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Our People

Meet the world-class scientists who make up Macomics.

Our Founders

Prof. Jeffrey W. Pollard

Founding Director & Advisor

Prof. Jeffrey Pollard is a Director of the MRC Centre for Reproductive Health (MRC-CRH), University of Edinburgh. He has been investigating the roles of macrophages in development, tissue repair and cancer for almost 40 years. His group was the first to show that tumour-associated macrophages promote the progression of tumours to metastasis in part, through the establishment of a suppressive immune microenvironment that supports tumour cell survival. Prof. Pollard has published over 270 scientific papers and is one of the most cited researchers in science. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology, Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences and is a Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator. He has been awarded many honours, most notably the American Cancer Society Medal of Honor for Basic Sciences.

Dr. Luca Cassetta

Scientific Founder

Dr. Cassetta is an immunologist with in-depth knowledge of human myeloid cell biology applied to different human diseases.  He has extensive experience in human macrophage biology, clinical material handling, multicolour flow cytometry, and genome-wide studies that contributed to the development of the Macomics screening platform.

 

He is an author of multiple publications in high-impact international scientific journals including Cancer Cell, Nature Communications, Journal of Experimental Medicine, Blood, PNAS, Nature Reviews Drug Discovery. He was awarded the Innovation Prize cup 2019 as a young entrepreneur for the spinout company, Macomics. He is currently a Principal Investigator at the University of Edinburgh.

Team

Dr. Robert Haigh

Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Haigh has more than 28 years of experience in drug discovery, clinical development, and commercialization in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. With over 20 years at the Board level in the UK, Europe, and the USA, Robert brings to the company a deep understanding of starting and leading a biotech business.

Robert was previously founder and CSO of Vantia Therapeutics after he led the spinout of small molecule assets from Ferring Pharmaceuticals where he was VP Research and CEO of the UK R&D site. Robert was also co-founder and COO of the NASDAQ-listed KalVista Pharmaceuticals.

Robert began his career in the pharma industry with Boehringer Ingelheim in Germany where he was a founder member of the Oncology Research Division and is a recent past CEO of Neuro-Bio. He currently serves as a non-executive director for Chain Biotechnology and Executive Chairman of Ikarovec. Robert holds an MSc in Biochemistry and a PhD, both from the University of Manchester.

Dr. Elizabeth Roper

Investor Director

Dr. Roper joined Epidarex as a Partner in 2013. She has more than 20 years of experience in the life science and healthcare industry, either as a venture investor or an operating executive. She has held senior operation roles and held various directorships including Chair.  She focuses on shaping and building early-stage life science opportunities into successful companies and investments.

Prior to joining Epidarex, Liz was Head of Business Development and part of the management team at Chroma Therapeutics Ltd., an Oxford-based venture-backed drug discovery and development company focused on inflammatory disorders and oncology. Liz led the establishment of several major company-building alliances including a multi‐target deal with GlaxoSmithKline around Chroma’s novel platform.

Liz is a former executive with the life science venture capital team at the Investments Division of The Wellcome Trust. She is also a former member of the life Science team at Atlas Ventures, London.

Liz currently serves on the Boards of Directors of AdoRx Ltd (Chair), Nodthera Ltd., Mironid Ltd., Caldan Therapeutics Ltd., Epidarex Exeed (Chair), EM Imaging Ltd, Macomics Ltd. and Dunad Therapeutics Ltd.

Liz holds a B.Sc. (Hons) in Biochemistry (1st class) from the University College Cork, and a Ph.D. from the Imperial Cancer Research Fund.

Dr. Jane Dancer

Non-Executive Director

Dr. Dancer has over 30 years’ experience in Business Development across biotech, pharma and agrochemicals. She was Chief Business Officer at F-star, VP Business Development at Cellzome and Director, Business Development at MedImmune Ltd (formerly Cambridge Antibody Technology (CAT)).  Jane spent the first part of her career in the agrochemical industry where she held research and project management roles in Aventis Crop Science, AgrEvo UK Ltd and Schering Agrochemicals Ltd.

 

Jane has an MBA from The Judge Institute of Management Studies, University of Cambridge and a PhD and a first degree in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge, UK. Jane is on the board of Spirea, PharmEnable and Chair of the Sir Richard Stapley Educational Trust.

Dr. Krzysztof B. Wicher

VP / Head of Drug Discovery

Dr. Wicher is an experienced drug developer. He was a Director of Research at Ossianix, a biotech start-up developing blood-brain barrier penetrant biologics, using a single domain shark antibody platform. He then served as a Director of Pharmacology and Translational Sciences at Kymab, supporting the preclinical development of immuno-oncology biologics. At MedImmune/AstraZeneca he was involved in creating novel biologics formats for treatment of autoimmune and other diseases. Krzysztof holds an MSc in Biotechnology from the Jagiellonski University in Kraków and a PhD from the University of Uppsala. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the London Research Institute, CRUK (now part of the Crick Institute),  and at the Gurdon Institute, University of Cambridge.

Scientific Advisors

Dr. Jacqueline Doody

SAB Member

  • 30 years’ industry experience

  • ex-VP of Immuno-oncology at F-star working on bispecific antibody therapies targeting T cells

  • Headed the Immunology department at ImClone taking antibody programs to clinical stage, including macrophage program on CSF-1R

Prof. Michele De Palma

 Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research
/ SAB Member

  • Heads Tumor Microenvironment Lab working on TAMs, tumour angiogenesis and immunotherapies

  • His previous work has led to the first-in-kind clinical trials of engineered monocytes in patients with brain and haematological cancers