Galvani Bioelectronics is a new company, established in November 2016, dedicated to the development of bioelectronic medicines – a new class of medicines consisting of miniaturised, implantable devices.
Formed through a partnership between global healthcare company, GSK, and leading technology company, Verily Life Sciences, Galvani Bioelectronics combines the complementary expertise of its parent companies to enable the research, development and commercialisation of bioelectronic therapies.
Bioelectronic medicine is an emerging scientific field, aiming to use tiny implantable devices to change precise electrical signals in nerves to treat a range of debilitating chronic diseases. Galvani Bioelectronics represents an important step change in the research and development of these medicines, combining GSK’s discovery and development expertise and deep understanding of disease biology with Verily’s world leading expertise in the miniaturisation of low power electronics, device development, data analytics and software development for clinical applications.
At Galvani, we believe bioelectronics have the potential to change the face of medical science forever… and our ambition is to take the lead. We are developing the expertise to place tiny devices inside the human body. These will be programmed to read and modify electrical signals passing along nerves in the body, to restore health.
To realise this step change, we challenge our people to think the extraordinary, to be brave, and to forge unlikely alliances and partnerships. We embrace radical new thinking and believe that through this, we can shape the future of medical science.
Our partnerships make us who we are. At Galvani Bioelectronics we believe that when we work together, we can harness the power of mutual knowledge to change lives for the better.
We recognise that bringing bioelectronic medicines to patients will depend on experts across a range of disciplines working together and sharing their knowledge and expertise. Bioelectronics requires the combined skills of world-leading biologists, engineers, clinicians and technologists. So we’re partnering with a diverse range of experts to achieve our mission – as well as benefiting from our parent companies’ world class drug discovery and development and technological expertise.
Adam heads up the Business Development and Operations functions for GSK Bioelectronics. From 2010 he led the decision, support and project implementation for cross-R&D initiatives as part of the Strategy & Portfolio Management for Pharmaceutical R&D. Then, in 2012 Adam joined GSK Worldwide Business Development to lead departmental operations and partnership work for Bioelectronics R&D.
Prior to his work at GSK, Adam worked in healthcare consulting at McKinsey & Company and as a Senior Financial Analyst at the Intel Corporation’s manufacturing division. He also spent 8 years in laboratory-based roles studying the field of cellular and molecular biology.
Adam holds a PhD in Cellular and Molecular Biology, an MBA (Finance & Entrepreneurship specialism), and a BSc in Engineering Science and Mechanics (Biomedical Engineering).
Alice is responsible for intellectual property activities for Galvani Bioelectronics. Alice joined GSK in 2004 and has developed worldwide patent strategies for internationally-based research teams, managed worldwide outside counsel in patent prosecution and litigation matters and has advised R&D and Business Development decision makers on patentability, freedom-to-operate issues, in-licensing opportunities and regulations governing development of NIH funded technology.
She has a BS in Biological Sciences, a PhD in Microbiology (Immunology focus) and postdoctoral experience in HIV and Immunology. She is a member of the North Carolina State Bar and a patent attorney registered to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Arun was a founding member of the GSK Bioelectronics R&D efforts and has been instrumental in establishing the disease biology portfolio. As Director & Head of Disease Biology, he currently oversees the academic collaborations in disease pathobiology and will ensure a sustainable biology pipeline for the future of Galvani Bioelectronics.
His strong integrative physiology and clinical cardiology experience provides an excellent bird’s eye view to initiate and test the impact of novel neural circuits for therapy. Prior to Bioelectronics, Arun was a key contributor to cardiovascular safety screening strategies and was the first to set up stem cell cardiomyocyte based screening at GSK. He has extensive surgical experience, having performed adult and pediatric cardiac surgeries and translational research.
Christopher Lai, MD, MBA is a Director in Business Development and Project Management for Galvani Bioelectronics. His main role is to facilitate Galvani Bioelectronics transactions and support the development of our assets to clinical development.
Prior to Galvani Bioelectronics, Christopher was with GSK for 3 years, working in Worldwide Business Development and R&D Strategy Development. Prior to this role, he was in U.S. Respiratory Finance, supporting GSK’s respiratory launches of Anoro, Breo and Nucala.
Before GSK, Christopher was an emergency physician who practiced at several institutions such as Kaiser, Sutter and Duke. He continues to practice at the Durham VA ER. He obtained his business degree at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business in 2013, his medical degree at The Ohio State University College of Medicine in 2002 and trained in Emergency Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh in 2005. Prior to medical school, he spent nearly 2 sleepless years at Citigroup in investment banking.
Clare De Vere is Executive Assistant to Kris Famm, and provides administrative support to the Galvani Bioelectronics team having joined the group in May 2015. Clare previously worked with GSK in WWBD, Biopharmaceuticals, Respiratory and HR.
Cynthia helps us lead the way in how Galvani Bioelectronics look after our talent. Now designated HR leader, Cynthia joined GSK in 1997 and has been leading the way ever since, with the team that designed GSK’s global Performance System and the HR team responsible for the three-part Novartis transaction.
She has particular expertise in Compensation, M&A, Leadership Development and Coaching. With an MBA in Finance, Cynthia is a Six Sigma Green Belt, a certified Change Leadership Practitioner in GSK and Advanced HR Leadership from the University of Michigan.
In her time at GSK, Cynthia has been the HR head for GSK Pharma R&D’s Platform Technology & Sciences group and the HR leader for Global Product Strategy and Worldwide Business Development. Cynthia also led the US Pharmaceuticals Sales Incentive Operations team.
Dali holds a surgical investigator role within Surgical Development & Treatment Discovery at Galvani Bioelectronics. Here he characterises the target nerves and develops novel surgical approaches and equipment for interfacing. Previously Dali was part of the Bioelectronics R&D Unit at GSK working as Surgical Development Scientist.
Dali is a neurosurgeon from Taiwan and holds a PhD in Surgical Sciences. During his academic research he found a functional connectivity between the sensory thalamus and the periaqueductal grey in pain modulation.
Daniel leads the neural Interfacing development, and in vivo delivery efforts, at the Stevenage site in the UK, and directs the laboratory work conducted there. The Galvani Bioelectronics laboratory, drives early stage feasibility studies of autonomic nervous system neuromodulation, across a pipeline of disease indications. Work centres around exploring the fundamentals of nerve physiology, and optimising ways to interact with the disparate anatomy. This involves the pursuit of ex vivo and in vivo electrophysiology methods, while driving the process of development of mechanically and electrically compliant neural interfaces for patients.
Daniel’s team manages a portfolio of external academic and industrial collaborations focused on driving research into novel and future interface architectures, materials, and therapeutic modalities. Our team collaborates extensively with our worldwide academic consortium; to develop, assist, and enable surgical and electrophysiological technical development and talent expansion.
Daniel is a PhD graduate of the University of London, Queen Mary (PhD - 2009), and the University of Cambridge (Post Doctorate - 2009-2014). Work from his academic career was focused on understanding the dynamics of the peripheral nervous system, developing pre-clinical in vivo neurosurgical models, and novel neuroprosthetic design and application, which is described in over thirty publications.
David leads the way in our commercial activities. As Therapeutic Vision and Commercial Strategy Director for Galvani Bioelectronics, his work includes acquiring customer and market insights, delivering early commercial input into therapies of interest - and exploring future commercial models.
Before joining the Galvani Bioelectronics team, David’s previous roles spanned commercial planning and marketing at GSK - including payer marketing, new product commercial analysis and global strategic marketing - across an array of therapies areas.
With an undergraduate degree from Boston College and MBA from Cornell University, he brings a wealth of experience from the healthcare industry, from a global marketing oncology role at Centocor/Johnson & Johnson and as a consultant for the healthcare strategy firm, The Wilkerson Group.
David works within the Neural Interfacing group to perform and manage in-house and collaborative electrophysiological studies aimed at refining stimulation and blocking parameters in clinically relevant neural architectures and disease models. David has a long-standing interest in neural interfacing; during his PhD he worked to develop high-density neuronal recordings with applications for the treatment of epilepsy.
Prior to Galvani Bioelectronics, David has over 20 years of experience in Neuroscience, the last 15 of which has been in Psychiatric Drug Discovery within major international pharmaceutical companies.
Eric is board certified General and Vascular surgery and has over 25 years of clinical experience in these areas. He is an adjunct associate professor of surgery at the University of Minnesota where he is also involved in teaching medical students, residents and practicing clinicians and is involved in clinical research activities.
During the past 14 years he has also worked with biomedical device companies developing neuromodulation therapies to treat cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases. In these efforts he has worked with basic scientists in initial proof of concept studies; with R&D teams to develop initial implantable systems and then to improve system usability; with Clinical and Regulatory staff in clinical protocol development and in establishing clinical events committees for clinical trials.
Eric started working with GSK Bioelectronics in 2015 as a consultant and in 2016 accepted an employed position with the team working to study the anatomy at proposed interface sites, develop surgical techniques for humans and perform risk assessments and risk mitigation strategies for surgical procedures.
Firat brings pioneering our miniaturised Bioelectronic devices to reality. Working in Neuromodulation Devices, he joined GSK Bioelectronics in 2015 after spending 13 years at imec, Europe’s largest independent research centre in microelectronics and nanoelectronics. He has developed devices and technologies for medical-grade wearable and implantable biomedical devices, including wireless cardiac monitoring patches, wearable EEG monitoring headsets and implantable neural probes for high density recording. Firat was also involved in the creation of a San Francisco-based wearable healthcare start-up, Bloom Technologies.
With a Ph.D. from KU Leuven in Belgium, Firat has authored more than 100 peer-reviewed publications along with 20 patents, including a book on low-power biomedical microsystems. He has served on the technical program committees of European Solid State Circuits Conf (ESSCIRC), International Solid State Circuits Conf (ISSCC), and Biomedical Circuits and Systems Conf (BioCAS) and remains Associate Editor for IEEE Trans. of Biomedical Circuits and Systems.
Gwyn leads our legal and intellectual property activities for Galvani Bioelectronics. Since joining GSK in 2006, Gwyn has had an increasingly globally diverse role - providing intellectual property counsel in developing patent portfolios across therapeutic areas, and providing legal and transactional counsel. She advised the business in a complex and rapidly developing environment of collaborative R&D, conducted in public-private partnerships, with non-profit and supranational funding. Gwyn also provided IP counsel for Vaccines transactions, and has supported several patent litigations relating to vaccine products.
Gwyn previously worked in private legal practice, developing and executing patent strategies in diverse technology areas for start-up companies in the biotechnology space - and for academic and government institutions.
Gwyn earned a PhD in Genetics from Yale University and performed postdoctoral research in immunology before transitioning into law. She has a JD degree from University of California, Berkeley (Boalt Hall) and is a member of the US Patent Bar.
Jason investigates the interaction between biology and technology. Using electrophysiology and integrative biology, he works to understand the stimulation parameters and device configurations required to modulate peripheral organ function.
Prior to joining Galvani Bioelectronics, Jason spent seven years in small molecule drug discovery, studying mechanisms of sensory processing and neuroregeneration.
Jason holds a PhD in Neuroscience and a BSc in Cell Biology and Physiology. During his academic research he discovered new interactions between reproductive endocrinology, sensory processing and behaviour.
Jason heads up our collective journey into clinical studies. As Head of the Treatment Discovery group in the Bioelectronics Unit, Jason advances projects from the moment a therapeutic effect is demonstrated, right the way to clinical Proof of Principle. His work is our first vital step in establishing treatment parameters, generating pre-clinical evidence and safety data, developing surgical procedures, and being able to test the principle in experimental clinical studies.
Prior to Bioelectronics, Jason spent nearly 20 years in small molecule drug discovery, leading the Kiinib Discovery Performance Unit (DPU) - responsible for advancing several projects through to clinical “Proof of Concept” (cPoC) in immune-inflammatory diseases.
Jerry is an in vitro/ex vivo Investigator within Disease Biology primarily supporting the respiratory portfolio projects. He has a keen interest in novel mechanisms and interfaces to achieve fiber selective modulation of peripheral nerves to treat disease. In this role, Jerry also works closely with the Target Discovery and Neuronal Modulation Devices groups to help identify user requirements and functionality testing of neuronal interfaces.
Prior to joining Galvani Bioelectronics, Gerald worked for 10+ years in GSK’s Respiratory Therapeutic Area Unit and Neuronal Targets Discovery Performance Unit supporting lead optimisation of various chemical series targeting GPCRs and ion channels, including INCRUSE ELLIPTA® (umeclidinium) and Dinirixin. His past work has predominantly utilised functional ex vivo tissue preparations, electrophysiology, and calcium imaging techniques.
Jerry holds a BSc in Biomedical Engineering from Drexel University.
Kevin is responsible for delivering preclinical validation in models for a respiratory project. He draws upon standard as well as innovative measurement tools to assess physiological end points and incorporates them into a closed loop design to optimise treatment parameters with the goal of providing a compelling demonstration against a pharmaceutical comparator.
Prior to joining Galvani Bioelectronics, Kevin led a lead-optimisation program at GSK developing small molecule sodium channel blockers for cough and other respiratory indications.
Kevin earned a PhD in physiology at the University of Kentucky and completed post-doctoral training at Johns Hopkins University, where he made contributions to the knowledge of airway sensory neurobiology.
Kris is president of Galvani Bioelectronics, being overall responsible for the company’s path to and delivery of bioelectronic medicines to patients. Before his appointment to lead Galvani Bioelectronics, he was founding VP and head of Bioelectronics R&D at GSK, which he launched in 2013. There he managed the unit’s extensive research towards establishing the treatment potential, disease reach and technology requirements for modulating signal patterns in visceral, peripheral nerves. He led the way in how we address these challenges on a global scale, too, working together with a network of research partners across academia and industry.
During his time at GSK he also headed up the R&D Strategy Group and the Protein Degradation Discovery Performance Unit.
Kris obtained his PhD in Molecular Biology at University of Cambridge, following an MSc in Chemical Engineering at Lund University, Sweden. Before joining GSK in 2009, he worked as a management consultant at McKinsey & Co.
Lynsay is the Senior Team Administrator, and has over 12 years of experience working in the pharmaceutical industry. Together with Clare De Vere, Lynsay provides administrative support to the Galvani Bioelectronics team.
Before joining Galvani Bioelectronics in 2016, Lynsay worked in the sports development sector for a County Sports Partnership and also for the NHS.
Margriet is Director and Therapeutic Project Leader in the Target Discovery Group of Galvani Bioelectronics. As such she is currently mainly focusing on the development of neuromodulation strategies for the treatment of (chronic) inflammatory diseases. Her main tasks are to supervise the R&D involving ex- and in vivo research on the target nerve, and to lead all operations related to pre-clinical, regulatory and clinical on a daily basis in order to develop one of Galvani Bioelectronics’ lead indications up to a phase Ib clinical trial. In addition, she is supervising collaborative research projects with several Universities in Europe.
Margriet holds a PhD in Biochemistry which she obtained at the university in Utrecht (The Netherlands). Previously she was working as COO at Arthrogen (Amsterdam, The Netherlands), a small biotech company developing gene therapy for arthritis. Holding also a position as University Teacher at the Academic Medical Centre/University of Amsterdam she was supervising the research-line focusing on neuro-inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis. She is author of over 50 peer-reviewed publications.
Matteo is an in vivo Scientist working in models to test the efficacy of neuromodulation approaches and optimise parameters as well as interface design. Prior to Galvani Bioelectronics, Matteo was a post-doctoral fellow in the Bioelectronics R&D team within GSK.
Matteo was trained as a Neuroscientist, studying central nervous system plasticity after injury, first at the Biotechnology Department of the University of Milano-Bicocca and then at the Neuroimmunology unit at San Raffaele Institute in Milan (Italy). Successively he obtained his PhD in Neuroscience at University of Cambridge (UK) working on neuroprosthetic applications to promote plasticity within the injured spinal cord in preclinical models.
After receiving a PhD from the University of Western Australia, Mike successfully completed a Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the Johns Hopkins University where he was trained in multiple neurophysiology techniques.
Mike has established several neurophysiology labs and has lead multiple research projects focused on the sensory and motor innervation of the respiratory system. For approximately the last 10 years, Mike has worked at GSK, initially within Respiratory Drug discovery, but more recently as part of Galvani Bioelectronics.
Morten heads up the development of the first generation of bioelectronics devices in the Galvani Bioelectronics team. He draws on experience from several development projects of active medical devices for both stimulation and sensing applications including devices for pain management, paralysis and prosthetic control. Morten’s responsibility is on overall direction of the development projects at Galvani Bioelectronics, with specific focus on user requirements, industrial design and surgical instrumentation.
Prior to joining GKS’s Bioelectronics group, Morten spent nearly 15 working on medical devices at the Alfred Mann Foundation and Bioness in California. He received his PhD in Biomedical and Electronic Engineering from Aalborg University, Denmark.
An integral part of the Bioelectronics R&D unit since its creation, Nadine is the Network Operations Manager for the Galvani Bioelectronics team.
With over 16 years’ experience working in pharmaceutical research & development including clinical, pre-clinical and discovery, her role includes event planning, project management and operations support for the R&D team.
Nishan is responsible for innovative Phase 1 biomarker rich experimental medicine studies, clinical strategy and operations from FtiH to clinical PoC. As a Consultant in Pharmaceutical medicine and experimental medicine director in the Bioelectronics team, he also leads the T2D project.
With a medical degree from Oxford University and St. George’s Hospital Medical School, Nishan trained as an orthopaedic surgeon in London. He joined GSK in 2010 and worked in the US and UK in regulatory affairs, clinical development and medical affairs within a leadership programme before joining the Galvani Bioelectronics team.
Phil is a Manager and Project Leader in the Disease Biology group. He is responsible for multiple projects working in conjunction with our established academic collaborators, to demonstrate the effects of neuromodulation on defined neural circuits in disease conditions.
Phil has extensive non-clinical and clinical pharmaceutical experience across multiple therapeutic areas. He joined GSK in 2007, working in Safety Pharmacology with an in vivo cardiovascular and translational focus, followed by a position in Safety Evaluation & Risk Management in the Global Clinical Safety & Pharmacovigilance group. He moved to Pfizer as Non-Clinical Drug Safety Lead for the Neuroscience & Pain Research Unit, before joining Galvani Bioelectronics in 2016. Phil gained a PhD in Physiology & Pharmacology at the University of Strathclyde, followed by a post doctoral position at the University of Edinburgh in the Centre for Cardiovascular Sciences.
Rizwan is Device Technology Director for Neuromodulation Devices. In this role he oversees technology development for implantable and wearable devices and will be responsible of R&D for closed-loop neuromodulation systems.
Prior to joining in August of 2016, he was with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Florida where he holds a tenured Associate Professorship. During this time he worked in a number of roles including Research Scientist at Nvidia Research developing high-performance GPUs, Visiting Professor at KU Leuven and IMEC, Belgium, and Chief Science Officer for biomedical start-up, eTectbio, where he developed in-vivo signaling technologies for medication compliance monitoring.
Rizwan received his PhD from North Carolina State University in 2004. He has authored or coauthored more than 100 referred technical abstracts and papers, was the recipient of the National Science Foundation (NSF) Early Career Development Award, the University of Florida Inventor Recognition Award and the Microwave Magazine Best Paper Award.
Robert leads our Translational Science efforts and using his 30 years of experience, ensures that the team has the right models for establishing treatment parameters, and generating preclinical evidence of treatment and safety data.
With a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Colorado State University and a PhD in cardiovascular physiology from Michigan State University, Bob completed a Residency in Veterinary Surgery at Purdue and a fellowship in Laboratory Animal Medicine. Bob spent over 23 years in small molecule drug discovery and safety developing models, establishing ultrasound and imaging as a research tool and directing surgical support programs.
Sarah holds a scientific investigator role within Disease Biology at Galvani Bioelectronics. Here she explores, refines and validates current avenues for pre-clinical neuromodulation. Previously Sarah was part of the Bioelectronics R&D Unit at GSK working as a postdoctoral researcher. She holds a strong background in integrative electrophysiology and an understanding of central and peripheral neuronal control of autonomic function.
Sarah received her PhD in Advanced Medicine from Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia. Here, she focused on prefrontal cortex control of cardiorespiratory and thermoregulatory function under the scope of methamphetamine abuse and mental health disorders.
Sarah is the Legal and Transactions Director of Galvani Bioelectronics. As the lead contracting attorney, Sarah is responsible for providing legal advice and transactional support to the business. She has a key role in managing legal risks facing the company as well as developing capabilities to support efforts to bring products to commercialisation.
Before joining Galvani Bioelectronics, Sarah was in private legal practice at Slaughter and May, specialising in intellectual property, technology and commercial law. In this role, Sarah was one of the lead lawyers who worked on the formation of Galvani Bioelectronics.
Sarah completed the Law Tripos at the University of Cambridge (Christ’s College), earning a Bachelor of Arts with Honours. Following this, she completed the Accelerated Legal Practice Course with Distinction.
Sebastien leads the mechanical design efforts for the neural interface development at Galvani Bioelectronics.
Prior to his work at Galvani Bioelectronics, Sebastien worked in many areas of design engineering, across several countries. These include piezoelectric micro-systems in NOLIAC (Denmark) and Safran Electronics & Defense (France), before moving to implantable medical devices when he joined Sorin/LivaNova (France) to develop pacemaker and defibrillator systems, with specific focus on the leads and interfaces. Sebastien also spent 4 years at Medtronic (Netherlands) to work on the development of thin-film based leads and interfaces for deep brain stimulation.
Sebastien has a Master of Science in Mechanical and Microtechnoloy Engineering from the French National School of Mechanical Engineering and Microtechnology (ENSMM).
Tariqus brings multi-disciplinary expertise in low-power microchip design, animal research and clinical study to the Bioelectronics team. Prior to joining Galvani Bioelectronics, he spent 10 years in microelectronic laboratories for designing low noise neural recording systems, power-aware real-time biosignal processors and closed-loop neurostimulators. Also, he was a VP of technology of a Toronto-based wearable healthcare start-up, Avertus Inc.
He received his PhD in Electrical Engineering at University of Montréal and MASc in Electrical and Computer Engineering at Concordia University, Montréal. He completed two postdoctoral fellowships, the first at University of Toronto (in vivo research) and the second at Toronto Western Hospital (clinical study). His multi-disciplinary research works published in more than 50 peer-reviewed journals, conferences and book chapters.
Victor leads the Research Platforms function tasked with sourcing and developing wirelessly-powered implantable stimulation devices and cuff electrodes for the Disease Biology and Treatment Discovery functions. He works closely with several commercial and academic partners.
Prior to Galvani Bioelectronics, while at the Huntington Medical Research Institutes, he evaluated PNS and CNS neural interfaces in various models of chronic diseases, such as infertility, bladder paralysis, bladder spasticity/hyperreflexia, hearing and vision loss, tinnitus, obstructive sleep apnea, and obesity. His PhD work at Georgetown University was on the spinal control of bladder voiding and postdoctoral work at the California Institute of Technology was on optogenetic viral vectors for neuronal stimulation.
Wendy joined GSK in 2001 after gaining her ACA qualification with PwC. She has held various positions in GSK across Corporate and R&D, including Finance Director of the Immuno-Inflammation Therapy Area unit and most recently Galvani Bioelectronics. Wendy has had extensive experience across the GSK Pharma R&D organisation as part of the finance teams in Respiratory, Biopharm and Product Development.
While in Business Development Deal Finance, Wendy led the acquisition of Cellzome and divested the Hammersmith Clinical Imaging Centre into a Public-Private partnership with the Medical Research Council and Top London Universities. She holds PhD in Molecular Biology from the University of Cambridge and an undergraduate degree in Biochemistry.
Wesley joined Galvani Bioelectronics, supporting in-house neural interfacing studies, internal laboratory operations as well as partners in the team’s external academic network. He holds a First Class honours degree in Laboratory Science providing a good foundation on which to develop this role.
Prior to Galvani Bioelectronics, he spent 10 years in research laboratory-based roles in academia before joining Glaxo Research and then SmithKline Beecham. After a period of further full time education he joined the new GSK where he worked in Safety Assessment as a Toxicology Technician focused on drug safety evaluation.
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