The Team

The EPSRC Centre team

The research team at the Centre is highly multidisciplinary to address the complexity of research challenges. It links physical science and biological disciplines with engineering and social sciences. 

  • Biological sciences - structural biology, protein engineering, pharmacy
  • Physical Sciences - chemistry, formulation science
  • Engineering - biochemical engineering, chemical engineering, process automation, industrial engineering, computer science
  • Social Science - economics and health economics

The research team is supported by an administrative team that includes experts on bioprocess training, knowledge transfer and project management.

Academic and administrative staff 

Professor Nigel Titchener-Hooker

Professor Nigel Titchener-Hooker
Centre Director, Department of Biochemical Engineering, UCL
  • nigelth@ucl.ac.uk

Research Interests 

Professor Nigel Titchener-Hooker, CENg, FIChemE, FREng heads the UCL Department of Biochemical Engineering and directs the EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing of Emerging Macromolecular Therapies. This involves collaboration with an international consortium of 30 companies and is valued at over £30M. The mission of the Centre is to create the methods needed to take next generation protein drugs from concept, through development and to patient delivery in a more efficient fashion. The benefit will be greater availability of new therapies at a cost that the NHS can afford. As the first director of the Engineering Doctorate Centre for Bioprocess Leadership from 1999-2007 he managed a portfolio of over 60 doctorate programmes with companies spanning the whole breadth of the biotech industry.

Nigel has held consultancies with a broad range of international companies and serves on the editorial board of key journals. He has been recruited to act as an expert witness on key patent issues, reflecting his long history of bioprocessing design and operation. Elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2008 in recognition of his pioneering work on biopharmaceuticals manufacturing he is also a Fellow of the Institution of Chemical Engineers. He was the first non-USA Chair of the Board of the prestigious Recovery of Biological Products conference series. In 2013 he was selected to the EPSRC Strategic Advisory Network reporting direct to Council. Also in 2013 he was awarded the Donald Medal by the Institution of Chemical Engineers in recognition of his contributions to the discipline. He led the successful bid in 2013 for recognition of the department’s continuous to society and well-being in the form of the Queen’s Anniversary Trust Award for Higher Education which he accepted from HRH Queen Elizabeth II, in 2014.

Professor Nigel Titchener Hooker's UCL IRIS profle

Dr Suzanne Farid

Dr Suzanne Farid
Centre Co-director
  • s.farid@ucl.ac.uk 

Research Interests 

Suzanne Farid leads research into novel computer-based decision-support tools that provide systematic foundations to help companies make better decisions where there is inevitable uncertainty in process performance, market projections and clinical success rates. The research focuses on establishing and integrating models on bioprocess economics, manufacturing logistics, dynamic simulation, uncertainty analysis, multi-objective decision-making and combinatorial optimisation.

A major part of this activity is creating decision-support tools for the design of cost-effective bioprocesses. Studies in collaboration with Prof Nigel Titchener-Hooker (Biochemical Engineering), Prof John Washbrook (Computer Science) along with a consortium of companies have led to the creation of frameworks that facilitate rapid evaluation of manufacturing alternatives in terms of operational, financial and risk metrics while accounting for intrinsic complexities specific to biopharmaceutical manufacture.

These tools have been used to analyse economic drivers and trade-offs in the production of the most expensive class of biopharmaceutical medicines, antibodies. These techniques are being developed further to more effectively shorten the time required to prioritise cost-effective strategies to cope with future trends. This is in collaboration with biotech and pharmaceutical companies in the new EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Emergent Macromolecular Therapies, the IMRC in Bioprocessing, Engineering Doctorate collaborations as well as TSB-funded projects.

Dr Suzanne Farid's UCL IRIS profile

Professor Paul Dalby

Dr Paul Dalby
Centre co-director
  • p.dalby@ucl.ac.uk 

Research Interests 

Paul Dalby is a Professor in Biochemical Engineering and Biotechnology at UCL where he has been a principle investigator since April 2000.  He combines protein engineering, biophysics and high-throughput screening technology development, to understand the mechanisms through which therapeutic proteins become difficult to manufacture or stabilise in dosage forms, and also to create better enzymes for biocatalysis.  For example, he has applied a combination of directed evolution and bioinformatics to improve the activity, substrate specificity and enantioselectivity of biocatalytic enzymes under biotransformation process conditions. He has also recently developed a nanofluidic measurement technique to determine protein stability, ligand affinity, and aggregation rates, each as a function of temperature in a single snapshot experiment.

Professor Paul Dalby's UCL IRIS profile

Professor Lazaros Papageorgiou

Dr Lazaros Papageorgiou
Co-investigator, Department of Chemical Engineering, UCL
  • l.papageorgiou@ucl.ac.uk 

Research Interests 

Computer-aided process engineering, production planning and scheduling, supply chain optimisation, mixed integer optimisation.

Prof Lazaros Papageorgiou's UCL IRIS profile

Professor Nina Thornhill

Professor Nina Thornhill
Co-investigator, Department of Chemical Engineering, Imperial College

n.thornhill@imperial.ac.uk

Research Interests

  • Industrial data analysis using time series analysis and signal processing
  • Plant-wide performance assessment
  • Applications in oil and gas, chemicals, bioprocesses and electricity supply

Professor Nina Thornhill's Imperial College profile

Professor Stephen Morris

Professor Steven Morris
Co-investigator, Department of Applied Health Research, UCL
  • Steve.morris@ucl.ac.uk

Research Interests

Stephen Morris is Professor of Health Economics in the Department of Applied Health Research at UCL, where he runs the health economics group. His research interests include the use of health economics in decision-making, cost-effectiveness of interventions to improve health across a range of disease areas and population groups, and the determinants of health service use. He is particularly interested in the costs of drug administration, and in using health economics to inform manufacturing decisions for biopharmaceuticals. He is involved in many research projects that are evaluating new health technologies, their cost-effectiveness for the health service, and their acceptability to health service decision-makers. He sits on the Public Health Advisory Committee at NICE and the NIHR Public Health Research Funding Board.

Professor Stephen Morris' UCL IRIS profile

Professor Stephen Brocchini

Professor Stephen Brocchini
Co-investigator, School of Pharmacy, UCL
  • s.brocchini@ucl.ac.uk

Research Interests

The primary research objective is to elucidate and to exploit the scientific basis of the pharmaceutical sciences to develop medically needed therapies. Research covers final dosage forms for oral, pulmonary, parenteral and implantable administration. 

  • Several challenges in pharmaceutical science are being examined that include:
  • Strategies to increase the efficacy of biopharmaceuticals and poorly soluble active agents. 
  • Determining the properties of a final dosage form that are caused by processing and those caused by its composition. 
  • Translation of laboratory research into the clinic. 
  • Methods to develop more affordable medicines. Research efforts are designed around multi-disciplined projects that are collaborative with both clinicians and other basic scientists. 

Medical indications are being examined in the areas of infection, inflammation, cancer, immune modulation and wound management. Platform approaches are being developed that can be used to address more than one application endpoint. The majority of projects are jointly supervised to increase the opportunity for students to gain a broader perspective, intellectual independence and key transferable skills.

Professor Stephen Brocchini's UCL IRIS profile

Dr Karen Smith

Dr Karen Smith
Knowledge exchange and impact development, Dept of Biochemical Engineering, UCL 

karen.smith@ucl.ac.uk 

Activities 

Dr Smith is a member of the Department’s Senior Management Team and her appointment is commercially oriented. Her primary responsibilities involve enhancing bioprocess leadership and knowledge transfer activities across the Department and expanding sponsor relationships through vehicles such as the Innovative Manufacturing Research Centre (IMRC) in Bioprocessing, The Bioconversion-Chemistry-Engineering Interface (BiCE) Programme and The Regenerative Medicine Bioprocessing (RegenMed) Initiative. 

Karen oversees the Department's award winning post-experience MBI® Training Programme which to date has trained over 1,200 individuals from over 250 international companies. She also developed and oversees (with Prof Eli Keshavarz-Moore ) a ground-breaking new programme called VISION, which is specifically tailored for Senior Executives in the biopharma and related sectors. 

Additionally, Karen looks after the Department’s external marketing and communications activities.

Dr Karen Smith's Department of Biochemical Engineering profile page

Mr Imran Sayed

Imran Sayed
National Coordinator for the EPSRC Centre, Department of Biochemical Engineering, UCL

i.sayed@ucl.ac.uk

Centre Activities

As the Project Officer and EPSRC Centre Co-ordinator, Imran’s role is to support academic staff in project administration, grant proposal funding and advise staff of research collaborative agreements. Imran is:

  • Lead research administrator for research and grants operations and procedures. Responsible for costing information on new bids and proposals.
  • Manager of all contractual and financial aspects of research bids, including liaising with, and reporting to , research councils, industrial grants.
  • Manager of the Department’s research collaborative agreements, MTAs and CDAs with the Centre
  • Main contact for all EngD agreements, liaising with industry to complete the studentship agreement

Mr Andrew Davidson

Mr Andrew Davidson
National Outreach Manager for the EPSRC Centre

andrew.davidson@ucl.ac.uk

EPSRC Centre Activities

Andrew is responsible for the Outreach programme for the EPSRC Centre. The key objectives of the outreach activities are to increase the number of research collaborations and to increase the broader impact of the Centre.

The success of the outreach activities is assessed by tracking: 

  • the number, quality and benefits of collaborations with leading UK and international research centres;
  • the number of new organisation, large and small, involved in the Centre’s outreach activities;
  • the impact the Centre has in informing and shaping policy and research funding priorities:
  • the increased cohort of those skilled in its methods; and,
  • the level of public understanding of the Centre’s impact on the societal and economic benefits it brings to the UK.

Dr Sofia Simaria

Sofia Simaria
Lecturer 

a.simaria@ucl.ac.uk 

Research Interests

Sofia’s current research focuses on the development of computer-based decision-support models that capture the process-business interface of biopharmaceutical manufacture. She works in the Decisional Tools research group lead by Dr. Suzanne Farid.

Sofia has extensive experience in the development of simulation models and optimisation algorithms for improving the efficiency of assembly line production systems and since she has joined UCL she is bringing that experience into the biopharmaceutical production area.  

As part of the research team of the Centre she contributes to the development of a decision-support optimisation software tool for the bioprocessing sector that can locate the most cost-effective combination of process parameters, process sequence, formulation method and facility design under uncertainty. 

She also collaborates on a TSB Technology Programme which is enabling research into decision-support tools that help devise successful business models for novel regenerative medicine therapies such as stem cells and cell-based vaccine cancer therapy.

Postdoctoral research associates 

Dr Richard Allmendinger

Mr Richard Allmendinger
Post-Doctoral Research Associate
  • Flagship 2.1 - Lifecycle cost evaluation tools: manufacturing through to the patient
  • Flagship 2.2 - Integrated lifecycle optimisation & evaluation framework for macromolecular therapies

r.allmendinger@ucl.ac.uk

Research Interests Richard’s current research work focuses on the development of closed-loop optimization techniques and manufacturing process models  that capture the process-business interface of biopharmaceutical manufacture. 

Richard has experience in the design of nature-inspired algorithms (e.g. Evolutionary Algorithms) and articial intelligence techniques (reinforcement learning), and their application to closed-loop optimization problems involving physical experiments or computationally intensive evaluations. 

Education

  • PhD (Computer Science) University of Manchester, UK  (2008 - 2011)
  • Diplom (Business/Industrial Engineering) Technical University of Karlsruhe, Germany (2003 - 2008) 
  • Royal Melbourne Institue of Technology (RMIT), Australia (2007-2008)

Dr Richard Allmendinger's IRIS profile

Dr Teresa Barata

Teresa Berata
Post-Doctoral Research Associate
  • Flagship 1.1 - Rapid, microscale assessment and ranking of protein properties

t.barata@ucl.ac.uk

Education

  • PhD (Chemistry) School of Pharmacy, U. of London (2007-2010) 
  • MSc (Biotechnology) ITQB, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal (2006-2007)
  • 5 year undergraduate degree (Applied Chemistry, Biotechnology) FCT, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal (2000-2005)

Research Interests

Teresa is a Post-doctoral Research Associate at the EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Emergent Macromolecular Therapies where she focus on computational and experimental formulation of therapeutic proteins, to provide manufacturability indices, working with Prof. Steve Brocchini and Prof. Paul Dalby.
Teresa has extensive experience in iterative modelling where computational and experiment work are applied in shared experimental design. Her main expertise is in molecular modeling techniques and tool development for the design and study of novel polymers including hyperbranched molecules and their interaction with protein structures. She has also worked in formulation of poor soluble drugs at Polytherics Ltd.

Current academic collaborations include Faculty of Pharmacy from the University of Lisbon and Faculty of Life and Biomedical Sciences from Hertfordshire University.

Dr Teresa Barata's IRIS profile

Dr Nesrine Chakroun

Nesrine Chakroun
Post-Doctoral Research Associate
  • Flagship 1.1 - Rapid, microscale assessment and ranking of protein properties

n.chakroun@ucl.ac.uk

Education

  • PhD in Structural Biology and Biophysics, King’s College London, Institute of Pharmaceutical Science, UK (2007-2011)
  • MSc. in Bioinformatics, Paris-Evry University, France (2003-2004)
  • MEng. in Bio Industry, National Institute of Applied Science and Technology, Tunisia (1997-2002)

Research Interests

Nesrine’s project focuses on the biophysical characterization of therapeutic protein candidates with the aim of establishing a set of indices that will allow ranking the candidate proteins for their manufacturability and their stability in their final dosage form. Nesrine is combining a range of computational and biophysical analysis to study and predict the stability of bio-pharmaceuticals in bioprocesses.

Nesrine’s background in engineering, biophysics and molecular modelling enabled her to develop extensive expertise in the challenging and very timely area of proteins misfolding and stability.

Dr Nesrine Chakroun's IRIS profile

Dr Spyridon Gerontas

Spyros Gerontas
Postdoctoral Research Associate
  • Flagship 1.2 - Cause-and-effect models from microscale data

s.gerontas@ucl.ac.uk

Education 

  • PhD (Biochemical Engineering) University College London, UK 
  • Msc (Chemical Engineering) National Technical University of Athens

Research Interests

Spyros is a biochemical engineer with expertise in the mathematical modelling of bioprocess unit operations. As a member of the Centre team, Spyros  is involved in the integration of mathematical models and scale-down experimentation that can predict the manufacturing performance (e.g. yield, purity) of a sequence of industrial scale chromatographic steps  as a function of critical process parameters (e.g. pH, ionic strength, linear velocity).

Dr Spyridon Gerontas' IRIS profile

Dr Simyee Kong

Simyee Kong
Post-Doctoral Research Associate
Honorary Lecturer
  • Flagship 1.2 - Cause-and-effect models from microscale data

s.kong@ucl.ac.uk

Education

  • PhD (Biochemical Engineering) University College London 
  • BSc (Chemical Engineering) University of Oklahoma, USA

Research Interests

Simyee is interested in the use of ultra scale-down approaches to develop strategies for rapid whole bioprocess development and identification of critical processing parameters. Previously she was involved in various projects relating to the evaluation of downstream processing options for monoclonal antibodies and antibody fragments within the EPSRC-funded IMRC for Bioprocessing programme and had also worked in a TSB-funded project which involves the development of a purification platform for the recovery of a novel fusion protein vaccine. 

Her current research focuses on the development of high throughput microscale chromatographic purification strategies and the automation of various analytical methods for the acceleration of data collection.

Dr Simyee Kong's IRIS profile

Dr Songsong Liu

Songsong Liu
Postdoctoral Research Associate
  • Flagship 1.2 - Cause-and-effect models from microscale data
  • Flagship 2.2 - Integrated lifecycle optimisation & evaluation framework for macromolecular therapies

s.liu@ucl.ac.uk

Education 

  • PhD (Chemical Engineering) University College London, UK  (2007 - 2011)
  • MSc (Mathematics) and BSc (Information and Computing Science) Tsinghua University, China (2000 - 2006) 

Research Interests

Songsong is a PDRA at the Department of Chemical Engineering, UCL. His current research work focuses on the development of cause-and effect models to estimate manufacturing performance, and mathematical programming models for downstream processing optimisation. 

Songsong has experience in the mathematical programming techniques and their applications in the process systems engineering. He has worked on a number of different optimisation problems, e.g., the production planning and scheduling, supply chain management, water resources management, and data analysis.

Dr Songson Liu's IRIS profile

Ebenezer Tetteh

Ebenezer Tetteh
Postdoctoral Research Associate
  • Flagship 2.1 - Lifecycle cost evaluation tools: manufacturing through to the patient

e.tetteh@ucl.ac.uk 

Research Interests

Ebenezer is a pharmacist and health economist with broad research interests in all aspects of the economics of health systems. His previous works have spanned health technology assessment, the economics and policy of R&D in pharmaceuticals and biotechnologies, medical care insurance and production, and health system reform. 

His current work focuses on the relative importance of drug administration costs in R&D and manufacturing of biopharmaceuticals; the relationship between reduction in manufacturing costs and biologics pricing; and establishing the costs of research in biopharmaceutical manufacturing.

Ebenezer Tetteh's IRIS profile

Yang Yang

Yang Yang
Post-Doctoral Research Associate
  • Flagship 2.3 - Rapid prediction of facility fit issues upon transfer of optimal processes

yang.yang@imperial.ac.uk

Education 

  • PhD (Chemical Engineering) University of Leeds, UK  (2007 - 2011)
  • Master (Computer Science), Tianjin University, China (2004-2007)
  • Diploma (Computer Science) Tianjin University, China(2000 - 2004) 

Research Interests

Yang’s current research work focuses on the facility fit modelling and analysis of downstream manufacturing bioprocess and manufacturability indices research for bio-candidate selection.

Yang is a major in data mining and data analysis (eg. decision tree, neural networks, k-means clustering, principal component analysis, multidimensional visualisation). She has experience in data mining and genetic experimental design to support high-throughput formulation of functional organic nanomaterials and quantitative structure – activity relationships (QSAR) for prediction of eco-toxicity of organic chemicals and mixtures. She also has experience in integrated process data mining system development with visual basic.

Page last modified on 10 dec 13 16:13