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Current Members

EPOC Membership 



Srishti Gupta


Dr Srishti Gupta - President

Srishti has been working as a Post-doc at the Department of Veterinary Medicine since 2014 and her current research focuses on understanding dynamics of gut microbiome and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) gene transfer. She has been an EPOC member for past two years and actively involved in Postdoc Consulting Scheme and Postdoc Business Plan Competition (BPC). She served as an invited judge for the Business Postdoc Competition 2016 organised by Cambridge Enterprise. She has also been actively involved in the Departments’ Post-doc committee since formation. Srishti completed her doctorate degree at the University’s Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology following an undergraduate degree in Biotechnology from Bangalore, India. She has been a recipient of multiple awards for academic excellence and leadership skills while studying in India. During her Postdoc, she completed a consulting project for a life-sciences start-up company.  Outside of work, she likes teaching children in under-developed areas of India over VoIP-based applications for a social enterprise, eVidyaloka, based in India. She is passionate about using scientific expertise and interest in entrepreneurship to create a difference in the world and increase representation of women in STEM and entrepreneurship.

Tom Simmons


Dr Tom Simmons - Chairman

Tom is an RSE Enterprise Fellow in the Biochemistry Department in Cambridge and a GFC Fellow in Innovation & Entrepreneurship at the World Economic Forum. His research is focused on enzymes for biofuel production, as part of a pan-European industrial-academic collaboration, during which he has published papers in top-tier journals including Nature Chemical Biology and Nature Communications. Tom is co-author of an enzyme patent and has appeared as a scientific expert on Sky News and Channel 4 television. He is passionate about using scientific advances and expertise to make a difference in the world.

Asha Recino


Dr Asha Recino – Advisory Consultant

Asha is a cell biologist with a particular interest in immuno-based pathologies, such as Type 1 diabetes, and cancer immunotherapy. Asha carried out her Marie Curie fellowship-funded doctoral work at the University of Bath where she elucidated how a specific Ras-associated protein can compromise cell division and possibly cancer. Through her postdoctoral research at the Department of Pathology in Cambridge she has expanded her area of expertise in immunology and is keen to identify novel therapeutic targets that contribute to the understanding and improved treatment of autoimmunity and cancer. She is also collaborating with researchers at the Cavendish Laboratory to develop novel nanotechnology-based biosensors. Asha sees EPOC as a fantastic way to forge collaborations, develop entrepreneurial skills, and be part of a multidisciplinary network.
Asha has been Executive Secretary of the society from December 2015 till October 2017. 

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Dr Hakan Bagci - Head of Finance

Hakan is a postdoctoral scientist at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge UK, where his research is focused on synthetic biology, genetic code expansion systems and genetic engineering. Following a Master's degree on functional genetics in Strasbourg, Hakan completed his PhD studies on stem cell biology and epigenetic reprogramming at Imperial College London, during which he co-authored in research articles and reviews published in peer-reviewed top tier journals including Cell, Molecular Cell, Cell Stem Cell and Nature Communications. During his PhD research, he spent time as a visiting scientist in Zurich and Singapore. Outside his research, Hakan is keenly exploring the rapidly expanding business scene in Cambridge, is organising events to bridge academia, industry, and investors, is taking courses on fundamentals of business thinking, and is conducting consultancy work in life sciences; he believes that creativity, collaboration, and communication are keys to success. Hakan has recently joined the Entrepreneurial Postdocs of Cambridge (EPOC) society as the Higher-education and Enterprise Alliance for entrepreneurial Postdoc Pathways (HEAPP) leader, where his role is to ensure an open communication amongst partner societies and businesses for the delivery of a solid European-wide entrepreneurial network.


Ankita Singhal


Dr Ankita Singhal - Head of Operations

Ankita is a structural biologist with a keen interest in translational biology. She graduated from ETH, Zurich and Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee. Her graduate studies project has already enabled efficient drug designing for retinitis pigmentosa, a form of hereditary night blindness and currently the project has reached at a stage of drug screening in collaboration with Roche, Basel. She is currently a post-doc at Laboratory of Molecular Biology and working on a pharmacologically interesting class of membrane proteins to understand ligand binding and their downstream signaling mechanism. Apart from scientific research, she is quite enthusiastic about social entrepreneurship and human centered problem solving. She is still exploring the basics of a successful transition to an entrepreneurial world that includes both commercial and social ventures.



Inky Gibbens - Head of Business and Entrepreneurial Awareness

 Inky Gibbens grew up in a yurt just outside Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. She studied languages and language endangerment at Leeds, Glasgow, Aberdeen universities & started her part-time PhD in Linguistics at SOAS, University of London, while working in a few London based EdTech startups. However, she quickly became disillusioned with academia and working long hours to build someone else’s dream, so she took the inevitable plunge and founded Tribalingual to tackle the big social issue that motivates her - that of language and cultural loss around the world.

At EPOC, Inky is responsible for organising inspiring events to further motivate postdocs to take the entrepreneurial plunge, to found companies that have the potential to change the world.



Crina Samarghitean


Dr Crina Samarghitean - Head of Marketing & Communications

With an extensive training and practical experience in medicine, medical informatics, bioinformatics, epidemiology, public health, data management, teaching, mentoring, leadership, digital health and medical services, Crina enjoys developing big teams of people to be the best version of themselves. She produced more than 80 publications, public lectures, conference presentations and art&science exhibitions. She received 23 publications, poster and travel awards and in 2011 and she represented Finland in the 61st Nobel Lindau meeting meeting 23 Nobel laureates and the best young researchers in the world.
Prior to joining the University of Cambridge as a research associate, Crina was involved in organizing events in academia and non-academia starting from workshops to international conferences (SLUSH) in medicine and bioinformatics to sportive events like the European Youth Olympic Games. Crina finds participating to these events very inspiring and she wants to bring this experience to EPOC and Cambridge area.




Dr Ashutosh Trehan - Head of Training

Ashutosh is responsible for organising courses and training sessions that imparts business and entrepreneurial skills to the Cambridge postdocs. He has been a part EPOC since Summer 2017. He provides key inputs to tailor the development of business courses for postdocs to partner institutions such as Cambridge Judge Business School. He is currently a postdoc at MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology and did his PhD from University of Turku, Finland.





Ghina Halabi


Dr Ghina Halabi - Policy & Advocacy Interim Advisor

Ghina is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Institute of Astronomy and a Junior Research Fellow at Wolfson College. She is strategically involved in postdoc academic and social welfare issues as University Representation & Policy Officer in the Postdocs of Cambridge Society, and as co-chair and founding member of the Astronomy Postdoc committee.
She is the first person to obtain a PhD in Astrophysics from a Lebanese institution, the American University of Beirut, where she worked as a lecturer before coming to Cambridge. Her research investigates the lives of stars and the formation of the chemical elements in the Universe. She is a mentor, educator, TEDx speaker and a published scholar. She is an invited speaker and panellist at international astronomy conferences and interdisciplinary forums. As a member of the United Nations Space for Women Project, she advocates gender equality and female representation in STEM and the space sector though various social ventures. She frequently engages in outreach including the Cambridge Science Festival.



Claudio Dagostin


Dr Claudio Dagostin -  Advisory Consultant

Born in Rome, Italy, Claudio Dagostin got his PhD in Chemistry (Mechanisms of Organic Reactions) from the University «La Sapienza» in 2000. After a short, but inspiring experience at GSK in Stevenage in 2001, he went for a post-doc at Imperial College London where he worked on Alzheimer's disease chemical probes. In 2004, he started working in several companies in the Cambridge biotech cluster (i.e. Domainex and Astex Pharmaceuticals) where he deepened his knowledge in Medicinal Chemistry and in Fragment Based Drug Design. In 2012 he went back to academia at Cambridge University where he investigated challenging drug targets such as protein-protein interactions. He is currently working at Abzena plc, a life sciences specialised CRO as business development associate. He is a happy father of two children: Romeo (13) and Ariane (10).

Claudio co-founded EPOC in 2015 to support postdocs in their pursuit of entrepreneurial careers. Following his role as the Society's Networking and Communication leader, Claudio now acts as an advisor to the Committee on various subjects.


Neil Rzechorzek


Dr Neil Rzechorzek - Advisory Chairperson

Neil joined the Department of Biochemistry (Cambridge) as a Postdoc in 2008, following a PhD in Biochemistry and Biophysics at the Institute of Cancer Research (University of London). His research uses structural and biophysical methods to investigate metazoan DNA repair and replication mechanisms.

Outside the lab, Neil has a keen interest in the translation of ideas between the academic and private sectors. During his first year in Cambridge he was appointed as a Business Fellow for the London Technology Network, with the remit of fostering new collaborations between the University and SMEs. He subsequently spent two years as a member of CUTEC (Cambridge University Technology and Enterprise Club), acting as Director of Development in 2012. In recent years he has undertaken a range of consultancy work for companies operating in the biotechnology / life sciences sectors.

Neil co-founded EPOC in 2015 to support postdocs in their pursuit of entrepreneurial careers. Following his role as the Society's inaugural President, Neil now provides strategic guidance to the Committee as it seeks to expand on EPOC's range of events and initiatives.



Past members