About BioMed X
The BioMed X Innovation Center is an exciting new collaboration model at the interface between academia and industry.
At our center, distinguished early career scientists recruited from all over the world are working jointly on novel pre-clinical research projects in the fields of biomedicine, molecular biology, cell biology, diagnostics and consumer care.
These interdisciplinary project teams are conducting groundbreaking biomedical research in an open innovation lab facility on the campus of the University of Heidelberg, under the guidance of experienced mentors from academia and industry while expanding their scientific network and receiving an entrepreneurship and leadership training.
Each team is typically supported by a corporate pharma or biotech partner of BioMed X. After a fully funded project term, successful projects are either internalized into the development pipeline of the respective pharma or biotech partner or spun off into an independent startup company.
Dr. Ann De Beuckelaer
Ann De Beuckelaer has more than 18 years’ experience across the life science sector and has worked with companies and research institutions at all stages of development. Experienced in strategic advice and business development she is driven by exploring and implementing new models of interaction between research institutions and the industry. She was instrumental in Saxony’s 200 mEuro program for the biotech economy and successfully managed several cluster organizations such as biosaxony, Germany and FlandersBio, Belgium. Ann is a pharmacist by training, holds a PhD in biochemistry from the Free University Berlin, Germany and joined the BioMed X Innovation Center as a Managing Director in 2015.
Dr. Christian Tidona
Christian Tidona is a serial biotech entrepreneur, business angel, and managing director at the BioMed X Innovation Center in Heidelberg, Germany. He studied molecular biology and received his doctoral degree from the University of Heidelberg. Throughout his entire professional life his focus has always been to foster innovation at the interface between academia and industry. Christian is board member of the BioRN Network and co-founder of the Health Axis Europe alliance between the European health innovation clusters in Leuven, Maastricht, Copenhagen, and Heidelberg. He is chairman of the Weizmann Young European Network (WYEN) and member of the International Board of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel. Christian is married and father of two children.
Yvonne is a hotel manager by training, and during her entire career, people and their needs have been the focus of her attention.
At BioMed X, Yvonne is in charge of operations: with a strong passion for organizing, she sees it as her personal goal to create a work environment that keeps bureaucracy lean and allows her colleagues to concentrate on groundbreaking research in the lab.
Before joining BioMed X, Yvonne was office and events manager at BioRN Cluster Management where she first got in touch with the field of biotechnology.
Executive Assistant to the Management
Julia supports Ann and Yvonne in any area. She manages and maintains the appointments and also arranges and co-ordinates meetings and events. With her attention to detail and accuracy, Julia takes care of the administration at BioMed X.
Julia is an industrial management assistant by training. Before she joined BioMed X she was working for a pharmaceutical parallel importer.
Ursula Volk takes care of accounting and human resources. Together with Yvonne, she guides employees through administrative tasks: insurance, official registration, travel expenses – no task is too difficult to cope with. Especially for people who have just begun working at BioMed X, Ursula offers help in finding a way through the administrative jungle. With her cheerful nature, she makes people feel welcome in Heidelberg.
Ursula is further responsible for accurate bookkeeping and financial reporting. Since she is experienced in complex accounting systems, she knows how to manage a growing number of research teams and sponsors.
Ursula is a financial accountant by training. Before she moved to the Heidelberg area she lived in various places in Germany and also in the USA.
Steen is responsible for IT at BioMed X. He takes care of the IT needs and wishes of his colleagues and maintains the network, server infrastructure and backup environment.
Before moving to Germany, he lived in Denmark and worked in various financial departments, finally combining financial aspects with his passion for IT. During the last 16 years he worked for a large international transport company and managed their network infrastructure and server environment.
With an initial background outside IT and 20 years of experience in information technology, Steen knows the demands of a well-functioning IT landscape, which serves the user and their business day.
Lab manager; experimental support to all group members
Cornelia is a biological technical assistant by training. In the BioMed X Support Team, she takes care of purchasing and general lab management.
She joined BioMed X in 2014 as a research associate in the research group Metabolism and Signaling in Cancer (MSC), where she supported all team members in their experimental work (primarily cloning as well as various molecular biological techniques).
Prior to her engagement at BioMed X Conny worked as a biological technical assistant at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg from 2005 until 2014.
AbbVie (NYSE:ABBV) is a global, research-based biopharmaceutical company formed in 2013 following its separation from Abbott Laboratories. The company’s mission is to use its expertise, dedicated people and unique approach to innovation to develop and market advanced therapies that address some of the world’s most complex and serious diseases. AbbVie employs approximately 25,000 people worldwide and markets medicines in more than 170 countries. AbbVie is represented in Germany with headquarters in Wiesbaden and a research and production site in Ludwigshafen. In total, AbbVie Germany has about 2400 employees.
The Boehringer Ingelheim group is one of the world’s 20 leading pharmaceutical companies. Headquartered in Ingelheim, Germany, Boehringer Ingelheim operates globally with 146 affiliates and a total of more than 47,700 employees. The focus of the family-owned company, founded in 1885, is on researching, developing, manufacturing and marketing new medications of high therapeutic value for human and veterinary medicine. In 2014, Boehringer Ingelheim achieved net sales of about 13.3 billion euros. R&D expenditure corresponds to 19.9% of its net sales. Boehringer Ingelheim’s successes in research and development continuously strengthen its portfolio of medications and offer patients true therapeutic benefit. The company’s research focuses on four areas of strength: immunology and respiratory diseases, cardiometabolic diseases, diseases of the central nervous system and oncology. With its research functions “Scientific Platforms” and “Research Beyond Borders”, Boehringer Ingelheim is prepared to leverage synergies by investigating scientific concepts with potential in more than one disease area and by exploring emerging science and technology, both within and outside the current research therapeutic focus of Boehringer Ingelheim.
Johnson & Johnson Innovation is working to accelerate scientific innovation at all stages of development worldwide in order to deliver cutting-edge solutions for patients’ unmet needs. Johnson & Johnson Innovation provides scientists, entrepreneurs and emerging companies with one-stop access to the broad resources of the Johnson & Johnson family of companies across the pharmaceutical, medical devices and consumer healthcare segments.
Merck Serono is the biopharmaceutical division of Merck. With headquarters in Darmstadt, Germany, Merck offers leading brands in 150 countries to help patients with cancer, multiple sclerosis, infertility, and endocrine and metabolic disorders, as well as cardiovascular diseases. In the United States and Canada, EMD Serono operates as a separately incorporated subsidiary of Merck. Merck discovers, develops, manufactures and markets prescription medicines of both chemical and biological origin for specialist indications. We have an enduring commitment to deliver novel therapies in our core focus areas of neurology, oncology, immuno-oncology and immunology.
Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Roche is a leader in research-focused healthcare with combined strengths in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. Roche is the world’s largest biotech company, with truly differentiated medicines in oncology, immunology, infectious diseases, ophthalmology and neuroscience. Roche is also the world leader in in vitro diagnostics and tissue-based cancer diagnostics, and is a frontrunner in diabetes management. Roche’s personalized healthcare strategy aims at providing medicines and diagnostics that enable tangible improvements in the health, quality of life and survival of patients. Founded in 1896, Roche has been making important contributions to global health for more than a century. Twenty-four medicines developed by Roche are included in the World Health Organization Model Lists of Essential Medicines, among them life-saving antibiotics, antimalarials and chemotherapeutics. In 2014, the Roche Group employed 88,500 people worldwide, invested 8.9 billion Swiss francs in R&D, and posted sales of 47.5 billion Swiss francs. Genentech, in the United States, is a wholly owned member of the Roche Group. Roche is the majority shareholder in Chugai Pharmaceutical, Japan.
Dr. Gerhard Ries (Chairman)
Gerhard Ries studied law and received his PhD from the University of Heidelberg, Germany. He has been a lawyer since 1998. Since 2007 Gerhard Ries is partner in the law firm Menold Bezler in Stuttgart. Focusing his legal practice is corporate law, in particular the establishment and restructuring of companies and the M&A-Business. Gerhard Ries is member of the supervisory board of several companies and is active on the board of several foundations. Since 2013 he is chairman of Buck Group, a chemical company located in Zurich, Switzerland.
Fabian Engelhorn, completed an apprenticeship in trade and commerce (Handelsfachwirt) in Munich, studied retail management at the University of Applied Sciences in Worms and then spent 18 months in the USA and Hong Kong undertaking overseas internships. He subsequently worked for two years as a member of the management team at Sportler AG, Bolzano, Italy. In 2003 he took over management of the family company Engelhorn KGaA, Mannheim and since 2015 has been CEO of Engelhorn Holding GmbH, Mannheim. He is active on the board of the Rhine-Neckar Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IHK) in his role as vice president, is a member of the executive committee of the University of Applied Sciences, Worms and the supervisory board of the Grün-Weiss tennis club as well as the Rhein-Neckar-Löwen handball club, both in Mannheim.
Dr. Bernhard Kirschbaum
Bernhard Kirschbaum, PhD, studied and spent his early career as a researcher in biochemistry and physiological chemistry at the University of Konstanz, Germany, receiving his PhD in 1989. He moved on to work at the Rockefeller University in New York and the Pasteur Institute in Paris. Subsequently, he joined the pharmaceutical industry where he covered a broad range of technological and disease areas. Before his retirement as an executive, he was head of Global Research and Early Development at Merck Serono. In this role he was a member of the Pharmaceutical Executive Committee. Prior to joining Merck KGaA in 2005 he was Vice President Discovery Research and Global Head of Therapeutic Domains Thrombosis & Angiogenesis for Sanofi-Aventis. He also worked for Aventis, Hoechst Marion Roussel in various senior positions and headed the Centre of Applied Genomics in Martinsried, Germany.