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Scientific Advisory Panel


Mike Dawson, Antimicrobial Research Consultancy Ltd

Chris Schofield, Head of Chemistry, INEOS Oxford Institute for AMR Research

Kelly Chibale, Director, H3D UCT SA and J&J Centre for Global Health Discovery

Martin Walsh, Deputy Director of Life Sciences, Diamond Life Source, Harwell

Cathy Tralau-Stewart, Executive Director, Milner Therapeutics Institute, Cambridge

David Powell, Chief Scientific Officer, LifeArc

Melissa Leach, Director, Institute of Development Studies

Mike Dawson

Mike Dawson A biochemist by training, Mike worked for 20 years in GSK (Glaxo, Glaxo Wellcome) mostly in the natural product area.

In 2003 Mike cofounded Novacta Biosystems Limited where as CSO he led the development of a semi-synthetic lantibiotic NVB302 into the clinic for C. difficile infection. From 2012 - 2017 as CEO of Cantab Anti-infectives Mike led the company through the successful development of improved polymyxin analogues now progressing with Spero Therapeutics Inc. Mike brings a wealth of experience in antibacterials as well as in all aspects of running a small company.

Chris Schofield

Chris Schofield is a Fellow of the Royal Society and Head of Chemistry at the Ineos Oxford Institute for Antimicrobial Research.

Chris studied for an undergraduate degree in chemistry at the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology. He moved to Oxford for DPhil studies with Jack Baldwin on the synthesis and biosynthesis of antibiotics. Chris subsequently became a Departmental Demonstrator in the Dyson Perrins Laboratory, and in 1990 Lecturer in Chemistry and Fellow of Hertford College. In 1998 he became Professor of Chemistry and he served as Head of Organic Chemistry from 2011 to 2021.

Chris' research group works at the interface of chemistry, biology and medicine. His work has opened up new fields in antibiotic research, oxygen sensing and gene regulation in organisms ranging from bacteria to plants and animals. His work has identified new opportunities for medicinal intervention that are being pursued by numerous academic and commercial laboratories.

Kelly Chibale

Kelly Chibale is a full Professor of Organic Chemistry at the University of Cape Town (UCT) where he holds the Neville Isdell Chair in African-centric Drug Discovery & Development. He is also a Full Member of the UCT Institute of Infectious Disease & Molecular Medicine, a Tier 1 South Africa Research Chair in Drug Discovery, founding Director of the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) Drug Discovery & Development Research Unit at UCT and is the Founder, Chairman and CEO of the H3D Foundation. Kelly is also the Associate Editor: American Chemical Society Journal of Medicinal Chemistry. Kelly obtained his PhD in Synthetic Organic Chemistry from the University of Cambridge (1989-1992). This was followed by postdoctoral stints at the University of Liverpool (1992-1994) and at the Scripps Research Institute, USA (1994-1996). He was a Sandler Sabbatical Fellow at the University of California, San Francisco (2002), a US Fulbright Senior Research Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and a Visiting Professor at Pfizer, UK (both 2008).

Martin Walsh

Martin Walsh is Deputy Director of Life Sciences at Diamond and a research group leader at the Research Complex at Harwell (RCaH).

Martin has over 30 years’ experience in structural biology and has made seminal contributions to the field in advancing automation and high-throughput structure determination. His main research interests have been to apply structural biology techniques to understand, at the molecular level, host pathogen interactions, with an emphasis on respiratory bacterial and viral pathogens. Since joining Diamond in 2009 he has continued to develop and foster innovative infrastructure for structural biology with a focus to create a platform for integrative cellular structural biology at the Harwell campus. He was made an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to Science during Covid-19, in the King's first Birthday Honours List in June 2023.

Cathy Tralau-Stewart

Cathy Tralau-Stewart PhD FRSC is currently Interim Chief Scientific Officer of ValiRx plc, which focuses on the translation of early drug discovery Women’s Health projects towards the clinic. She is also an advisor to the drug discovery (academic/ biopharma) community.

Cathy is an experienced therapeutics development scientist and pharmacologist. Working within some of the world’s leading pharma and academic research establishments (UK and USA) she has developed a broad knowledge of drug discovery and the translation of early research innovation into developable drug discovery programs. She has led many discovery projects in a wide range of therapeutic areas (ie Oncology, Respiratory, Women’s health, Infection), modalities, drug discovery phases and has had material involvement in many marketed products and candidate compounds. Cathy has led licensing transactions, the management of collaborations, the founding of Start-up companies and large academic-industry alliances.

Cathy is committed to the development of collaborative initiatives to address significant unmet health needs. She is keen to support the creation of new models to enable the development of a much-needed new antibiotic pipeline to address resistant pathogens.

David Powell

David Powell joined LifeArc as Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) in 2022, as the next step in his 25 years in R&D.

With cross therapeutic experience in drug discovery and development across big pharma and biotech, Dave is passionate about discovery innovation, breaking down borders between industry and academia and in training the next generation of drug discovery scientists.

Dave’s previous roles include leading pre-clinical drug discovery and the phase lll antibiotic research programme at Summit Therapeutics. He began his life sciences career at SmithKline Beecham (now GSK), gaining deep platform and project experience across numerous therapeutic areas, including neurosciences, oncology and infectious disease. Dave helped to start and then led the collaboration between GSK and the Francis Crick Institute in London.

Melissa Leach

Melissa Leach is a high-profile academic and policy leader with extensive international experience combining 30 years of ethnographic work in West Africa with engagements and networks across Africa, South Asia, China and beyond. She connects deep expertise as a social anthropologist and geographer with credible knowledge across a wide range of the social sciences, humanities, medical and life sciences, and is recognised globally and in the UK as a champion for interdisciplinary, engaged research.