Meet the Avacta Group team

Click each biography for more information

Avacta Group Board of Directors
Christina Coughlin

Christina Coughlin

Chief Executive Officer
Biography

Christina Coughlin, MD, PhD is the former Chief Executive Officer of CytoImmune Therapeutics. Dr. Coughlin joined CytoImmune from Rubius Therapeutics, Inc. where she served as the Chief Medical Officer and led the clinical development, translational medicine and regulatory efforts in the allogeneic red cell therapy platform. Prior to Rubius, Dr. Coughlin was with Tmunity Therapeutics, Inc., where she served as Chief Medical Officer and was responsible for the development of autologous CAR-T and TCR-T cellular therapies.  Dr. Coughlin served as the Chief Medical Officer for Immunocore, Ltd where she led the development of KimmtrakTM, recently approved for the treatment of metastatic uveal melanoma. Dr. Coughlin has held other leadership roles in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology fields in her career including Oncology Asset Team Leader at Pfizer and Clinical Program Team Lead at Novartis. Dr. Coughlin is an oncologist and immunologist, having received her M.D. and Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania and completed fellowships in Hematology and Oncology at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and in the Translational Research Group under the direction of Carl June, M.D. at the University of Pennsylvania.

Tony Gardiner

Tony Gardiner

Chief Financial Officer
Biography

Tony joined Avacta from AHR, an international architecture and building consultancy practice, where he has held the role of Finance Director since 2011.Between 2007 and 2011, Tony was the Chief Financial Officer of AIM listed Fusion IP plc, an IP commercialisation company, which was subsequently acquired by IP Group plc in 2014. There, he played a key role in supporting the Chief Executive Officer in growing the business and oversaw all finance activities as well as directly supporting life sciences and health technology companies in Fusion’s portfolio.Tony has also held senior finance roles within Eversheds LLP, KCOM Group Plc, Eldon Electric Ltd and Hickson International Plc.

Eliot Forster

Eliot Forster

Non Executive Chairman
Biography

Eliot was appointed as Chairman to the Board in June 2018, bringing with him three decades of experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry. He is currently the Chief Executive Officer of F-star and also Non-executive Director of Immatics NV, a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing TCR-based therapeutics for the treatment of cancer (NASDAQ IMTX).

Prior to joining F-star, Eliot was Chief Executive Officer at Immunocore, Creabilis Therapeutics and Solace Pharmaceuticals Inc. The early part of Eliot’s career was at GSK and Pfizer.

Eliot holds a PhD in neurophysiology from the University of Liverpool and an MBA from Henley Management College. He is an Honorary Visiting Professor at the University of Liverpool and at the University of Pavia. He is a Board member of OSCHR (UK Office for Strategic Coordination of Health Research) and the National Genomics Board.

Eliot is a member of the Remuneration Committee and the Audit Committee.

Trevor Nicholls

Trevor Nicholls

Non Executive Director
Biography

Trevor brings considerable experience in the commercialisation of innovative life science technologies from his previous roles as Non-executive Chairman of Oxford Nanopores Technologies, Chief Commercial Officer at Affymetrix, founder and Chief Executive Officer of UK biotech company Oxagen Ltd and Commercial Director of the Life Sciences business at Amersham International (now part of Danaher Corporation).

Trevor, prior to his retirement at the end of 2020, was Chief Executive Officer of the Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International, a not-for-profit intergovernmental organisation whose mission is to improve lives worldwide by providing information and applying scientific expertise to solve problems in agriculture and the environment.

Trevor is also Non-executive Chairman of Fargro Limited a provider of products and services for Horticulture, Non- executive Chairman of Iota Sciences Limited, a spin-out company from
the University of Oxford which is commercialising innovative microfluidic technology for the life sciences sector, a Non-executive Director of Conidia Bioscience Limited, which develops and sells patented lateral flow tests for the detection of microbial contamination of aviation and diesel fuels, and a Non- executive Director of Wobble Genomics Ltd, a spin-out of the Roslin Institute, specialising in DNA analytics and diagnostics. Previously Trevor has been Non-executive Chairman of Activiomics Limited, a biomarker discovery specialist, as well as a Non-executive Director of hVivo plc, a clinical research organisation.

Trevor is Chair of the Remuneration Committee and a member of the Audit Committee.

Paul Fry

Paul Fry

Non Executive Director
Biography

Paul was appointed as a Non- executive Director in February 2020. Paul has extensive financial experience across several industries including biotech, pharmaceutical and telecommunications. Paul is currently Chief Financial Officer of Argenta, a global CRO and CDMO specialising in animal health. Prior to this he was Chief Financial Officer of Vectura Group Ltd, an industry-leading inhaled drug delivery specialist which up until 2021 was listed on the FTSE Main Market.

Paul was also Chief Financial Officer of Immunocore Limited, a leading biotech company focused on the development of a new class of immunotherapeutic drugs based on proprietary T-cell receptor technology. Paul has also served as Director of Global Finance Operations at Vodafone plc and spent more than 25 years at GlaxoSmithKline (‘GSK’), where he held several senior roles including Head of Global Finance Services and Chief Financial Officer for GSK’s Italian pharmaceutical business.

Paul holds a degree from Oxford University and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accounts

Paul is Chair of the Audit Committee and a member of the Remuneration Committee.

Mark A. Goldberg, MD

Mark A. Goldberg, MD

Non Executive Director
Biography

Mark A. Goldberg, MD, is a medical oncologist and hematologist and a biotechnology executive.  In addition to being a Non-executive Director of Avacta, he currently serves on the boards of directors of Idera Pharmaceuticals, GlycoMimetics, Blueprint Medicines, and Walden Biosciences. Dr. Goldberg was part of the executive management team of Synageva Biopharma from 2011 until 2014.  Prior to that, he served in various management capacities of increasing responsibility at Genzyme Corporation from 1996 until 2011, including as senior vice president of Clinical Development.  Prior to joining Genzyme, Dr. Goldberg was a full-time staff physician at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where he still holds an appointment. He is an associate professor of Medicine (part-time) at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Goldberg is also a longtime American Cancer Society (ACS) and ACS Cancer Action Network volunteer. Dr. Goldberg was a member of the American Cancer Society New England Division Board from 2010-2017.  He has been a member of the national Board of Directors of the American Cancer Society since 2019.  He received his AB from Harvard College (magna cum laude) and his MD (cum laude) from Harvard Medical School (Harvard MIT Program in Health Sciences and Technology).

Shaun Chilton

Shaun Chilton

Non-executive Director
Biography

Shaun Chilton was most recently Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”) of the formerly London-listed Clinigen Group plc (“Clinigen”), a global pharmaceutical and pharmaceutical services platform business, which he led through a significant growth journey. During his tenure, the company expanded through both an organic and a buy-and-build strategy which included successfully completing several transformational acquisitions. The Company was eventually sold to Triton Partners for a total consideration of c.£1.3 billion in April 2022.

Alongside his role as the CEO of Clinigen, Shaun was Non-Executive Chairman of C7Health, a disruptive, venture capital-backed medical technology and services business which executed an acquisitive growth journey before successfully being acquired by a strategic buyer in 2022.

Shaun has held a number of senior and executive commercial positions over more than 30 years in companies in pharmaceutical and pharmaceutical services industries. These include at Pfizer, Sanofi, Wolters Kluwer Health and KnowledgePoint360 Group (now part of UDG Healthcare).

Group Management
Michael Vinegrad

Michael Vinegrad

Group Communications Director
Biography

With almost 25 years experience in healthcare and life sciences marketing and communications, Michael previously worked for the NHS, Department of Health and Smith & Nephew. Here he helped to significantly grow their digital presence and delivered a number of successful international medical device campaigns, as well as working on internal and external corporate communications.

 

Meet the Therapeutics team

Click below to meet the Therapeutics leadership team.

Meet the team

Meet the Diagnostics team

Click below to meet the Diagnostics leadership team.

Meet the team