Board of Directors

Sam Williams - Investor Director, Chair

Sam Williams is Chair of Microbiotica and is IP Group’s Investor Director. Sam has 20 years' experience in the biotechnology industry, both as a top-ranked equity analyst in the City and, subsequently, as an entrepreneur and Chief Executive.

Sam is Executive Chairman of Istesso Limited, a Non-Executive Director of Diurnal Group plc and Managing Partner, Life Sciences, at IP Group. He holds a PhD in molecular biology from Cambridge and a degree in Biology from Oxford.

 

Robert Tansley - Investor Director

Robert Tansley is Cambridge Innovation Capital (CIC) plc’s Investor Director for Microbiotica and is also an Investment Director with Cambridge Innovation Capital (CIC), focussed on healthcare and associated technologies; a post he has held since 2014.

After seven years working in hospital medicine, Robert joined the pharma industry in 1996 working in development and regulatory roles at Sanofi, the MHRA and Roche. Before joining CIC Robert spent 10 years in senior management roles in a number of start-up companies, including Arakis and KalVista; he founded the malaria-focused company Treague and was founding CEO of the University of Copenhagen spin-out Avilex Pharma. 

Robert qualified in medicine from University College London. He is a member of the Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists and the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine, and has an MBA from London Business School and an MPhil in Biostatistics from the University of Cambridge.

Iain Wilcock - Investor Director

Iain Wilcock is Seventure Partners’ Investor Director for Microbiotica and is also a Venture Partner for Seventure Partners’, one of the most active venture investors in Europe. Iain has been an early investor in over 40 healthcare companies; including Glycart (sold to Roche), PowderMed (sold to Pfizer), Lorantis (merger with Celldex Therapeutics), Sterix (acquired by Ipsen SA), Syntaxin (acquired by Ipsen SA), Vernalis (reversed into British Biotech plc), Oxxon Therapeutics (acquired by Oxford Biomedica plc), Mirada Medical Solutions (acquired by Siemens), Avidex (part listed on Nasdaq as Adaptimmune and part privately funded as Immunocore), BiancaMed (acquired by ResMed Inc), Vivacta (sold to Novartis), Dexela (sold to PerkinElmer), Mainstay Medical (Dual listings on NYSE EuroNext Paris and Irish SE), and ArGEN-X (IPO NYSE Euronext Brussels). He was a founding investor in Oxford Immunotec, which went public on NASDAQ, and Natural Motion which was acquired by Zynga.

Iain has a Biochemistry degree from the University of Oxford. He is an alumni of London Business School. He was also appointed as an Intellectual Property adviser to the UK Government and was a member of the Industrial Biotech Leadership Forum.

John Shields - Non-Executive Director

John Shields is a non-executive director of Microbiotica. He has extensive operational and investment experience in the biotechnology sector and is currently a member of the Sanger Institute Translation Committee, the Crick Institute Translation Advisory Group and the Medical Research Council’s Translational Research Group. In addition, he serves on a number of biotechnology company boards and company science advisory boards.

Previously John was an employee of Abingworth, the life-sciences focused venture capital group, and has also worked in the pharma and biotech industry, initially at Glaxo and then as SVP Research for Cantab Pharmaceuticals.  

John has a PhD in Immunology from the University of Glasgow and has published more than 30 papers in peer-reviewed journals including Science.

Mike Romanos - Co-founder and CEO

Mike Romanos is a co-founder and Chief Executive of Microbiotica. He has 30 years’ experience in the biotech and pharma industry and previously co-founded Crescendo Biologics which he built and led as CEO and CSO, developing a leading antibody fragment discovery platform and pipeline in oncology and inflammation. Prior to that he held global VP roles in GlaxoSmithKline R&D over 10 years, during which time he formed and led major transnational divisions which helped shape the company’s discovery platforms and pipelines across therapeutic areas and modalities. In his last role he led a trans-national group of 300 staff providing genomics, target and biomarker discovery, and platform biology for R&D.

Mike is highly experienced in the biotech translation and commercialisation, currently serving as a Non-Exec Director of the life-sciences charity LifeArc, and previously as Translational Adviser in Biomedicine at Imperial College, Venture Partner to UK Innovation and Science Seed Fund, and committee member on the MRC’s Developmental Pathway Funding Scheme for translational academic research.

Mike’s academic work included research in influenza virology (MRC, National Institute for Medical Research) and in yeast genetics and biotechnology (University of Leicester). He holds a degree in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University, a PhD in Molecular Virology from Imperial College, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology.

Trevor Lawley - Co-founder and CSO

Trevor Lawley is a co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Microbiotica. He is also Faculty Group Leader of the Host-Microbiota Interactions Team at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute (WTSI), where his research uses advanced metagenomic sequencing and deep culturing to investigate the microbial communities contained on and within host organisms that are associated with health and a range of diseases and syndromes such as infections, autoimmunity, irritable bowel syndromes and cancer. He has pioneered many aspects of the bacteriotherapy concept where defined mixtures of bacteria are used to cure intestinal diseases linked to pathological imbalances in the intestinal microbiota.

Trevor began his research at WTSI in 2007 as a Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Microbial Pathogenesis group, having received a Royal Society Fellowship to start a new research programme in C. difficile epidemiology and pathogenesis. During this time, he has worked with a global consortium from over 25 institutes to assemble a comprehensive C. difficile culture collection, now housed within the Sanger Institute.

Prior to joining WTSI, Trevor held a Canadian Institutes of Health Research post-doctoral fellowship, working in the Laboratory of Professor Stanley Falkow and Dr Denise Monack at Stanford University, USA, where he studied the impact of antibiotic treatment on Salmonella disease and transmission.

Trevor gained his first degree from Acadia University, Canada and his PhD from the University of Alberta, Canada, where he pioneered the use of genomics to study the origins and spread of antibiotic resistance in infectious diseases. He received the Canadian Society of Microbiologists Graduate Student of the Year Award for this work. More recently, Trevor was recognised by the Peggy Lillis Foundation with their Innovator Award 2015 for his ground-breaking work on developing bacteriotherapy for C. difficile infections. 

Leadership Team

Mike Romanos - Co-founder and CEO

Mike Romanos is a co-founder and Chief Executive of Microbiotica. He has 30 years’ experience in the biotech and pharma industry and previously co-founded Crescendo Biologics which he built and led as CEO and CSO, developing a leading antibody fragment discovery platform and pipeline in oncology and inflammation. Prior to that he held global VP roles in GlaxoSmithKline R&D over 10 years, during which time he formed and led major transnational divisions which helped shape the company’s discovery platforms and pipelines across therapeutic areas and modalities. In his last role he led a trans-national group of 300 staff providing genomics, target and biomarker discovery, and platform biology for R&D.

Mike is highly experienced in the biotech translation and commercialisation, currently serving as a Non-Exec Director of the life-sciences charity LifeArc, and previously as Translational Adviser in Biomedicine at Imperial College, Venture Partner to UK Innovation and Science Seed Fund, and committee member on the MRC’s Developmental Pathway Funding Scheme for translational academic research.

Mike’s academic work included research in influenza virology (MRC, National Institute for Medical Research) and in yeast genetics and biotechnology (University of Leicester). He holds a degree in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University, a PhD in Molecular Virology from Imperial College, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology.

Trevor Lawley - Co-founder and CSO

Trevor Lawley is a co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Microbiotica. He is also Faculty Group Leader of the Host-Microbiota Interactions Team at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute (WTSI), where his research uses advanced metagenomic sequencing and deep culturing to investigate the microbial communities contained on and within host organisms that are associated with health and a range of diseases and syndromes such as infections, autoimmunity, irritable bowel syndromes and cancer. He has pioneered many aspects of the bacteriotherapy concept where defined mixtures of bacteria are used to cure intestinal diseases linked to pathological imbalances in the intestinal microbiota.

Trevor began his research at WTSI in 2007 as a Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Microbial Pathogenesis group, having received a Royal Society Fellowship to start a new research programme in C. difficile epidemiology and pathogenesis. During this time, he has worked with a global consortium from over 25 institutes to assemble a comprehensive C. difficile culture collection, now housed within the Sanger Institute.

Prior to joining WTSI, Trevor held a Canadian Institutes of Health Research post-doctoral fellowship, working in the Laboratory of Professor Stanley Falkow and Dr Denise Monack at Stanford University, USA, where he studied the impact of antibiotic treatment on Salmonella disease and transmission.

Trevor gained his first degree from Acadia University, Canada and his PhD from the University of Alberta, Canada, where he pioneered the use of genomics to study the origins and spread of antibiotic resistance in infectious diseases. He received the Canadian Society of Microbiologists Graduate Student of the Year Award for this work. More recently, Trevor was recognised by the Peggy Lillis Foundation with their Innovator Award 2015 for his ground-breaking work on developing bacteriotherapy for C. difficile infections. 

Nigel Crockett - VP Business Development

Nigel Crockett is VP Business Development for Microbiotica. He has more than 25 years’ commercial and management experience in the pharma and biotech industries, spanning Europe, the US and Asia, and has particular expertise in small molecule and biological therapeutics, focussing on licensing and early-stage R&D collaborations, company financing and acquisitions. Prior to working with Microbiotica, he was Head of Business Development at Crescendo Biologics.

Previously Nigel was part of the management team at Astex, completing 14 deals for the company before founding Tukan Partners in 2005 in order to provide hands-on, transactional, commercial expertise for a broad range of biotech clients. He also chaired the UK BioIndustry Association (BIA) Business Development Working Group.     

To date Nigel has executed more than 40 major, in- and out-licensing deals and company acquisitions, working with a number of companies including: Astex Therapeutics, Heptares Therapeutics, Clinical Designs, PsiOxus Therapeutics and ISA Pharmaceuticals.

Nigel started his biopharmaceutical career in R&D, working on therapeutic cancer vaccines and immunotherapy programmes at Cantab Pharmaceuticals before transitioning into a commercial role where he was involved in, and led, partnering and in-licensing for a number of key clinical assets.  

Nigel obtained his PhD in Molecular Biology from Cambridge University and his BSc in Chemistry from the University of Manchester.

Rowena Gardner - VP Operations and Company Secretary

Rowena Gardner is VP Operations and Company Secretary for Microbiotica. She has particular expertise in operational management, business administration and marketing/communications, gained from working with organisations of varying sizes and across a range of industry sectors, including life sciences, telecommunications and software.

Rowena’s most recent roles include five years as Head of Operations and Company Secretary for Actigen and six years as Chief Operating Officer at the UK BioIndustry Association (BIA), with responsibilities including corporate governance, human resources, finance, legal, insurance and facilities. Previously she spent eight years as Director of Corporate Communications for Cambridge Antibody Technology Group plc (now MedImmune, the global biologics R&D arm of AstraZeneca), overseeing integrated financial communications through a number of significant corporate events, including NASDAQ listing, re-financing, High Court litigation, merger and acquisition.

Rowena has a degree in Biochemistry from the University of York and a Diploma in Marketing. She is a Trustee of Volunteer Uttlesford and a Member of the Institute of Directors, the Chartered Institute of Marketing and the Chartered Institute of Public Relations.

Adam Wilkinson - VP of Pre-Clinical Development

Adam Wilkinson is VP of Pre-Clinical Development at Microbiotica.  Adam is responsible for managing Pre-Clinical Development activities in the company including novel manufacturing and analytical technologies for Microbiotica’s pipeline of live bacterial products. He has more than 16 years’ experience within the biotech and biopharmaceutical industry, including developing microbial engineering technologies, manufacturing process development and transfer, toxicology, project management and regulatory submissions.

Adam was previously Head of R&D at Phico Therapeutics and oversaw all activities from Discovery through to Clinical Development, including all aspects of CMC, PK/PD, regulatory submissions and established an extensive IP portfolio for novel live bacteriophage anti-bacterial products.  He has latterly worked as a consultant supporting biotech start-ups and academic groups in establishing their pre-clinical development programs and in overseeing GMP manufacturing.

Adam holds a degree in Microbiology from the University of Reading and a PhD  in Bacterial Quorum Sensing from the John Innes Centre, Norwich UK. He undertook post-doctoral research at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in yeast mRNA splicing mechanisms, and at University of East Anglia in DNA ligases.

Gordon Dougan FRS - Co-founder

Gordon Dougan is a co-founder of Microbiotica, a Senior Group Leader at The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute (WTSI) and a Professor in the Department of Medicine at Cambridge University; he also holds adjunct professorships at the Universities of Monash and Melbourne. He is an expert in vaccinology/pathogenic mechanisms and his research focuses on the genetic analysis of host/pathogen interactions during infection, particularly those involving enteric bacteria.

Prior to joining the WTSI Gordon established the Centre for Molecular Microbiology and Infection at Imperial College London, where he was a Professor of Biochemistry. For over 10 years he worked with the Wellcome Foundation (now part of GlaxoSmithKline), and during this time held the post of Head of Molecular Biology. In addition, Gordon was Chair of the SAB for Novartis Vaccines & Diagnostics for more than ten years and the Novartis Vaccine Global Health Institute (NVGH); he also served as a Trustee at the International Vaccine Institute in Korea and has served as a member of several World Health Organization (WHO) Committees.

Gordon is a Fellow of the Royal Society, the Royal Society of Biology, the Academy of Medical Sciences and is a member of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO). He is currently on the board of The Hilleman Laboratories and is a member of the SAB for the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research (ICDDR-B) in Bangladesh.  He also works as a consultant for industry and serves on editorial boards.

He received his BSc and PhD from the University of Sussex and conducted postdoctoral studies at the University of Washington (Seattle) in the laboratory of Stanley Falkow.