ELRIG UK Announces Steve Bates and Dr Anderson Ryan as Keynote Speakers

The European Laboratory Research & Innovation Group (ELRIG) UK has unveiled its keynote speakers for the forthcoming Research and Innovation conference, scheduled to be held at the University of Manchester on the 20th–21st March.

Steve Bates OBE FMedSci, Chief Executive Officer of the BioIndustry Association (BIA), and Dr Anderson Ryan, Co-founder and Head of Research & Development and Drug Development at FasT BioPharma, will spearhead this year's conference, which aims to expedite drug discovery processes.

This complimentary event is designed to convene scientists, researchers, and entrepreneurs to explore the role of emerging biology and innovative technologies in leading the development of future medicines and facilitating the advent of the next generation of therapeutics. The conference will feature four primary sessions that include animal-free technologies, oncology drug discovery, combating antimicrobial resistance, and advancements in mass spectrometry techniques and proteomics. Additionally, attendees will have access to a trade show and exhibition, a poster competition, and numerous networking opportunities.

Steve Bates, at the helm of the BIA, Britain's trade association for innovative life sciences enterprises, is a fervent proponent of collaborative efforts. He advocates for sector partnerships with research charities and academia and is dedicated to fostering next-generation talent and the requisite skills for the industry's prosperity. Bates has made significant contributions through his roles on the UK Government’s Life Sciences Council, the Vaccine Taskforce, and the UK Biosecurity Leadership Council. His work has facilitated impactful industrial incentives, such as the Biomedical Catalyst, and established sector connections across the USA, Europe, and China. Bates' prior experience includes a position at Genzyme and as an advisor to the UK Government under Tony Blair. His contributions to innovation earned him an OBE in 2017, and he was honoured as a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Science in 2020.

Dr Anderson Ryan, a scientific co-founder of FasT BioPharma, which focuses on oncology, directs the company's R&D programme. His previous roles include VP Head of Oncology at Mission Therapeutics, Head of Translational Science at Medicines Discovery Catapult, and numerous positions at AstraZeneca, where he led translational science programmes for a wide array of preclinical and clinical oncology indications. Ryan has also held academic positions, including a lecturer in cancer studies at the University of Manchester and an Associate Professor and Senior MRC Group Leader in the Department of Oncology at the University of Oxford, focusing on novel therapeutic strategies in lung cancer. He has mentored over 20 post-graduate students, authored more than 200 scientific articles and 12 patents, and served as a reviewer for key funding bodies such as CRUK, UKRI, and Innovate UK.

Furthermore, ELRIG is set to introduce the TechBio Breakthrough Zone at Research and Innovation 2024. This novel exhibition space will offer emerging companies a platform to showcase their technology and forge connections with potential customers and collaborators. The event will also feature the nomination process for ELRIG’s Impact Award, aimed at recognising an early-career professional for their scientific contributions and the resultant impact on early-stage drug discovery.

Sarah Brockbank, Conference Director, ELRIG UK and Strategy Leader—Complex Medicines, Medicines Discovery Catapult, said: “We have an outstanding line up of speakers covering key focus areas in drug discovery and development. These world-leading experts will share their insights and experiences on the challenges and opportunities in the field, and we are honoured to have Steve Bates and Dr Anderson Ryan on board as keynote speakers.”

Roger Clark, Conference Director, ELRIG UK and Head of High Throughput Screening, Charles River Laboratories, said: “We look forward to welcoming scientists from academia and industry to the University of Manchester, celebrating its bicentenary this year — the perfect setting to share bold ideas to accelerate future drug discovery and reflect upon the transformative achievements that have paved the way for new generation therapeutics.”

Steve Bates OBE FMedSci, CEO, BioIndustry Association, said: “I’m delighted to be speaking at ELRIG Research and Innovation this year. The event presents an excellent opportunity for the vibrant life sciences industry to connect, collaborate and discuss the latest innovations. This is vital to the success of the community as we strive towards the discovery and development of new medicines to cure more patients around the world.”

Dr Anderson Ryan, Co-founder and Head of R&D and Drug Development, FasT BioPharma: “The organisers have put together a terrific line up packed with interesting talks, poster presentations, exhibitors and networking opportunities. I’m proud to be presenting at such an exciting event, providing researchers and entrepreneurs with a host of opportunities to discover emerging biology and cutting-edge technologies, including those from young companies.”