New Non-Executive Directors join Genomics England Board

Genomics England is excited to announce the appointment of Andrew Eland, Annalisa Jenkins and Vikram Bajaj to the Board as Non-Executive Directors.

Andrew Eland, CEO and Founder of Diagonal Work

Andrew, a software engineer by trade, has spent time working with Google, DeepMind and, more recently, Diagonal Work. He originally joined Google in 2005, working predominantly on Google Maps, and was appointed as Engineering Director in 2010. He left four years later to take up another Engineering Director position, this time with google.org – the philanthropic arm of the business. His focus was across crisis response, elections, civic engagement and data on the surveillance of infectious diseases.

In 2016, he joined British AI company DeepMind in their health division, overseeing the expansion of their team from four to 200 members. His most notable project was Streams, a mobile app employed by two NHS trusts to provide clinicians with fast access to electronic patient records and an efficient way of monitoring patient deterioration.

He is now CEO and Founder of Diagonal Work, who work to find new ways to improve the design of towns and cities with software.

Annalisa Jenkins, Life Sciences Executive and Advisor

Annalisa is a biopharma thought leader with over 25 years’ experience in the industry. After graduating from St. Bartholomew’s Hospital in the University of London she became a medical officer in the Royal Navy during the Gulf Conflict, achieving the rank of surgeon lieutenant commander.

Upon her return she trained in cardiovascular medicine and in 1997 joined Bristol-Myers Squibb. Across a 14-year period she held various leadership roles, with her work taking her from London to Australia before seeing her settle in Princeton to run operations in Asia Pacific and Latin America. Her last role with the company was as Senior Vice President and Head of Global Medical Affairs, after which she joined Merck Serono Pharmaceuticals, progressing from Executive Vice President for Global Development and Medical to Head of Global Research and Development.

After moving to the US to become CEO of the start-up Dimension Therapeutics, a leading gene therapy company she took public on the NASDAQ, she has more recently been building and financing biotech companies pursuing cures for rare diseases. She is currently on the board of four public listed companies and a number of private companies, whilst also providing consulting services to the global and pharmaceutical biotechnology industry.

Vikram Bajaj, CEO and co-founder of Foresite Labs and Managing Director at Foresite Capital

Vik was an entrepreneur in the early genomics era, before he launched a successful academic career starting at MIT. As a principal investigator at Berkeley, his research interests were at the interface of physical sciences, engineering, and the life sciences. He remains an Adjunct Professor at Stanford Medical School.

In 2012, Vik co-founded Google Life Sciences, which later became Verily. He served as Chief Scientific Officer of Verily and its associated ventures, and also as Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board. He then embarked on his next role, as Chief Scientific Officer for GRAIL, a company whose mission is to detect cancer early, when it can be cured. GRAIL was recently acquired by Illumina.

Vik is now Managing Director of Foresite Capital, a $4B fund which invests exclusively in healthcare and the life sciences, and CEO and co-founder of Foresite Labs, a data-science focused incubator. Foresite Capital is an active investor in the UK, motivated by its unparalleled contributions in the fields of genomics, the training environment in related technologies and methods (e.g. statistical genetics), and its unique clinical infrastructure.

Of the appointments, Chris Wigley, CEO of Genomics England, said:

I’m thrilled by the arrivals of Andrew, Annalisa and Vikram. With their help we can continue to grow, advancing our services to better provide for our patients, research participants and the wider community. I am extremely grateful for their time and expertise and anticipate their contributions to be invaluable in progressing our work moving forward.

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