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Scientific Advisory Board

MGB Biopharma brings together a truly world class team of advisers, and is proud to include key inventors of the MGB anti-infective class from the University of Strathclyde.

Allison Morgan BSc (Hons)

Vice President of Clinical Operations

Allison Morgan has over 25 years experience in clinical drug development within the biopharmaceutical industry. Having worked for multi-national pharmaceutical companies, small start up biotechs and contract research organisations, in both Europe and the US, Allison has held a variety of senior management positions to Vice President level. Within this framework Allison has developed an expertise encompassing the full development cycle. Coupled with an ability to  develop strong stakeholder networks, this knowledge has resulted in the introduction of novel clinical concepts and accelerated programme designs which have withstood the rigours of due diligence, regulatory review and further, supported successful IPOs.

Dr James Andrew Kelly BSc (Hons) CBiol MSB

Toxicology Advisor

James Is a European Registered Toxicologist with 30 years of non-clinical development experience of small molecules, peptides, and antibodies. He graduated from the University of Aberdeen with a 2.1. Honours degree in Developmental Biology and Chemistry and is also a Chartered Biologist.

He has contributed to a large number of CTA/IND/MAA and NDAs for anti-infectives, as Principle Toxicologist at GSK over a 12 year period. Subsequent positions include Head of Safety Evaluation at Chiroscience, Celltech, Oxford Glycoscience and F2G.

Dr Stephanie Dancer MB BS, BSc, MSc, MD, DTM & H, FRCPath

Dr Dancer is currently a medical microbiologist in NHS Lanarkshire and has been editing the Journal of Hospital Infection for 18 years, five of which as editor-in-chief. Her current research focuses on the role of antibiotics, screening and cleaning in the control of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and other hospital pathogens.

Her interests have led her to work and travel widely, including resuscitating 30,000 year-old organisms from glacial ice in the Canadian High Arctic. Her roles include being the first microbiologist at Health Protection Scotland (2002-05), where she set up MRSA surveillance for Scotland, evaluated real-time PCR for MRSA screening and helped to establish the Scottish Microbiology Forum. She has been a member of several national working groups on antibiotic prescribing, MRSA and hospital cleaning. She is a current or recent member of NHS Scotland Health Associated Infection Commodities; UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (infection control); UK Health Technology Assessment (screening and diagnostics); European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ESCMID/ECCMID) groups on the control of MRSA & multi-resistant Gram-negative bacilli; and 2013 ECCMID conference committee.

Dr Dancer has published books, book chapters and over 120 microbiological papers in peer-reviewed journals on hospital cleaning, antimicrobial management, infection and MRSA. She trained at St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London, followed by postgraduate studies at Guy’s Hospital. She gained a thesis on epidemiology and biochemistry of toxin-producing Staphylococci.

Professor Colin J Suckling OBE, BSc, PhD, DSc, CChem, FRSC, FRSA, HonFRCPSEdin, FRCPSGlas, FHEA, FRSE Freeland Professor of Chemistry, University of Strathclyde

Prof. Colin Suckling obtained a first class honours degree from the University of Liverpool in 1967, and his PhD in 1970 working on the synthesis of porphyrins. His DSc followed in 1989 based on work carried out at the University of Strathclyde where Colin has been employed since 1972.

Prof. Suckling was Freeland Professor of Chemistry at the University of Strathclyde from 1989 to 2012. During the 1990s until 2002, he served successively as Dean of the Faculty of Science, Deputy Principal, and Vice Principal of the University of Strathclyde. Much of Colin’s work during that time was strategic, including the development of inter-institutional and interdisciplinary research partnerships, notably the research collaboration with the University of Glasgow (WestCHEM), which was recognised publicly with the award of OBE in 2006. During this time, significant effort was also put into the commercialisation of research both through his work as a senior officer of the University and specifically in the commercialisation of discoveries related to the synthesis of leucovorin, a compound extensively used as part of cancer chemotherapy.

Prof. Suckling was one of the first scientists to emphasise, and to exemplify, the symbiosis of chemistry and biology through his studies of enzymes and their models. Particular progress has been made in the field of fused pyrimidine compounds with anticancer and anti-parasitic activity, and in the field of minor groove binders for DNA with antibacterial activity. In the case of the minor groove binders, MGB Biopharma has developed one compound for clinical trials against Clostridium difficile, and further compounds with exciting activity have been identified in the fields of parasitic and viral infectious disease and cancer. Colin’s standing in the field of heterocyclic and medicinal chemistry has been recognised by the award of the Adrien Albert Lectureship of the Royal Society of Chemistry (2009-10), his appointment as chairman of the 2011 International Congress of Heterocyclic Chemistry held in Glasgow, the Nexxus Lifetime Achievement Award (2011), and the Gold Medal of the Indian Society of Chemists and Biologists (2011). Colin is a Fellow of many learned societies and Royal Colleges including the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Together with his team, Professor Suckling discovered and patented innovations related to the MGB Project. He was one of the first to emphasise the symbiosis of chemistry and biology. Pursuing this interaction, recent research has created genuine therapeutic opportunities for the treatment of various diseases.

Professor Curtis Gemmell BSc, PhD, FRCPath

Curtis is an internationally renowned leader in research, investigating human bacterial pathogens with particular interests in antibiotic susceptibility, animal models of bacterial infection and the development of novel therapeutic agents. He spent most of his career at the University of Glasgow Medical School, and retains a research interest in the pathogenicity of Staphylococcus aureus, its association with hospital acquired infection, epidemiology and molecular characterisation and expression of antibiotic resistance.

He was formerly Director of the Scottish MRSA Reference Laboratory from its formation in 1997 until 2006 and has served on the Councils of several national and international societies, and is currently Editor-in-Chief of Reviews in Medical Microbiology. Currently he is a Research Professor at the University of Strathclyde, Part-time Teaching Professor at the University of St Andrews and Director of in vivo simulations Ltd.

Professor David Scales BSc, PhD, MSc, LLM, FIBiol, FRCPath

Strategic & Preclinical Advisor

David has more than 20 years experience in large pharmaceutical companies, having held senior global positions in R&D within GlaxoWellcome. He moved into the biotechnology sector in 2000 working as R&D director for Strakan Ltd (now ProStrakan Group), Charterhouse Therapeutics Ltd and Antisoma plc before undertaking several CEO positions.

He was a non-executive director of BIBRA International, Enhance Biotech Inc, and was a board member at the UK Public Health Laboratory Service. He has 3 degrees from London University and the Royal Postgraduate Medical School. He was awarded a Fellowship of the Royal College of Pathologists in 1993 and an LLM from the Cardiff Law School in 1995. He held visiting chairs at King’s College and the School of Pharmacy at London University.

Professor David Tweats BSc PhD FSB FRCPath Fellow of the UKEMS

Genotoxicology Advisor

Following post-doctorate research in Swansea, David Tweats joined Glaxo in 1976 to set up genetic toxicology testing. After a 26 year career with Glaxo, David had become Vice President and UK Sites Head of Safety Assessment, GSK. He has chaired the ICH Expert Working Group in Genetic Toxicology and contributed to the first two ICH guidelines issued in the 1990’s. He also served on the UK Government Department of Health Committee on Mutagens (1994-2003). David has sat on other expert groups advising governments on specific issues concerning genotoxicity and related topics, including FDA (2010); Dutch National Institute for Public Health (RIVM) (2010); Japanese Ministry of Health and Welfare (2004); and the UK Health and Safety Executive (2004). Since leaving GSK in 2002, he has run a consultancy, advising primarily on genetic toxicology issues and has worked with over 90 client companies and Institutes. David has published 45 full papers in peer reviewed journals and has written 20 book chapters in the field of genetic toxicity. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathology, Society of Biology and the UK Environmental Mutagen Society.

Professor Iain S Hunter BSc, PhD, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Science & Professor of Molecular Microbiology, University of Strathclyde

Professor Hunter studied Biochemistry at the University of Glasgow and completed a PhD in Microbial Physiology. After 3 years as a Research Fellow at Cambridge University’s Biochemistry Department, he moved into the private sector with Pfizer Central Research, where he worked as a Senior Scientist, then Principal Research Scientist, on molecular genetics and antibiotic discovery and strain improvement. Professor Hunter joined the University of Strathclyde in 1995 as a Professor of Molecular Microbiology and was appointed Dean of Science in 2008.


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