Our Team

Meet Synthace's interdisciplinary team of computer scientists, biologists, mathematicians, and chemists.

 
 

Board of Directors

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TIM FELL

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

Tim is an experienced technology venture entrepreneur with an R&D background in both the physical and life sciences. Before joining Synthace he spent 7 years as Chief Operating Officer of CellCentric, a leading epigenetics drug discovery company. Prior to that he was Chief Technology Officer of Arrow Therapeutics and was co-founder and General Manager of DNA microarray tools company Oxford Gene Technology (Operations).

Before entering the commercial world Tim spent 13 years performing highly interdisciplinary research at the University of Oxford holding post-doctoral positions in three different departments (Biochemistry, Engineering and Materials). He has a D.Phil in Semiconductor Materials and an MBA from London Business School.

Tim is the Chairman of the UK BioIndustry Association’s Engineering Biology Advisory Committee and also a member of the Synthetic Biology Leadership Council co-chaired by The Rt Hon Lord Henley, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

[Tim's Blog Posts]

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Sean Ward

CHIEF TECHNICAL OFFICER

Before founding Synthace, Sean was a Research Associate in Bioinformatics at University College London, where he conducted research into protein folding, protein structure prediction, and gene coding. Prior to his work in bioinformatics, Sean was the Co-Founder and CTO of Relatable, a leading US-based acoustic fingerprinting company, whose customers included major peer to peer companies such as Napster, as well as consumer electronics manufacturers, royalty collection agencies, and major labels. Sean has a BSc in Computer Science from UCL.

[Sean's Blog Posts]

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Bob Wiederhold

CHAIRMAN

Bob holds the position of Executive Chairman at Couchbase and previously served as President and Chief Executive Officer at Couchbase from 2010 to 2017. Prior to Couchbase, Bob was chairman, CEO, and president of Transitive Corporation, the worldwide leader in cross-platform virtualization with over 20 million users, until it was acquired by IBM in 2008. Before Transitive, he was president and CEO of Tality Corporation, the worldwide leader in electronic design services, whose revenues and size grew to almost $200 million and had 1,500 worldwide employees.

Bob held several executive general management positions at Cadence Design Systems, Inc., an electronic design automation company, which he joined in 1985 as an early stage startup and helped to grow to more than $1.5 billion during his 13 years at the company. Bob also headed High Level Design Systems, a successful electronic design automation startup that was acquired by Cadence in 1996. Bob holds a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from University of Massachusetts Amherst and a master’s from Cornell University in Electrical Engineering.

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iSABEL fOX

NON-EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Isabel Fox is the Head of Venture Capital at White Cloud, investing predominantly in healthcare and education start-ups in Europe, Asia and Australasia. She started out in finance, followed by financial PR (tech IPOs) before founding two corporate/tech PR firms. She was also a part of the founding team of two software start-ups and an active investor in the UK and US.

Izzy is an advisor and angel investor in several start-ups including Adbrain, Jumio, BitPay, Get Around, Violin Memory, Tray.io, Cloud House, GetCrane and more. As an INN graduate, her passion is health and wellbeing and shaping the future of healthcare.

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bILL lIAO

NON-EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Bill works as the European Investment Partner at SOSventures, supporting and mentoring startups at all stages of growth, with a special emphasis on the Synbio Accelerator program. Bill has a wealth of experiences, both in the public and private sectors. A co-founder of CoderDojo, a free global network formed to assist young people with learning computer programming, Bill also co-founded XING, a pioneering enterprise social networking platform.

Prior to these endeavours, Bill served as COO of Davnet, a telecommunications carrier. Bill has also distinguished himself as a diplomat, serving as a special diplomatic envoy for St Kitts and Nevis, with an emphasis on sustainable development and the environment. Author of three books, he is a regular speaker at many events and venues such as The London School of Economics, The World Economic Forum, The Globe Forum in Sweden, The House of Commons and TED as well as TEDx. He is Founder of WeForest that has planted over 5 million trees globally.

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Joško Bobanovic

NON-EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Joško joined Sofinnova in 2010 as Partner of the Sofinnova Green Seed Fund dedicated to seed activities in renewable chemistry and bio-energy. Prior to joining Sofinnova, he spent eight years in venture capital with iNovia Capital and its fund MSBi Capital in Montreal, Canada. Joško was responsible for cleantech investments at the fund and focused on seed and early-stage investments in cleantech and information technology.

Prior to his venture capital career, he created an internet start-up and a software company. After completing his PhD studies Joško developed real-time ocean forecasting systems still used at Environment Canada for coastal ocean management. Joško holds a BSc. in physics from the University of Zagreb, a PhD in physical oceanography from Dalhousie University and an MBA in finance and marketing from McGill University.

 

Senior Team

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mICHAEL (SID) sADOWSKI

HEAD OF BIOINFORMATICS

Dr Sadowski (usually called Sid) is a passionate and enthusiastic computational biologist of some 15 years’ standing with a background in protein sequence, structure and function analysis. His life in bioinformatics started at Leeds with Dave Westhead and J. Howard Parish, followed by postdocs at UCL and NIMR with David Jones and Willie Taylor.

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MARK WATSON

CHIEF COMMERCIAL OFFICER

Mark has a proven track record of growing numerous companies into hundred million dollar businesses. Mark developed his flair for execution through his experience of working for blue chip companies and serving as a non-executive director on a number of boards.

Prior to joining Synthace, he held senior positions at a number of top firms including, Siemens, Logica, Midland Montagu, Oracle, Micromuse, Axiom and Sage. He was also a founding partner of a leading sales acceleration consultancy. As well as being a trained accountant, Mark is a fully-qualified member of Chartered Institute of Marketing (MCIM) and holds a first class degree in Industrial Management.

[Mark's Blog Posts]

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jonathan malin

CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER

Jonathan joined Synthace in March 2018, where he's responsible for financial and commercial support. A twenty five year veteran of the B2B software and services industry, Jonathan's career started as an accountant at Price Waterhouse (now PriceWaterhouseCoopers) and then EDS (acquired by HP). Jonathan subsequently held finance roles in NASDAQ listed companies. Prior to Synthace, he was formerly COO/CFO of Rouse & Co International LLP, a boutique legal services IP group active in emerging markets, and acted as an advisor on several private equity investments in the healthcare and cleantech sectors.

Jonathan is a UK ACA, MCT and MA (Hons) Cantab, he enjoys theatre (both his sisters are actors), hill walking and spending time with his two dogs.

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Markus Gershater

CHIEF SCIENTIFIC OFFICER

Markus co-founded Synthace after working as a Research Associate in Synthetic Biology at University College London where he developed novel biosynthesis methods using pathway engineering. Prior to UCL, he was a Biotransformation Scientist at Novacta Biosystems working as part of the industrial biotechnology group that conducted more than 90 contract research projects for over 20 clients. Markus has a PhD in Plant Biochemistry from Durham.

[Markus' Blog Posts]

 

Product Development

 
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Jackson Gabbard

SENIOR SOFTWARE ENGINEER, FRONT-END

Jackson joined Synthace after 6 years building products at Facebook. He helped deliver Timeline, Groups, and many internal systems that Facebook uses to manage its own operations. After the IPO, he was a founding member of the Facebook London engineering team, helping it grow from 12 engineers to well beyond 500. Prior to Facebook, Jackson worked as an interactive developer for recording artists. He was on the team that delivered Kanye West's first blog and implemented all the JavaScript for Taylor Swift's first website. At Synthace, Jackson uses his experience delivering products to push the Antha platform forward, giving biologists power tools for automating their work.

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Vishal Sanchania

PRINCIPAL RESEARCH SCIENTIST & FORWARD DEPLOYED ENGINEER

Vishal joined Synthace Limited in April 2013 and is currently a Principal Scientist and Forward Deployed Engineer. Vishal was attracted to Synthace because of its mission to engineer biology using Antha and high-dimensional multifactorial experimentation. At Synthace, Vishal works alongside the lab and software teams to develop Antha’s lab automation and end-to-end digitisation capabilities. He also enjoys liaising with clients to discuss their technical requirements and works with them to fulfil their requirements. Prior to joining Synthace, Vishal was completing his PhD in Biotechnology and Biophysics developing a novel biosensor, where software was key in understanding spectroscopic changes for medical diagnostics and has a BSc in Biochemistry from University College London.

[Vish's Blog Posts]

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Charlotte Ward

SENIOR RESEARCH SCIENTIST

Charlotte came to work at Synthace after completing BSc and PhD degrees in biochemistry.

"I'm excited by how Synthace takes a different approach to biology, particularly by applying developments in computer science to leverage what we can achieve in biology."

She's a senior research scientist working on developing protocols to automate biological processes.

[Charlotte's Blog Posts]

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Steve Brown

BIOPROCESS SCIENTIST

A “farmer” from Lincolnshire, with a PhD in biological science interested in cultivating micro-organisms. I am a champion of multivariate experimentation and the empirical approach to further scientific understanding of biological systems. With 7 years industrial experience I want to apply my understanding to develop solutions and affect real change. As a bioprocess scientist at Synthace, I am at the interface between biological research and software engineering. I am helping to build the Antha platform, a game-changer in the way scientific research is conducted.

A fun fact: My beard has two swirls in the neckline, which I take advantage of during Halloween referring to them as “the position for my bolts” (Frankenstein’s monster).

[Steve's Blog Posts]

Donald Nguyen

SENIOR SOFTWARE DEVELOPER

Dr Nguyen (although only his parents call him that) is computer scientist with extensive experience in programming languages, compilers and program optimisation.

Prior to joining Synthace, Donald received his PhD from the University of Texas where his research was on programming language extensions for dynamic parallelisation, which has found application in machine learning, graph analytics and computational simulation of sparse structures.

 
 
 
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James Rutley

SENIOR BIOPROCESS ENGINEER

James is a Biochemical Engineer by training, and his industrial experience has focussed on upstream processing, its optimisation and characterisation for the improvement of bioprocesses.

He has a passion for translating small scale discoveries in the life sciences into industrially relevant biological processes to make it possible for them to reach the people who need them.

James began working with Synthace during the early days of his doctorate in 2012, excited by the prospect of being at the bleeding edge of pioneering life sciences research and development. He joined full time in 2015 working to optimise upstream bioprocesses for industrial clients. His work has moved onto the Antha platform and ensuring that clients get the most out of what Antha can offer.

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Shama Chilakwad

SYNTHACE-SPONSORED STUDENT

Shama is an doctorate student at UCL’s Biochemical Engineering Department based full time at Synthace. Her project focuses on using Antha and automation to perform complex experimentation like DOEs. She first came to Synthace (and London!) in 2016 on work placement as a part of her Masters program and then continued working for Synthace as an Associate Scientist for the following year.

Fun fact: Shama's family moved to Ireland from India when I was a teenager, which she claims is responsible for her unusual accent

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Xander Anderson

SENIOR SCIENTIST & FORWARD DEPLOYED ENGINEER

Xander is responsible for developing our Antha language at various levels, to improve its functionality for a suite of biological research applications, and supporting internal use. Prior to joining Synthace, he completed his BSc at St Andrews, and then his PhD at Cambridge, where he was engineering algae to improve power outputs of bio-photovoltaics (biological solar panels).

Xander now gets to combine his interests in biology, engineering and software. He also works closely with a number of our clients, consulting with them to plan out their bespoke research and experimental design requirements, and providing ongoing support.

Outside of work, he will most likely be found hiking around the English countryside, taking part in organised runs, or searching for the world’s most well-executed Margarita.

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YOU

BIOTECH REVOLUTIONARY

Join our interdisciplinary team of biologists, computer scientists, biochemical engineers, and statisticians as we work together to expand the boundaries of science and technology.

[View all vacancies]

 

Business Development

 
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Nuno Leitão

BIOLOGICAL SCIENTIST

Nuno joined Synthace after his PhD in Plant Molecular Biology at the John Innes Centre in Norwich, and an MSc in Bioengineering in Porto. “I like working in the interface of molecular biology and engineering, and in Synthace I can do just that!”.

Outside work, Nuno is easily found swinging through London’s dance floors improving his lindy hop moves.

[Nuno's Blog Posts]

bOBBY bRILL

MARKETING MANAGER

Bobby joined Synthace in April 2018 and is responsible for Marketing & Communications. They bring with them a decade of experience in both B2B and B2C marketing, and a passion for spreadsheets.

Outside of the office Bobby has three rescue cats (not enough) and is a National Roller Derby player & referee

James Arpino

PRINCIPAL RESEARCH SCIENTIST & FORWARD DEPLOYED ENGINEER


James (JAJA) joined Synthace in 2016. He studied biochemistry, Epidemiology and Bioinformatics, Synthetic Biology, Protein Engineering and Directed Evolution then followed his studies with several Post Doctoral positions both within Cardiff University and also Imperial College University in London.

Still with a passion for Computational Biology seeded from his Masters James wanted to further his career outside of Academia with Synthace helping to drive, develop and promote our software platform, Antha. The intersection of biology and technology will dictate the next revolution of biological engineering, a field in which James is heavily invested in promoting.