OUR PEOPLE: Innovation Representatives

In partnership with Entrepreneurial Postdocs of Cambridge (EPOC), the Milner Innovation Representatives are a grassroots network of early-career scientists interested in therapeutic research. They proactively reach out to other scientists in the department and facilitate interactions between academics and the Milner Institute. With the permission of the Group Leader, they communicate the desire of scientists to connect with biotech and pharma companies within the Milner Alliance.

For more information on becoming a Milner Innovation Representative, please click here.

Chiara Guiliano

Dr Chun Gong

Wellcome-MRC Cambridge Stem Cell Institute

Chiara Guiliano

Dr Chiara Guiliano

Behavioural and Clinical Neuroscience Institute / Department of Psychology
Jenny Hirst

Dr Jenny Hirst

Cambridge Institute for Medical Research
Chiara Guiliano

Dr Kirsty Hooper

Babraham Institute

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Aicha Massrali

Department of Psychiatry

Jenny Hirst

Dr Eugene Park

Wellcome-MRC Cambridge Stem Cell Institute

Paulo Rodrigues

Dr Hiran Prag

MRC Mitochondrial Biology Unit

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James Richards

HPB & Transplantation Surgery

Paulo Rodrigues

Dr Paulo Rodrigues

MRC Cancer Unit

Paulo Rodrigues

Dr Stephen Smith

Department of Pathology

Jenny Hirst

Dr Qianxin Wu

Wellcome Sanger Institute

Dr Chun Gong
Chun Gong is a post-doc in Dr Daniel Hodson’s group in the Wellcome-MRC Stem Cell Institute and Department of Haematology. Her main research interest is employing high-throughput sequencing as well as conventional molecular biology techniques for identifying druggable targets that drive lymphomagenesis.

Dr Chiara Guiliano
Chiara is a behavioural neuroscientist, currently employed by the University of Cambridge, Department of Psychology, as a post-doctoral Senior Research Associate and Affiliated Lecturer. She holds a degree in Pharmacy and a PhD in Pharmacology. She has research interests in the field of drug addiction. Her research to date has been focused on understanding the neural basis of compulsive drug seeking and taking, as well as binge-eating disorders and to facilitate translation of that understanding from animal models to humans by identifying new treatment targets.

Dr Jenny Hirst
Jenny is a Principal Research Associate at the Cambridge Institute for Medical Research in the laboratory of Professor Margaret Robinson. She is a cell biologist with interests in the machinery that is involved in transporting proteins between the various subcellular compartments. Her research is focused on how the loss of this machinery can lead to a number of human diseases, including hereditary spastic paraplegia, which is a rare neurodegenerative condition.

Dr Kirsty Hooper
Kirsty is a postdoc at the Babraham Institute, working in the lab of Oliver Florey. She is interested in a cellular pathway known as autophagy, which promotes cellular survival by degrading and recycling superfluous components of the cell. She has previously studied the modulation of autophagy for the treatment of Crohn’s disease, but her current project is delineating the effects of an autophagy-related pathway on the ageing immune system. She also aims to uncover novel targets for pharmacological modulation of this pathway, which may be beneficial in the development of treatments for age-related disease.

Aicha Massrali
During Aicha’s BSc and MSc in Biotechnology she focused on molecular biology and genetics in medical and pharmaceutical applications. She is now applying her molecular background in the field of translational psychiatry to study autism using cell reprogramming in her PhD. She works in the highly multidisciplinary and cross departmental environment at the Autism Research Centre and the Cambridge Stem Cell Initiative, Anne McLaren Laboratory for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Cambridge.

Dr Eugene Park
After recently completing a PhD in Haematology, Eugene is building upon his doctoral research into novel leukaemia therapies in the laboratory of Dr Ingo Ringshausen (Wellcome-MRC Cambridge Stem Cell Institute). His research focuses on the disease’s dependency on survival factors that are provided by the surrounding microenvironment. By co-targeting this niche alongside current therapies, enhanced efficacies are observed and are the bases for a planned clinical trial in leukaemia. Data from ongoing research also suggests the same microenvironmental dependency exists for certain autoimmune disorders, with therapeutic proof-of-concept research in progress. Previously, Eugene has been involved in the pre-clinical development of other leukaemia therapies at the University of California in San Francisco, and before that at the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Prior to his PhD, Eugene obtained a MSc in Biochemistry from the University of Southern California.

Dr Hiran Prag
Hiran is a Research Associate at the MRC Mitochondrial Biology Unit in the lab of Professor Mike Murphy. His research focuses on understanding the impact and mechanisms of mitochondrial dysfunction on disease. Through these insights, he is currently developing therapies targeting mitochondria and their role in ischaemia/reperfusion injury in heart attacks and strokes.

Dr James Richards
James is an Academic Clinical Lecturer in HPB & Transplantation Surgery at the University of Cambridge. He has a PhD in Transplant Immunology and a basic science interest in sterile tissue injury, liver inflammation and transplant immunology. He is involved in or running a number of clinical and translational research studies looking at the role of novel therapeutics, technology and medical devices.

Dr Paulo Rodrigues
Paulo graduated in Biology in the University of the Azores (Portugal) and obtained his MSc and PhD in Biomedicine from the University of Barcelona (Spain). He is currently a Research Associate in the Vanharanta laboratory (MRC-Cancer Unit University of Cambridge). His research interests include the understanding of the transcriptional networks that develop during cancer evolution to support metastatic progression.

Dr Stephen Smith
Steve is a clinician scientist based in Cambridge, Deparment of Pathology. His research is focused on using cutting edge computational and mathematical tools to understand the pathogenesis and aetiology of cancer, in particular squamous cell carcinoma. As a dermatologist and clinical pharmacologist, he is ultimately driven by the need to translate the findings of fundamental scientific research into clinically relevant outcomes. He is a member of NICE technology appraisals committee B, and has an active interest in clinical trials, health economics and health technology appraisals.

Dr Qianxin Wu
Qianxin is a Staff Scientist in the Human Genome Editing R&D team at the Wellcome Sanger Institute. Qianxin is passionate about developing cutting-edge biotechnologies and ultimately using these technologies to understand the function of the human genome. Qianxin is currently working on creating novel CRISPR-based epigenetic modification systems and developing single-cell-based genetic screening platforms.

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