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Drug Discovery to Development Innovation Forum Speakers

Maria Waldhoer

Chief Scientific Officer

InterAx Biotech AG

Dr. Waldhoer has a 25+ year experience both in academia and industry in Europe and the US, working in early R&D project management and drug discovery.

Nikolaus Krall

Managing Director

Allcyte GmbH

Nikolaus Krall is a Vienna, Austria based biotech entrepreneur with a passion for translating cutting edge innovation from bench to bedside.

Jo Varshney, DVM

Founder & CEO

VeriSIM Life

Dr. Varshney’s research and development expertise are diverse, and encompasses physiology and medicine (DVM), computational biology and machine learning/artificial intelligence (ML/AI) (PhD).

​Amaury Fernandez

Head of Compound Screening


Amaury E. Fernández-Montalván is the Head of Compound Screening at the SERVIER Research Institute since March 2018.

Hanneke Later-Nijland

Attorney At Law

Axon Lawyers

Hanneke is the only lawyer-pharmacist in the Netherlands. She specializes in EU and national (bio)pharma law.

Philip Tagari

VP of Research


Philip Tagari is currently Vice President of Research (Therapeutic Discovery) at Amgen Inc, the world’s largest independent biotechnology company.

Peter Hamley

Global Head, External Innovation, Drug Discovery Platforms


Experienced leader and manager in complex cross-functional R&D and BD organisations of top pharmacompanies

Paul Beswick

Director of UK Chemistry and IP

Bicycle Therapeutics

Paul Beswick is a Medicinal Chemist with over 30 years experience both in industry and university drug discovery groups.

Alan Whitmore

Head of Discovery Biology

e-Therapeutics PLC

Alan Whitmore is Head of Discovery Biology at e-Therapeutics PLC. He moved from academia into biotech 12 years ago and has worked in both drug delivery and drug discovery. 

Sven Nahnsen


Quantitative Biology Center - QBiC

High-throughput technologies generate an ever increasing amount of biological and medical data

Davide Gianni

Associate Director


Davide Gianni currently leads the Functional Genomics team in Discovery Sciences (AZ) in Cambridge UK.

Matthias Frech

Director Molecular Interactions and Biophysics

Merck Serono

Dr. Matthias Frech is currently the Head of the Department for Molecular Interaction and Biophysics (MIB) at Merck.

Immanuel Lerner

CEO, co-founder


​Dr. Immanuel Lerner is Pepticom’s CEO since 2014, co-founder and board member. Pepticom is using Artificial intelligence for peptide discovery for collaborations and internal projects.

Markus Muellner

Chief Technology Officer

PhoreMost Ltd

Markus is a data scientist with a background functional genetic screening, engineering and bioinformatics and is leading the screening group and bioinformatics team at PhoreMost

Vivek K Vishnudas

Sr Vice President

Berg LLC

As Senior Vice President, Drug Discovery and Platform Sciences, Vivek Vishnudas, oversees the development of experimental therapeutics from conception and drug discovery to first-in-human studies.

Jose Duca

Global Head of Computer-Aided Drug Discovery


Computational medicinal chemist with industry experience on interdisciplinary and innovation-driven drug design.

Hubert Haag

Director BD&L Research Platforms


In the new Sanofi R&D organization, H. Haag is responsible for sourcing and external business within the Lead Generation department and is a member of its leadership team.

Christopher J Tame

Target ID Project Leader


Chris currently leads target ID and lead optimisation drug discovery projects at BenevolentAI.

Pilar Pizcueta

Director of Biology

Minoryx Therapeutics

Pilar holds a PhD in Pharmacy from the Universitat de Barcelona. Supported by a Fulbright Postdoctoral Fellowship she worked at Harvard Medical School and later at Duke’s University, Durham (USA).

Martin Akerman

CTO, Co-founder


Dr. Martin Akerman is a data scientist trained in biology and computer science with a PhD from Technion (Israel) and a post doctorate from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL).

​Javier Terriente



Javier is Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) and co-founder at ZeClinics. He is an expert in zebrafish biology and the exploitation of this animal model for drug discovery purposes.

Kenneth Barr

Sr. Vice President – Discovery Services


Kenneth holds a Ph.D. in Synthetic Organic/Organometallic Chemistry from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and has pursued his Postdoctoral study in Natural product synthesis

Oleg Fedorov

Group Head

University of Oxford

Open Chemical Tools for Discovery and Validation of novel Drug Targets.

Jonathan Hall

Professor of Pharmaceutical Chemistry

Eth Zurich

In 2012 JH served as Chairman of the Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (IPW).

Rob Howes

Director of Discovery Biology & Discovery Sciences


Rob has been at AstraZeneca since 2016 where he leads the Discovery Biology department part of the Innovative Medicines organisation.

Alun McCarthy

VP Novel Target Biology and Genomics

C4X Discovery

Alun is currently VP Novel Target Biology and Genomics at C4X Discovery. He has over 35 years experience in pharmaceutical R&D, including drug discovery and genetics research.

Drug Discovery to Development Innovation Forum Past Speakers