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Core team

Mark Hammond

Founding Director

Mark started his career with a PhD in Neuropharmacology and Artificial Intelligence working on better models for the development of epilepsy and neurodegeneration therapeutics, he then worked in cleantech venture before going on to build out Imperial College’s deep-tech start-up accelerator and academic spin-out ecosystem, facilitating several exits to the major tech companies before leaving to start DSV in 2016.

 

Mark Hammond

Founding Director

Mark started his career with a PhD in Neuropharmacology and Artificial Intelligence working on better models for the development of epilepsy and neurodegeneration therapeutics, he then worked in cleantech venture before going on to build out Imperial College’s deep-tech start-up accelerator and academic spin-out ecosystem, facilitating several exits to the major tech companies before leaving to start DSV in 2016.

 

Dominic Falcão

Founding Director

Dom previously led Imperial College London’s science startup programme: worked with over 200 student companies, and supported a fraction of these to raise over £25m in funding within 3 years. Grew community 375% to 3000 scientists in 1 year. Left Imperial in 2016 to co-found DSV, recognised as one of Forbes Finance Under 30 in 2021.

 

Dominic Falcão

Founding Director

Dom previously led Imperial College London’s science startup programme: worked with over 200 student companies, and supported a fraction of these to raise over £25m in funding within 3 years. Grew community 375% to 3000 scientists in 1 year. Left Imperial in 2016 to co-found DSV, recognised as one of Forbes Finance Under 30 in 2021.

 

Santa Astratova

Santa Astratova

Associate Director for Talent

Santa led commercial development at an envirotech startup while completing her Masters Degree in Commerce, specialising in Innovation and Entrepreneurship. She then joined world-leading deep-tech incubator Cicada Innovations, where she was in charge of admissions and a junior business mentor. She then co-developed and managed what has now become the most successful medtech commercialisation training program in Australia before joining DSV to lead creation of brand new founding teams and first hires.

 

Santa Astratova

Santa Astratova

Associate Director for Talent

Santa led commercial development at an envirotech startup while completing her Masters Degree in Commerce, specialising in Innovation and Entrepreneurship. She then joined world-leading deep-tech incubator Cicada Innovations, where she was in charge of admissions and a junior business mentor. She then co-developed and managed what has now become the most successful medtech commercialisation training program in Australia before joining DSV to lead creation of brand new founding teams and first hires.

 

Edward Perello

Associate Director for Agriculture

Eddy holds a BSc in Bioveterinary Science from London’s Royal Veterinary College and an MPhil in Bioscience Enterprise from the University of Cambridge. He formerly co-founded Desktop Genetics, a provider of CRISPR genome editing tools and in 2017 he was listed on the Forbes 30 Under 30. In addition to developing science companies to transform the way humans produce and consume food at DSV, Eddy also serves on the IUCN Synthetic Biology Taskforce.

 

Edward Perello

Associate Director for Agriculture

Eddy holds a BSc in Bioveterinary Science from London’s Royal Veterinary College and an MPhil in Bioscience Enterprise from the University of Cambridge. He formerly co-founded Desktop Genetics, a provider of CRISPR genome editing tools and in 2017 he was listed on the Forbes 30 Under 30. In addition to developing science companies to transform the way humans produce and consume food at DSV, Eddy also serves on the IUCN Synthetic Biology Taskforce.

 

Kerstin

Kerstin Papenfuss

Associate Director for Therapeutics

Kerstin started her PhD at German Cancer Research Centre and then moved to a lab at Imperial College to work on novel treatment options within the field of tumour immunology. She since has spent almost ten years in leadership roles at impact-driven organisations advancing medicine and therapeutics, while also securing an executive MBA and a women in business award. Before joining DSV to develop science companies designing more effective personalised therapies, Kerstin was transforming ideas for cutting edge cell and gene therapies into investable propositions at UK’s Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult.

 

Kerstin

Kerstin Papenfuss

Associate Director for Therapeutics

Kerstin started her PhD at German Cancer Research Centre and then moved to a lab at Imperial College to work on novel treatment options within the field of tumour immunology. She since has spent almost ten years in leadership roles at impact-driven organisations advancing medicine and therapeutics, while also securing an executive MBA and a women in business award. Before joining DSV to develop science companies designing more effective personalised therapies, Kerstin was transforming ideas for cutting edge cell and gene therapies into investable propositions at UK’s Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult.

 

Keith Thompson

Chair of the Pharma Sector Advisory Board

Keith founded the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult in 2012 and was responsible for shaping the environment and developing key infrastructure and assets for the development and commercialisation of the UK cell and gene therapy industry. Dedicated to breaking down the technical and market barriers to the growth of the industry, he established a team of over 250 cell and gene therapy experts in state-of-the-art laboratories in London and a unique large-scale manufacturing centre in Stevenage.

 

Keith Thompson

Chair of the Pharma Sector Advisory Board

Keith founded the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult in 2012 and was responsible for shaping the environment and developing key infrastructure and assets for the development and commercialisation of the UK cell and gene therapy industry. Dedicated to breaking down the technical and market barriers to the growth of the industry, he established a team of over 250 cell and gene therapy experts in state-of-the-art laboratories in London and a unique large-scale manufacturing centre in Stevenage.

 

Laura Fletcher

Head of Business Development and Strategic Alliances in Therapeutics

Prior to joining DSV, Laura was Associate Director of Cancer Research UK’s Commercial Partnerships team, heading the Strategic Alliances function which drives the charity’s strategic drug discovery and platform relationships with a range of commercial partners. Her other experience at CRUK and Cancer Research Technology over 14 years included transacting a wide range of significant license, collaboration and spin out deals. She holds a 1st class degree in Biochemistry and a PhD in cell signalling from the University of Bristol and has additionally worked in academic and commercial research roles in the US and the UK.

 

Laura Fletcher

Head of Business Development and Strategic Alliances in Therapeutics

Prior to joining DSV, Laura was Associate Director of Cancer Research UK’s Commercial Partnerships team, heading the Strategic Alliances function which drives the charity’s strategic drug discovery and platform relationships with a range of commercial partners. Her other experience at CRUK and Cancer Research Technology over 14 years included transacting a wide range of significant license, collaboration and spin out deals. She holds a 1st class degree in Biochemistry and a PhD in cell signalling from the University of Bristol and has additionally worked in academic and commercial research roles in the US and the UK.

 

Adam Tomassi-Russell

Head of Business Development and Strategic Alliances in Energy

Adam’s career has focused on applied science innovation and new business development, spanning both corporate innovation/R&D and venture-backed startups. He holds a PhD and MSci in Chemistry from the University of Oxford and Imperial College London, respectively. He worked in Johnson Matthey’s innovation team and strategic development groups focusing on energy storage and transmission, syngas technologies, alternative fuels, CCU/CCS, carbon dioxide conversion and hydrogen generation. Following this, he led commercial efforts as Chief Commercial Officer at venture-backed start-up LabGenius (machine learning-enabled biotech) where he focused on business development and commercial strategy to secure corporate partnerships and VC.

 

Adam Tomassi-Russell

Head of Business Development and Strategic Alliances in Energy

Adam’s career has focused on applied science innovation and new business development, spanning both corporate innovation/R&D and venture-backed startups. He holds a PhD and MSci in Chemistry from the University of Oxford and Imperial College London, respectively. He worked in Johnson Matthey’s innovation team and strategic development groups focusing on energy storage and transmission, syngas technologies, alternative fuels, CCU/CCS, carbon dioxide conversion and hydrogen generation. Following this, he led commercial efforts as Chief Commercial Officer at venture-backed start-up LabGenius (machine learning-enabled biotech) where he focused on business development and commercial strategy to secure corporate partnerships and VC.

 

Samuel Mensah

Associate for Systems Engineering

Sam started his career in Artificial Intelligence and Systems Design after his BSc in Informatics, co-founding BACE Group; an AI startup in Ghana. He led the company as both its CEO and Lead Engineer for 3 years before joining DSV to lead the design of algorithms and development of systems for knowledge and talent discovery.

 

Samuel Mensah

Associate for Systems Engineering

Sam started his career in Artificial Intelligence and Systems Design after his BSc in Informatics, co-founding BACE Group; an AI startup in Ghana. He led the company as both its CEO and Lead Engineer for 3 years before joining DSV to lead the design of algorithms and development of systems for knowledge and talent discovery.

 

Pina Fritz

Associate in Energy

After her BSc and MSc at ETH in Zurich Pina started her career with building an electrochemical separation process for protein purification during a PhD program at Wageningen University and Nanyang Technological University. After she worked with different start-ups, accelerators and VCs focusing on novel technologies in the energy and and food tech space. This included a project with StartLife, a leading agrifoodtech accelerator, and Octopus Ventures. At DSV Pina is scoping business opportunities that help to move the needle on the climate crisis e.g. negative emissions technologies and carbon neutral fuels.

 

Pina Fritz

Associate in Energy

After her BSc and MSc at ETH in Zurich Pina started her career with building an electrochemical separation process for protein purification during a PhD program at Wageningen University and Nanyang Technological University. After she worked with different start-ups, accelerators and VCs focusing on novel technologies in the energy and and food tech space. This included a project with StartLife, a leading agrifoodtech accelerator, and Octopus Ventures. At DSV Pina is scoping business opportunities that help to move the needle on the climate crisis e.g. negative emissions technologies and carbon neutral fuels.

 

profile

Thane Campbell

Associate for Doctoral Training

Thane holds an MSc in Healthcare Innovation and Entrepreneurship and a PhD in immunology where he combined enzyme kinetics, fluorescent biomarkers and a neural network API to predict immune responses, in collaboration with GSK. Within Innovation Forum his work to help PhD students commercialise their research received a knowledge transfer award, and in his first year working at Edinburgh Innovations he championed their partnership with DSV to launch Scotland’s first venture builder. At DSV Thane designs a doctoral training programme where graduates forecast their industry’s next iteration, conduct the necessary scientific research and commercialise it. Science companies created during the Venture Science Doctorate will meet societal needs in AI and complex legacy sectors like healthcare, energy and agriculture.

 

profile

Thane Campbell

Associate for Doctoral Training

Thane holds an MSc in Healthcare Innovation and Entrepreneurship and a PhD in immunology where he combined enzyme kinetics, fluorescent biomarkers and a neural network API to predict immune responses, in collaboration with GSK. Within Innovation Forum his work to help PhD students commercialise their research received a knowledge transfer award, and in his first year working at Edinburgh Innovations he championed their partnership with DSV to launch Scotland’s first venture builder. At DSV Thane designs a doctoral training programme where graduates forecast their industry’s next iteration, conduct the necessary scientific research and commercialise it. Science companies created during the Venture Science Doctorate will meet societal needs in AI and complex legacy sectors like healthcare, energy and agriculture.

 

ANGEL R. DEL VALLE ECHEVARRIA

Associate in Agriculture

Angel holds a BSc in Biology from the Universidad de Puerto Rico–Mayagüez and a Ph.D. in Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He has dedicated most of his career to fundamental and applied plant biotechnology research, focusing on enhancing crop productivity, adding value traits, and developing pipelines. Before joining DSV, he was the Project Leader in Plant Molecular Genetics at the Hawaii Agriculture Research Center (HARC), leading the gene-editing research and development pipeline for tropical crops.

 

ANGEL R. DEL VALLE ECHEVARRIA

Associate in Agriculture

Angel holds a BSc in Biology from the Universidad de Puerto Rico–Mayagüez and a Ph.D. in Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He has dedicated most of his career to fundamental and applied plant biotechnology research, focusing on enhancing crop productivity, adding value traits, and developing pipelines. Before joining DSV, he was the Project Leader in Plant Molecular Genetics at the Hawaii Agriculture Research Center (HARC), leading the gene-editing research and development pipeline for tropical crops.