Our People

Team of Experts

Our expert team has over 200 years collective experience in advanced genomics, molecular biology, protein chemistry and fermentation of yeast in biopharmaceutical products such as vaccines and diagnostics and other recombinant proteins.

Our Founders

Dr Chris Finnis

Founder and Research Director

PhD in Microbial Genetics from the University of Nottingham, MSc in Biochemical Engineering (UCL), Biotechnology BSc (Hons) from University of Leeds. 30-years industrial experience in yeast strain development for recombinant protein production. Royal Society Entrepreneur-in-Residence and inventor on multiple patents with a passion for bringing new products to the market. When not enjoying yeast-derived products, loves kayaking and the great outdoors.

Professor Ed Louis

Professor of Genetics and Chief Scientist

PhD in Genetics from The University of California at Berkley, BSc in Biology and Mathematics from Clarkson University. Experienced in yeast genetics, genomics, and evolution; was a key part of the yeast genome sequencing project, now developing tools for exploiting its natural genetic/phenotypic variation. Thoroughly enjoys the products of yeast (wine, beer and bread).

Keith Williams

Founder and Managing Director

MSc Biochemical Engineering, BSc Biological Sciences, Birmingham University. Experienced entrepreneur, innovator and business manager with extensive Life Science and Technology experience in the UK, European and US regulatory frameworks. Certified cricket nut.

Our Scientists

Dr Les Evans

Technical Manager

BSc, PhD Biochemistry, University of Bristol. Over 30-years biopharma experience - combining industrial protein manufacturing, drug development and alliance management with a passion for commercialising innovative biologics. An enthusiastic cook, slave to an allotment, and reluctant sports spectator.

Dr Anne Henstra

Senior Scientist

Microbiologist and Fermentation Specialist, PhD from Wageningen University, MSc Biology from the University of Groningen. Highly experienced in microbial physiology, synthetic biology and applied biotechnology. Winner of NWO Rubicon award Postdoctoral Research at UCLA and a £3m BBSRC synthetic biology grant at Nottingham University. Speed skater with 43.3s personal best for 500m long-track racing (which he still wants to beat).

Dr Cindy Vallières

Senior Scientist

Molecular Biologist with extensive expertise in yeast phenotypic diversity. PhD in Biology from Paris-Sud University, an MSc in Molecular and Cellular Biology and a BSc in Biology from Pierre and Marie Curie University. Previously worked at Pasteur Institute and University of Nottingham.

Our Advisory Board

Patrick Florent

Patrick is a seasoned Executive with a broad and diverse experience in Industrial Operation, Enterprise Integration and Global Alliances at GSK Vaccines.

Most recently, as Head of Global Strategic Partnership, Patrick was in charge of several strategic alliances in Japan, China, Singapore and Brazil and is a Board member of three joint ventures; the Japan Vaccines Company, Qualivax and Tian Yuan. Previously he was the PMO leader for Novartis Vaccines GSK Integration (2014 - 2017) and a Board member and advisor for CEPI.

Dr Anton Hutter

Anton is a European & UK patent attorney and partner in our Venner Shipley’s Chemical & Life Science team. He specialises in biotechnology and pharmaceuticals. In particular, he has a deep understanding of molecular biology, biochemistry & genetics, genomics & proteomics, immunology-related inventions, including therapeutic antibodies & immuno-oncology, bioinformatics, biomarkers & diagnostics, peptides & protein chemistry, vaccines, pharmaceuticals and SPCs.

Get in Touch

If you have any questions, or would like to find out more about our unique processes, please get in touch.

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