Meet the Team
Touchlight’s team of highly motivated and talented scientists are supported by an expert Executive Management Team and Board that brings a wealth of development, manufacturing and commercial experience from leading life sciences companies, with a particular focus on DNA-based therapeutics.
Jonny has previously held the positions of board director at Saatchi and Saatchi Advertising Ltd, Managing Director of Griffin Bacal Advertising, Chairman of the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising Society, main board director of Soho House Ltd, and founder of UK distribution company One Squared Ltd.
He also founded the UK-registered charity The Reconstruction Project.
Jonny founded Touchlight in 2007.
Leopoldo Zambeletti is an independent financial and strategic advisor in healthcare. He spent 20 years in Investment Banking, leading JPMorgan and Credit Suisse’s Healthcare Investment banking franchises before starting his independent career.
Leopoldo received a BA in Business from Bocconi Univesity in Milan. He currently sits on the boards of Philogen, Faron Pharmaceuticals, The Meatless Farm, Adler Ortho, Baccuico Ltd., DS Biopharma, Affimune and Nogra Pharma
Joining Touchlight in May 2021 as Head of HR, Janet has worked in several businesses within the biotech and medical devices sectors, establishing the HR function to support business strategy and growth.
In her most recent role Janet was HR Manager at MeiraGTx, a clinical stage gene therapy company where she led the UK HR Team through a period of rapid business expansion and change. Janet also brings HR management experience within the manufacturing sector at Keeler Ltd and healthcare services at CliniMed Ltd.
Janet is a Chartered HR Manager and has a BSc (Hons) in Chemistry from the University of Bristol.
Alistair joined Touchlight in May 2021 as Chief Financial Officer.
In his most recent role prior to joining Touchlight, Alistair served as VP of Finance for the Movianto division of Owens & Minor, a global healthcare logistics and medical supplies provider. In this role Alistair was responsible for all aspects of finance and played a lead role in the sale of the business to Walden Group in 2020.
In previous roles, Alistair held various positions of increasing responsibility at Kimberly-Clark in the UK, the Netherlands and the US. He also led Business Analysis for Halyard Health, a global manufacturer of medical supplies and devices and a spin-off of Kimberly-Clark. During that role, he was the finance leader on the management team in the successful sale of Halyard’s $1 billion Surgical & Infection Prevention business to Owens & Minor.
Alistair has a MA(Cantab) in Natural Sciences and Management Studies from the University of Cambridge.
Anjum Ahmad brings extensive insight in the UK life sciences sector having been the longstanding Group Finance Director of Touchstone Innovations Plc (formerly Imperial Innovations) – the AIM listed venture capital investor in early-stage science.
In his former role at Touchstone he was one of the four-person senior executive team, presenting over £200m of investment opportunities in the therapeutics/biotech field to the Luxembourg Board, managing the corporate finance activity for an equity raise of £250m, responsible for the finance/treasury tax operations, conducting portfolio company asset valuations, and presenting the interim/year end results alongside their CEO. He was also responsible for their I.T. and H.R. functions.
Prior to Imperial Innovations he held finance positions within a tech start-up and GSK.
Tommy has a background in molecular biology, having first received a BA in Biological Sciences, followed by a D.Phil from the University of Oxford on the topic of cell and molecular biology.
He subsequently spent 4 years in the Life Sciences team at L.E.K. Consulting where he worked extensively with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies on a broad range of commercial engagements, including corporate strategy, product strategy, commercial due diligence and valuation. Tommy joined Touchlight in 2015.
Karen began her role as Chief Executive Officer of Touchlight DNA Services in November 2020, the CDMO business forming part of the Touchlight group and is responsible for the development, manufacture and deployment of Touchlight’s proprietary dbDNA technology to customers within the gene therapy and broader healthcare markets.
In her most recent role prior to joining TDS, Karen served as President, Business Unit Head, Mammalian and Microbial Development and Manufacturing for Lonza Pharma & Biotech. This business unit enabled Lonza’s customers to successfully develop and supply new biotherapeutics for patients by employing innovation in custom development and manufacturing across multiple technologies and throughout the drug life-cycle.
Karen has worked in the CDMO area of the Life Sciences Industry for 31 years holding various roles at Celltech and Lonza leading Business Units, global Sales / Business Development, Licensing teams and Operational Quality.
Karen has a BSc (Hons) in Applied Biology
Dr Horton began her role as Chief Research Officer at Touchlight in June 2020, having worked in immune modulation and vaccine R&D for 23 years, covering all stages from discovery to early clinical development.
In her most recent role as Senior Scientific Director of Infectious Disease Molecular Immunology at Janssen Pharmaceutica (a Johnson and Johnson company) she was responsible for the development of Janssen’s DNA therapeutic vaccine for the treatment of chronic Hepatitis B infection, taking the product from initial discovery through to early clinical testing.
Prior to this role, Dr Horton worked in academia and was appointed Associate Professor at the Center for Infectious Disease Research, Seattle, WA (formerly Seattle Biomedical Research Institute), Affiliate Associate Professor at University of Washington (Seattle, WA) and Associate in Clinical Research at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (Seattle, WA).
Helen holds a PhD in Biology from the University of York.
Jill has worked for Touchlight since 2012, driving the transformation of the dbDNA technology from discovery into a robust and scalable DNA manufacturing platform, into GMP production and now supplying customers from two European sites.
In her current role, she oversees a group whose focus is to continually improve our manufacturing offering (transferring these improvements into our CDMO) and expanding the utility of dbDNA, building on our strong IP portfolio. Jill also provides development oversight to products arising from our product discovery team and heading towards clinic.
Prior to Touchlight, Jill worked in senior R&D roles, and as a consultant, in the biotech/vaccine industry, including positions at Emergent BioSolutions, Celltech-Medeva and a number of start-ups.
Jill holds a PhD in influenza research.
Bradley is the General Counsel and Chief of Staff for the Touchlight group of companies, alongside serving on the Board of Directors.
A solicitor qualified in England and Wales with a long-standing affiliation and expertise in the healthcare, pharmaceutical and biotechnology fields, Bradley has more than 20 years’ experience of structuring, negotiating and executing M&A, licensing and corporate fundraising transactions.
Bradley began his career with Linklaters, before practising for over 10 years with the market leading biotechnology and life science practices of US firms, Morrison & Foerster and Arnold & Porter.
In 2011, Bradley left multinational practice to found the highly regarded boutique transactional life science, biotechnology and pharmaceutical practice, Theobald Associates.
John spent more than 20 years as a partner at PwC UK.
He led the Global Deals Business (US 5 Billion Turnover) and sat on the Executive Board as Head of Deals with responsibility for the TS, Restructuring, Corporate Finance and Forensics businesses.
Since leaving PwC in 2017, John has engaged as a non-exec /chair of a number of Private Equity portfolio companies and has been involved as a shareholder and director in the successful sale of Pigsback.com to Secret Escapes in 2019.
He is Chairman of both C&N Sporting Risk, a tech based sports business, and Irish middle-market PE firm Renatus. John was an early investor in Touchlight and in genetics company Synpromics.
Thomas Harding is a partner at Bridford Group. He previously worked on TMT investments at Access Industries, after joining from Weil, Gotshal and Manges’ private equity department. He has an MA from the University of Cambridge and subsequently studied at City University (law) and London Business School (finance). He is currently a director of LenioBio GmbH, Grabyo Limited, Solar Foods Oy and Penfold Technology Limited and has previously been a director of Westwing Group AG, Ice Group ASA, Perform Group/DAZN, Channel 10 TV, an officer of Access Industries, Inc. and a trustee of The Blavatnik School of Government Foundation at the University of Oxford
David spent 15 years as a broker in London Insurance before he joined an international firm of strategic corporate advisors assisting companies with mainly energy-related contracts in emerging markets.
In 2001 he joined the UK corporate finance firm Axis International Limited as a partner and director. In 2005 David sold his share of Axis to concentrate on consultancy work as well as investing in exciting start-up companies mainly in the medical and biotech sectors.
David is also a director of the recently formed 1678 Society, which is a large charitable trust addressing the problems of child poverty in London.
As managing partner at Novator Partners LLP, Birgir has co-founded and served on the board of multiple successful businesses.
His main focus areas are sourcing investments, M&A, negotiations, finance, and operations. Birgir has worked across several industries including pharma, banking, gaming, telecoms and technology. Across all sectors, his passion is building new businesses and supporting founders and management teams in achieving their goals.
Currently, Birgir is a board member and leads multiple investments in the digital consumer, computer and mobile gaming and green energy spaces. These include Numan, Lockwood Publishing, Zwift, Sidekick and Klang Games. Birgir is a Harvard Law School graduate and a member of Harvard Law School European Leadership Council and the Langdell Society.
Our unique dbDNA™ technology
Our team of experts have developed an innovative and disruptive DNA manufacturing platform.Find out more