About Us Through a unique combination of science and software, AquAffirm helps customers manage ‘black swan’ risk: unpredictable events with severe consequences. AquAffirm’s core focus is applying its digital expertise to map global threats, especially those threats where achieving an understanding of geographic and temporal variation is critical. The COVID-19 crisis has highlighted the need to use and understand science to manage risk. Together with its subsidiary technology development company, Bio Nano Consulting, AquAffirm has over a decade of experience in helping organisations manage risk, from contaminated drinking water to global pandemics, and this extensive intellectual expertise is available to help your organisation manage the risks of today and tomorrow. History Since its establishment in 2007, Bio Nano Consulting, has been providing international project management, product development and innovation consultancy services to clients from industry, academia, and government. With deep expertise in sensor development, medical diagnostics, nanomaterials and digital software development, the team is ideally placed to provide consultancy for a broad range of technologies. Historically, BNC has provided fee-for-service consultancy and assistance in fields ranging from biosensing and photonics to nanomaterials and photo- catalysis. We continue to provide consultancy in these areas while offering additional consultancy support in digital platform development and user interface design.
Board
Management Team
Digital Team
Scientific Team
Director of Software Development Robert obtained his PhD in Medical Image Computing from Imperial College in 2003. He specialised in Patient Specific Modelling of Left Ventricular Morphology and Flow using Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Computational Fluid Dynamics. He has had significant impact in the field of medical image computing. He has authored the medical imaging software CMRtools that has been used for cardiac assessment in over 100,000 patients worldwide. The software allows the viewing and analysis of Cardiac Magnetic Resonance images and provides specialist assessment of cardiac morphology and function. He was responsible for regulatory approval of the software and attained FDA510(k) approval and a Class I CE Mark to allow the software to be used for clinical diagnosis in US and Europe. The software has been used in over 100 peer-reviewed research publications since 2003. Software Developer Philip obtained his undergraduate degree from the Department of Mathematics at Imperial College. Continuing at the College, he studied for a PhD in the Neural Systems Engineering Group within the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering. For over 13 years he subsequently worked as a quantitative analyst at a number of top-tier investment banks. Following a change in career, he was appointed Senior Research Fellow at the Hamlyn Centre for Robotic Surgery, Imperial College, and more recently within the Department of Surgery and Cancer, and now undertakes a very active research programme in the field of image-guided surgery. He has successfully translated new technology and software into clinical practice.
Dr David Sarphie CEO One of AquAffirm’s founders, Dr David Sarphie is a biotechnology entrepreneur with over 25 years experience in project management, senior management and CEO positions within technology and innovation development companies. Prior to his association with AquAffirm and its subsidiary, Bio Nano Consulting, Dr Sarphie was CEO of Oxford MediStress, spearheading the founding of the Oxford spin-out developing a novel blood test for stress. He remains an Executive Advisor with the company. Prior to this he was Executive Advisor for BioExec Ventures, a Boston-based biotechnology consultancy. Prior to BioExec Ventures he was CEO of The Acrobot Company, a London- based medical technology start-up, which is developing novel robotic technologies for minimally-invasive orthopaedic surgery. Dr Sarphie developed the initial commercial and development strategies and wrote the business plan for Acrobot, leading a $1.6M equity financing. Prior to Acrobot, Dr Sarphie was a co-founder of PowderJect Pharmaceuticals, a UK company focused on developing needle-free drug delivery technologies and a co-inventor of the original technology. While at PowderJect, he was founder and managing director of Progenica Ltd, a PowderJect spin-out company developing novel diagnostic applications of PowderJect technology. Dr Sarphie created the initial development plan for Progenica, secured the funding from the parent company and spearheaded the clinical assessment of initial product opportunities. Progenica was acquired by US vaccine manufacturer Chiron as part of the acquisition of PowderJect Pharmaceuticals in 2003. Dr. Sarphie holds a D.Phil. in Medical Engineering from Oxford University, an MSc in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University and a BSc in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Notre Dame. Nanda Rahman Office & Project Manager and PA to CEO Nanda has worked in office management for over 10 years and ensures the smooth day to day running of the BNC office. Her responsibilities within BNC have included project managing the Nanomicrowave Marie Curie ITN project and also cover HR, IT, office and financial management functions, including invoicing and supplier management. Before joining BNC, previous roles included I.T. administration & Technical co-coordination. Nanda has a BSc (Hons) in Computer Science from Middlesex University.
Prof Gabriel Aeppli FRS Director Gabriel Aeppli is professor of physics at ETH Zürich and EPF Lausanne, and head of the Synchrotron and Nanotechnology department of the Paul Scherrer Institute, also in Switzerland. After taking his B.Sc., M.Sc. and PhD in Electrical Engineering from MIT, he spent the majority of his career in industry (NEC, AT&T and IBM) where he worked on problems ranging from liquid crystals to magnetic data storage. He was subsequently co- founder and director of the London Centre for Nanotechnology, Quain Professor at University College London, and cofounder of the Bio-Nano Consulting. He is a frequent advisor to numerous private and public entities worldwide (including China, Australia, Europe and the US) engaged in the funding, evaluation and management of technology. A member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and Fellow of the Royal Society (London), he was a recipient of the Mott Prize of the Institute of Physics(London), the Oliver Buckley prize of the American Physical Society and the Neel Medal/International Magnetism Prize. His current technical focus is on the implications of photon science and nanotechnology for information processing and health care. Prof Tony Cass FRSC Director Tony Cass is currently Professor of Chemical Biology, in the Department of Chemistry at Imperial College London and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry. He trained originally as a chemist with degrees from the Universities of York and Oxford. He pioneered the use of synthetic electron transfer mediators for enzyme biosensors and his work in this area led to the development of the first electronic blood glucose measuring system, commercialized by MediSense Inc. (now part of Abbott Diagnostics), and the award of the Royal Society’s Mullard Medal (along with Professor HAO Hill FRS and Dr MJ Green). Most of his current research is focused on using engineered proteins and peptides as well as nucleic acid aptamers with micro-and nano-structured materials and devices for both clinical and high throughput analysis. His research also includes the development of new nanomaterials based proteomic methods and sensor technologies for stem cell bioreactors. He has published over 100 papers and edited 3 books. In addition, he is a Visiting Professor of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Universiti of Teknologi Malaysia. In addition to his academic research, he has been a member of several Research Council Committees, and is a member of the Scientific Advisory Boards of StabiliTech Ltd, PlastiCell Ltd. and INSPIRE (Irish Nanotechnology Consortium), as well as consulting for European and North American biotechnology, intellectual property diagnostics and investment companies. .
Dr Philip Pratt Dr Rob Merrifield
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Next Generation Water Technologies
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Next Generation Water Technologies
Vishal Sanchania Director Vishal is a Principal Consultant at PA consulting. He has a passion from enabling and commercialising technologies that can benefit humanity. He was previously Head of Biology at Synthace limited, where he has experience in combining biology and software to demonstrate the impact it can have on industrial biotechnology. Vishal has a PhD in Biotechnology and BSc in Biochemistry.
Dr Hanadi Hassan-Nixon Senior Consultant in Diagnostic Devices Dr Hanadi Hassan-Nixon graduated from Imperial College London with a PhD degree in Biochemistry, and Plant Pathology. Continuing at the college with her first postdoc at the department of Biochemistry, working in the epidemiology of ergot disease in South Africa, she decided to divert her research interest towards the biology and chemistry interface, integrating chemical nanotechnology and protein engineering techniques to develop non-invasive continuous glucose monitoring biosensor in collaboration with Becton and Dickinson. After a career break raising a young family, she was awarded a Daphne Jackson Trust Fellowship in 2014. She returned to the Chemical Biology group at the department of Chemistry, Imperial College London as a Senior Research Fellow, collaborating with clinicians at St Mary’s hospital to work on asthma diagnosis. During the fellowship, her research project focussed on developing an impedimetric electrochemical biosensor to attain numerical information on metabolic analytes and to develop a point of care sensing device for respiratory diseases. Her research interests are in the field of developing diagnostic devices for quantitative measurement of environmental pollutants or disease related metabolites, with a main interest on Cytokines.
Dr Amin Haghighatbin Head of Biosensors Development Dr Amin Haghighatbin graduated from La Trobe University (Melbourne, Australia) with a PhD Degree in Chemistry (Electroanalytical Chemistry), where he studied novel inorganic electrochemiluminophores for chemical and biochemical sensing applications, as well as portable electrochemiluminescence (ECL)- based sensing devices. He pursued his research as a postdoctoral researcher at La Trobe University, evaluating the electrochemical properties of FRET-based donor-acceptor inorganic metal complexes, along with the design and fabrication of electrochemical sensors for bioanalytical purposes in point-of- care (POC) devices. He was awarded the Chinese Academy of Science President’s International Fellowship Initiative (PIFI) and embarked on a journey of international collaboration and research excellence at the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) as a postdoctoral fellow. His fellowship studies mainly focused on the design and fabrication of electrochemical sensors and microfluidic devices for POC applications, with a particular emphasis on electrochemical sensors for cardiac biomarker analysis in cardiovascular diseases, specifically acute myocardial infarction (AMI). Later on, in response to the emerging COVID-19 pandemic, he shifted his research focus towards the development of immunoassays and aptasensors for the early diagnosis of SARS- CoV-2 viral infections. His research interests and areas of expertise span from the engineering of immunoassays and aptamer-based electrochemical sensors for analytical applications to the design and implementation of analog circuitries for electrochemical wearable and handheld devices.
Kiran Matthews Lab Scientist Kiran Matthews, graduated from University College London with a MSc in Bioscience Innovation & Enterprise, specialising in a dessertation that analysed the commercialisation potential of ‘Next Generation Tissue Engineered Heart Valves using Bacterial Nanocellulose’. He has hands-on experience with various electrochemical analytical tools, utilising them for designing, characterising and enhancing biosensors. His experise extends to skilled data analysis, alongside strategic planning of experimental investications for effective product development.