, Mote Research Limited. His current interests include microfluidics, therapeutic and prophylactic genome editing, and the application of single-molecule methods in DNA sequencing and detection.
Peter Harrsch, PhD
Executive Clinical/Forensic Specialist - Waters Corporation
Peter joined Waters Corporation in 2005 as an Executive Clinical/Forensic Specialist. At Waters, Peter is responsible for interfacing with both clinical and forensic labs and developing the LC-MS business in those market segments with the regional sales teams. Prior to Waters, Peter held various positions as Senior Mass Spectrometry Sales Specialist at Bruker Daltonics, SFC-MS Business Development Manager at Berger Instruments, and Senior Applications Consultant for LC-MS at Agilent Technologies. Before moving to the scientific instrument segment, Peter worked in the pharmaceutical industry as a Senior Research Investigator for Sterling Pharmaceuticals and a Post-Doctoral Scientist at SmithKline focusing mainly on protein drug targets and protein-based biopharmaceuticals. Over the years, Peter has developed numerous hyphenated mass spec methods for analysis of pharmaceuticals and drugs of abuse, protein/peptide drugs, polymers, and small molecule metabolites. Other accomplishments include the development of the first commercially available SFC-MS system. Peter has delivered many LC-MS training courses and has made poster and oral presentations at numerous scientific meetings.
MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology
After finishing my biology undergraduate degree in Zagreb, Croatia, I did my PhD at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Biology and Genetics in Dresden, Germany, where I worked on the cellular aspects of mammalian neural progenitors, with special focus on comparative, inter-species studies. I am currently studying brain development using an in vitro 3D technique called cerebral organoids at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, UK. By using this technique on human and non-human tissue, we are trying to understand the intricate processes that occurred during evolution and led to the complex human brain that we have today.
Kubista has been interested in life sciences his entire life. He studied chemistry at University of Göteborg, Sweden, and obtained B.Sc. in chemistry in 1984. Kubista then worked at Astra Hässle (today part of AstraZeneca), studying the K+/H+-ATPase inhibitor omeprazole, which became the then most sold pharmaceutical drug under the trade names of Losec (Prilosec in US) and Nexium, and is used to treat ulcer. He returned to academia joining Chalmers University of Technology in Göteborg and received in 1986 Technology Licentiate in Chemistry and in 1988 PhD in physical chemistry on studies of nucleic acid interactions with polarized light spectroscopy. He did first postdoc at La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia, on transcriptional foot-printing, and a second postdoc at Yale University, New Haven, USA studying chromatin and epigenetic modulation of nucleosomes. Returning to Gothenburg in 1991 Kubista started his own research group studying DNA-ligand interactions and elucidated some critical details about the RecA catalyzed strand exchange process, which led to the establishment of the current model of DNA strand exchange in homologous recombination. His group also discovered a novel mechanism of transcriptional activation of oncogenes, which led to the development of a new class of anticancer drugs that target specific quadruplex DNA structures. They developed methods for multidimensional data analysis based on which MultiD Analyses AB was founded, and they invented the light-up probes for nucleic acid detection in homogeneous solution, which led to the foundation of LightUp Technologies AB as Europe´s first company focusing on quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) based diagnostics. In 2001 Kubista set up the TATAA Biocenter as center of excellence in qPCR and gene expression analysis with locations in Gothenburg, Sweden and Prague, Czech Republic. TATAA Biocenter is the largest provider of qPCR training globally, and Europe´s largest provider of qPCR services. It was the first laboratory in Europe to obtain flexible ISO 17025 accreditation and was presented the Frost & Sullivan Award for Customer Value Leadership as Best-in-Class Services for Analyzing Genetic Material in 2013. In 2014 TATAA introduced non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) in Sweden founding and separated the business into the company Life Genomics AB. He also co-authored the MIQE guidelines for RT-qPCR analysis, which recently reached 5000 citations, and became member of the CEN/ISO working group that developed the guidelines for the pre-analytical process in molecular diagnostics that came in force during 2015. Since 2007 Kubista heads the Department of Gene Expression at the institute of Biotechnology, CAS.
Chris Lowe, PhD
Head of Research Operations - Horizon Discovery
Chris joined Horizon Discovery in 2011 and, prior to leading all research operations within Horizon, led the scientific teams responsible for the development and provision of a range of translational research services to support pre-clinical drug discovery programs. Chris has a background in the genetic analysis of complex disease having obtained his PhD in the field of Medical Genetics from the University of Cambridge where he investigated the genetic causes of Type 1 diabetes in the laboratory of Prof. John Todd, followed by postdoctoral work focusing on Type 2 diabetes and metabolic disease in the laboratory of Prof. Stephen O’Rahilly.
Founding Director - Metrion Biosciences
Marc is a trained neuroscientist with 25 years’ experience in the patch clamp technique from a number of prestigious international universities and 12 years of drug discovery on both sides of the Atlantic. He was an early adopter of automated patch clamp platforms for ion channel screening and has an excellent knowledge of this market and connections with many of the commercial vendors. Marc has developed an extensive network of contacts in Europe and the US through his outsourcing activities and presentations at international ion channel drug discovery conferences. He is an experienced project manager and team leader through his work on international pharma and grant-funded collaborations, as well as a successful grant writer in the UK, Europe and the US. Before becoming the founding director of Metrion Biosciences he co-founded the virtual biotech Inovion Pharma to focus on finding therapies for rare disease channelopathies.
CEO - Optibrium
Matt is CEO of Optibrium. He has a Master of Science in computation from the University of Oxford and a Ph.D. in theoretical physics from the University of Cambridge. As Associate Director at Camitro (UK), ArQule Inc. and then Inpharmatica, he led a team developing predictive ADME models and state-of-the-art intuitive decision-support and visualization tools for drug discovery. In January 2006, he became responsible for management of Inpharmatica's ADME business, including experimental ADME services and the StarDrop software platform. Following acquisition of Inpharmatica, Matt became Senior Director responsible for BioFocus DPI's ADMET division and in 2009 led a management buyout of the StarDrop business to found Optibrium, which develops software for small molecule design, optimisation and data analysis. Matt has published over 30 peer-reviewed papers and book chapters on computational chemistry, cheminformatics and drug discovery.
Director of Sales - Labvantage
Bob Voelkner is the Director of Sales at LabVantage, where he is responsible for sales and marketing as well as developing and maintaining business relationships with global world-class organizations across multiple industries, including pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical, food & beverage, and process chemicals. With over 34 years of industry experience working with enterprise laboratory information management solutions (LIMS), Mr. Voelkner is considered as an expert in applying commercial LIMS to laboratory types ranging from early discovery through quality production. Mr. Voelkner holds a B.Sc. degree in Computer Science and has worked in all aspects of delivering LIMS, ELN, and Chromatography Data Systems (CDS) including software development, system implementation and validation, business development, customer support and executive management. Mr. Voelkner has extensive expertise and understanding of the laboratory information management marketplace, particularly with regulated industries and compliance issues. Before joining LabVantage, Mr. Voelkner worked for the LIMS businesses of Applied Biosystems as Americas Sales Manager; Thermo Scientific as VP of North American Sales for Informatics; InnaPhase Corporation as Director of Business Development in Asia; and the former Laboratory Automation Operations of Beckman Coulter as Director of Global Sales and Marketing.
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