PEGS-The Chain Episode 43

Dame Jane Osbourn, chief scientific officer at Alchemab Therapeutics, speaks with Ahuva Nissim, antibody and therapeutic engineering professor at Queen Mary University of London William Harvey Research Institute, about the career path that took her from studying molecular biology and building human phage libraries to developing therapeutics with convergent protective antibodies. Osbourn talks about the most inspiring mentors of her career, her interest in immunological resiliency, the importance of studying neurodegenerative diseases, and her drug discovery work at Alchemab Therapeutics. Finally, she talks about the technological advancements she hopes will move precision medicine forward in the near and distant future.


Jane K. Osbourn, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer, Alchemab Therapeutics Ltd
Jane Osbourn is Chief Scientific Officer at Alchemab Therapeutics, which focuses on identifying self-protective antibodies as therapies for neurodegeneration and oncology. She was an early employee of Cambridge Antibody Technology, which became MedImmune, the biologics arm of AstraZeneca, where she contributed to the development of phage display technology, authored many key publications and patents, and contributed to the discovery and development of eight marketed drugs. She is passionate about the development of the biotechnology sector and served as Chair of the UK BioIndustry Association from 2015-2019. Osbourn is also the Chair of Mogrify, a Cambridge-based cell-therapy company, and the Director of Cambridge Enterprise and Babraham Research Campus. In 2019, she was awarded an Order of the British Empire for drug discovery, development, and biotechnology services and the Scrip Lifetime Achievement Award for contribution to the pharma industry.

Ahuva Nissim, Ph.D., Antibody and Therapeutic Engineering Professor, Queen Mary University of London William Harvey Research Institute
Ahuva Nissim graduated in Molecular Immunology in 1992 from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel and was trained as a postdoctoral fellow at the MRC Centre for Protein Engineering in Cambridge until 1995. During this period, she developed a phage display semi-synthetic human antibody library—the “Nissim Library”—which has been used worldwide. In November 2000, she was appointed senior lecturer at Queen Mary University. Her interdisciplinary studies involve translational research at the William Harvey Research Institute and intensive worldwide collaborations. Her studies primarily focus on the mechanisms that lead to formulating disease tissue-specific pathogenic proteins and the exploitation of identified pathogenic proteins to develop platform technologies for novel diseases, tissue-specific diagnoses, and targeted treatment.

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