Event Date: March 19 2020
Location: New York
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Professor David Steel, MBBS, MD, FRCOphth, is Consultant Ophthalmologist at Sunderland Eye Infirmary in the United Kingdom and Honorary Professor of Retinal Surgery at Newcastle University in Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom. He leads the medical and surgical retinal service of seven retinal specialists at the Sunderland Eye Infirmary and oversees the institution’s expanding clinical trials unit.
Dr. Steel’s research interests include many aspects of retinal disease, and he is a principal investigator in the Newcastle University Retinal Stem Cell Group. He has published approximately 180 peer-reviewed publications with more than 6000 citations.
Dr. Steel is Associate Editor for The Royal College of Ophthalmologists’ Eye journal and is on the editorial board of Graefe’s Archive for Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology and the Journal of Vitreoretinal Diseases. He is an elected member of the Club Jules Gonin and has been an invited guest speaker at several national and international retinal societies.
Sir Keith Peters, MD, is Senior Consultant to The Francis Crick Institute in London, United Kingdom, and Regius Professor of Physic Emeritus at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. He received his medical degree from the Welsh National School of Medicine in Cardiff, United Kingdom. Dr. Peters was knighted in the 1993 New Year’s Honours List, and he is a Fellow of The Royal Society of London and a Founding Fellow and later President of the Academy of Medical Sciences. His research interests centre on the immunology of renal and vascular disease, particularly how delineation of immunological mechanisms can lead to new therapies for these disorders. Sir Keith has extensive industrial experience, having served on the Medical Advisory Board of Merck Research Laboratories and chaired the Scientific Advisory Board of Amersham. From 2005-2016 he served as Senior Consultant to GlaxoSmithKline, reporting directly to the President of Research and Development.
Robert MacLaren is Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Oxford, Consultant Ophthalmologist at the Oxford Eye Hospital, Honorary Professor of Ophthalmology at the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, Honorary Consultant Vitreoretinal Surgeon at Moorfields Eye Hospital and an NIHR Senior Investigator. He is also a Fellow of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists, Fellow and former King James IV Professor of Surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, Bodley Fellow of Merton College Oxford and Civilian Consultant Advisor to the Royal Navy. He has been a recipient of the ARVO Camras Award for Translational Research, the RP Fighting Blindness Scientist of the Year Award, the American Academy of Ophthalmology Achievement Award, the Royal College of Ophthalmologists Keeler Medal and the Macular Society Clinical Service of the Year award.
Together with the University of Oxford in 2014, he co-founded Nightstar Therapeutics in order to expand retinal gene therapy towards worldwide approval for patients with retinal diseases. After listing on NASDAQ in 2017, Nightstar Therapeutics was acquired by Biogen in 2019, making it one of the most successful British biotechnology company buyouts of all time. To date, he has helped raise over a billion dollars of funding for retinal gene therapy.
Professor Pete Coffey, DPhil, is Theme Lead of Development, Ageing and Disease at University College London’s Institute of Ophthalmology and the Co-Executive Director of Translation at UC Santa Barbara’s Center for Stem Cell Biology and Engineering. He is the principal author and co-author of two landmark papers demonstrating the use of human cells to halt visual deterioration in models of age-related macular degeneration. His achievements include the launch of the London Project to Cure Blindness, which aims to develop a stem cell therapy for the majority of all types of age-related macular degeneration, seminal work on retinal transplantation (as described by Debrossy & Dunnett, Nature Neuroscience 2001). Prof. Coffey has received many honors and awards, including the prestigious Estelle Doheny Living Tribute Award in 2009, Retinitis Pigmentosa International’s Vision Award in 2009, the CIRM Leadership Award in 2010, and the New York Stem Cell Foundation Roberston Prize in 2011. Finally, in 2018, the results of two patients were presented in which an engineered biopolymer with stem cell derived retinal pigment epithelium cells were implanted into the eye. Not only did this demonstrate that regenerative medicine is feasible but resulted in the sustained recovery of reading in blind patients with sudden severe vision loss from Macular Degeneration – a breakthrough validating the stem cell treatment paradigm.
Dr. Tim Stout received his undergraduate degree from Rice University in Houston, and his medical degree and doctorate in molecular genetics from Baylor College of Medicine, where he also completed a post-doctoral fellowship in Human Genetics. He completed his Ophthalmology residency at the Doheny Eye Institute, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, a medical retina fellowship at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London and a surgical retinal fellowship at the Doheny Eye Institute. Dr. Stout earned his MBA at the University of Oregon.
Dr. Stout has been the Sid W. Richardson Professor and Margarett Root Brown Chair of the Department of Ophthalmology, and Director of the Cullen Eye Institute at Baylor College of Medicine since 2013. Prior to that he served as Professor in the Departments of Ophthalmology and Molecular Genetics, as well as Vice President for Commercialization Strategies at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, Oregon. He has directed the Clayton Gene Therapy Laboratories since 1995.
Dr. Stout brings experience from both the research and clinical sides of medicine. His research interests include human gene and cell-based therapy for proliferative and inherited ocular disease, retinal disease genotype-phenotype correlation and ocular disease gene mapping and discovery. These efforts have culminated in clinical trials for childhood retinal diseases such as Stargardt disease and Usher Syndrome, achromatopsia, XLRS, exudative AMD and improved outcomes in patients receiving corneal transplants. He has also led extensive research in an attempt to discover therapies to treat children with degenerative retinal diseases such as retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). As the Chairman of Ophthalmology at Baylor College of Medicine, he intends to expand these studies through the development of two new Centers – a Center for Translational Ophthalmology and a Center for Retinal Studies.
Alberto Auricchio, MD is Professor of Medical Genetics at the Department of Advanced Biomedicine, “Federico II” University in Naples, and Coordinator of the Molecular Therapy Program at Telethon Institute of Genetics and Medicine (TIGEM) in Pozzuoli (NA), Italy.
His research is focused on gene therapy of retinal and metabolic diseases using adeno-associated viral vectors. His group has contributed to the phase I/II clinical trial of Luxturna, the first approved gene therapy drug for an ocular disease, and to the development of gene therapy for mucopolysaccharidosis VI up to an ongoing phase I/II trial.
Prof. Auricchio is co-author of more than 135 peer-reviewed publications on international scientific journals and inventor of several international patents on the use of viral vectors for gene therapy. He is a member of the editorial boards of various journals and of the European Society of Cell and Gene Therapy Scientific Board.
In 2006 Prof. Auricchio has received the Outstanding New Investigator Award of the American Society of Gene Therapy and in 2007 has been nominated Cavaliere of the Italian Republic by the President of the Italian Republic. In 2011 and 2016 Prof. Auricchio has received the Consolidator and Advanced Grants, respectively, from the European Research Council. In 2019 Prof, Auricchio received the International Prize for Scientific Research “Arrigo Recordati”.
Phil Luthert has been Professor of Pathology at UCL since 1994 with specialist expertise in the histopathology of the eye.
Previously he was in Neuropathology at the Institute of Psychiatry with interests in neurodegeneration and the blood-brain barrier. Current research interests revolve around the pathogenesis of age-related disease and in particular age-related macular degeneration. The approach being developed is to integrate anatomy and physiology with data from ‘omic technologies to build computational models that have the capacity to capture the complexity of age-related degenerative disease and predict the outcome of interventions. Specific projects are addressing choroidal blood flow, blood-tissue exchange at the outer retina and RPE – photoreceptor metabolic coupling.
David Kavanagh is the Professor of Complement Therapeutics at the National Renal Complement Therapeutics Centre (NRCTC). The NRCTC is a combined clinical, diagnostic and treatment centre for the complement mediated diseases: atypical haemolytic uraemic syndrome (aHUS) and C3 glomerulopathy. All patients in England treated with eculizumab for these diseases are managed through the NRCTC. His University research group has been at the forefront of defining the role of complement in renal disease and is fully integrated with the NRCTC to provide rapid translational benefits to patients.
David moved to Newcastle to start his own lab in 2008 with a Wellcome Trust Fellowship following a Kidney Research UK Fellowship at the University of Edinburgh. He was previously a Fellow at Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis. He graduated in Medicine and Immunology from the University of Glasgow in 1998 and obtained his PhD from Newcastle University in 2006. For his work defining the role of complement in aHUS, he was awarded the Renal Association’s Young Investigator (Raine) award. Additionally, he runs a glomerulonephritis and vasculitis clinic at Freeman hospital. He is chairman of the aHUS rare disease working group, an executive committee member of Complement UK.
Claire is Professor of Molecular Immunology at Newcastle University. She has been studying complement for more than 30 years with experience in both academia and Pharma. She has a keen interest in structure-function relationships in complement activators and regulators with a particular focus in the mechanisms underlying complement dysregulation and disease. With collaborators in Madrid, she was the first to characterise ‘gain-of-function’ mutations in the complement activating proteins, C3 and factor B, explaining their association with renal disease. Subsequent dissection of functional consequences of common AMD-linked polymorphisms led to the concept of the ‘complotype’ -the influence of complement genetic makeup on inflammation & infection. She is currently based at Newcastle University and the National Renal Complement Therapeutics Centre (NRCTC, Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle). Her research is focussed on disease mechanisms, complement therapeutics (target validation, indication validation, drug discovery) and complement biomarkers (diagnosis, stratification).
Prof. Pickering is an established international expert on the complement system and its role in health and disease. His research program has been funded without interruption by the Wellcome Trust since 2003. He is a Wellcome Trust Senior Fellow in Clinical Science (funded to 2023).
His clinical expertise includes systemic lupus erythematous and complement deficiency states. He is a Professor of Rheumatology and Co-Director of the Centre for Inflammatory Disease at Imperial College London. He is an Honorary Consultant Rheumatologist at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and the Academic Director of the Imperial Lupus Centre. He was Head of Clinical Rheumatology from 01/April/2014 to 30/April/2019.
His research has achieved international recognition for elucidating the relationship between uncontrolled complement activation and renal disease. He has achieved this through a sustained research program that has utilized genetic characterization of families with complement-mediated renal disease, the in vitro studies of complement regulatory proteins and the generation of unique murine models of complement-mediated kidney disease.
His key research achievements include (1) the demonstration that complement C5 is critical in the development of atypical haemolytic uraemic syndrome. This research resulted in the successful therapeutic application of C5 inhibition in this previously untreatable condition; (2) the demonstration that specific activation fragments of the central complement protein (termed C3) are important in complement-mediated renal injury. This resulted in an ongoing translational research program, in collaboration with Alexion Pharmaceuticals, in which he is leading pre-clinical proof of concept studies of C3 inhibitors in complement-mediated kidney disease; (3) In collaboration with Prof. Patrick Maxwell (presently University of Cambridge), he characterized a new kidney disease, termed CFHR5 nephropathy that is endemic in Cyprus. The identification of its genetic basis has enabled the development of a diagnostic test that is now in clinical practice; (4) the identification and characterization of C3 glomerulopathy as a new group of kidney diseases in which the underlying defect is impaired regulation of complement. CFHR5 nephropathy is the most recently identified form of C3 glomerulopathy and Prof. Pickering has now characterized the genetic basis of a further three types of familial C3 glomerulopathy demonstrating a genetic commonality between these complement-mediated disorders; (5) the implementation of C3 glomerulopathy as a new disease classification within the international renal pathology and nephrology community, the organization of the first international meeting on this group of conditions and the publication of the first international consensus document; (6) most recently, in collaboration with Prof. Susan Lea (University of Oxford), the unravelling of the mechanistic basis underlying C3 glomerulopathy including CFHR5 nephropathy.
Prof. Pickering is regularly invited to international (e.g. American Society of Nephrology Annual Meetings) and European (e.g. European League against Rheumatism Meetings) meetings to present research findings and to the international scientific and clinical community. He is treasurer of the European Complement Network, past board member of both the International Complement Society and a member of the Henry Kunkel Society and a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians.
Prof. Pickering is an enthusiastic teacher: he has authored the current chapters on complement for the Oxford textbooks of Rheumatology and Nephrology and runs the musculoskeletal teaching for undergraduate medical students at Imperial College.
He has spoken on complement to families and patients with complement disorders (available on YouTube) and is a founder member of aHUS action, an advocacy group that promotes treatments for patients with atypical haemolytic uraemic syndrome.
Sir Peter Julius Lachmann MBBChir ScD (Cantab) FRCP FRCPath FRS FMedSci
Emeritus Sheila Joan Smith Professor of Immunology, University of Cambridge.
Peter Lachmann trained in biochemistry and medicine at Cambridge and University College Hospital graduating MBBChir in 1956. He was a postgraduate student in immunology with Robin Coombs in Cambridge and with Henry Kunkel at Rockefeller University and obtained his PhD in 1962 for a thesis on the pathogenesis of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus.
His principal research interests have been in the immunochemistry, biology and genetics of the complement system. Contributions in this field include:
Working out the mechanism of the C3b feedback cycle – “the tick over” – and first describing and characterising Factor I;
Showing that elevating FI levels down-regulates the C3 feedback cycle and attempting to exploit this as a therapy for Age related macular degeneration
Describing the mechanism of reactive lysis, a form of complement activation involving only the terminal components;
Identifying CD59 as the molecule that protects cells from homologous complement lysis.
His laboratory also worked quite widely on the genetics of the complement system and on complement deficiency states.
He was the founder President of the UK Academy of Medical Sciences (1998-2002), Biological secretary of the Royal Society (1993 –98) and President of the Royal College of Pathologists (1990-93).
Robert is Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Oxford, Consultant Ophthalmologist at the Oxford Eye Hospital, Honorary Professor of Ophthalmology at the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, Honorary Consultant Vitreoretinal Surgeon at Moorfields Eye Hospital, and the former Theme Leader for Age-related Macular Degeneration research at the Moorfields-UCL Institute of Ophthalmology Biomedical Research Centre. He is also a Fellow of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists, Fellow and former King James IV Professor of Surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and Bodley Fellow of Merton College Oxford. In 2013 he was a recipient of the international ARVO Camras Award: in 2014 the Euretina Lecture; in 2015 the Retinitis Pigmentosa Scientist of the Year Award; and in 2016 received an NIHR Senior Investigator Award.
His clinical and laboratory research is dedicated to finding new treatments for blindness, particularly in patients with incurable retinal diseases, using stem cell based approaches, gene therapy and electronic devices. His laboratory developed the world’s first gene therapy treatments for choroideremia and X-linked retinitis pigmentosa – these clinical programmes are now being pursued by Nightstarx Ltd., a University of Oxford spin-out company of which he is the scientific founder.
Charles C. Wykoff, MD, PhD, is a retina surgeon and ophthalmologist at Retina Consultants of Houston in Texas, where he also serves as Director of Research. He received his PhD from the University of Oxford in England and his medical degree from Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts, before completing a residency in Ophthalmology and a fellowship in Vitreoretinal at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in Miami, Florida. Dr. Wykoff is board-certified in Ophthalmology.
Dr. Wykoff coauthored the book Fighting Global Blindness. He has extensive expertise in clinical trial design and coordination, as well as translational research, publishing more than 130 peerreviewed scientific articles. Dr. Wykoff’s research interests pertain to angiogenesis and retinal vascular diseases, including age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and venous occlusive diseases, as well as vitreoretinal surgical topics such as retinal tears, retinal detachments, and macular surgery for macular holes and macular puckers. He is an elected member of the Retina Society and The Macula Society, and he serves as a founding member of the Ophthalmology Retina editorial board. Dr. Wykoff holds leadership positions in many scholarly societies, including actively serving as the Academic Program Director for the Vit-Buckle Society, for which he is the President Elect.
Bernhard H.F. Weber, PhD, is Professor, Head of the Institute of Human Genetics, and Vice President of Research at the University of Regensburg, Germany. He received his PhD at the Institute of Human Genetics at the University of Freiburg in Germany.
Dr. Weber established a comprehensive research program on the hereditary retinal degenerations and the genetically complex age-related macular degeneration. He is interested in understanding underlying monogenic and complex disease pathologies. Dr. Weber’s work has a strong focus on translational aspects to explore concepts of innovative therapeutic intervention in retinal disease. He has authored more than 300 peer-reviewed publications. His DNA diagnostics unit offers single gene analysis, gene panel testing, and exome sequencing, with the latter two technologies specifically addressing the striking genetic heterogeneity in retinal diseases.
Hendrik P.N. Scholl, MD, is Founder and Director of the Institute of Molecular and Clinical Ophthalmology Basel in Switzerland. He is also Professor and Chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Basel and Adjunct Professor of Ophthalmology at The Johns Hopkins Wilmer Eye Institute in Baltimore, Maryland. Dr. Scholl received his medical degree from the University of Tübingen in Germany before completing a residency in Ophthalmology at the University Eye Hospital in Tübingen and a clinical research fellowship in Medical Retinal Disease at Moorfields Eye Hospital and the University College London Institute of Ophthalmology in London, United Kingdom.
Dr. Scholl specializes in therapy of retinal diseases and in research on retinal neurodegeneration. At The Johns Hopkins Hospital, he headed the Retinal Degeneration Clinic and the Visual Neurophysiology Service and was appointed as Co-Director of the university’s Center for Stem Cells and Ocular Regenerative Medicine. Dr. Scholl has authored more than 150 articles and reviews in peer-reviewed journals.
Szilárd Kiss, MD, is Associate Dean of Clinical Compliance, Chair of the Graduate Faculty Council, Chief of the Retina Service, Director of Clinical Research, and Associate Professor of Ophthalmology at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York, New York. He received his medical degree from the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York, New York, before completing a residency in Ophthalmology and a fellowship in Vitreoretinal Surgery at Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in Boston.
Dr. Kiss has participated as a principal investigator in more than three dozen prospective clinical trials and laboratory investigations. He has authored nearly 260 scientific publications and given more than 200 invited lectureships worldwide and serves on the editorial board and as a scientific reviewer to a number of major journals. Currently, his clinical and translational research efforts focus on ocular gene and cellular therapy, novel therapeutic targets for ocular neovascularization, complex vitreoretinal surgical techniques, and retinal imaging. Dr. Kiss was among a select group of retina specialists worldwide to be elected by his peers as a Charter Member of the Retina Hall of Fame. For more than 15 years, he has been working on the development of novel sustained delivery approaches, such as gene therapy, for the long-term treatment of pathological ocular neovascularization associated with diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration.
Arshad M. Khanani, MD, MA, is Managing Partner, Director of Clinical Research, and Director of Fellowship at Sierra Eye Associates and Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine. He is a fellowship-trained vitreoretinal specialist and is certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology. As an undergraduate, Dr. Khanani was honored twice with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Research Award. During his medical training, he received several research awards and designed multiple prospective clinical trials, which led to publications in major ophthalmology journals.
Due to his strong interest in clinical research, Dr. Khanani founded the clinical research section at Sierra Eye Associates. He has been a principal investigator for more than 50 clinical trials and has been a top enroller in the country for multiple Phase 1-3 trials. Dr. Khanani also serves as a member of clinical trial steering committees and scientific advisory boards for multiple companies. His articles have been published in top ophthalmology journals. Dr. Khanani has also presented his work at major ophthalmology meetings worldwide and has been invited multiple times as a guest speaker nationally and internationally.
Dr. Khanani has received numerous awards of distinction. He has received the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award. He has also received the Honor Award and the Senior Honor Award from the American Society of Retina Specialists for his contributions. Dr. Khanani has also been consistently named one of America’s Top Ophthalmologists and has also been included in The Leading Physicians of the World publication. In 2019, he received the Nevada Business Magazine Healthcare Heroes Physician of the Year award for his continued dedication to the field of ophthalmology.
Nancy M. Holekamp, MD, is Director of Retina Services at Pepose Vision Institute and Professor of Clinical Ophthalmology at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis in Missouri. She received her medical degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland, before completing an internship in Internal Medicine and a residency in Ophthalmology at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and a fellowship at Retina Consultants in St. Louis. Dr. Holekamp is board-certified in Ophthalmology.
Dr. Holekamp is Co-Founder of Women in Retina and a member of the American Society of Retina Specialists. She serves on the editorial board of the American Journal of Ophthalmology and EyeNet Magazine and serves as a reviewer for several publications.
Allen C. Ho, MD, is Professor of Ophthalmology at Sidney Kimmel Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University and Attending Surgeon and Director of Retina Research at Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He received his medical degree from the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York, New York, before completing a residency in Ophthalmology at Wills Eye Hospital and a fellowship in Vitreoretinal Diseases at the Manhattan Eye, Ear & Throat Hospital in New York, New York. Dr. Ho is board-certified in Ophthalmology.
Dr. Ho is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and an internationally recognized retina specialist specializing in state of art patient care. He is a leader in the development of new medical and surgical treatments for retinal diseases, such as age-related macular degeneration, macular diseases, diabetic retinopathy, and surgical retinal diseases. Dr. Ho is an active member and leader in several societies, including the American Academy of Ophthalmology, The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, the American Society of Retina Specialists, and The Macula Society, and he is President of The Retina Society. He has authored more than 200 scientific publications and is Editor-in-Chief of Current Opinion in Ophthalmology and Chief Medical Editor of Retina Today. Dr. Ho is an invited lecturer at national and international ophthalmic meetings and has authored several books.
Jeffrey S. Heier, MD, is Co-President, Medical Director, Director of the Vitreoretinal Service, and Director of Retina Research at Ophthalmic Consultants of Boston in Massachusetts. He received his medical degree from Boston University before completing a residency at Fitzsimons Army Medical Center in Aurora, Colorado, and a fellowship in Vitreoretinal at Ophthalmic Consultants of Boston/Tufts University School of Medicine. Between his internship and residency, Dr. Heier served as a physician in a combat support hospital in the Persian Gulf War, where he was awarded a Bronze Star Medal.
Dr. Heier is one of the leading retinal clinical researchers in the country for new treatments in exudative and nonexudative macular degeneration, diabetic macular edema, venous occlusive disease, vitreoretinal surgical techniques and instrumentation, and diagnostic imaging of the retina. He lectures nationally and internationally on retinal research and the innovative approach to the treatment of retinal diseases. Dr. Heier is on the Executive Board of The Retina Society, on the Executive Committee of the American Society of Retina Specialists, Past President of the New England Ophthalmological Society, and a member of The Macula Society.
Jacque Duncan, MD, is Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine, where she received her medical degree and completed an internship in Internal Medicine and a residency in Ophthalmology. She then completed a fellowship in Medical Retina and Inherited Retinal Degenerations at the Scheie Eye Institute at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.
Dr. Duncan’s work has been published in such journals as JAMA Ophthalmology, Clinical Ophthalmology, and Experimental Eye Research. Her research interests include retinal disease, visual function, and retinitis pigmentosa.
Edward became Chief Corporate Affairs Officer in 2019, bringing more than 16 years of communication, public affairs and patient advocacy relations experience in the biotechnology industry. He served as the primary media strategist and spokesperson for large and small biotech companies including Genentech, Roche and Juno Therapeutics. Over his career he helped bring more than 12 new medicines to patients around the world in the fields of oncology, ophthalmology, immunology and rare disease.
Sir Peter Lachmann is emeritus Sheila Joan Smith Professor of Immunology at the University of Cambridge, a fellow of Christ’s College, Cambridge and honorary fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge and of Imperial College. He was knighted for service to medical science in 2002.
He has won numerous international accolades including a Gold Medal from the European Complement Network in 1997, the Medicine and Europe Senior Prize, Academie des Sciences de la Santé in 2003.
His primary research interest now is the downregulation of the complement alternative pathway as a treatment for age related macular degeneration. He has previously worked on many aspects of complement biology; on microbial subversion of the innate immune response; on the immunology of measles, on systemic lupus erythematosus and on insect sting allergies.
Claire is Professor of Immunology at the University of Newcastle. Her research interests focus on complement and the mechanisms by which it drives inflammatory disease. Her recent work includes functional characterisation of complement protein variants/mutants and autoantibodies associated with diseases such as AMD, atypical haemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS) and C3 glomerulopathy (C3G). Claire’s current research is focussed on therapeutic approaches for modulation or inhibition of the complement cascade, particularly on strategies to target or ‘home’ therapy specifically to disease sites.
Claire was previously Head of Complement at GlaxoSmithKline (2013-2016) and joined the University of Newcastle in 2016 to further her work in translational research; she is based within the Faculty of Medical Sciences and the National Renal Complement Therapeutics Centre.
Andrew is Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Southampton, Director of the Clinical Neurosciences Research Group and an Honorary Consultant Ophthalmologist at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust.
Andrew’s scientific research is within the genetic associations of eye disease, with his clinical research focussed on AMD. He has one of the largest patient data-sets and clinical sample banks in the UK. He is the chief investigator on Roche’s Phase 3 trial of lampalizumab for dry AMD and was a co-investigator on the first clinical gene therapy trial for choroideremia. Andrew is an Observer at the Gyroscope Board of Directors.
Ian Clark joined the board of directors of Gyroscope Therapeutics in 2019. Ian has more than 34 years of experience in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry, most recently serving as CEO and member of the board of directors for Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, until his retirement in 2016. During his seven-year tenure as CEO, Ian and his team brought eleven new medicines to market for patients fighting rheumatoid arthritis, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and various types of cancer. Ian was among the highest rated CEOs by Glassdoor, recognized as the Bay Area’s most admired CEO by the San Francisco Business Times and awarded the Honorable Mentor of the Year by the Heath Business Woman’s Association.
Prior to joining Genentech, Ian held various positions of increasing responsibility at Novartis, Sanofi, Ivax and Searle, working in the USA, UK, Canada, Eastern Europe and France.
Currently, Ian is on the board of directors for Takeda, Agios Pharmaceuticals, Guardant Health, Forty Seven, Avrobio and Corvus Pharmaceuticals. He is an Operating Partner of Blackstone Life Sciences. He is also on the BioFulcrum Board of the Gladsone Institute. Ian previously served on the board of directors of Shire, Kite Pharma, Dendreon, Solazyme and Vernalis. He was also on the Biotechnology Industry Association board of directors and on the Economic Advisory Council of the 12th District of the Federal Reserve.
Ian received his bachelor of science in Biological Sciences and an Honorary Doctorate of Science from Southampton University in the United Kingdom.
Dominic is a Partner of Syncona Investment Management Ltd. Prior to joining Syncona, he worked for strategy consultancy L.E.K. Consulting. Dominic received his PhD from the Department of Oncology at the University of Cambridge, where he was a Cancer Research UK scholar. He also holds a German Diplom Degree in Biochemistry and his research has been honoured with national and international prizes and published in Cell, Nature and Science.
Khurem became Chief Executive Officer in 2019, bringing more than 20 years of experience in drug development and operational leadership to Gyroscope. He previously served as the Senior Vice President of the Immunology and Ophthalmology business unit at Genentech, a member of the Roche Group.
During his eleven-year tenure at Genentech, Khurem led the commercialization and launch planning of a number of medicines in the Immunology and Ophthalmology area and helped move a number of medicines into the pipeline as a member of the Late Stage Portfolio Committee. He also was actively involved in a number of business development assessments for the organization.
Khurem began his career at Aventis in the United Kingdom holding various roles in sales and marketing, including leading several pan-European business initiatives at the European Headquarters in Paris.
Khurem holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration as well as an Honors degree in Biological Sciences.
Chris is the Chief Investment Officer and a Managing Partner of Syncona Investment Management Ltd. Chris is a member of the boards of three Syncona Portfolio companies, NightstaRx Limited, Freeline Therapeutics Limited and Gyroscope Therapeutics Limited.
Previously, he was a partner of Apposite Capital LLP, a venture and growth capital company focused on the healthcare and life science sector. During his time at Apposite, he was involved in a number of investments, which included Ambit Biosciences (acquired by Daiichi Sankyo), Convergence Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Biogen-Idec), Birdrock and the acquisition of a portfolio of nine US healthcare companies which included Zonare Medical Systems (acquired by Mindray) and Ulthera (acquired by Merz).
Before Apposite, Chris had roles with Bioscience Managers Ltd, Neptune Investment Management Ltd and as a medicinal chemist in the pharmaceutical industry. Chris holds a degree in Natural Sciences and a PhD in Organic Chemistry, both from Cambridge University.
Ian graduated from the University of Cambridge in 1992 with a PhD in Biotechnology. After a short period working for SAF developing downstream processes for high value, low volume products, Ian moved to SmithKline Beecham/GlaxoSmithKline to start a 17-year Analytical Scientist/Management career in Pharmaceutical Drug development. From June 2012, Ian transitioned to CMC Project Leadership in GSK’s Cell and Gene Therapy CMC platform leading development, validation and regulatory submission of Strimvelis, the world’s first approved ex-vivo autologous gene therapy. Ian has been VP of CMC at Gyroscope Therapeutics since January 2017.
Tiffany joined Gyroscope in 2019 and brings 20 years of industry experience and leadership across commercial strategy, marketing, field, and operations. She most recently led US marketing and pipeline launch planning for the Ophthalmology portfolio at Genentech. While at Genentech, she also led the Ophthalmology field sales organization as well as built and led various other commercial teams in Immunology. Tiffany has also worked in multiple other therapeutic areas at Biogen, Janssen, and Pfizer. Throughout her career, she has helped deliver numerous innovative medicines to positively impact customers and patients.
Ashwin has more than 25 years of lab management, business operations, and human resources experience in academia and the biotechnology industry. His diverse experience includes leadership roles in R&D, commercial, and manufacturing, leading culturally diverse teams across global regions including the US, Europe, and Asia.
His R&D teams have supported the filing of more than 70 INDs/CTAs/ED Go NMEs in various therapeutic areas including immunology, ophthalmology, oncology, infectious diseases, and neuroscience.
As a commercial leader, he has built teams to support Pipeline Marketing (for immunology, respiratory, and ophthalmology) and a field based team leading business-to-business discussions on various programs supporting medicines in ophthalmology, rhuematology, and respiratory franchises.
In Human Resources, he has led teams in a global matrix environment, including supporting an 8,500 employee global Biologics manufacturing network. Ashwin’s career has spanned innovative organizations including the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), TRW, Amgen, Genentech, Roche, and Juno Therapeutics. More recently he helped build out disruptive start-ups GRAIL, Vitrisa, Allogene, and Sana. He is recognized for his passion to coach and develop people, keeping patients and the unmet need as the guiding compass.
Dr Jane Hughes previously held the role of VP Translation Research at Gyroscope. She is a highly experienced and strategic scientific leader with over 20 years of experience in drug discovery, translational medicine and clinical science gained through the development of projects from therapeutic concept through to early stage clinical development.
Most recently she served as Senior Director of Integrated Drug Discovery at Charles River but also held positions of increasing responsibility at GlaxoSmithKline and MedImmune. Jane graduated from Keele University in 1998 with a PhD in Developmental Immunology.
A proven leader, Mike brings more than 20 years of experience in medical device research and development. His expertise spans the innovation, design, and commercialization of surgical products across multiple markets including ophthalmology, spine, and sports medicine. He founded Orbit Biomedical and also recently served as Director of Cell-Based Product Delivery in Janssen R&D, where he led the development of the surgical instrumentation and procedure for the delivery of a cell product to the subretinal space. Mike has been instrumental in transitioning this technology out of Janssen R&D and into Orbit Biomedical. Prior to Janssen, Mike worked in various roles of increasing responsibility in R&D at Depuy Synthes Spine and played a key role at an early stage spine-related startup in the Philadelphia area, transitioning technology out of Drexel University.
Mike holds a MEng in Bioengineering from the University of California, San Diego and a bachelor’s degree in Engineering Science and Mechanics from Pennsylvania State University. He is an author of multiple manuscripts in the field of biomedical engineering and an inventor on 12 issued patents.
Nadia joined Gyroscope in December 2019, previously she was Director of the Boston Image Reading Center and Consultant at the New England Eye Center, Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston. She received her medical degree summa cum laude from the Aga Khan University Medical School, Pakistan, and a Masters in Public Health from the Harvard School of Public Health. She trained in Ophthalmology at the Harvard Medical School/Mass Eye and Ear Infirmary Program in Ophthalmology, which was followed by a fellowship in retina at the Harvard Medical School/Mass Eye and Ear Infirmary in Boston. She then joined the Cleveland Clinic Cole Eye Institute as faculty. This was followed by two years of International Ophthalmology where she established the Retina Unit at the Shifa Hospital, following which she joined the Tufts Medical Center in Boston in 2010.
Nadia has authored over 50 papers in peer-reviewed publications. She has co-authored and edited three books in Ophthalmology and has contributed to several more. She has participated as a principal investigator or co-investigator in many clinical trials and laboratory investigations. Her research interests include ocular imaging, diabetic eye disease and age related macular degeneration, as well as clinical trial design and analysis. Her research team was amongst the first to publish on in-vivo changes in the choroidal vasculature in OCT angiography in patients with dry age related macular degeneration, as well as on the sensitivity and specificity of OCT angiography in detecting choroidal neovascularization.
As attending physician specializing in the care of patients with vitreoretinal disorders and ocular imaging at the Tufts University Department of Ophthalmology, Nadia also provided direct instruction of medical students, ophthalmology residents, retina fellows, research fellows and PhD and post-doctoral students. She has received two teaching awards, one from the residents at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and the second from the Shifa College of Medicine.