Our team combines the knowledge and expertise to continuously develop new project ideas together with partners and to support our research teams during running projects. We are here to find the answers to your questions. Just get in touch!
Management & Support Team
Dr. Christian Tidona
Christian Tidona is a biotech entrepreneur, business angel, and founder of the BioMed X Institute in Heidelberg, Germany. He studied molecular biology and received his doctoral degree in virology from the University of Heidelberg. Throughout his entire professional life, his focus was always to seed innovation at the interface between academia and industry. Christian is co-founder of BioRN, the cluster management organization at the center of one of the strongest biomedical innovation hubs in Europe, co-founder of the Heidelberg Institute for Stem Cell Technology and Experimental Medicine HI-STEM, member of the International Board of the Weizmann Institute of Science, and member of the Board of Directors of Yeda Research and Development, one of the world’s most renowned technology transfer organizations in Israel. Christian is married and father of two children.
Dr. Thomas Rückle
Senior Vice President Research
Dr. Thomas Rückle studied Chemistry and Toxicology at the University of Ulm, Germany, where he received his PhD in Organic Chemistry in 1996. After two postdoctoral fellowships at the Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland and at the Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies, San Diego (CA), USA, he joined Serono International in Geneva (Switzerland). From 1998 to 2006 he led Research and Preclinical Programs in Autoimmune Diseases and Oncology. From 2007 onwards, Thomas held several global roles in Project Management and Translational Medicine of Neurodegenerative Diseases and Oncology. From 2012 to 2016 he was Director in Translational Medicine at Medicines for Malaria Venture, the world’s leading NGO in antimalarial R&D. Prior to BioMed X Institute, he spent 3 years as Chief Development Officer at GeNeuro, a clinical stage biotechnology company working in the field of autoimmune and neurodegenerative diseases. Together with his teams, Thomas has brought over a dozen molecules from research into clinical trials. He is principal or co-author of over 50 peer-reviewed scientific publications and co-inventor on 23 patents.
Vice President HR & Operations
Yvonne has been at BioMed X since its foundation in 2013.
Being responsible for “almost everything except research” takes a strong passion for strategy and organization but above all for people and their needs. She sees her position as a great opportunity to help create a work environment that allows groundbreaking research and that her colleagues look forward to coming to every day.
Prior to her position as VP HR & Operations she was BioMed X’ Head of Operations until 2019 and Head of HR until Summer 2021.
Acting Head of Business Development North America
Mark Johnston is a biotech entrepreneur who has founded/managed 6 companies in the areas of cell & gene therapy, contract manufacturing, and cell-based assays, including Vesta Therapeutics, ADMET Technologies, Cytonet, Promethera Biosciences, Novabiosis, and Transfecta Biosciences. Passionate about enabling therapies and technologies that improve human health, Mark is particularly drawn to opportunities that involve deep science, as he enjoys the novelty and interdisciplinarity they entail. By working extensively with organ procurement organizations in the United States, Mark has also acquired expertise in organ donation & transplantation management. He is an avid reader of science fiction and fantasy and enjoys spending time with his husband and their Husky puppy, as well as hiking and going to the beach. Mark received a bachelor’s degree in Physical Sciences (Mechanical Engineering, Math, and Physics), and an MBA from the London Business School.
Head of Operations
Benjamin is a biologist by training. At BioMed X, he is in charge of the entire lab infrastructure. He uses his coordinating skills and his eye for detail to create a work environment for our research teams that makes it easy for them to focus on science. Before joining BioMed X in December 2019, Benjamin was Laboratory Officer in Charge at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), Heidelberg, and prior to this worked as an application development scientist in a Heidelberg biotech startup.
Legal Management & Head of Christian Tidona’s Office
Susanne has been working as Christian Tidona’s Personal Assistant since 2009; first at BioRN Cluster Management and since 2016 at BioMed X. She enjoys working in an international atmosphere and ensuring the smooth running of his office. In addition she deals with legal issues at BioMed X.
Previously, she managed the family offices of several leadership personalities in industry and politics in Berlin.
Rita is the Events Manager of BioMed X since January 2022, responsible for the institute’s events including boot camps, recruiting events, career fairs, and others. She holds two master’s degrees: in Intercultural Communications and European Studies and in Translation.
She has worked or studied in six countries around the world and prides herself on being open-minded, endlessly positive, and highly creative.
Prior to starting at BioMed X, Rita has previously worked for the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO), the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) in Paris, and the German-American Institute: the Carl-Schurz-Haus in Freiburg.
Recruiting & Communications Manager
Before her doctorate, Bianca studied biology in Romania, USA, Portugal, the Netherlands and Switzerland. A strong believer in the crucial role of communication in science and around it, Bianca is also involved in various science outreach projects in multiple languages, such as Pint of Science, Native Scientist and the Romanian Science Festival.
Silke joined BioMed X in July 2020 and supports our research teams in many ways with her huge organizational competence. She has a background in business administration and long-term experience in international work contexts. This, along with her interest for foreign cultures and her passion for languages, help her to master the special everyday challenges of BioMed X’ multicultural environment.
Klaudia Rojczyk joined BioMed X in October 2021. She holds an Office Communication Management Diploma and gained extensive work experience as a Team Assistant.
The past years she lived in New Zealand where she worked mostly as a Bank clerk and Sales Assistant.
With her variety of work experience and language skills she will complement the BioMed X Support Team as the Assistant to the Head of Research.
Purchasing / Lab Management
Imola is a biological technical assistant by training with about 20 years of professional experience. Since September 2021, she has been taking care of our purchasing and general lab management tasks – supported by her well-structured way of working and true organization talent.
Imola truly appreciates the multicultural environment at BioMed X. Prior to joining BioMed X, she worked in academia (DKFZ, EMBL), big pharma and several biotech companies.
Dr. Gerhard Ries
Gerhard Ries studied law and received his PhD from the University of Heidelberg, Germany. He has been a lawyer since 1998. Gerhard Ries specializes in corporate, association and foundation law. His main areas of practice are the formation, restructuring and transformation of companies as well as M&A business. For many years he has been advising private and public companies in the healthcare sector. Gerhard Ries is member of the supervisory boards of several companies, has himself managed companies as CEO and is also active on the boards of several foundations.
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 GmbH & Co. KGaA, Mannheim and since 2015 has been CEO of the family owned company. He is active on the board of the Rhine-Neckar Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IHK) in his role as vice president, in the supervisory board of the Intersport eG, Heilbronn and 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.