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Entrepreneurial Postdocs of Cambridge

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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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.


Dr. Ioana Valea- Head of sponsorship

Ioana has a doctorate in plant sciences and is working as a Research Associate at the Sainsbury Laboratory Cambridge University. In her current project, she is thriving to further our knowledge in the field of phytohormones in different plant species like strawberries, rice, barley etc. by using certain optogenetic tools bioengineered in her current laboratory. Previous to moving to Cambridge, she obtained her PhD from the University of Tokyo, where she lived for nearly six years working on jasmonic acid mediated defence mechanisms in rice. She is enthusiastic about bringing Academia members closer to the industry and help build a lasting bridge between them.

Crina Samarghitean

Dr Crina Samarghitean

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, 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 wanted to bring this experience to EPOC where she occupied the role of Head of Marketing & Communications.


Srishti Gupta

Srishti Gupta

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 acted  president of the society in 2018. involved in Postdoc Consulting Scheme and Postdoc Business Plan Competition (BPC). 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. 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.


Hakan Bagci

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 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 joined the Entrepreneurial Postdocs of Cambridge (EPOC) society in 2016 as the Higher-education and Enterprise Alliance for entrepreneurial Postdoc Pathways (HEAPP) leader, where his role was to build a solid European-wide entrepreneurial network.

Kasia Ladds

Kasia Ladds

Kasia Ladds is a Marketing and Comms Associate, focused on helping Cambridge Enterprise engage with the University’s academic partners and providing marketing and communications support. Previously, Kasia served as a Communications Co-ordinator at Cambridge Assessment where she did copywriting, editing and editorial administration. A graduate of the University of Kent, Kasia earned a Masters of Creative Writing in 2012.




Hervé Vaultrin

Hervé Vaultrin - Treasurer

Hervé’s background and experiences are related to accountancy and finance. He has worked for 11 years in the French workers cooperative's network, as a senior business advisor, where he was responsible for the development of workers cooperatives for the East of France. His duties were to supervise a portfolio of 60 cooperatives across a number of business sectors (monitoring activities, providing advice to the CEO and shareholders) and to help employees from “classical” businesses to save their jobs by buying out their companies and creating a cooperative (He carried out projects in business transfer and business recovery from start to finish). He recently moved to the UK, and after being a volunteer at the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs (OPdA) and for EPOC, he is now a member of the finance team of the Stem Cell Institute.

Julia Tischler

Dr Julia Tischler - Business Competition Team Leader

Julia is especially interested in technology development within the life sciences, with the benefit of improved human health.
Following a PhD at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Molecular Biology in 2008, Julia joined California Institute of Technology as a Postdoctoral Associate investigating stem cell behaviour. In 2011 she arrived in Cambridge, at the Gurdon Institute focusing on changes in stem cell metabolism and cell cycle dynamics as ‘drivers’ for stem cell differentiation. 
She has recently been a Finalist in the first-ever Cambridge Postdoc Business Plan Competition presenting an automated Fluidic Stem Cell Culture system. 
Outside the Lab, she is concerned with environmental conservation and she has been working part-time as a Team Leader for Fundraising for the World Wild Fund for Nature (WWF) for many years.


Sanjay Ghosh


Dr Sanjay Ghosh

Sanjay is a Research Associate at the Department of Biochemistry studying gene expression using genome-wide approaches. After completing PhD in India, he taught undergraduate courses in Biotechnology as Lecturer. During his postdoc at EMBL Heidelberg and McGill University, Sanjay worked on RNA transport and translation control mechanisms using multidisciplinary approaches. He further established a CRISPR-based method to knock down non-coding RNAs at the Oxford University. Sanjay is particularly interested in functional genomics and translational science. He joined EPOC to learn about, and help disseminate the opportunities to develop entrepreneurial skills as well as explore academia-industry partnerships.


Sumita Chakraborty


Dr Sumita Chakraborty

Sumita studies intracellular calcium signalling at the Department of Pharmacology. She has earned her PhD in Life Sciences from Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, India. She enjoys the interdisciplinary and cross-cultural environment of Cambridge; the wide range of activities offers a perfect platform for personal and professional development. Outside lab she participates in hillwalking trips, science outreach (as STEM ambassador), interdisciplinary journal clubs and curating ideas for The Wilberforce Society (UK's largest student think-tank). With EPOC, she is keen to explore challenges and opportunities that are particularly not presented to postdocs in an academic setting.


Bruno Frka-Petesic


Dr Bruno Frka-Petesic

Bruno Frka-Petesic has got a soft matter physics background and he is currently a postdoctoral research associate in the dept. of Chemistry. After defending his PhD thesis in the University Paris 6 (Pecsa lab) focused on magnetic colloidal self-assembly, he worked on cellulose nanocrystal-based systems in the Research centre for plant macromolecules (Cermav) in Grenoble, France. Then, he joined the Biophysical chemistry group of ENS in Paris where he worked on prevention of colloidal clustering of therapeutic proteins, in close collaboration with industrials. Since he joined Vignolini group in Cambridge, Bruno’s current research deals with self-assembly mechanisms occurring at the nanoscale under a variety of physical and chemical conditions, especially in order to induce structural colours in the final sample, which are of particular interest to industrials as chemical-free, biosourced and comestible coloured coatings. His main motivation in joining EPOC is that entrepreneurship options among post-docs are still poorly understood, and many post-docs would benefit of such insight, whatever the career pathway they will finally choose to follow.


Thomas Meany


Dr Thomas Meany

Currently an Interdisciplinary Research Fellow studying synthetic biology hosted jointly in the Departments of Plant Sciences and Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology. Thomas trained as a physicist, with PhD research focused on the design of lightwave circuits for applications in quantum information science. This led to a Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Toshiba Cambridge Research Labs where Thomas began engaging with the biological sciences. His current role involves collaboration across the university to help apply physical, engineering and computing techniques to biological challenges.


Pooya Ghaderi


Dr Pooya Ghaderi

Pooya is a research associate in the dynamics and vibrations lab in the Engineering department of the University of Cambridge. He got a PhD of Mechanical Engineering from Rice University in Houston, TX. His area of expertise is vibrations, wave propagation, and micro-resonators. After graduation, he worked in the Oil and Gas industry as a structural analyst for about two years. His interest in working independently and developing technology made him decide to go back to Academia. Because of his passion in commercializing university research Pooya joined EPOC as sponsorship lead in order to work with the industry and the businesses who are interested to cooperate with or sponsor EPOC.


Atefeh Amin


Dr Atefeh Amin

Atefeh is a Research Associate in the Optoelectronics Group at the Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge, with a research focus on flexible low voltage complementary circuits. Atefeh’s other research interests include self assembled monolayers, interface engineering of organic semiconductors and process optimisation. She is working under the supervision of Professor Sirringhaus on the EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing for Large Area Electronics. She has worked with several startups including Plastic Logic, Ras, Parssaman, and Tosan-Kishware.


Martin Sewell


Dr Martin Sewell

Martin Sewell has a BSc (Hons) in Mathematics from the University of Bristol, an MSc in Computing Science from Birkbeck College, University of London, and pursued a PhD on the application of intelligent systems to financial time series analysis in the Department of Computer Science at UCL (University College London). At the University of Cambridge he worked as a Senior Research Associate for two and a half years at the Cambridge Centre for Climate Change Mitigation Research (4CMR), Department of Land Economy, as a Supervisor for two terms teaching maths and econometrics for the Faculty of Economics and for the Centre for Risk Studies at Judge Business School working on their Supply Chain Project, and is due to start working as a Supervisor at the Computer Laboratory. He has also worked for numerous hedge funds, including Quant Capital, where he led the research office in Cambridge.