Our Team

Our Team

ImmuONE is only as good as the people who run it! At the heart of ImmuONE is our unique team. We are alveolar
experts that think innovatively, identify problems and come up with creative solutions. We’re laser focused on helping our clients to reach their goals and use our in vitro lung models to address research questions and to conduct top-of-the-range human-relevant risk assessments. Here’s a little bit about us:

Board of Directors

Dr Abigail Martin

Co-founder, Director and CEO

As a qualified horse-riding instructor my experience with horses, their incurred injuries, and diseases spurred my curiosity to understand biology for enhanced quality of life in animals. With a Biotechnology degree from the National University of Ireland, Galway, a research position in Canada allowed me to combine my knowledge of equines and science exploring reproductive toxicology, where we identified translatable results to early-stage pregnancies in women. I embarked on a Masters in Toxicology and with an interest in learning about clinical toxicology. Employed and mentored by a hospital consultant. I learnt first-hand the challenges scientists and clinicians face when comparing animal studies to humans.

Knowing there had to be a better approach to understanding the toxic effects of chemicals on humans, it was during this time I met Victoria. Our scientific visions were ... closely aligned, and she became my PhD supervisor. At the University of Hertfordshire, I developed a human in vitro model of the lower airways, reducing animal use for testing purposes. In the final year of my PhD, an opportunity to validate my technology's commercial needs came about through the ICURe (Innovation to Commercialisation of University Research) programme. I began the career change of a lifetime becoming an entrepreneur, starting up the company ImmuONE™, building ImmuONE's incredible team and driving its mission and goals. No two days are the same, and I enjoy it! When I am not working for ImmuONE™, I love to visit my family and friends in Ireland. In more recent times, I mentor budding entrepreneurs on innovation programmes and, at home, enjoy upcycling furniture, gardening and cooking.

Prof Victoria Hutter

Co-founder, Director and CSO

I initially trained as a pharmacist in 2005, went on to qualify in 2006 and worked as a hospital pharmacist. However, my placements in early drug development in the pharmaceutical industry inspired me to get into research so in 2007 I returned to the University of Nottingham to begin a PhD in the newly formed Doctoral Training Centre in Targeted Therapeutics funded by the EPSRC and AstraZeneca. My work focused on developing and characterising human cell models of the lungs.

I joined the University of Hertfordshire as an academic in the Pharmacy department working my way up from Lecturer to Professor of in vitro toxicology in 2023. It is here where I established my own independent research team and secured over £7M funding in topical drug delivery and toxicology, ... developing new innovations and IP in novel human cell culture models and techniques as alternatives to animal testing. I co-founded ImmuONE™ in 2019 with Abigail after a successful Innovation to Commercialisation of University Research (ICURe) programme which allowed us to accelerate our human in vitro immunocompetent lung models to market. My role as Chief Scientific Officer spans the scientific and commercial aspects of the company. It’s an exciting role where no two days are the same and it’s great working with a passionate and dedicated team. Outside of work, I have three small children and a few dozen chickens, six quails, two ducks and a goose. I’m also a keen musician, play piano, violin and harp, and sing everything from barbershop to opera.

Kevin Causey

Director and Chairman

Mr. Causey graduated from North Carolina State University in Raleigh NC receiving his BSc in Biological Sciences and MBA from Pfeiffer University in Misenheimer NC. In 2019, he cofounded Predictive, LLC, a UNC-CH startup to commercialise computational technologies developed in Dr. Alex Tropsha’s academic laboratory. In the past he has served as the Vice President of Business Development for MatTek Life Sciences a BICO company, and has performed similar roles at ScitoVation, and Integrated Laboratory Systems. He is passionate about the elimination of animal studies in research and development and Predictive, LLC’s mission to use artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques to understand how pharmaceuticals, chemicals, and personal care products ... affect people. In his personal time, he enjoys golf, fishing, attending sporting events and travelling with his family.

Hannah Tapsell

Director

Hannah Tapsell Chapman is an investor at Mercia Ventures, one of the UK’s most active venture capital firms. With almost a decade of experience working with early-stage companies, Hannah has a wealth of knowledge on how to commercialise innovations, scale up operations, and raise capital to fund future growth. Hannah joined Mercia Ventures in September 2022 and focuses on high-growth businesses in the Midlands. Before joining Mercia, Hannah worked in the venture-building team at the Ministry of Defence, advising founders on commercialising their innovations and raising investment. ...She started her career at the London Stock Exchange Group, where she held several roles across Capital Markets.

Dr Richard Weaver

Director

Richard played a pivotal role in the success of XenoGesis, a leading DMPK (Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics) provider in the UK. His scientific rationale, business acumen, and entrepreneurial vision led the company to become the largest independent DMPK provider, working on nine compounds across various therapeutic indications that reached clinical trials. After organically growing the company and leading its sale to Sygnature Discovery in 2020, Richard transitioned to a new role focused on bridging the gap between discovery and development within Sygnature.

With over 26 years of experience and a strong educational background in chemistry, Richard is dedicated to supporting businesses and drug discovery. He has provided consultancy support since 1997 and aims to leverage his business experience, chemistry knowledge, and extensive R&D background to contribute to Drug Discovery Solutions, a platform he established. ... Richard's career includes positions at Astra Charnwood and AstraZeneca, and he has consistently demonstrated a passion for creating opportunities and supporting the scientific community. Recognized as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry in 2014, Richard contributes to the field through lectures and publications. His strategic insight, energy, and commitment to improvement make him a valuable resource for drug hunters and investors seeking guidance and advice.

Matt Green

Finance Director

Ex-practice accountant working with business owners for the past 10 years producing timely and accurate interim financial reports. Ability to improve financial information, present the data clearly and present/discuss the information across different levels. Liaison to year end accountants and tax advisors preparing for and sharing concise data as required and necessary. When I am not crunching numbers I am usually on a family adventure or out running. ...She started her career at the London Stock Exchange Group, where she held several roles across Capital Markets.

Science Team

Dr Ewelina Hoffman

Lead Innovation Scientist

My expertise is focused on in vitro biological modelling for respiratory diseases, alveolar cell-to-cell signaling and interactions, and in vitro toxicity testing. Before joining ImmuONE, I was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Hertfordshire working on the development and validation of multi-parameter high-content assays to investigate alveolar macrophage responses to different stimuli.

At ImmuONE, I am a Principal Lead Scientist. I use my laboratory skills and expertise to develop and validate our current products portfolio and improve safety testing of new molecules by using high-throughput techniques. I also have a great passion for innovation that would help to comply with the 3Rs principles (replacement, ... reduction and refinement of animal research)

Outside ImmuONE, I stay active and always try to find time to be close to nature by hiking, climbing or sailing

Joanne Kelsall

Lead Commercial Scientist

At ImmuONE, I am the Lead Commercial Scientist. My role includes leading and expanding the portfolio of in vitro services offered at ImmuONE, scheduling the laboratory operations and being a study lead for customer projects.

I started my career as a cell culture technician before starting a family and switching careers. I spent several years working as a conveyancer and studying law before ultimately deciding that I wanted to return to science. Before joining ImmuONE, I worked for 13 years at a large CRO in a variety of roles, from clinical pathology lab analyst to working on a business project to implement new management methodologies and operating tools to spending 8 years as a GLP study director specialising in in vitro assays and microbiology. As a study director, I validated and ... performed skin irritation/corrosion/sensitisation assays, eye irritation assays, endocrine disruption assays, virology work, and some microbiological work. I was a participant in the JRC’s EURL ECVAM validation of the AR-CALUX assay, which led to its addition to the OECD TG458 and got involved in bringing changes and improvements to other OECD guidelines.

I first collaborated with ImmuONE in 2020, acting as the subject matter expert in the industry for the OECD TG455 ERTA assay. While collaborating with ImmuONE, I was inspired by their drive and enthusiasm to work towards making more animal-free assays and providing human-relevant models to answer scientific questions.

I obtained a BSc (Hons) in Science from the Open University in 2018, which I studied alongside being a full-time study director, and I am currently working towards completing an MSc in Clinical Microbiology at the University of Nottingham.

Outside work, I have two teenage children, an elderly ex-laboratory beagle called Lola, and two rescue cats, Poppy and Suki. I enjoy baking, sewing, and spending time outside in nature.

Dr Rhamiya Mahendran

Manufacturing Lead Scientist 

My journey in toxicology research started during my PhD heightened my passion for scientific investigation. In 2021, I had the privilege of participating in an 8-week market validation program with ImmuONE, which proved to be an invaluable experience in understanding the commercialization of research and identifying knowledge gaps in the field.

Prior to that, I had the pleasure of collaborating with ImmuONE, on patent portfolio development, working alongside a team of exceptionally talented scientists. I am currently working as a Lead Manufacturing scientist, working to contribute to ImmuONE's growth and success. In my leisure time, I indulge in the joys of cooking diverse dishes, singing, immersing myself in music, and embarking on thrilling travel adventures.

Dr Jatin Verma

Senior Scientist

I completed my PhD in 2015 within the DNA Damage and Cancer Research Group at Swansea University. Since then, I have pursued a career in genetic toxicology and have worked as a postdoctoral researcher officer at Swansea University and as a study director in industry.

As a pre-clinical toxicologist, I have mastered platforms approved by regulators to assess an agent’s ability to induce gene mutation and chromosomal aberrations in mammalian cells. Besides this, I have successfully validated various automated in vitro screening platforms routinely used for screening ... potent DNA-damaging agents.

My hobbies include playing cricket at a professional level, golf, darts, and powerlifting in the gym.

Brendon Ghiot

Senior Scientist

After graduating with a BSc in Biomedical Sciences, with Molecular Biology and Microbiology, I jumped straight into my scientific career. I have spent the past six years developing my skills and knowledge base. 

Most recently, I spent 4 years working in Cell and Gene Therapy, developing, and optimising cellular-based assays, focusing on improving overall efficacy and decreasing labor time; I also worked in the Quality Control department, for the test and release of clinical trial drug products, under GMP regulations.

As a Senior Research and Development Scientist, I hope to bring value to the team at ... ImmuONE by leading new and exciting projects to expand the analytical testing portfolio and identify potential targets. I will endeavor to consistently look for ways to improve the methods currently being run and to develop new ways of testing by introducing novel technologies and techniques.

I love having the ability to develop my scientific skillset further and utilising that knowledge when developing assays; the encouragement I have already felt from ImmuONE to do precisely that is amazing.

In my spare time, I either head to the gym, hike with friends, or tend my houseplants and watch a terrible movie.

Amjad Saeed

Production Scientist/PhD

Prior to joining ImmuONE™ I spent several years working as a locum pharmacist, working regularly at a handful of pharmacies in the London area. Before that, as part of my final year MPharm project, I spent several weeks in a cell culture lab assessing the cytotoxicity of resveratrol analogues against A549 cells.

My work primarily involves the characterisation of cells to widen our understanding of how to best use them, as well as in implementing GLP policies at ImmuONE™. The return to the lab has been fantastic, where I enjoy being able to apply problem solving skills and direct my curiosities on furthering our understanding of the cells....

Similarly, I enjoy the team led element, and the challenges of implementation, with regards to GLP.

I enjoy the art of the beard and learning as much about the world as possible, from the history of various cultures to the natural world.

Elinda Zeqiri

Scientist/PhD

Prior to commencing my Ph.D. program at the University of Hertfordshire, I worked as a pharmacist. However, working as a visiting lecturer at the same university, I rediscovered my passion for tackling challenging problems that demand innovative solutions.

Fueled by a profound curiosity to deepen my understanding of cell biology, I transitioned back to research. My focus centered on exploring thermo-responsive polymers as potential candidates for constructing 3D models for cell culturing. Specifically, my research aimed to assess the biocompatibility of thermo-responsive gels for the development of immunocompetent cell models of the lung.

Throughout my research, I discerned the benefits of employing synthetic polymers in medical applications and their potential to replace gels of animal origin. This substitution not only reduces... reliance on animal products but also aligns with the principles of the 3Rs (Replacement, Reduction, Refinement).

Joining the ImmuONE team presented a fantastic opportunity for me, and I am committed to substantially contributing to the field of science while adding value to the ImmuONE team. Outside of my professional pursuits, I am a parent to three children, and together, we actively engage in outdoor activities such as watching films and baking.

Chris Gibbs

Laboratory Technician

I feel I’ve always been a bit of a science nerd, especially since taking on the three sciences during my A Levels. After school, I wasn’t sure where I was headed. Adamant that I didn’t want to go to university I instead went straight into whatever work I could get for a year and a half. During this time, I considered my love of astronomical and space science and decided to throw myself into a Physics degree at the University of Kent. Unfortunately, my over eagerness came back to bite me, as after my foundation year I discovered that the course did not have the kind of content I had been expecting of it, and I decided to de-register. I took some time to myself to instead pursue a more creative writing aspect of my life, which was ironically aided by the pandemic and subsequent lockdown.

I’ve since joined ImmuONE™ as a Laboratory Technician and am excited... to be working in such an inviting and innovative environment. My role varies from supporting the science team in developing their experimental studies to many different aspects of cell culture.

In my free time I’m an avid gamer, a lover of learning about cutting edge scientific discoveries and spending time creating my own fictional universe.

Business Team

Katie Collier

Business Manager

At ImmuONE, my role as Business Manager is mostly focused on day-to-day business operations which includes implementing processes, finance & business analysis and managing the sales & business support teams.

I have over 12 years' experience managing and mentoring teams and individuals. My background is very varied, working with clients for event management, project management, business consulting, compliance and account management.

I set up my own business after having my 2nd son, ... mainly helping startup businesses launch their business from implementing and training on software, time management skills, day to day accounting, compliance and on-going advice and support.

I am also an ISO 9001 internal auditor, Xero Certified Advisor and currently studying my final unit to qualify as a Level 2 trained Counsellor.

In my spare time I love learning new languages, travelling, painting, scuba diving, horse riding, roller skating and entertaining my 2 sons!

Dr Louis Scott

Commercial Lead

Ever since I was young, I have been intimately fascinated by the world around me. This curiosity led me to complete a degree in biochemistry so I could start to understand the mechanisms that dictate how life is able to form and develop. My final-year dissertation project introduced me to the captivating world of immune system biology. It thus steered my trajectory into a PhD project investigating the metabolism of innate immune cells at the University of Bristol. This research uncovered exciting information about how immune cells, including macrophages, preferentially change their "diet" when experiencing stress (#relatable) to support best destroying pathogens and alerting our bodies to danger.

I joined ImmuONE because I believe in the need for robust, ... animal-free, and human-relevant models in toxicity testing. Furthermore, as an immunologist by trade, I believe that exploring the modulation of macrophage biology in commercial testing is pivotal for understanding important aspects of how our lungs and bodies are affected by inhaled compounds. Immune cells are our "knights in shining armor" when it comes to protecting our bodies, and by that logic, ensuring their health is incredibly important.

While I am deeply invested in the science that governs our products, my true passion stems from assisting others in their scientific journeys with ImmuONE, supporting client needs, and assisting in study design. In my role at ImmuONE, I am fortunate to be able to meet researchers and clients from all around the world, gain an understanding of each customer’s unique requirements and challenges, and work with all areas of the organisation to try and develop resolutions for them.

Outside of ImmuONE, I am a keen surfer and can often be found cruising down the faces of beautiful turquoise waves on the north coast of Cornwall. My other interests include playing bass in an indie rock band with my friends and learning new languages (I am currently trying to learn European Portuguese).

Nilab Haydare

Business Development & Events Coordinator 

I obtained a BSc in Pharmaceutical Science from the University of Hertfordshire, where my academic journey included a dissertation project focused on cell transporter function in alveolar cell lines, supervised by Prof Victoria Hutter. During the summer of 2019, I secured a studentship from Animal Free Research UK, leading an eight-week research aimed at developing an in vitro eye model under the guidance of Dr Ewelina Hoffman. These experiences greatly influenced my keen interest in research and development and biotechnology.

My professional journey led me to Thermo Fisher Scientific, where I acquired valuable industry skills and expertise. Reflecting on my enjoyment of previous research projects, ... particularly my dissertation and the AFRUK summer project on cell culture, motivated me to join ImmuONE as a Pre-Clinical Scientist. In this role, I engaged in commercial projects, led R&D initiatives, and supervised interns and students. The exposure to conferences and the opportunity to share my scientific work sparked a profound interest in business and networking. Two years later, I transitioned to the role of Business Development and Events Coordinator at ImmuONE, where I am excited to contribute to events, sales, marketing, social media management, and other impactful activities. I look forward to applying, learning, and growing alongside ImmuONE's expansion in the coming years.

My hobbies include playing badminton, dancing, traveling, exploring new languages, watching K-dramas, baking, and practicing embroidery.

Scroll to Top