Our leadership, which includes our Executive Management, Board of Directors and Scientific Advisory Board is accountable for the success and continued innovation at Horizon

Executive Management

Richard Vellacott

Interim Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer 

Richard Vellacott

Richard joined Horizon in July 2012 and, in his roles as CFO, COO and deputy CEO, he has steered the company through a public listing on the AIM market, fundraisings and four acquisitions. He is an experienced chartered accountant with a first class degree in biological sciences from Durham University.

Richard’s career has focused on growing life science companies from private start-ups to global businesses that are publicly listed in the UK and the US. His past roles include Vice President, Finance at the dual listed FTSE 250 technology company CSR plc, where he had worldwide responsibility for finance, and as Director in Deloitte’s life sciences practice. Beyond corporate responsibilities, Richard advised the European Committee on funding for life science companies and provides thought leadership on many issues facing the life science industry.

Terry Pizzie

Head of Commercial Operations

Terry Pizzie

Terry has amassed close to 30 years of commercial experience within the Biotechnology Tools Sector. He started his career with Applied Biosystems in 1988 in a sales role and rose through the ranks to VP Europe in 2003. Terry went on to join the Swedish Biotechnology firm Biacore in 2005 as SVP Global Commercial Operations and was part of the team that reignited the company’s commercial success, culminating in its acquisition by GE Life Sciences. After a period with Genetix PLC as Director Global Commercial Operations prior to its acquisition by Danaher Terry went on to head global sales at Pacific Biosciences.

Terry graduated with a degree in Physiology & Biochemistry from the University of Reading and since then has spent most of his working life focused upon commercial excellence within the sector.

Dr Chris Lowe

Head of Research Operations

Chris Lowe

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 engaged in research into 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.

Heather Hayes

Head of Human Resources

Heather Hayes

Heather Hayes VP, Global Head of HR brings significant experience, both operationally and strategically across a range of sectors. The last 8 years being spent in the pharmaceutical industry. Heather led an HR team at Roche responsible for the Development part of the business, she had responsibility for a global workforce, partnering business unit leaders worldwide. Following Roche's purchase of Genentech she was asked to take a global HR role based in San Francisco, where she was responsible for creating alignment, and implementing shared HR strategies for the integrated companies. Heather returned to the UK taking a UK role with R&D in GSK, Stevenage. Prior to Roche and GSK, Heather managed HR strategies and acquisitions in the IT Consultancy, Imaging, Aerospace and Oil industries. Heather graduated from Aberdeen University with an MA in History, and completed her formal qualifications with a postgraduate diploma in Human Resource Management with CIPD membership at Manchester Metropolitan University. Heather joined Horizon in September 2015 and will focus on engagement, development, talent acquisition and recognition.

Dr Jon Moore

Chief Scientific Officer, Head of Translational Science

Dr Jon Moore

Jon Moore joined Horizon Discovery to manage its portfolio of target validation alliances in 2012 and became CSO in 2014. As Head of Translational Science he leads a broad ranging internal research program that aims to deliver opportunities for spin out companies and also milestoned licensing deals. Initially, this focused on synthetic lethal and immuno-oncology approaches to cancer, but is now widening its scope to encompass cell therapies. Jon is a Director and co-founder of Avvinity Therapeutics, a joint venture between Horizon and Centauri Therapeutics that is exploring the potential of a novel ablative therapy for cancer.

Prior to joining Horizon, Jon spent 10 years in drug discovery at Vernalis rising to Head of Biology. Here he led various internal research programs and also the research alliance in cancer metabolism with GlaxoSmithKline. Before moving to industry, Jon gained extensive postdoctoral research experience in the field of cell cycle control in the laboratories of Sally Kornbluth and then Nobel Prize winner, Tim Hunt, publishing a landmark Science paper judged one of the best in the field in 2003. Jon holds a PhD from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology and is author of more than 35 peer reviewed papers.

Kim Nichols

Head of Global Ops

Kim Nichols

Kim joined Horizon Discovery in 2017 with the acquisition of Dharmacon. Kim has been with the Dharmacon business for 18 years in various operational roles under Thermo Fisher Scientific and GE Healthcare.

Prior to joining Dharmacon, Kim spent almost 10 years at the University of Iowa researching and mapping inherited eye diseases. Kim has degrees in Genetics and Business Administration.

Board of Directors

Dr Ian Gilham

Executive Chairman

Dr Ian Gilham

Ian is currently Non-Executive Chairman of Genedrive plc, a developer of innovative molecular diagnostic systems and Biosurfit SA which is focused on the development and commercialisation of point-of-care diagnostics. Ian also serves as non-executive director of Vernalis plc. Ian has previously been Chief Executive Officer of Axis-Shield plc and Vice President, Pharmacogenetics and Diagnostics at GSK, as well as holding various positions within Abbott Laboratories.

Richard Vellacott

Interim Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer

Richard Vellacott

Richard joined Horizon in July 2012 and, in his roles as CFO, COO and deputy CEO, he has steered the company through a public listing on the AIM market, fundraisings and four acquisitions. He is an experienced chartered accountant with a first class degree in biological sciences from Durham University.

Richard’s career has focused on growing life science companies from private start-ups to global businesses that are publicly listed in the UK and the US. His past roles include Vice President, Finance at the dual listed FTSE 250 technology company CSR plc, where he had worldwide responsibility for finance, and as Director in Deloitte’s life sciences practice. Beyond corporate responsibilities, Richard advised the European Committee on funding for life science companies and provides thought leadership on many issues facing the life science industry.

Dr Jonathan Milner

Non-Executive Director

Jonathan Milner

Jonathan is an experienced entrepreneur and business leader with a background in molecular genetic research. He is an active supporter of the Cambridge business community, is a founder of Abcam Plc, the 2013 AIM business of the year with a recent market capitalisation in excess of £2.4 bn. Jonathan gained his doctorate in Molecular Genetics at Leicester University after graduating in Applied Biology at Bath University.

Mrs Susan Searle

Non-Executive Director

Susan Searle

Susan has over 20 years’ commercial experience as an entrepreneur and innovator. She co-founded Imperial Innovations Group Plc (now part of IP Group Plc),a leading technology venture investment businesses, leading as CEO from 2002 to 2013. During this time the company invested over £120 million, the majority of which was in biotech companies. Susan also holds non-executive director positions with Woodford Patient Capital plc (chair), Mercia Technologies plc (chair), Benchmark Holdings plc (chair of the Remuneration Committee), and QinetiQ Group plc (Audit, Risk and Remuneration Committees). Susan acts as the Senior Independent Director on Horizon’s Board.

Susan has previously held commercial roles with Shell Chemicals, Montech PTY Ltd, and the Bank of Nova Scotia. She has a degree in chemistry from Oxford University.

Dr Susan Galbraith

Non-Executive Director

Susan Galbraith

Dr. Susan Galbraith, currently Senior Vice President and Head of Oncology Innovative Medicines at AstraZeneca, trained as a clinical oncologist, after studying medicine at Manchester and Cambridge Universities, and joins with over 20 years’ combined academic and industry experience.

Susan was previously at Bristol-Myers Squibb, where she was Vice President of Oncology and Clinical Biomarkers from 2008 to 2010. In her roles at both Bristol- Myers Squibb and AstraZeneca, Susan has successfully developed and delivered strategies for the oncology and biomarker groups, resulting in increased success rates, enhanced scientific reputation and high value collaborations. She has also delivered major reorganisations, redesigned governance processes, and contributed to discussions on drug and diagnostic development with regulatory agencies in North America and Europe.

Dr Vishal Gulati

Non-Executive Director

Vishal Gulati

Dr. Vishal Gulati is a specialist healthcare investor in diagnostics, digital healthcare and biotechnology and has served on the boards of companies across Europe, the USA and in India for over a decade. Vishal gained investment management and industry experience at Draper Esprit (formerly DFJ Esprit), Atlas Venture, the Wellcome Trust. Having been a practising physician prior to that, Vishal is able to combine the insights from a technical as well as a financial perspective.

Vishal qualified in medicine in India and received his postgraduate training in Oxford and London as a Rhodes Scholar. In addition to several company boards, Vishal has served on the BioCatalyst awards committee (a UK Government backed £180 million fund for emerging technology companies) an advisor to the Mayor of London’s health commission.

Mr Grahame Cook

Non-Executive Director

Grahame Cook

Grahame is an experienced FTSE and AIM non-executive, with extensive experience as an audit committee chairman. With a background in banking,where he has specialised in the life sciences, pharma and biotech sectors, Grahame has over 20 years’ experience of M&A, equity capital markets and investor relations.Grahame started his career at Arthur Andersen, where he qualified as a chartered accountant and worked within audit and corporate investigations. Subsequent positions include UBS, where he was a member of the global investment banking management committee and global head of equity advisory, and WestLB Panmure, where he was joint Chief Executive Officer. Grahame currently sits on a number of boards, chairing four, including Sinclair Pharma plc and Morphogenesis Inc.Grahame is a graduate of the University of Oxford and remains a member of the ICAEW.

Scientific Advisory Board

Professor Alberto Bardelli

SAB Chairman, Horizon Founder

Prof Alberto Bardelli

Alberto is Professor of Oncological Sciences at the University of Torino School of Medicine and Director of the Laboratory of Molecular Genetics at the Institute for Cancer research and Treatment in Turin, Italy.

Recent work from Alberto’s lab has had a transforming effect on current clinical practice in the field of personalized medicine, with the discovery that K-Ras mutations impart both primary and secondary resistance to EGFR-targeted therapies in colon cancer and that the mutations can be detected not only in the tumor but also in the blood of the patients. A future focus of his lab is to find appropriately tailored drug combinations to overcome resistance to targeted therapies.

Dr Chris Torrance

SAB Member, Horizon Founder

Chris Torrance

Chris has significant oncology research and development experience, including six years as a senior manager at Cambridge-based pharmaceutical company, Vernalis. His principle expertise lies in cancer cell biology and drug discovery. In this field, he has led project teams taking drug targets from inception through to hit identification, lead optimisation and into preclinical studies.

Chris holds a PhD from East Carolina University and completed a Post-Doctoral position in the world renowned oncology laboratory of Professor Bert Vogelstein (Johns Hopkins University) where he pioneered the use of X-MAN® cancer models in high-throughput screening and drug discovery.

Professor David Russell

SAB Member, Gene Targeting, Stem Cells

Prof David Russell

David is Professor of Medicine, Division of Hematology and Adjunct Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Washington School of Medicine. He is as a Special Member of the SAB with responsibility for leading Horizon’s future thinking in human gene-targeting.

David pioneered the use of adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors to introduce precise sequence changes at any endogenous chromosomal locus. This approach has revolutionized the speed at which human isogenic cell lines with defined genetic properties can be generated. David is also leading Horizon in developing strategies for the application of AAV technology in the in-vitro stem-cell field.

David has published over 60 peer-review publications in the field of gene-targeting and gene therapy, and is on the editorial board of four international peer-reviewed journals.

Professor Eric Hendrickson

SAB Member, DNA Repair, Gene Editing

Prof Eric Hendrickson

Eric is a Full Professor in the Department of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology at the University of Minnesota Medical School. For the past 25 years he has pioneered studies in human somatic cells to investigate areas related to DNA double-strand break repair, including telomeres, DNA recombination and gene targeting.

His laboratory has made extensive use of rAAV technology to investigate telomere maintenance, V(D)J recombination, chemotherapeutic drug efficacy and gene targeting in human cancer cells.

Eric attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and received his Ph.D. from Harvard Medical School in 1987. He then conducted postdoctoral research at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, before embarking in 1992 on a career as an independent principal investigator. He has published 45 primary research articles, two book chapters and seven reviews. Eric is very active as a reviewer for a large number of journals and as an ad hoc reviewer for NIH grant panels.

Mr Eric Rhodes

CTO & Senior Vice President, R&D

Eric Rhodes

Eric has a strong background in gene regulation and gene editing. Prior to joining the Company, he was director of Business Development at Sigma-Aldrich Corp. where he helped Sigma in launching its nuclease based gene editing platform, and served for 10 years as vice-president of Business Development and Alliance Management at Sangamo BioSciences. At Sangamo he was responsible for securing and coordinating large target validation and technology licensing projects with many of the top pharma and biotech companies in North America, Europe, and Asia. Eric also has broad experience in growing small companies having participated in the successful launch of several start-ups in the San Francisco Bay Area. Eric earned his degree in Microbiology and Immunology from UC Berkeley.

Professor Daniel Von Hoff

SAB Member, Clinical Advisor, Translational Medicine

Prof Daniel Von Hoff

Daniel is Physician in Chief, Senior Investigator, Director, Translational Research Division, Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) and a pioneer in the development of new anticancer agents, both in the clinic and in the laboratory.

He and his colleagues were involved in the early stages of the development of many of the anticancer agents that are now routinely used, including: mitoxantrone, fludarabine, paclitaxel, docetaxel, gemcitabine, irinotecan, nelarabine, capecitabine, lapatinib and others.

Daniel is leading the way in the areas of in vitro drug sensitivity testing and patient-stratified clinical trials to individualize treatment for cancer patients.

He is Editor in Chief of the world renowned scientific Journal, Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, and has published over 542 papers, 133 book chapters, and 950 abstracts.

Dr Keith Joung

SAB Member, CRISPR Gene Editing

Keith Joung

J. Keith Joung is a leading innovator in the field of genome editing. He currently serves as associate chief of pathology for research and the Jim and Ann Orr Research Scholar at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and is an associate professor of pathology at Harvard Medical School. He also is director of the Molecular Pathology Unit and is a member of the Center for Cancer Research and Center for Computational and Integrative Biology at MGH. Dr. Joung has been a pioneer in the development of important technologies for targeted genome editing and epigenome editing of human cells. He has received numerous awards including an NIH Director’s Pioneer Award, an NIH Director’s Transformative Research Project R01 Award, the Jim and Ann Orr MGH Research Scholar Award, and election into the American Association of University Pathologists. He is a scientific co-founder of Editas Medicine, a company dedicated to the translation of genome editing technologies for therapy of human diseases.

Dr. Joung holds a Ph.D. in genetics from Harvard University, an M.D. from Harvard Medical School and an A.B. in biochemical sciences from Harvard College.

Dr Feng Zhang

SAB Member, CRISPR Gene Editing

Feng Zhang

Dr. Zhang, Ph.D., is currently serving as W.M. Keck Career Development Professor with joint appointment in Biological Engineering and also Brain and Cognitive Sciences departments at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He is also one of the 11 core members of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and an Investigator at the McGovern Institute for Brain Research.

Dr. Zhang successfully engineered the CRISPR-Cas9 system for genome editing in mammalian cells as published online January 3, 2013 in Science. Dr. Zhang has been extremely active in publishing a range of articles on the optimal use and design of the technology. More recently Dr. Zhang has published compelling results indicating CRISPR/Cas9-mediated gene editing can be employed in high-throughput genome-wide screens. Dr. Zhang is a co-founder of Editas Medicine and is the 2014 recipient of the prestigious NSF Waterman award from the National Science Foundation for his work on the CRISPR-Cas9 system.

Dr Emmanuelle Charpentier

SAB Member, CRISPR Gene Editing

Emmanuelle Charpentier

Dr. Charpentier is currently serving as head of the Department of Regulation in Infection Biology at the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research in Braunschweig and Hannover Medical School. Dr. Charpentier is known worldwide for her work on bacterial immunity and uncovering key functional components of the bacterial CRISPR-Cas9 system. Dr. Charpentier was principal co-author on a seminal publication1 suggesting how the CRISPR-Cas9 system could be adapted from use in bacteria for broad application in mammalian genome editing. Dr. Charpentier is also a co-founder of ERS Genomics and CRISPR Therapeutics and was recently awarded the highly prestigious Alexander von Humboldt professorship and Dr Paul Janssen Award.

Professor Alan Ashworth (FRS)

Translational Medicine & Synthetic Lethality

Prof Alan Ashworth

Alan is Chief Executive of The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR). He is also Professor of Molecular Biology and Leader of the Gene Function team in the Breakthrough Breast Cancer Research Centre at the ICR.

After completing his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry and Biochemistry at Imperial College, Alan achieved his PhD in Biochemistry at University College London. He joined the ICR in 1986 as a Post-Doctoral Scientist in the Section of Cell and Molecular Biology and in 1999 he was appointed the first Director of the Breakthrough Breast Cancer Research Centre. The Centre is now recognised internationally and has more than 120 scientists and researchers working on aspects of the disease ranging from basic molecular and cellular biology through to translational research and clinical trials. Professor Ashworth’s Directorship ended in January 2011 when he took up the position of Chief Executive of the ICR.

Professor Sabine Tejpar

SAB Member, Translational Medicine

Prof Sabine Tejpar

After training in Internal medicine and Gastro Enterology and a Ph.D in the program of Molecular Oncology at the Center for Human Genetics, KULeuven, Sabine became an Associate Professor in the Dept of Gastro Enterology, Digestive Oncology Unit, UZ Leuven.

Sabine works as a part time clinician, part time researcher (Senior Clinical Investigator of the Fund for Scientific Research- Flanders,Belgium), with a focus on basic and translational research in colorectal cancer. Her main research projects involve prognostic markers in adjuvant colorectal cancer and predictive markers for efficacy of EGFR inhibition.

Sabine has published over 50 peer-reviewed publications. She is also a member of the EORTC, is active in the Board Gastrointestinal Group, a Member of the EORTC NOCI Steering Committee, member of the Executive Committee of NOCI, member of the EORTC PAMM and Laboratory Research Division, Co-Chair of the EORTC-NCI-ASCO tutorial sessions, and a member of the AACR-NCI-EORTC planning committee. She is a member of advisory board of several pharmaceutical companies in relation to new drug development and translational research in gastrointestinal cancer.

Professor Ben Ho Park

SAB Member, Clinical Advisor, Translational Medicine

Prof Ben Ho Park

Ben is Associate Professor of Oncology and Associate Director of the Medical Oncology Fellowship Training Program at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Center at Johns Hopkins University.

His career includes both basic and translational research in the field of cancer genetics, and he also plays an active role in patient care that is having a dramatic effect in the search for novel targeted and personalized cancer treatments.

The focus of his laboratory is to define mutated or altered genes responsible for breast cancer initiation and progression, as well as mutant genes that lead to chemo- and hormonal drug resistance.

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