Samples in the Crick's malaria lab.

Promoting scientific entrepreneurship

Intro

Our scientists care about the impact of their work - the Crick has a unique culture of translation where innovation and entrepreneurship is encouraged and celebrated.

We’re equipping scientists for a career that spans academia, industry and the clinic. We have developed a number of educational and training initiatives that help our scientists to translate their work, build external connections, and gain technical insights required of future science leaders.

Our initiatives

The Crick translation team runs several initiatives aimed at helping scientists understand the potential real-world impact of their research.

Programmes such as the KQ Labs, our entrepreneurship summer school, and PULSE, help researchers from the Crick and around the UK to learn more about what it can mean to be an entrepreneurial scientist.

While this might not lead to participants forming fully-fledged start-ups immediately, it provides connections with like-minded researchers, as well as a new perspective on research, and helps to build our translation culture.

Entrepreneur in residence

The Crick’s entrepreneur in residence advises the translation team and supports our scientists as they their first steps towards the intersection between research and industry.

Their extensive industry experience means projects develop in productive directions and researchers can learn from someone with in-depth knowledge of the translation pipeline.

Barbara mentors scientists at all stages of their research, introduces them to potential investors and collaborators, and offers advice on every step of the translation pathway.
 

Case study

Support to spin-out

Researchers in the Crick’s Haematopoietic Stem Cell Laboratory are studying how Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML) is influenced by its interaction with an altered vascular microenvironment in the bone marrow, which represents an intriguing source of potential therapeutic targets. 

Ana Da Silva Gomes, a Laboratory Research Scientist is developing techniques to distinguish malignant from healthy bone marrow, and predict chemotherapy responders from non-responders using pixel-based analysis of the BM image before and after chemotherapy. The goal is a user-friendly software tool that would save time in scoring patients’ scans and potentially increase diagnosis accuracy. 

Ana has been mentored by Barbara Domayne-Hayman (entrepreneur in residence) and has completed the MedTech SuperConnector programme, an eight-month entrepreneurial training programme for early career researchers with a medtech innovation. She has also co-founded a company and has been accepted onto the KQ Labs accelerator programme.

Case study

Cancer vaccine targets

With the help of Houman Ashrafian, an Entrepreneur in Residence at the Crick, scientist George Kassiotis founded a spin-out company, called EnaraBio (formerly ErVaxx), which is aiming to test the cancer-specific endogenous retroviruses (ERVs) as cancer vaccine targets.
  
This new company started with the discovery of a new class of cancer-specific antigens made by a group of ancient viruses, which have become part of the human genome, called human endogenous retroviruses (HERVs).