Advisory Board

Guy Hembury, Director at the University of Reading

Dr Guy Hembury is currently Deputy Director (Commercialisation and External Partnerships) within Research & Innovation Services at the University of Portsmouth, UK. He has the lead role across the University for commercialisation of research and innovation activity, developing strategies and mechanisms to increase commercial and academic returns. Working with faculties to develop strategic activities and build the partnerships with external organisations to create mutual value.

Guy is also active in science policy and politics. He is Vice-President and Council member of the Parliamentary & Scientific Committee (the UK’s first All Party Parliamentary Group), providing long-term liaison between Parliament, scientific bodies, industry and academia on key issues of science and policy. Additionally, he is a member of the Parliamentary Affairs Committee, which comprises senior representatives of the UK’s national professional scientific bodies (academic and industrial) and Parliamentary organisations, and explores and develops joint thinking and responses to key science-impacting policy issues.

Prior to his current positions, Guy’s career has over 20-years of multi-perspective university sector experience: research, teaching, enterprise, student recruitment, professional services and senior management – internally and as an external industry partner. Working at and with organisations globally, bringing together academics, professional services and senior management staff to partner with funders, business and Government to develop and deliver strategic and major projects, programmes and change agendas.

Nick Lynch, Managing Director at Curlew Research

Nick has over 20 years experience in Informatics and was at AstraZeneca for 13 years leading teams in R&D Informatics, working especially on global integration projects within pre-clinical & early clinical research, externalisation & data exchange for the AZ R&D activities. Became involved in various pre-competitive activities and a co-founder of Pistoia Alliance as well supporting the initial Open PHACTS project from early business case definitions, eTriks and EBI industry programme.

Established Curlew Research in 2014 working on a number of projects with Pharma/Biotech and Life Science informatics companies. Nick is also the CTO of Open PHACTS, a semantic data and services platform for pre-clinical data.

Delighted to be part of the BioExcel SAB and to support the project and its sustainability

Mark Forster, Group Leader STFC Daresbury laboratory

Dr. Mark Forster gained his Ph.D in NMR spectroscopy from the University of London. His early research focused on NMR and computational studies of organometallic and biological macromolecules. A key highlight was the first elucidation of the solution state structure of heparin, which later proved to be consistent with several independent crystal structure studies. Mark has experience a of commercial scientific software environment from his time working in the USA. From 2001 to 2016 Mark held a number of roles at Syngenta, a world leading agri-business. These spanned a range from plant biotechnology, to chemical informatics, structure elucidation, compound logistics and structure databases, as well as external relations and supplier management. Mark plays an active role in the scientific open source community, with both code contributions, publishing, and organising conferences. He was awarded a ‘blue obelisk’ in 2016 for his work in this community. In terms of project and research infrastructure engagement Mark has served as chair of the Industry Advisory Committee (IAC) for Elixir, as well as chair of the Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) for the OpenPHACTS project. From 2016 onwards Mark has worked in the field of scientific computing at the STFC Daresbury laboratory in NW England.

Ola Engkvist, Head Molecular AI, AstraZeneca, and Adjunct Professor in AI and Machine Learning Based Drug Design, Chalmers University of Technology

Dr Ola Engkvist is head of Molecular AI in Discovery Sciences, AstraZeneca R&D. He did his PhD in computational chemistry at Lund University followed by a postdoc at Cambridge University. After working for two biotech companies he joined AstraZeneca in 2004. He currently lead the Molecular AI department, where the focus is to develop novel methods for ML/AI in drug design , productionalize the methods and apply the methods to AstraZeneca’s small molecules drug discovery portfolio. His main research interests are deep learning based molecular de novo design, synthetic route prediction and large scale molecular property predictions. He has published over 100 peer-reviewed scientific publications. He is adjunct professor in machine learning and AI for drug design at Chalmers University of Technology and a trustee of Cambridge Crystallographic Data Center.

Marta Lloret Llinares, Senior Scientific Project Manager, EMBL-EBI

Marta has a PhD in Biomedicine from the Pompeu Fabra University. Her research was performed at the Molecular Biology Institute of Barcelona and focused on histone lysine demethylases. During her PhD, Marta was involved in teaching activities, mainly through problem-based learning. She then moved to Aarhus University, where her research focused on RNA turnover and the RNA exosome. She completed the teacher training programme at Aarhus University. Marta is part of the EMBL-EBI training team to work on the training activities for several EU-funded projects, mainly CORBEL and CINECA, and previously in BioExcel. She organises and facilitates face-to-face training courses, assists in the webinar series, and develops an online training programme.

Stian Soiland-Reyes, Senior Lecturer and co-leader of the eScience Lab in the Department of Computer Science, University of Manchester

Stian Soiland-Reyes is a Senior Lecturer and co-leader of the eScience Lab in the Department of Computer Science. His research interests are on reproducibility, provenance and metadata to improve FAIR sharing of open research data and computational workflows, within ELIXIR Europe, European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) projects including EOSC-Life and the workflow repository, as well as building FAIR approaches for high-performance compute (HPC) environments and for federated analystics in Trusted Research Environments for health data.

He graduated in 2006 with an MSc in Computer Science from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). He has more than two decades of experience as an IT professional, including 15 years as a software developer working across academia and industry. He joined the myGrid team in 2005 (now eScience Lab), where he became the Technical Lead Developer of the successful, open-source scientific workflow management system Taverna, which he helped transition to the Apache Software Foundation incubator. As part of the EU FP7-funded Wf4Ever project, Stian contributed to the W3C PROV specifications for capturing provenance and co-developed the Research Object model and ontologies, now implemented as RO-Crate where Stian is co-leader.

Stian is on the leadership team of Common Workflow Language, a standard for interoperable computational workflow. He is co-leading and contributing to eScience Lab’s participation in several European-wide research projects, including: BY-COVID, FAIR-IMPACT, EuroScienceGateway, BioDT.