Board of Trustees
Chair of the Board
Rob sits on the board of several major companies working in science, technology, engineering and mathematics STEM, including the Open Data Institute and Medicines Discovery Catapult. As the founder of BPE Innovation (in July 2010), Rob was encouraged by the Royal Society to establish the UK’s first and, still, only dedicated legal service to STEM. Working at the interface between the private sector and Government in the UK’s innovation community, Rob has been involved in the establishment of most of the major publicly funded companies created in recent years to fill the innovation ‘gap’ in the sectors which they serve.
Sir Colin Blakemore, FRS, FMedSci, FRSB, FBPhS
Sir Colin is a neurobiologist, specialising in vision and the development of the brain, who is Professor of Neuroscience and Philosophy in the School of Advanced Study, University of London and Emeritus Professor of Neuroscience at the University of Oxford. He was formerly Chief Executive of the British Medical Research Council. According to The Observer, he is"one of the most powerful scientists in the UK".
Nick Caplin, CB
Chief Executive Officer
Blind Veterans UK
CEO of Blind Veterans UK since 2014, Nick has over 33 years’ experience of command, leadership and management of military and civilian personnel in all three Defence Services.
Fight for Sight
Sherine joins the Action Against AMD board after becoming Fight for Sight's chief executive on 29 April 2019. Sherine was previously Fight for Sight's Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Engagement. She has worked in the charity sector for 25 years and is highly experienced in leading organisational strategy, policy, communications and fundraising. She was previously Director of Fundraising and Communications for charities including Freedom from Torture, Action for Children, Action on Hearing Loss and the MS Society. She is also currently the Chair for the London based homelessness charity Spires.
Chief Executive Officer
Sight Scotland Veterans
Mark O’Donnell is CEO of Sight Scotland Veterans and its sister charity Sight Scotland (formerly Scottish War Blinded and Royal Blind, respectively). He has experience across the public and third sectors including senior positions in other medical research charities.
Ton Rijnders, PhD
Ton Rijnders holds a PhD in molecular biology. He joined the Dutch pharmaceutical company Organon in 1986 and moved to the position of Vice President Research in 2003. After the acquisition of Organon by Schering-Plough in 2007,Ton was appointed VP Discovery and Site Head Oss and continued this position after the merger of Merck and Schering-Plough. In 2011 Ton co-founded TI Pharma, a public private partnership in drug discovery, and acted as its Scientific Director. He continued this work after the merger of CTMM and TI Pharma into Lygature in 2016. Ton currently holds the position of General Director at Oncode Institute. By combining individual excellence and collaborative development, Oncode works towards innovative cancer treatments. He uses his experience to bring together the great minds of cancer research in The Netherlands.
Chief Executive Officer
Cathy is a former BBC journalist who has worked in the sight loss sector for 10 years, the last three as CEO of the Macular Society. She is also a Trustee of the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC).
Wen Hwa Lee, PhD
Chief Executive Officer & Chief Scientist
Lee is a molecular and structural biologist with a wide international network in drug discovery, including charities, academia, industry and government agencies. Previously at the University of Oxford, Lee is an experienced leader in setting up partnerships and alliances with multiple stakeholders to accelerate discoveries for drug discovery. He designed and implemented several strategies in two of the largest and most successful international public-private partnerships for drug discovery – the Structural Genomics Consortium and the European Lead Factory. Along with his scientific endeavours, Lee also advised high-level government representatives from different countries and charitable institutions on policy and strategy to integrate scientific, societal and economic impact.
Chief Operating Officer
Benedict has 30 years’ experience in the banking and investment sector, with Rothschild Bank and VenCap International. Benedict is the Chief Operating Officer of Action Against AMD and has been a founder member of the team since March 2016. He is also a consultant for Charity Bank, a savings and loans bank with a mission to use money for social good by lending money only to organisations with charitable purposes.
Juliana Bertazzo, PhD
Juliana Bertazzo joined AAAMD in May 2020. Her previous roles include 8 years as a policy adviser in higher education, science, and innovation, 3 years as a postdoctoral research associate producing commissioned research papers, data analysis and project management for think tanks in the UK, Germany, and Brazil, and 2 academic years teaching a postgraduate course at the University of Oxford.
Science and Strategy Associate
After finishing degrees in biochemistry and economics at the University of Oklahoma, Jesse is now a doctoral candidate in the Structural Genomics Consortium at the University of Oxford. With previous experience in pro bono non-profit consulting and pre-clinical drug development, Jesse joined the AAAMD team as a Science and Strategy Associate in August 2019.
Ellie Williams, PhD
Community Engagement Coordinator
Ellie Williams is a biochemist by training studying first at the University of Oxford and then gaining her PhD from UCL. She then spent 10 years working in the field of rare diseases and open access drug discovery. As part of that she dedicated time to focusing on public engagement and patient communication and as part of this has worked with patient charities, art groups and schools to communicate cutting edge research. Ellie started working with AAAMD in May 2020.