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Management Team

Clare Doris

Regional Director – Scotland

Clare joined Aquila at the point of company creation in 2011, after 13 years working in the global CRO sector (previously Quintiles and Aptuit). Along with company founders and Head of Operations (Dr Hayley Gooding), Clare built Aquila into a thriving high-growth company that is innovative and responsive to our increasing client requirements. She brings a combination of scientific insight, business acumen and leadership to the Aquila team. Now as part of Concept Life Sciences (and Spectris), Clare is responsible for Concept’s Edinburgh and Dundee sites as Regional Director for Scotland.

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Clare Doris

Dr Hayley Gooding

Head of Operations - Edinburgh

Hayley joined Aquila at its creation in 2011 as Principal Scientist, following completion of her PhD and post-doctoral roles at the University of Edinburgh. As the integral first member of the scientific team, Hayley worked closely with Steve (founder) and Clare, using her expertise to design and validate assays, build programs of work, and grow Aquila’s strong client base. Hayley now leads and manages the large Edinburgh scientific team, ensuring successful delivery and completion of client programs of work.

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Dr Hayley Gooding

Dr Justyna Rzepecka

Principal Scientist Immunology

Justyna first joined Aquila in 2014 as Senior Scientist, following completion of her PhD in Immune Regulation from the University of Warsaw and the University of Humboldt, and several post-doctoral roles exploring the therapeutic potential of small molecule drug candidates against allergic disorders and auto-immune diseases. She gained further industrial experience with Antibody Analytics as an Associate Director, before returning to Aquila in 2019 as Principal Scientist for Immunology. Justyna is leading a scientific team designing and executing novel and tailored client-led programs in immunology and Immuno-Oncology research. Justyna, Adriana and Rhoanne work closely together to support and guide new and existing clients of both Aquila and Concept Life Sciences.

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Dr Justyna Rzepecka

Dr Adriana Gambardella

Principal Scientist Immunology

Adriana joined in Aquila in 2019 as Principal Scientist for Immunology. She brings with her a wealth of academic and industry experience spanning cancer immunology and inflammation to normal and malignant haematopoietic stem cell biology. Adriana obtained her PhD in XX from EMBL in Rome and spent several years in post-doctoral roles including at the Scottish Centre for Regenerative Medicine (University of Edinburgh) and the Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine (University of Oxford) before joining Immunocore. With her molecular biology and NGS background, Adriana is growing the RNA-seq service offering at Aquila and Concept, including single cell RNA-sequencing using the 10x Genomics platform and NanoString.

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Dr Adriana Gambardella

Dr Rhoanne McPherson

Principal Scientist Immunology

Rhoanne joined Aquila as Senior Scientist in 2017, advancing to Principal Scientist in 2020. Prior to joining Aquila, she obtained her PhD in Immunology from the University of Edinburgh and spent several years as a post-doctoral scientist in Steve’s academic group focussing on T cell activation, tolerance and phenotype, within the context of autoimmune disease. Throughout her time at Aquila, Rhoanne’s main areas of interest have been immuno-oncology and autoimmune inflammation, and she is actively involved in taking forward Aquila’s innovative platform of in vitro and in vivo assays to accelerate discovery for clients in these areas. She now leads a team of Senior Scientists and Scientists to support Aquila and Concept’s clients.

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Dr Rhoanne McPherson

Dr Sivan Bokobza

Principal Scientist Histology

Sivan joined Aquila in 2019 as Principal Scientist for Histology. She has an extensive background in Cancer Biology and more than 7 years specialising in specialist histology, molecular biology, and NanoString. Sivan completed her PhD in prostate cancer at Cardiff University, and brings with her a blend of post-doctoral and industry experience, with key highlights from the University of Oxford, AstraZeneca and Immunocore. She leads a team of histologists at Aquila, providing scientific oversight and ensuring commercially applicable programs of work for our histology clients. Sivan supports and scientifically leads new and existing clients through their histology work with Aquila and Concept Life Sciences.

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Dr Sivan Bokobza

Dr Maqsood Ahmed

Principal Scientist Neuroscience

Max joined Aquila in 2019 as Principal Scientist for Neuroscience. He obtained his PhD from University College London (UCL) and has several years post-doctoral experience in the Netherlands and at the MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Edinburgh. Max has extensive expertise in developmental and regenerative neuroscience with a particular focus on human stem cell models of neurodegeneration. Max now provides scientific leadership, oversight and support to all neuroscience client programs for Aquila and Concept as well as leading a scientific team.

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Dr Maqsood Ahmed

Professor Stephen Anderton

Senior Scientific Advisor

Steve founded Aquila in 2011 and, as CSO, built the company to acquisition by Concept Life Sciences in 2017. He is Senior Scientific Advisor across Concept, combining this with his role as Professor of Therapeutic Immunology at the University of Edinburgh, where he is an investigator at the MRC Centre for Inflammation Research and the Cancer Research UK Edinburgh Centre. Steve is an internationally leading immunologist, with 120+ publications on T cell activation, T cell tolerance, Treg biology and immunotherapy of inflammatory disease and cancer. This founding expertise enables Aquila’s and Concept’s scientific team to deliver our innovative biology platforms.

Professor Stephen Anderton
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