Meet the ELRIG Board

The ELRIG Board

ELRIG’s board is comprised of individuals who passionately believe in ELRIG’s values and purpose.  They are a diverse group, representing all facets of the ELRIG community, as well as having the skills and experience needed to manage a learned society.  Apart from the CEO, the board are all volunteers, taking no payment for the time they devote to ELRIG activities.

Melanie Leveridge

ELRIG Chair

Head of Screening, Profiling and Mechanistic Biology UK, and Global Compound Management at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). Since joining GSK in 2005, she has held roles of increasing responsibility in a variety of small molecule discovery platform groups, leading teams to deliver high-throughput screening, lead optimisation profiling, assay development and mechanistic biology studies. Melanie has led numerous technology and capability development collaborations, particularly in the application of high-throughput mass spectrometry techniques for screening and compound profiling, a topic on which she has published a number of peer-reviewed articles. In her current role Melanie leads UK Assay Development and Compound Profiling capabilities, as well as the global Compound Management teams.

Sanj Kumar

ELRIG CEO

As CEO of ELRIG, my role is to help fulfill ELRIG’s vision of providing a communication forum for the UK drug discovery and research community. We are proud that we run so many meetings per year, each of which has innovative technology as a theme, and world renowned speakers presenting their research. We are supported by the vendor community and remain strictly not for profit, with the board providing their help and support without remuneration. ELRIG is a world class organization and has links to other LRIGs, as well as other scientific bodies. I have been involved with ELRIG for over 10 years and I am also the General Manager of DiscoveRx Europe, which gives me the skills needed to help manage ELRIG operationally as well as strategically, as I am very well connected in the drug discovery industry.

Del Trezise

ELRIG Board Member

Del joined the ELRIG board in 2017, following several years as the Scientific Program Chair for ELRIG DD. Trained in Pharmacology & Physiology, and with 20 years + experience in biotech and large pharma, Del is passionate about drug discovery networks and collaborations between industry, academia and tools providers. Del is currently Director & European Site Head for Essen BioScience.

Nick Clare

Vendor Strategy Work Group Leader

Nick has two decades of industrial life science experience across a variety of scientific and commercial roles in large pharma and startups. He is currently Regional Sales Manager (Head of Europe) at Synthego and in recent years, he has supported scientists in selecting tools and workflows in stem cells and CRISPR applications to help drive the discovery of new treatments. Nick was elected to sit on the General Committee of ELRIG in 2021 to support the organisation’s Networking Work Group. Prior to this, Nick worked as a scientist and lab head in R&D, leading projects to establish cell/genetic models for drug discovery and disease modelling.

Chris Williams

Marketing Communications & Publications Work Group Leader

Chris is an in vitro pharmacologist with over 20 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry. She has worked at Pfizer, UCB, Ipsen and the NHS demonstrating a breadth of scientific, project, business and change management experience. She is an advocate for collaborative working (whether it be within or across organizations) and is passionate about what people and teams can achieve when they are engaged and empowered. This philosophy is the driving force behind her coaching & consulting business, Questae. She is Treasurer Elect and a Fellow of the British Pharmacological Society as well as being a member of the Board at ELRIG UK.

Clare Viney

People & Culture Work Group Leader

Clare is a Chartered Scientist and Chemist with 20 years’ experience in the science community and not-for-profit sector. She is a member of the ELRIG early career professional (ECP) workgroup and is passionate about investing in future generations and those from diverse backgrounds and experiences, empowering people to realise their potential and achieve their career and development goals. Prior to her role at CRAC/Vitae, Clare was with the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) for 16 years in a variety of roles.

CRAC is a charity and was founded in 1964. Vitae, non-profit programme of CRAC, is the global leader in supporting the career and professional development of researchers, experienced in working with governments and over 200 institutions in 23 countries. It strengthens members and partners provision through research and innovation, training and resources, events, consultancy and membership. Vitae advocates for a healthy research environment and culture that will attract and develop a more diverse workforce, believing this will impact positively on individual and institutional performance and bring societal and economic benefits.

Paul Kendall

Treasurer

Paul is an industrial engineer by trade and has been involved in business development within industrial automation for nearly 25 years. During his career he has been involved in many industries including factory automation, process automation, food and beverage, printing and life sciences. Working within an international new markets group, Paul was heavily involved in the development of a market approach to the Lab Automation and Medical Device markets for Festo bringing together application knowhow with industrial automation robustness and best practice. Today, he is a member of the EMEA Leadership Team representing the Life Sciences market for Watson Marlow Fluid Technology Solutions. Paul is an active board member of ELRIG UK (European Laboratory Research Interest Group) and has been a member of the ELRIG General Committee since 2016.

Catherine Kettleborough

Science Strategy Work Group Leader

Catherine Kettleborough is the Head of Biology at LifeArc’s Centre for Therapeutics Discovery (CTD). LifeArc (formerly MRC Technology) is an independent life science technology transfer charity, offering professional services to organisations within the academic, charity, biotechnology and pharmaceutical sectors globally. LifeaArc’s Biology group is responsible for conducting target validation, reagent generation, assay development, screening (100-250K screens) biochemical, biophysical and cell based assays to support prosecution of hit to lead and antibody discovery projects for novel drug targets sourced from academic research groups worldwide.

Prior her current role, Catherine was Assistant Director of Applied Research at MRC Technology and her responsibilities included managing the Assay Development and Screening Group. She has 25 year plus of working at the interface between academic research and pharma/biotech, as a bench scientist, project manager, team leader and start-up Director.

Saleha Patel

Networking Work Group Leader

Saleha is a Senior Research Scientist at AstraZeneca, where she supports early discovery projects within the R&D organisation. Prior to joining AstraZeneca in 2017, she completed her PhD and first Postdoc at the University of Leicester in partnership with UCB Pharma. Previous to that she studied at the University of York and spent a short time at CRUK London Research Institute. Saleha joined the ELRIG General Committee in 2017 and is now the current Chair of the Networking Events Workgroup.

Mark Soave

Early Career Professionals Work Group Leader

Mark is a Senior Scientist at OMass Therapeutics where he works as an in vitro pharmacologist. Prior to this, he completed his PhD and postdoctoral work at the University of Nottingham focussing on the molecular pharmacology of cell surface receptors. He has been active in several groups championing involvement and participation of Early Career members across different organisations, including previously sitting as the Chair of the Team Science Committee at the Centre of Membrane Proteins and Receptors at the Universities of Birmingham and Nottingham. Mark joined the ELRIG General Committee in 2020 and is now the Chair of the Early Career Professional (ECP) Workgroup.

Verena Brucklacher-Waldert

Secretary

Verena is a Manager at Horizon Discovery/PerkinElmer. She is leading Immunology Services to deliver drug discovery and development projects, such as compound and functional genomic screens with primary human immune cells, for clients worldwide across the health care sector. Assays and screens deploy state-of-the-art automation and gene editing technologies. Prior to her current role, Verena worked in the biotech industry and in academia. She has a PhD in Immunology, a MSc in Neurosciences and is currently studying towards an MBA. Verena is passionate about creating synergies between sciences, technologies, commercial sectors, and people. And ELRIG is the ideal platform to facilitate these synergies to foster an inspiring, collaborative and knowledge-driven life science and drug discovery community.

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