Our people

Our people are vital to our success.

Our highly differentiated team are experts at what they do. Our life sciences investment team members have deep technical scientific background, supplemented by strong commercial experience ranging from venture capital investment to pharmaceutical launch. This skill set has resulted in a strong network in life science, enabling the best talent to be attracted at the level of Syncona's portfolio companies. 

Management
Martin Murphy

Martin Murphy

Chief Executive Officer

Martin is Chief Executive Officer of Syncona Investment Management Ltd. He co-founded Syncona in 2012 alongside The Wellcome Trust.

Since then, Martin has been closely involved in the foundation and development of seven Syncona companies, including: Achilles Therapeutics, Autolus,  OMass Therapeutics, Quell Therapeutics, Anaveon and Azeria Therapeutics. He was previously Chairman of Blue Earth Diagnostics, which Syncona sold to Bracco Imaging for $476 million in 2019. 

Previously, he was a partner at MVM Life Science Partners LLP, a venture capital company focused on life science and healthcare, where he led their European operations. Martin has also held roles with 3i Group plc and McKinsey & Company. He has a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Cambridge.

Chris Hollowood

Chris Hollowood

Chief Investment Officer

Chris is the Chief Investment Officer of Syncona Investment Management Ltd.

He is currently Chairman at three Syncona companies: Freeline Therapeutics, Gyroscope Therapeutics and SwanBio Therapeutics. He has been instrumental in the foundation and development of Syncona's gene therapy strategy, where it has founded companies focused on the eye, the liver and the central nervous system. Chris was also previously Chairman of Nightstar, a retinal gene therapy company founded by Syncona which was sold to Biogen in 2019 for $877 million.

Previously, Chris was a partner of Apposite Capital LLP, a venture and growth capital healthcare investment company. Before Apposite, Chris had roles with Bioscience Managers Ltd, Neptune Investment Management Ltd and in the pharmaceutical industry. Chris holds a degree in Natural Sciences and a PhD in Organic Chemistry, both from the University of Cambridge.

John Bradshaw

John Bradshaw

Chief Financial Officer

John Bradshaw is the Chief Financial Officer of Syncona Investment Management Ltd.

John has worked extensively with companies in the life science sector as a part-time and interim CFO. He was previously CFO of Gyrus Group PLC and qualified as a chartered accountant with Arthur Andersen. John has a degree in Law from the University of Liverpool.

Investment Team
Freddie Dear

Freddie Dear

Partner of Syncona Investment Management Ltd

Freddie is a Partner of Syncona Investment Management Ltd.

Previously, he was a member of the Investment Team at the Wellcome Trust, which is responsible for the management of its £23 billion global investment portfolio. At Syncona, Freddie spent a year at portfolio company Quell Therapeutics as Director of Operations. Freddie holds a degree in Biochemistry from the University of Edinburgh.

Gonzalo Garcia

Gonzalo Garcia

Partner of Syncona Investment Management Ltd

Gonzalo is a Partner of Syncona Investment Management Ltd.

Previously, Gonzalo was a Project Leader at Boston Consulting Group where, amongst other responsibilities, he supported clients in the biopharmaceuticals industry across the entire value chain. Gonzalo has an interdisciplinary background, including a PhD in Protein Biophysics from the University of Cambridge, an EMBO Short Term Fellowship in Cell Biology at Harvard Medical School, and a Master’s degree in Theoretical Physics.

Alex Hamilton

Alex Hamilton

Partner of Syncona Investment Management Ltd

Alex is a Partner of Syncona Investment Management Ltd.

Previously, he was a member of the Healthcare Investment Banking team at Jefferies, where he worked on a range of financings and mergers and acquisitions across the biotechnology, pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors. Alex has a PhD in Immunology from the University of Cambridge.

Edward Hodgkin

Edward Hodgkin

Partner of Syncona Investment Management Ltd

Edward Hodgkin is a Partner of Syncona Investment Management Ltd.

He is currently Chairman & CEO of Resolution Therapeutics and Chairman of OMass Therapeutics, and was previously the first CEO and a board member of Autolus Therapeutics (NASDAQ:AUTL). Within the Syncona life science team, he is involved in creation of new businesses and then fills executive roles within those companies to make them operational.

Prior to Syncona, he was CEO of Biotica Ltd (Cambridge, UK), President & Chief Business Officer of BrainCells Inc (San Diego, CA), and VP, Business Development & Marketing at Tripos Inc (St Louis, MO). Ed’s early career was spent in research and management positions with Wyeth-Ayerst Inc and British Biotech. He holds a degree and DPhil in Chemistry from the University of Oxford, and is a former Chairman of the BIA, the UK’s trade association for innovative life science companies.

 

Magdalena Jonikas

Magdalena Jonikas

Partner of Syncona Investment Management Ltd

Magdalena is a Partner of Syncona Investment Management Ltd.

Previously, she was an Associate Partner at McKinsey & Company where she specialised in pharmaceuticals Research & Development, portfolio management and Business Development and Licensing. Magdalena holds a PhD in Bioengineering from Stanford University and was a postdoctoral fellow in Harvard Medical School’s Computational Health Informatics Programme.

Michael Kyriakides

Michael Kyriakides

Partner of Syncona Investment Management Ltd

Michael Kyriakides is a Partner of Syncona Investment Management Ltd.

He works closely with Syncona portfolio companies Freeline Therapeutics, Gyroscope Therapeutics and Azeria Therapeutics.

Previously, Michael was a member of the Life Sciences team at L.E.K. Consulting, where he worked in projects for pharmaceutical, biotech and private equity clients. Prior to joining L.E.K. Consulting, he was a clinical project and NMR manager in the Faculty of Medicine at Imperial College London. Michael obtained his doctorate degree in toxicology and metabolic profiling at Imperial College London.

Lorenz Mayr

Lorenz Mayr

Entrepreneur in Residence

Lorenz is an Entrepreneur in Residence at Syncona Investment Management Ltd.

Previously, he was the Chief Technology Officer for GE Healthcare Life Sciences, overseeing R&D investment, research programmes and business growth strategy. Prior to this he held senior leadership positions at Novartis, Astra Zeneca and Bayer. He also holds a position as a Visiting Scientist/Guest Professor at the ETHZ, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology at Zurich/Switzerland.

Elisa Petris

Elisa Petris

Partner of Syncona Investment Management Ltd

Elisa is a Partner of Syncona Investment Management Ltd.

She is a Director on the Board of Quell Therapeutics, an observer on the Board of Achilles Therapeutics, and was previously on the Board of former portfolio company Blue Earth Diagnostics. She was closely involved in the foundation of these companies, including their operational and strategic set-up.

Previously, she was a Senior Associate at Michel Dyens & Co. working on transactions covering the healthcare space, and a member of the Life Science team at L.E.K. Consulting based in London. While at L.E.K. she worked on projects for biotech, pharma and private equity clients. Elisa has a PhD in Molecular Biology from Imperial College and an MBA from London Business School.

Alice Renard

Alice Renard

Partner of Syncona Investment Management Ltd

Alice is a Partner of Syncona Investment Management Ltd.

Alice works closely with Syncona portfolio company Anaveon as well as being an observer on the Board of the company.

Prior to joining Syncona, Alice was an Investment Banking Analyst within Barclays’ Healthcare Corporate Finance and M&A team, where she worked on transactions involving pharmaceutical and other healthcare companies. Prior to Barclays, Alice worked briefly at AbbVie and Janssen. Alice holds a Doctorate degree in Pharmacy from the University of Lille 2 (School of Pharmacy, Lille, France). She holds a Masters in International Health Policy & Health Economics from the London School of Economics (London, UK).

 Dominic Schmidt

Dominic Schmidt

Partner of Syncona Investment Management Ltd

Dominic is a Partner of Syncona Investment Management Ltd.

He is a Director and closely involved with the Syncona companies Anaveon and Gyroscope and also serves as an observer on the Board of Freeline.

Prior to joining Syncona, Dominic worked in the life science practice of strategy consultancy L.E.K Consulting. He received his PhD from the Department of Oncology at the University of Cambridge where he was a Cancer Research UK scholar. He also holds a German Diplom Degree in Biochemistry and his research has been honoured with national and international prizes and published in Cell, Nature and Science.

Hitesh Thakrar

Hitesh Thakrar

Partner of Syncona Investment Management Ltd

Hitesh is a Partner of Syncona Investment Management Ltd.

He has 24 years’ experience of global public equities. He managed Innovation funds for several asset management companies including Aviva and ADIA, where he was a top-rated portfolio manager. He has an interest in the convergence of life science with other innovationled sectors such as data sciences and the application of industrial technology in medical diagnostics. He has a degree in Chemistry from King’s College London and is a CFA.

Legal
Andrew Cossar

Andrew Cossar

General Counsel

Andrew is the General Counsel of Syncona Investment Management Ltd.

Previously, he was Chief Investment Counsel at the Wellcome Trust, responsible for legal issues arising from its £23bn global multi-asset investment portfolio, and where he was involved in the initial formation of Syncona Partners LLP.  Prior to that he worked as a corporate lawyer in London and Edinburgh.

Andrew has an LLB from the University of Glasgow.

Nisha Sethi

Nisha Sethi

Legal Counsel

Nisha Sethi is the Legal Counsel at Syncona Investment Management Limited.

Previously, Nisha worked as Legal Counsel for Animo Associates Limited, a corporate service provider specialising in compliance and management consulting advice. Prior to this, Nisha qualified at Noble Solicitors which is where she spent 5 years predominantly specialising in criminal defence law. Nisha holds an LLB from the University of Reading.

Abbey Webb

Abbey Webb

Legal/Finance Assistant & HR Coordinator

Abbey is Legal/Finance Assistant & HR Coordinator of Syncona Investment Management Ltd.

Previously, she worked as Manager for Clues & Co. a Digital Forensic/Expert Witness Consultancy.  Prior to this, Abbey worked for Silva Screen Records, a Film/TV soundtrack label, assisting with marketing, publishing and the setup of their subsidiary, SO Recordings. She is currently studying for her Higher Diploma in Law & Practice with the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives.

Finance
Amisha Choksi

Amisha Choksi

Management Accountant

Amisha is a Management Accountant at Syncona Investment Management limited

Amisha has over a decade of Accounting experience with focuses in Marketing and Advertising industries. Her educational background includes a Masters degree in Commerce from Gujarat University, India and she is on route to completing her ACCA Chartership.

Nikki Padden

Nikki Padden

Head of Finance

Nikki is Head of Finance at Syncona Investment Management Ltd

She is a chartered accountant with experience in practice and commerce. Previous roles include business operations at GlaxoSmithKline and project management for AEA Technology and its biopharmaceutical contract manufacturing spin-out. Prior to this she worked in research at King’s College, London and the University of Reading. Nikki has a PhD in Biotechnology from King’s College and an MBA from Warwick Business School.

David Twumasi

David Twumasi

Accountant

David Twumasi is an Accountant at Syncona Investment Management Limited.

He has previously worked in Media and judiciary Service companies covering similar areas of work. He has a science background through his BSc in Biomedical Science from the University of Kent and has since gained a degree in Accounting as he works towards his ACCA Chartership.

Investor Relations and Corporate Affairs
Annabel Clay

Annabel Clay

Head of Investor Relations

Annabel is Head of Investor Relations at Syncona Investment Management Ltd

Previously, she was a Consultant at Greenbrook Communications, advising clients on a wide range of projects and transactions. Prior to that, Annabel spent several years at a leading financial communications firm, where she worked with companies across a number of sectors. She has an Honours Degree in History from the University of Bristol.

Siobhan Weaver

Siobhan Weaver

Head of Corporate Affairs

Siobhan Weaver is Head of Corporate Affairs at Syncona Investment Management Ltd.

Previously, she worked at Tulchan Communications, a financial communications agency, where she was a Director providing advice to a range of clients across a wide range sectors, projects and transactions. Siobhan has spent almost a decade in financial communications, having previously worked for one of the leading consultancies in Australia. She has degrees in Law and Media Communications from the University of Melbourne.

Executive Assistants
Fiona Fernandez

Fiona Fernandez

Office Manager

Fiona is the Office Manager of Syncona Investment Management Ltd overseeing the daily operations of the office and supporting a number of the partners.

Prior to joining Syncona, Fiona held various senior support roles, most recently as an Executive Assistant at AnaCap Financial Partners, supporting two of the Partners, Legal Counsel and the Mergers and Acquisitions team.

Fiona holds a degree in Geography and Management from Leeds University.

Caroline Horsford

Caroline Horsford

Executive Assistant

Caroline is an Executive Assistant at Syncona Investment Management Limited supporting the Senior Management Team and the Board.

Prior to joining Syncona, Caroline held senior support roles in a number of sectors, most recently at Odgers Berndtson where she supported the Global Head of Marketing and Head of Research.

Caroline holds a degree in Hispanic Studies and History from the University of Nottingham.

Katie Trafford

Katie Trafford

Team Assistant

Katie Trafford is a Team Assistant at Syncona Investment Management Limited.

Prior to joining Syncona, Katie was a Personal Assistant to Finance Directors at Wellcome Trust. Katie has over five years financial PA experience after graduating from Oxford Media & Business School.