Meet the team

An expanding team of experts in synthetic biology, biomanufacturing, early clinical development & BD

NanoSyrinx is fortunate to be advised by experienced and well connected experts with a track record of early development and dealmaking for new biological medicines platforms.

Leadership Board SAB


Dr. Joseph Healey

CEO and Founder

Joe is the Founder of NanoSyrinx, along with Nick and Alexia and currently serves as the CEO of the company, having led the push to commercialise the technology during his PhD studies. He is passionate about biology, particularly bioinformatics and synthetic biology, and is keen to realise the potential of the technology, especially applied to NanoSyrinx’s unusual IP.

He holds a PhD and MSc in Mathematical Biology and Biophysical Chemistry from the University of Warwick, and graduated top of his class from his BSc (Hons) Biology degree.

Dr. James Lapworth

Chief Business Officer

James is an experienced business development and technology commercialisation professional with over 10 years’ experience in fundraising, developing, partnering and out-licensing new technologies, particularly in the drug discovery, biotech and med-tech sectors. In his previous role at Warwick Ventures he established 6 new spinout companies which raised a total of £10m in seed stage equity financing between 2018-2021. In earlier roles, he established multiple early-stage discovery partnerships, including one of Europe’s first GSK Discovery Fast Track Challenge awards, leading to a collaborative partnership with GSK aimed at discovering new medicines for the treatment of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

James holds a PhD in Synthetic Chemistry and Regenerative Medicine from the University of Sheffield and is a Chartered Chemist.

Dr. Marie McAvoy

Chief Scientific Officer

Marie is a senior R&D leader with more than 20 years of drug discovery experience in the biotechnology industry and large pharma. She joined the company from GSK, where she was Senior Director in the Oncology Cell Therapy Research Unit. Marie has extensive knowledge of drug discovery across biopharms, cell and gene therapies and vaccines with a particular interest in the inter-relationships between safety, efficacy and manufacture. Throughout her career she has been accountable for delivering, reviewing and approving non-clinical safety and pharmacology packages to support non-regulatory project decisions and regulatory submissions.

Marie holds a Ph.D. in Rheumatology and Immunology from University of Birmingham, UK.

Board of Directors

Dr. Stephen Taylor

Chairman of the Board

Steve is the Chairman of NanoSyrinx, as well as providing guidance and contacts for business development, particularly related to contract manufacturing and process development – drawing on his 35+ years experience in the field. Prior to joining NanoSyrinx, Steve has served on various biotech boards, as well as being a board member of the BioIndustry Association, and has been working with the company since his retirement from his last role as the Senior Vice President of Commercial, at the CDMO FujiFilm Diosynth.

Steve holds a PhD from the University of Warwick and was the first recipient of the Dunill Medal for services to UK Biomanufacturing.

Dr. Jane Dancer

Non-executive Director

A highly experienced CBO, Jane brings a wealth of knowledge about business development and driving company growth, particularly for platform biotech companies. She serves on the boards of Spirea, PharmEnable, Macomics and is the Chair of the Sir Richard Stapley Educational Trust. With over 30 years in biotech and pharma business development, her past roles include Chief Business Officer at F-star, Vice President of Business Development at Cellzome, and Director of Business Development at MedImmune (formerly Cambridge Antibody Technologies).

Jane holds an MA and PhD in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University, as well as an MBA from the Cambridge Judge Business School.

Tony Johnson, MD

Non-executive Director

Tony brings over 25 years of academic, industry and venture experience. He currently serves as Chairman of the Board & Interim CEO for Outrun Therapeutics and Board Director for NanoSyrinx. Tony was previously President and CEO of Goldfinch Bio and prior to that, head of early clinical development and chief medical officer of the Innovative Medicines and Early Development Biotech Unit at AstraZeneca, as well as a Fellow at Homerton College, Cambridge University, Cambridge UK. Prior experience includes roles as a venture partner (OrbiMed Advisors), and senior R&D leadership positions (Bristol-Myers Squibb & GlaxoSmithKline).

Tony received his medical training (M.B.B.S.) and research doctorate (M.D.) at the University of New South Wales and his M.P.H. from the University of Queensland. He became a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians following board certification in internal medicine, geriatric medicine and clinical pharmacology.

Oliver Sims

Investor Director, and Investment Manager at Octopus Ventures

Oliver sits in the Octopus Ventures bio team, where he’s excited to work with entrepreneurs changing people’s lives in healthcare and beyond.

He joins Octopus Ventures from a role in the family office of Jonathan Milner (Founder CEO of Abcam) one of the UK’s most successful biotech entrepreneurs, where he supported and backed early-stage companies working in the bioscience space.

Oliver’s professional experience is underpinned by a background in biomedical science and biochemistry, coupled with commercial execution of complex biotechnologies and business models. He’s worked in biologics drug discovery, gene editing tools, breath diagnostics, and digital prediction and mitigation tools for bipolar patients.

Dr. Bauke Anninga

Investor Director, and Principle at M Ventures

Bauke joined M Ventures in 2019 and is currently a Principal in the Biotechnology team. Bauke is a board director or observer on NanoSyrinx, Pictor Labs, Synaffix, Immunitas Therapeutics and iOnctura. Before joining M Ventures, he was with Jefferies International in the Healthcare Investment Banking group in London (UK). During his time at Jefferies he advised on several financings and M&A transactions across the biotechnology, pharmaceutical and medical devices sectors.

Bauke has a PhD in Cancer Studies from King’s College London (UK) and an MSc in Technical Medicine from the University of Twente (The Netherlands).


Prof. Nicholas Waterfield

Scientific Advisor and Co-founder

Nick is a Professor at the University of Warwick and co-founded NanoSyrinx with Joe and Alexia whilst supervising them both as members of his academic lab. In his academic role, Nick is particularly interested in the evolution of virulence in emerging human pathogens, and originally discovered the technology at the heart of NanoSyrinx. He retains his academic position at Warwick and advises the company as part of the Scientific Advisory Board and his position as a founding shareholder.

Nick holds a PhD from Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge in Molecular Bacteriology, and was previously a Lecturer at Bath University.

Dr. Andy Topping

Scientific Advisor (CMC)

Andy is a seasoned professional in the biopharmaceutical industry with a career that spans over 25 years. As current CSO at Fujifilm Diosynth, one of the largest global contract development and manufacturing organisations, Andy brings a wealth of experience in CMC and biologic development through to GMP for clinical assets.

He received his Ph.D. from the University of Wales at Cardiff.

Dr. Peter Charlton

Scientific Advisor (Discovery and Development)

Pete has a long history of working in biotech and pharma, and most recently ran the UK operations for Vertex Pharma. In that role he had line management of the Biology Division – responsible for Protein Biochemistry, Crystallography/Structural Biology, Cell Biology, Enzymology and Pharmacology Leadership and development of their UK Research Portfolio from target identification through to nomination of clinical candidate. His focus was mainly oncology and neurodegenerative disease (previous areas have included sepsis and Multiple Sclerosis). Prior to Vertex Pete was at Xenova Group plc for 13 years, latterly as the Head of Biology, and before that he was a Senior Research Leader at GlaxoSmithKline for 8 years.

Pete Charlton has a DPhil in Chemistry and Enzymology from the University of Sussex.