Nanna’s recent hiring activities completed!
CAMBRIDGE (UK), November 10, 2022 – Nanna Therapeutics has attracted a raft of new talent. Meet the newest members of the team:
New Head of Biology and Head of Chemistry
“I am delighted to welcome Keith Moore as head of biology and Steve Penrose as head of chemistry to Nanna therapeutics. Collectively they bring many years of drug discovery experience, increasing Nanna’s capability in the development of small molecules for the treatment of multiple diseases with high unmet need. I look forward to working with them as part of the Nanna leadership team, which will help pave the way for delivery of novel therapeutics to the clinic.” Christopher Doe
Previous Position: BAYAN Biotechnology, Merck & Co, GSK, GW, SB
Keith brings 30 years of discovery research & development experience in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, CRO and academic sectors across the UK, Europe, USA and Asia. After training in physical biochemistry at the University of Edinburgh (B.Sc.), UCL/NIMR (PhD) and Washington University Medical School (Post-doc), he joined SmithKline Beecham UK in the Department of Molecular Screening Technology where he developed miniaturised fluorescent assay methods for high throughput screening and lead discovery. After roles with GW/GSK leading assay development, HTS and in vitro pharmacology departments supporting lead and candidate discovery across most therapeutic areas, he moved to the USA to lead three genomic, cellular and molecular biology departments. After leading the in vitro pharmacology function at Merck & Co, he established a biomarker profiling CRO based in North Carolina before returning to the UK to support business development for SMEs in the biopharmaceutical space. After a family tragedy in 2018, he moved to the Philippines to establish BAYAN Biotechnology, two biotech laboratories focused on affordable molecular diagnostics and developing a local recombinant protein biotechnology industry. With successors now in place, in 2022 Keith returned to the UK and as Head of Biology at Nanna, to his first love of drug discovery. His focus is on efficiently delivering new small molecule leads and clinical candidates in close partnership with colleagues in Mitobridge and across the wider Astellas family.
Steve Penrose Head of Chemistry
Previous Position: Anima Biotech, Charles River Labs, Galapagos NV
Steve brings 15 years of discovery research & development experience in the CRO and Biotechnology sectors across the UK, Europe and Israel. After completing his PhD in asymmetric catalysis at the University of Bath, he moved to become a synthetic chemist at Galapagos NV (formerly BioFocus DPI). He supported a variety of projects for numerous therapeutic indications including ion channel, kinase and CNS mediated targets. He was also an active member of the Charles River SoftFocus library initiative and led a team of 15 outsourced scientists to deliver and elaborate novel drug-like scaffolds. He then moved to a Team Leader and Discipline Lead role, managing teams of in- and outsourced chemists in Cambridge and China, designing and implementing medicinal chemistry strategy across a range of chemotypes for a brain penetrant infant metabolic disorder. In addition to this Steve has led projects in CNS, nuclear receptor and chronic cough indications. Most recently he was the Lead Medicinal Scientist at Anima Biotech in Tel Aviv, managing multiple Integrated Drug Discovery programmes in mRNA translational biology space including in IPF, oncology and neurodegenerative indications. He effectively managed a team of >20 chemists at multiple CRO’s to deliver compounds designed to open new scientific modularities and built new relationships with key CRO outsourcing partners for late-stage screening cascades. In 2022, Steve has moved from his remote working environment to become the new Head of Chemistry at Nanna. His focus is on building a strong medicinal chemistry team working collaboratively to build a small molecule pipeline with his new colleagues at Mitobridge and across the wider Astellas family.
And more talent added to our project teams
Stamatis Korkis Senior Project Scientist I
Previous Position: Sygnature Discovery
Stamatis is joining us from Sygnature Discovery, where he was working as a senior scientist in the medicinal chemistry team. Before this Stamatis worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Max-Planck Institute working with Prof. Tobias Ritter on late-stage functionalization and transition metal catalysis.
We’re excited to welcome Stamatis to our medicinal chemistry team. Stamatis will be guiding the medicinal chemistry on current early-stage programs alongside the rest of the chemistry team. As well as this, Stamatis will be allowing us to expand and support new drug discovery programs at Nanna Therapeutics.
Esme Atkins Analytical Chemist
Previous Position: ACM Bioanalytical Services
Esme is joining us from ACM Bioanalytical Services, where she was working as a LC-MS scientist, processing and analysing samples for clinical trial studies and managed non-regulatory projects. Prior to this Esme completed her undergraduate degree from the University of Lincoln in forensic chemistry.
We’re happy to welcome Esme to our analytical team. Esme will be helping support our current drug discovery programs with metabolite and biomarker analysis for the development of new clinical assets for Nanna Therapeutics.
Gonçalo Pereira Senior Project Scientist I
Previous Position: Research Associate MBU
Gonçalo has 15 years of experience in mitochondrial biology, spanning multiple areas and techniques. He completed his PhD on mitochondrial dysfunction in cardiotoxicity at the University of Coimbra. His journey continued in the UK at University of Bristol and University College London, studying the role of mitochondria in calcium-induced cell death. He returned to Bristol where he developed novel assays to study mitochondrial import mechanisms with Ian Collinson. Most recently, he led a project investigating solute carriers using advanced microscope techniques and biochemical tools at the MRC Mitochondrial Biology Unit in Cambridge with Julien Prudent.
In addition to his mitochondrial knowledge, Gonçalo brings with him the expertise and enthusiasm for assay development, which provides a key skill to augment our drug discovery efforts. His collaborative and analytical approach is an asset for our biology team. We are delighted to have him on board!
Aleksandra Klonsinska Project Scientist
Aleksandra joined us from Prof. Wilkinson / Dr. Yasmin’s group at EMIT (Experimental Medicine and Immunotherapeutics) department, University of Cambridge. There she worked as a Research Technician, studying the role of proteoglycans in arterial stiffness and their potential to be used as biomarkers for cardiovascular diseases.
She is very passionate about research! She will be a great asset in developing assays to progress our therapeutic programmes and expand our portfolio.
Congratulations and welcome to all our new staff!