Dr Spike Willcocks
Chief BD Officer
After completing an MA in Chemistry and a DPhil in Biochemistry at the University of Oxford, Dr Willcocks became one of the initial members of IPGroup Plc following its landmark deal with the Chemistry Department at Oxford. Ultimately leading the Life Science team, Dr Willcocks' role encompassed all aspects of technology commercialisation, including spin-out company formation and business and corporate development, as well as private and public equity financings.
Dr Willcocks was a key player in the creation of 14 life science businesses based on technology from three universities, leading proposals for the investment of £4m in seed financing from IPGroup and holding positions of Director and Chairman for 6 portfolio companies. Working alongside the executive teams of the portfolio companies, Dr Willcocks played an integral role in out-licensing transactions, co-development deals and acquisitions. As well as supporting fundraisings for portfolio biotechnology companies, raising an aggregate of £20m, Dr Willcocks also assisted with IPGroup's own IPO in October 2003 on the LSE, raising £30m and capitalising the company at over £100m. Dr Willcocks was actively involved in the establishment of ONL whilst at IPGroup before joining full time in January 2006.
He is also a leading real tennis player, and regularly competes in international tournaments.
Jim McDonald is Finance Director at Oxford Nanopore Technologies. He joined the Company on 12 May 2009 and was appointed as a Director on 19 May 2010. With both a legal and financial reporting background, he has significant financial management experience gained working in the medical device and healthcare industry. Prior to joining the company, he was Finance Director at Abbott Diabetes Care Limited, providing financial management support as the company went from being venture capitalist funded to being listed on the NASDAQ exchange and ultimately being acquired by Abbott Laboratories, a multi-national pharmaceutical and medical diagnostics company.
Jim completed his accountancy training at Andersens, working in Denver and in the Technology and Corporate Services division in London; leading accounting, business advisory and tax services to a portfolio of international high technology and bio-medical clients. Previously, he practiced law with a Colorado law firm representing commercial and industrial banks specialising in secured transactions and commercial litigation. Jim holds a law degree, is a licensed attorney and qualified as a Certified Public Accountant in Colorado.
Dr Gordon Sanghera
Chief Executive Officer
Gordon Sanghera was co-founder of Oxford Nanopore, together with Hagan Bayley and IP Group. He was appointed CEO in June 2005. He brings over 20 years' experience in the design, development and global launch of disruptive platform sensor technologies.
Dr Sanghera’s PhD in bioelectronics sensing was followed by a career at MediSense an Oxford spin-out that delivered a new generation glucose technology to the market. Following the acquisition of MediSense by Abbott Laboratories Dr Sanghera held both UK and US VP and Director-level positions, including VP World Wide Marketing, Research Director and Manufacturing Process Development Director. Before its acquisition by Abbott, Gordon led the R&D of Medisense Inc. where he was instrumental in the launch of several generations of blood glucose bio-electronic systems for the consumer and hospital medical markets. He has also developed and validated production processes to meet with the regulatory requirements for USA and Europe.
Gordon has a PhD in bio-electronic technology and a degree in Chemistry.
Read the article about Dr Sanghera in the Financial Times.
Chief Technology Officer
Clive is Chief Technology Officer at Oxford Nanopore. On the Executive team, he is responsible for all of the Company’s product-development activities. Clive leads the specification and design of the Company’s nanopore-based sensing platform, including strand DNA/RNA sequencing and protein-sensing applications with a strong focus on scientific excellence and successful adoption by the scientific community.
Clive joined Oxford Nanopore 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. This involved helping to set up the world’s largest single installation of Illumina (formerly Solexa) Genome Analyzers in a production sequencing environment, initially used to pioneer the 1000 genomes project.
From early 2003 he was Director of Computational Biology and IT at Solexa Ltd, where he was central to the development and commercialisation of the Genome Analyzer (GA). Solexa was sold to Illumina for $650m in early 2007 after the successful placement and adoption of 12 instruments. The Solexa technology, now commercialised by Illumina, is the market-leading DNA sequencing technology driving the renaissance in DNA-based discovery.
He has a strong background in computer science and genetics/molecular biology and manages interdisciplinary teams including mechanical engineering, electronics, physics, surface chemistry, electrophysiology, software engineering and applications (of the technology). Clive applies modern agile management techniques to the entire product-development lifecycle.
Clive has also held various management and consulting positions at GlaxoWellcome, Oxford Glycosciences and other EU- and US-based organisations. He has worked at the interface between computing and science, ranging from genetics to proteomics. He holds degrees in Genetics and Computational Biology from the University of York.
Dr John Milton
Chief Scientific Officer
John is Chief Scientific Officer at Oxford Nanopore. On the Executive team, he has responsibility for all chemical and biological R&D activity within the company and particularly the design and delivery of the company’s nanopore-based sequencing technology. John drives the primary architectural designs of the chemical systems, building a disruptive system ready for launch into the marketplace.
John joined Oxford Nanopore from Solexa (2001–2007), where as Senior Director of R&D he designed and built the Reversible Terminator chemistry that now drives the Illumina HiSeq/MiSeq system. He built and managed a large, multi-disciplinary scientific team in areas including synthetic nucleotide chemistry, fluorescence chemistry, photochemistry, enzyme engineering, sample prep and chip surface chemistry. He also drove development of the full sequencing protocols and ultimately the scale-up and production of the sequencing reagents for commercial launch. The scientific work of John’s team was critical to the achievement of early sequence data that progressed to other major sequencing milestones and ultimately a full human genome. Solexa was sold to Illumina for $650m in 2007 after the successful placement of 12 instruments, and the Illumina systems are now considered the market leader.
Earlier in his career, following his Ph.D in Chemistry (Liverpool) and two years of post-doctoral work (Leeds), John held various scientific and management positions in medicinal chemistry firstly at GlaxoWellcome (four years) then at Xenova (four years), where he specialised in designing new chemical systems that interact with the biological machinery of genetic processing with applications as antiviral and anti-cancer therapeutics.