About UsThrough 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.HistorySince 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.
Dr Loukas ConstantinouTechnical Team Leader Dr Loukas Constantinou received an MEng. degree in Biomedical Engineering from Imperial College, London, U.K., in 2010. He then joined the Analog and Biomedical Electronics Group in the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, University College London (UCL), London, U.K., where he obtained his Ph.D. degree in the field of bioimpedance spectroscopy in 2014. His PhD thesis titled “Novel CMOS Integrated Current Driver Circuits for Bioimpedance Measurements “focused on the design and development of novel CMOS current driver integrated circuits, for wideband tetrapolar bioimpedance measurements. He then joined the Research Centre for Biomedical Engineering (RCBE) at City, University of London as post-doctoral researcher, working towards the development of a novel home-diagnostics lithium blood level analyser for patients with bipolar mood disorder. His research interests are in the area of analog integrated circuit design for biomedical applications, wideband ac current drivers, biosensor design and electrical impedance spectroscopy.Dr Jekaterina KuleshovaSenior Scientific Consultant, Team Leader for Fluoride SensorDr Jekaterina Kuleshova obtained her PhD in Electrochemistry from University of Southampton in 2009. Her doctoral dissertation was focused on the study of important electrochemical processes on novel electrode surfaces.After graduation Jekaterina worked as a Postdoctoral Research Assistant at University of Southampton on several research projects including metals under stress, thermoelectric materials and electro-organic synthesis. The latter project involved the development of a user friendly microflow electrolysis reactor suitable for integration with traditional microflow systems. During this time she collaborated with Syrris and Pfizer. She spent 6 month at the pharmaceutical partner facilities testing capabilities of the newly developed reactor. In 2014 Syrris launched a commercial product based on the results of her work.Jekaterina left academia to join Base4, a R&D start-up company in Cambridge, specialising in single molecule DNA sequencing. During seven years at the company she progressed from experimental scientist to project lead and finally to joint-CTO. In her early years at Base4 she led a collaboration with Hitahchi High-Tech (Japan) on development of a Raman nanopore DNA sequencer. The project achieved a set of technical milestones culminating in delivery of an alpha prototype instrument. After successful management of a nanopore development project Jekaterina was appointed as joint-CTO at Base4 to support the development of microdroplets based single molecule DNA sequencing technology.
Director of Software DevelopmentRobert 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 DeveloperPhilip 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.Software DeveloperRebecca obtained her undergraduate degree in Natural Sciences at the University of Cambridge, specialising in Pathology. She continued her interest in infectious disease and public health, undertaking an MSc at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, before obtaining a PhD in Epidemiology and Mathematical Modelling of Infectious Diseases from Imperial College in 2006. Her research specialised in designing and programming mathematical models of HIV transmission in lower- and middle-income countries. Dr Waller continues to be active in research, constructing transmission and health economic models for a wide range of infectious diseases.
Dr David SarphieCEOOne 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 RahmanOffice & Project Manager and PA to CEONanda 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 FRSDirectorGabriel 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 FRSCDirectorTony 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.Professor John Wood CBE, FREngDirector and ChairmanProfessor John Wood CBE, FREng graduated from Sheffield University in metallurgy and went to Cambridge University for his Ph.D. (Darwin College) where he subsequently stayed on as Goldsmith’s Research Fellow at Churchill College. In 1994 he was awarded a higher doctorate from Sheffield and has an honorary doctorate from the University of Cluj-Napoca in Romania where he is also a “citizen of honour”. He has held academic posts at the Open University followed by Nottingham University where he was Dean of Engineering. From 2001‐2007 he was seconded from Nottingham to the Council for the Central Laboratory of the Research Councils as Chief Executive where he was responsible for the Rutherford‐Appleton and Daresbury Laboratories in addition to shareholdings in ESRF, ILL and the Diamond Light Source. During this period he was a visiting professor at Oxford University and still remains a fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford.He then joined Imperial College first as Principal of the Faculty of Engineering and subsequently as Senior International Advisor. He is still a visiting professor at Imperial College.He is a non-executive director of a number of companies including Bio‐Nano Consulting and sits on the advisory board of the British Library. Currently he is on the board of the Joint Information Services Committee responsible for the UK academic computing network and chairs their Support for Research Committee. He is also involved with a number of charities including acting as chair of INASP.He was a founder member of the European Strategy Forum for Research Infrastructures and became chair in 2004 where he was responsible for producing the first European Roadmap. He became the first chair of the European Research Area Board in 2008 responsible for high level advice to the European Commission and in 2009 produced a long term strategic vision entitled “Preparing Europe for a New Renaissance.”He was elected as a fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 1999 and is currently a member of their Council and International Committee. He was made a Commander of the British Empire in 2007 for “services to science,” and in 2010 was made an “Officer of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany”.