Meet Our Team
Serial entrepreneur, inventor and conceptual biologist with 20 years’ experience in bringing over 50 novel biopharma therapies to market for companies like Pfizer, Allergan, abbVie, Amgen, Shire, Takeda, GSK & Sanofi. Alex founded LIfT after losing his mother to Pancreatic Cancer, and seeing a new way to beat cancer by giving patients the immunity of those who are innately resistant to cancer.
Chief Executive Officer & Founder
Martin brings over 20 years’ of academic and industrial science experience to his role as Principal Scientist at LIfT. As an experienced immunologist he has published high impact research and has been a founding scientist of biotech start-ups including GammaDelta Therapeutics. Martin is particularly focussed on the challenges in bringing cell therapies from the bench to the clinic, and holds a PhD from University College London.
Dr Martin Woodward
Principal Scientist, Preclinical Lead
Aoife is a skilled cellular immunologist with almost ten years experience across academic and biotech startup labs. Aoife will be focusing on elucidating the mechanisms of action of Immunomodulatory Alpha Neutrophils in the tumour microenvironment.
Aoife holds a PhD in immunology from Trinity College Dublin, Ireland.
Dr Aoife McGinley
Principal Scientist, N-LIfT MoA and Translational Lead
Samuel brings almost 10 years of experience within the start-up Biotech industry, working within both the scientific and operational teams. Samuel has been instrumental in the set-up of three biotech start-ups and is an experienced immunologist. Samuel is focused on ensuring neutrophil cell therapy becomes a successful novel treatment.
Samuel holds a degree from Canterbury Christ Church University.
Senior Scientist & Laboratory Manager
Industry and medical expert with over 25 years of highly successful translational research, clinical, commercial, and international management experience across healthcare, with a focus in Haemato-Oncology. Trained Immunologist with extensive experience in haematopoietic stem cell transplantation and cell therapies. Led the development and launch of several major cancer drugs within Pharma, Biotech and CRO. Former CMO for Cell Therapeutics prior to successful sale.
Dr Panteli Theocharous
Chief Medical Officer
Richard is an experienced executive with over 25 years’ experience in start ups and early stage technology companies. He is a co-founder of FD Solutions, a market leader in the UK for the provision of part time finance directors. He is the provider of Head of Finance services to Mironid Ltd, AdoRx Therapeutics and Lunac Therapeutics.
Urvi is able to convey the complex scientific and operational nuance of cell therapy processes across diverse teams and ensure successful outcomes. She is equally effective in design phase and real-time execution of manufacturing processes, and able to add value while “wearing multiple hats.”
Principal Scientist, Process Development Lead
Jakub obtained a Master's degree in Manufacture and Commercialisation of Stem Cells at the University College London.
Jakub gained experience in a professional research team IOCB Prague - Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the Czech Academy of Sciences. Assisted in the research of G-Quadruplex structures in DNA/RNA and learned about the research techniques involved.
Over her 20-year career to date, Oxana has worked across multiply therapeutic modalities in both pharma and biotech settings, with significant experience in cell therapy and biologics for Oncology indications. Oxana was a founding scientist and head of discovery for immunotherapy company Adaptate Biotherapeutics, the spin out of cell therapy company Gamma Delta Therapeutics.
Oxana holds a PhD from Moscow State University.
Dr Oxana Polyakova
Chief Scientific Officer
Chief Regulatory & Development Officer
Pharmaceutical development and regulatory expert with over 35 years of experience in oncology and cell therapies. Experience at multiple managerial levels within pharmaceutical companies and most recently as Senior Vice President for Quality, Regulatory and CMC, for IO Biotech Limited, gaining significant experience in co-ordinating, planning and running a global development of ATMPs and biologics.
Dr Mihil Patel
Principal Scientist, Cell & Gene Engineering Lead
Mihil obtained his Ph.D in viral immunology from Cardiff University, Wales. He then went to work at GammaDelta Therapeutics, using his skills in cell and molecular biology to develop new platforms and gene engineering strategies. He is fascinated by basic scientific discoveries and how they can be translated into novel applications for immunotherapies.
Lugein combines her medical and cell therapy production expertise to help bring cell therapies from early process production to patient. Lugein obtained her Medical Degree from the University of Southampton. She completed her foundation training years in the NHS, gaining experience in a range of medical and surgical specialties. Through this practice, Lugein became fascinated in the potential of novel cellular therapies to revolutionise the future of medicine. Lugein subsequently obtained a Master’s degree on the Manufacture and Commercialisation of Stem Cells and Gene Therapies at UCL.