Appointments: Dr John Milton and Clive G. Brown
Mon 9th June 2008
Oxford Nanopore Technologies Ltd ("Oxford Nanopore") today announces the appointment of Dr John Milton as Director of Nanopore Chemistry and Clive G. Brown as Director of Bioinformatics and IT.
Oxford Nanopore is developing nanopore technology into a molecular detection and analysis platform with a broad range of applications including DNA sequencing. Dr Milton and Clive Brown bring outstanding, relevant experience to their roles at the Company.
Dr Milton was previously Senior Director of Research at Solexa, a Cambridge University spin-out. At Solexa he was principal architect of the sequencing-by-synthesis chemistry that formed the basis of the Genome Analyzer, now a leading second generation DNA sequencing technology. His previous experience includes roles at GlaxoWellcome and Xenova.
Clive G. Brown joins Oxford Nanopore from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute (WTSI), Cambridge, UK. At the WTSI he played a key role in the adoption, operation and development of 'next generation' DNA sequencing platforms. WTSI has recently submitted hundreds of Gigabases of high quality data to the 1000 genomes project. Prior to this he was Director of Computational Biology & IT at Solexa.
"We are delighted to welcome John Milton and Clive Brown to our team," said Dr Gordon Sanghera, CEO of Oxford Nanopore. "The appointment of two senior executives with an exceptional track record in sequencing technology reflects the acceleration of our programme to deliver a nanopore-based, label-free, single molecule sequencing system. John and Clive bring not only great technical expertise but also a deep understanding of sequencing applications. This knowledge will help us to develop a sequencing system that truly meets the needs of researchers."
+44 (0)870 486 1966
Dr Gordon Sanghera, CEO
Zoe McDougall, Communications
Oxford Nanopore Technologies Ltd.
Oxford Nanopore is developing nanopore technology, a revolutionary method of molecular detection and analysis with potential for DNA sequencing, diagnostics, drug development and defence applications. The company was founded on the science of Professor Hagan Bayley of the University of Oxford.
The Company's BASE™ technology is a system for DNA sequencing that employs nanopores to process, identify and record DNA bases in sequence. In contrast to current sequencing technologies, nanopores offer a potential method of directly sequencing DNA at single molecule resolution. This removes the need for amplification or labelling, and allows detection from an electrical signal rather than by fluorescence-based CCD imaging. In order to make a breakthrough in speed and cost, other competing technologies require step changes in optics, computation, and CCD camera technologies. Nanopores provide an alternative path to a step-change in the power and cost of DNA sequencing.
Recent interest in the “race for the $1000 genome" illustrates the needs for a sequencing technology that is affordable and powerful enough to enable an exponential increase in research and understanding of the genome. This knowledge will enable a new era in medicine, agriculture, energy, biodiversity, evolutionary biology, genealogy and many other fields.
The nanopore molecular detection system is powerful and versatile beyond its DNA sequencing potential. It can be adapted to detect a wide range of molecules, including other nucleic acids, proteins, small organic molecules and ionic species.
John Milton PhD, Director of Nanopore Chemistry
John followed his PhD in Organic Chemistry with positions at GlaxoWellcome and Xenova, where he specialised in designing new chemical systems that interact with the biological machinery of genetic processing. During his pharmaceutical career he delivered a number of novel therapeutic molecules into the clinic in the areas of HIV, virology, cancer and cancer related multidrug resistance. This included the HIV therapy Lamivudine (Epivir).
In 2001, John joined the Cambridge University spin-out Solexa, where he was principal architect of the novel sequencing-by-synthesis chemistry. As Senior Director of Research, he built and managed a team of 50 scientists, and took the technology through research, scale up, production, manufacturing and productisation for eventual commercial launch of the Genome Analyzer system in late 2006. From seed funding Solexa successfully raised over $150m before eventual sale to Illumina Inc for over $600m in early 2007.
Most recently, John has been closely involved with a number of biotech startups, looking to exploit the vast wealth of new human sequence data in the medical diagnostics field.
Clive G. Brown, Director of Bioinformatics & IT
Clive joined Oxford Nanopore Technologies from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute (Cambridge, UK) where he played a key role in the adoption and exploitation of 'next generation' DNA sequencing platforms, culminating in the submission of hundreds of Gigabases of high quality data to the 1000 genomes project.
Prior to this he was Director of Computational Biology & IT at Solexa, where he was integral to the development of the Genome Analyzer (GA). Clive's team built Solexa's high-performance computing infrastructure and supported all of the breakthrough science behind the GA's development. The group also provided the software tools, core algorithms, data and relationship building that enabled subsequent product adoption.
Clive has held various management and consulting positions at GlaxoWellcome, Oxford Glycosciences and other EU- and US-based organisations, where he has worked at the interface between computing and science, ranging from genetics to proteomics. He has also been responsible for several successful commercial data products and holds degrees in Genetics and Computational Biology from the University of York.