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Our team of life science experts

Dr. David Weinkove
Biologist, CEO

In addition to being a thought leader in C. elegans research for over 20 years, David has broad knowledge and extensive practical experience in many fields in biological sciences.

David discovered a mutation in the E. coli bacteria that increases C. elegans lifespan (Virk et al 2012) and has characterised a number of compounds that slow ageing (Bass et al 2007, Virk et al 2012, Cabreiro et al 2013). He led a manual screen of 1000 E. coli mutants to find those that increase lifespan (Virk et al 2016) and development of a defined nutrient media to increase reproducibility (Maynard et al 2018). As a postdoc, he worked with David Gems, Ronald Plasterk and Erik Jorgensen.

To improve throughput and data quality, David has turned to automation. He brought together the Magnitude Biosciences team as the right people to design, implement and deliver a reliable automated service that can bring increases in productivity to the whole field.

David’s role within Magnitude is as our lead consultant to diagnose customer challenges, determine where our expertise and services can best progress your research project, and ensure customer projects deliver the required value and answer the key research questions, from project start to finish and beyond. Dave and the rest of the team ensure that customers can take the results of their study with confidence to their stakeholders and investors to help inform their research and business decisions.

David has a particular interest in the field of geroscience, with experience identifying compounds that are effective in slowing ageing and showing the route to target identification to allow them to progress drugs to the next stage of the preclinical pathway and receive support from investors. Additionally, David has experience quantifying acute and reproductive toxicity of key components used by large consumer goods manufacturers as well as assessing the health benefits of probiotics or microbes.

David is an Associate Professor at the Department of Biosciences, Durham University, and obtained a PhD in biochemistry from University College London and a B.A from the University of Cambridge. David also trained at UCL, MRC Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Netherlands Cancer Institute, Hubrecht Institute, University of Utah. David has published 20 peer reviewed papers and has over 3000 citations of his work.

Dr. Chris Saunter
CTO, Physicist

With a deep mathematical understanding, Chris is the genius behind the software at the heart of the Healthspan Machine. He has over 15 years experience adapting imaging technology to answer questions in biology and is an Associate Professor at Durham University Physics Department. Chris is an instrumentation specialist and is constantly thinking about how we can solve customers' problems in the lab. Chris’ daily challenges include finding new ways to adapt our hardware and software for continuous improvement to improve reproducibility of experiments and the quality of the science that we deliver. Chris’ extensive experience of finding solutions for biological labs enables him to create the technology to quantify your research question.

John O’Brien
COO

With decades of experience helping small tech companies fulfil their potential, John brings over 30 years of commercial expertise and first-hand knowledge of the investment community. John has worked around the world and is building Magnitude’s global business. John has experience of working with both Public and Private sectors as well as organisations whose remit is to stimulate SME development. Previously, John has worked as the Chief Exec of Business Link Cumbria, providing a network of support to small businesses. John’s previous experiences also includes working for the Department forInternational Development and Durham University Business School as Director of Programmes, Policy and International Development. John has worked with large multinationals as well as one-person organisations and every company type and size in between, and ensures that Magnitude Biosciences engages with all customers, regardless of organisational size or complexity, with the utmost efficiency and professionalism so that the projects can kick off and progress smoothly.

Dr. Frederique Tholozan
Business Development Lead

Frederique has a PhD in Cell Biology and many years experience working in the life sciences CRO environment. She brings substantial Business Development skills to Magnitude Biosciences and has extensive experience working with life science, health products and manufacturing companies of all different sizes across a wide range of research areas, helping to understand and address different research problems. Her scientific background, breadth and depth of biological sciences knowledge, and rich commercial experience enable her to understand customer challenges and help to find the right solution to address them. She is proactive and well-organised, extremely responsive and a great communicator, always ensuring of our customer projects get off to the right start.

Dr. Michael Fasseas
Head of Experiments

Michael Fasseas has 12 years' experience working with C. elegans including many years making transgenic worms and in setting up and running different types of C. elegans studies to the highest scientific standards. Before joining Magnitude, he set up his own transgenics services specialist company, and is highly accustomed to adapting to customer needs and helping customers achieve the results they need to address their research question. As Head of Experiments, Michael oversees all experiments in the lab, ensures everything works and is scheduled well, and also helps to ensure we maintain the flexibility to adapt and add to studies when required. Michael is an excellent listener and goes above and beyond to help customers, and consistently receives customer feedback that he acts as an invaluable member of their research team. He holds a PhD in Agricultural Biotechnology from the Agricultural University of Athens.

Adelaide Raimundo
Lab Manager

Adelaide has over a decade of experience of working with the nematode C. elegans. She has previously organised a manual lifespan screen of a 1000 E. coli strains, using 100 worms on each strain (Virk et al 2016). Her attention to detail and worm picking skills are of the highest level, meaning that your worm strains and experiments are in good hands. Adelaide holds a BsC Nutrition from Kings College as well as a Masters in Molecular Biology.

Dr. Andy Kirby
Lead Development Engineer

Andy has over 20 years experience creating imaging technologies for a range of uses, from microscopy to astronomy. Alongside Chris, Andy helps to design and create our automated imaging technology which enables the production of rich and reliable data. With a breadth and depth of engineering experience, Andy brings a unique set of practical engineering skills which means our technologies are kept at the cutting edge. Andy has decades of experience matching his engineering skills with the needs of research life scientists, for repeatability, consistency, authenticity of the data, and ensuring objectivity of all of our experiments.

Sushmita Maitra
Senior Research Scientist

Sushmita Maitra has many years of experience in molecular biology and in using animal models such as Drosophila and C. elegans with research experience in India, United States and the United Kingdom. She helped in setting up making C elegans transgenics at Durham University and using the worm as a bioprocessing tool to make a protein with therapeutic potential. Sushmita has a PhD in Molecular Biology from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville and gained 7 years experience as a postdoctoral researcher at Durham University. Her many years of experience in different labs has given her a keen eye for ensuring that studies are run to the highest standards.

Giulia Zavagno
PhD Researcher

Funded by the ERDF Intensive Industrial Innovative Programme and a graduate of Durham University (BSc) and Bath University (MSc), Giulia brings a wide range of interests and skills to Magnitude Bioscience, including neurodegenerative disease and the role of the microbiome in health and disease. Magnitude Biosciences invest heavily in their own internal R&D efforts to ensure that customers access the highest quality range of services and applications of our unique technology, and Giulia is a great support in this R&D.

Mira Nair
Head of Marketing

Mira oversees the marketing strategy and team at Magnitude Biosciences, helping to raise awareness of our expert C. elegans services and unique automated Healthspan technology. Working across the US and UK, Mira has 10 years of B2B marketing experience.Previously, Mira worked as an Account Director at a specialist life science marketing consultancy, helping CROs and laboratory technology and solution providers meet their commercial targets via innovative, multichannel marketing campaigns. She has also managed marketing for the global leader in big data analytics software for the life sciences, working with customers such as AstraZeneca, Boehringer Ingelheim, and Pfizer. Mira holds a BA, Phi Beta Kappa and Summa Cum Laude honours from The College of William and Mary (USA), and an MPhil in Management (first class honours) from Judge Business School, University of Cambridge.

Holly Winskell
Marketing Assistant

Holly manages the day-to-day marketing activities for Magnitude Biosciences. Holly holds a first class undergraduate degree in Sports Business Management and an Msc in Business with Management from Newcastle Business School, Northumbria University.

We are supported by an Advisory Board of top experts in their field.

Gordon Lithgow

Gordon is one of the foremost scientists in the Biology of Ageing. He led the identification of pharmacological interventions in aging, prompting many efforts to find compounds that extend lifespan in different animal models. His lab is based at the world-leading Buck Institute for Research on Ageing, of which he also is  a vice-president. Gordon serves on many advisory panels, including the National Institute on Aging’s Board of Scientific Councillors and the Chair of Biological Sciences at the Gerontology Society of America. His academic work relies on advanced technologies and industrial partnering to identify disease-relevant compounds that suppress age-related and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

Liping Zhao

Liping is a pioneer in the study of host-microbiome interactions. By applying metagenomics-metabolomics integrated tools and dietary intervention, his lab understands and manipulates gut microbiota to improve human metabolic health and alleviate metabolic diseases such as type 2 Diabetes. He discovered that an endotoxin-producing opportunistic pathogen isolated from an obese human gut could induce obesity in germfree mice. He is both as Chair of Applied Microbiology at Rutgers University and Distinguished Professor of Microbiology at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, and he serves as editor of Microbiology and Microbiome, society fellow and is an advisory board member of several organisations, such as the ISME Journal, the journal Microbiome, the American Academy of Microbiology, CIFAR and AGA.

Rozalyn Anderson

Rozalyn has dedicated her career to elucidating the effect of caloric restriction and metabolism on ageing. Her work explores metabolic status and loss of metabolic integrity as critical factors contributing to increased disease vulnerability as a function of age, and she has revealed the interplay between lifespan and metabolism via the NAD+ pathway. She is currently Associate Professor, Division of Geriatrics and Gerontology, Department of Medicine, UW School of Medicine and Public Health, Associate Director of Research, Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center, William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital Madison. Rozalyn leads the Metabolism of Aging research program at the UW Madison SMPH Department of Medicine. She is a Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America and both Fellow and current President of the American Aging Association.

CONTACT US

Get in touch today to find out how we can 
support you to accelerate your research

CONTACT US

Get in touch today to find out how we can 
support you to accelerate your research
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