LifeArc bolsters scientific leadership by appointing new Chief Scientific Officer

Welcome to Dr Dave Powell, who has joined LifeArc as our first Chief Scientific Officer (CSO).  Dave is an experienced scientist and leader, with exceptional translational knowledge and a fresh perspective who will accelerate our commitment to make life science life changing.

LifeArc’s new CSO role will sit on the Executive team and have full accountability for the deployment of all scientific resources to achieve our goal of translating novel science into products for patients.

This ambition is especially critical in the changing translation landscape in life sciences, with the integration of drugs, diagnostics, devices and digital technologies to the fight against human disease.

Dave will play a key role in driving our new 2030 strategy, which we launched in November 2021.

Under Dave’s leadership, LifeArc will accelerate innovation with partners, have access to expertise across a range of modalities, and drive new ideas and discoveries out of the lab and towards the clinic where they can benefit patients.

“I’m really thrilled to be joining LifeArc,” says Dave. “The job aligns so well with my experience in industry and working in academic collaborations, and to what I want to do in my career. I can bring everything I have learned over 27 years in the industry to bear in this role.”

An experienced scientist and leader

As an experienced translational leader, Dave brings wide-ranging expertise in precompetitive proof of concept work, preclinical discovery and clinical development, gained throughout his career working in and with industry, biotech and academia.

He brings insight that will be crucial for LifeArc to work with other organisations and bridge the gap between different sectors to drive research from the bench to the bedside. This work will be crucial for our translational challenges to succeed.

Most recently he was Chief Scientific Officer at Summit Therapeutics in Oxford, leading preclinical research activities and the clinical research programme for their phase lll antibiotic. Trained originally as a microbiologist, he joined SmithKline Beecham after completing his PhD in viral biochemistry at Cardiff University, and stayed with the organisation through its merger with GlaxoWellcome in 2000. He held senior director roles in GSK and led the Crick- GSK Biomedical LinkLabs collaboration.

Driving new ideas

“Having the best people with translational knowledge is vital for us,” explains our CEO, Dr Melanie Lee. “Dave is an experienced translational science leader who fully understands and embraces the range of options we can use to treat disease.”

“He brings all his preclinical experience, a fresh perspective, and a broad knowledge of the changing landscape in translation,” explains Melanie. “He will link our scientific groups across LifeArc to fully support our strategy.”

“I am absolutely delighted to see Dave join and fill this really important new Chief Scientific Officer role at this time of transformational change for the charity.”

“I am really looking forward to having scientific discussions with my new colleagues of all levels,” says Dave. “I want to work with them to really help to evolve the science, to take forward new ideas and innovations. You can never stay still. I want to support LifeArc to make a difference for patients, be ahead in the sector and the go-to organisation for academia and others to work with.”

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