From Discovery to Impact - Innovation in Academia

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Lecture Theatre 1

John Radcliffe Hospital

Headley Way, Headington



United Kingdom

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Fostering Pharma collaborations, securing grants for innovation and investment opportunities to innovate in the University setting

The University of Oxford 2013-2018 strategic plan starts with the vision to lead in research and education and foster a culture in which innovation plays an important role, with the ultimate goal to benefit society on a national and global scale. In line with this ambition, the University of Oxford ranked first in the 2016 Times Higher Education World University Ranking, demonstrating all-round excellence including commendable engagement with industry and technology transfer output.

In fact, Oxford is a leading center for innovation, producing more founders of billion-dollar startups that any other institute in Europe. Last year, twenty-one new spinouts were created from Oxford research alone, attracting more than £50 million in early-stage funding grants, investment and partnerships with pharma.

To explore the position senior Oxford researchers (group leaders and postdocs) and clinicians occupy in this equation, Innovation Forum Oxford, in collaboration with the Medical Sciences Division, brings together Oxford academics with facilitators of innovation, industry collaboration, and commercialisation to:

- Highlight opportunities to engage with industry

- Deliver practical knowledge on how to commercialise ideas within the university

- Learn how to seek funding (grants and investment opportunities) and hands-on support and advice for translation of research-based ideas

- Be inspired by the experience of fellow group leaders who successfully commercialised their lab-based findings and established rewarding industry collaborations

- Create a platform for interaction between scientists, clinicians, and industry partners to foster translational collaboration

Target audience: Group Leaders, Postdoctoral Researchers, and clinicians

When: 5pm Tuesday 19th September 2017

Where: Lecture Theatre, Richard Doll Building, Old Road Campus



Professor Angela Russell, Co-founder - OxStem

Prof Angela J. Russell gained her DPhil in Organic Chemistry in 2004 under the joint supervision of Steve Davies and Tim Perera from Yamanouchi plc (now Astellas Pharma Inc.). In March 2006 she became a Departmental Research Lecturer in Organic Chemistry and in July 2007 was awarded a prestigious Research Councils’ UK Fellowship in Medicinal Chemistry. In 2014 she became an Associate Professor of Medicinal Chemistry. In her academic career Angela has realised several successful multidisciplinary research collaborations, including identifying small molecules to upregulate utrophin for the treatment of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, developing novel inhibitors and activators of developmental signaling pathways and new anti-cancer agents. Since 2005 Angela has initiated a number of collaborative programmes involving the discovery and development of small molecules to manipulate stem cell fate. Angela has published over 80 original articles, book chapters and patent applications. She co-founded the Oxford spin-out MuOx Ltd, acquired by Summit Therapeutics plc in 2013, and co-founded OxStem Ltd in May 2016. OxStem Ltd aims to identify new classes of drugs that can re-programme or stimulate existing endogenous cells to repair tissues in age-related conditions including cancer, neurodegenerative diseases and heart failure. The company raised £16.9M, a record for a UK spin-out, to fund the development of a series of daughter companies. In November 2016, Angela was named as a ‘Rising Star’ in the ‘BioBeat 50 Movers and Shakers in BioBusiness 2016’ report. Released annually, the report celebrates 50 outstanding women entrepreneurs and business leaders who are recognised for their contributions to global health innovation.

Paul Ashley, Head of Technology, Life Science - OUI

Paul is the Head of Technology Transfer, Life Science at Oxford University Innovation. With an undergraduate degree in Zoology, Paul worked as a curator for SeaLife Centres public aquariums before completing an MRC and industry sponsored PhD CASE studentship studying behavioural and physiological correlates of stress and depression. A postdoctoral research fellow position then followed, conducting research into behaviour and neurophysiology correlates of pain.

Paul then became the CEO of a spin-out company, commercialising remote monitoring and biotelemetry technology developed at the Defence Science Technology Laboratory. Following this, Paul took up a role at AstraZeneca as a member of the management team at the company’s environmental risk assessment facility. Paul joined Oxford University Innovation as a Deputy Head of Technology Transfer in July 2011, leading a team focussing on Medtech and Diagnostic technologies. Paul has played a significant role in the creation of 13 spin out companies, led negotiations on >35 licence agreements and managed some of the largest OUI revenue streams. Paul has also been the OUI strategic relationship lead with MRC, CRUK, AMRC, Wellcome Trust and BBSRC. Paul is a board observer for 3 University spin out companies, an OAHSN Diagnostic Advisory Council member, a steering committee member for The Oxford Centre for Drug Delivery Devices (OxCD3) and a Praxis Unico conference committee member.

Professor Shoumo Bhattacharya, BHF Chair of Cardiovascular Medicine - University of Oxford

Shoumo Bhattacharya is BHF Chair of Cardiovascular Medicine. He studied medicine at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi, trained in cardiology at Northwick Park and Hammersmith Hospitals, where he was also a MRC Training Fellow with James Scott. He followed this with Fellowships at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute with David Livingston, and was then a Wellcome Senior Fellow at Oxford. His primary focus in the last few years has been the development of novel therapeutics and targets.

Dr Thomas Hanke, Executive Vice President, Head of Academic Partnerships - LAB282

Since December 2016, Thomas is overseeing a growing portfolio of strategic academic partnerships at Evotec, spearheaded by LAB282 in Oxford. From November 2013 to November 2016, Thomas was responsible for scientific advancement and commercial licensing of Evotec’s preclinical R&D projects in the areas of inflammation and immuno-oncology, with a particular focus on building high-value, performance based drug discovery alliances with academia and pharma.

From 2007 to 2013, Thomas was Sourcing Director at the Biopharmaceuticals Research Unit of Novo Nordisk, where he identified and evaluated partnering opportunities related to compounds, targets and technologies within haemophilia, autoimmune/inflammatory diseases, growth disorders and protein technologies. At Novo Nordisk, Thomas initiated agreements with academic institutions and biotech companies both in Europe and the US.

Prior to joining Novo Nordisk, Thomas was co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer at the German biotech company TeGenero, where he headed the R&D efforts to develop first-in-class immunomodulatory monoclonal antibodies (2002-2007).

Preceding his entrepreneurial activities, Thomas was group leader and Assistant Professor for Immunobiology at the University of Würzburg (1999-2002) following a PostDoc at the University of California in Berkeley where he researched basic cellular immunology (1996-1999). Thomas received his Ph.D. in Biology from the University of Würzburg in 1995. He is (co-) author of approx. 30 scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals.

Today, Thomas has 20+ years of experience in research and drug development in academia, biotech and pharma. Fostering innovation and continuous improvement, Thomas manages cross-functional teams as an assessor / developer, sets directions and builds trust in a company.

Riwa Harfoush, Head of Network Intelligence - OSI

Riwa leads Network Intelligence at Oxford Sciences Innovation, an investment company focused on turning world-beating IP from the University into enduring companies.

Previously, Riwa co-founded a think tank and special projects agency focused on the intersection of Technology and Culture. She is co-writing a forthcoming book and recently taught an MBA course at Sciences Po in Paris on Innovation and Disruptive Business Models.

She was Head of Innovation Growth Strategy at global Innovation and Foresight firm Idea Couture, before taking on the role of Managing Director for the MENA business. In her 5+ years with the firm, she was dedicated to helping Fortune 500 organisations prepare for and shape the future, from defining the industries of tomorrow to designing strategies to capture disruptive growth.




About the Innovation Forum

The Innovation Forum seeks to promote innovation by building bridges between academia, industry and government and linking innovative minds across disciplines. They are a global network of researchers and entrepreneurs active at the Universities of Cambridge, Oxford, London, Edinburgh, Copenhagen, Lausanne, Barcelona, Hong Kong and Tokyo. For more information, please visit:

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Lecture Theatre 1

John Radcliffe Hospital

Headley Way, Headington



United Kingdom

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