Dr Carol Treasure
Dr Carol Treasure
Co-Founder / Managing Director
I started my career in the pharmaceutical industry and then backpacked around the world for about a year, including a 3-month expedition to Zimbabwe with Operation Raleigh. I still believe that travel is the best education! After that I was ready for Uni and studied Physiology & Pharmacology at Sheffield. Having witnessed animal testing I knew that there had to be a better way – not just ethically, but scientifically too. So when I got the opportunity to do a PhD at FRAME (Fund for the Replacement of Animals in Medical Experiments) at the University of Nottingham, I jumped at the chance. My academic career involved the development of reconstructed human skin models for non-animal testing.
I then spent 7 years with a small US-based company called Cascade Biologics. This role gave me the wonderful opportunity to live and work in Portland, Oregon for a couple of years. We provided human cell culture systems to scientists all over the world. I set up and ran the European operation from 2003-2007, which provided very valuable commercial experience. I co-founded XCellR8 with Bushra in 2008. My role as the Managing Director spans both the scientific and commercial aspects of the company and provides an exciting and diverse job which I am very passionate about. In 2013, I finally settled down and got married! I live in the beautiful Cheshire countryside with my husband Russell and our menagerie of pets! I love the “country life” and still love to travel and pursue my love of photography. In my spare time I teach meditation and mindfulness, and enjoy a variety of activities including swimming, cycling, running and yoga.
Co-Founder / Technical Director
Having over 20 years’ experience in cell culture, I started at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore, London, researching osteoblast (bone cell) characterisation and differentiation. I later moved to the University of Nottingham where I was involved with establishing the cell culture laboratory for the Biomaterials Group within the School of Biomedical Sciences.
Seeking fresh challenges, I left academia in 2003 and stepped into industry where I spent 4 years at Cascade Biologics (Mansfield, UK). It was a diverse role which included culturing a wide range of human primary cell types and providing technical support to customers across Europe.
Even more exciting and challenging now is being part of XCELLR8. My role is mainly laboratory based – which involves performing GLP regulatory and non-GLP contract studies to evaluate skin and eye irritation and corrosion, using reconstructed human tissue models, and cytotoxicity using human primary cells for cosmetic products and ingredients.
Outside work I enjoy a wide variety of outdoor activities including rock climbing, abseiling, hiking as well as adventure travel – not to mention fitness work using the urban rebounder, better than the gym!
With most of my career spent in the telecommunications industry, I have spent the last few years in the life science sector. My role concentrates on supporting the operations side of the business. I am pleased to be part of the XCELLR8 team who have such passion and dedication to their work, which I share!
As Office Manager and prime support to the team, my role is to support the company infrastructure, ensuring everything is needed and catered for on a day to day basis, keeping the business operating as successfully and efficiently as possible.
Time away from the office is spent with my family and travelling in my much loved VW Camper ‘Rosy’.
Holding a PhD in Medical Biology, I have been directly involved in setting up a spin-off from a Belgian university. Over more than 15 years I have acquired a significant expertise in cell culture and <i>in vitro</i> testing as well as knowledge of the cosmetic/personal healthcare sector.
When I met Carol in 2013, I knew the job was for me! Since then, I have been X<span>CELL</span>R8’s Study Director for both GLP and non GLP studies and manage the development of new tests in the laboratory. I really enjoy the improvement of new methods avoiding the use of animals! The team is great, dynamic and dedicated to ensuring that our studies meet the highest quality standards.
In my spare time, apart from walking and cooking for my family and friends, I really like to travel. I’m curious about new people, the way they live… And several years ago, I passed my exams to be a boat captain! During the summer months, with my husband and son, we navigate on the river, exploring to find new beautiful places.
I first started working with in vitro technologies during the placement year of my undergraduate masters in Pharmacology at the University of Bath. During this year I was fortunate enough to travel to California to work for Roche in their HIV research group in Palo Alto. I had a great time learning about cell culture, assay development and molecular biology as well as travelling around some inspiring places on the west coast! Following on from my degree I undertook a PhD in Cellular and Molecular Biology at Queen’s University Belfast, focusing on structural and inflammatory cell interactions in the setting of lung inflammation. Prior to joining XCellR8 I spent time in academia researching inflammation in the gut and in the molecular diagnostic industry developing multiplex PCR based tests for infectious diseases and leading product development projects.
I am excited by the innovative approaches we are taking at XCellR8 to replace animal testing and enjoy the ongoing challenge of replacing animal derived components in our novel in vitro systems. I am drawn to both the scientific excellence and ethical aspects of the work we do at XCellR8 and it is great to be part of a team where these are the core principles that are considered in all that we do. My role involves planning and overseeing both regulatory and non-regulatory studies for sponsors and managing projects for the research and development of new test methods.
Outside of work, I am a keen mountain biker and enjoy exploring the mountains in North Wales, going to watch films at the cinema and playing roller hockey. Along with my wife, I also enjoy looking after our many pets, including our flock of chickens!
Jan Ball MSc MRQA
Jan Ball MSc MRQA
Quality Assurance Officer
When AstraZeneca in Cheshire announced a reduction in its R&D footprint, I took it as an opportunity for a career change. With over 20 years’ experience as a GLP QA Auditor in the pharmaceutical industry, and an MSc in Quality Management of Scientific Research and Development I was not expecting to find similar work locally.
When I saw an advert for a GLP QA role in the cosmetic testing, personal care and household cleaning industries I was naturally curious, and delighted to be invited for interview with Carol to hear about the service XCellR8 provides to these industries.
I left totally captivated by XCellR8, the passion to replace animal-based product testing and the cutting edge science being conducted to achieve this. I so wanted to contribute to this, and haven’t stopped smiling since Carol rang and offered me the position nearly two years ago!
Outside of work I enjoy spending time with family and friends, pottering in the garden, and embarrassing my teenage daughter by ‘mum dancing’ when we go to watch her favourite bands. I am also the original ‘crazy cat lady’ and have two Ragdoll cats (but there’s always room for more).
My introduction to life sciences began with a Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry from the University of Liverpool, followed by a Master’s degree from the same institution. During this time, I also completed a research internship at the Faculty of Medicine in Chulalongkorn University, Thailand.
In my first year as a graduate, I worked as a market research consultant in the science and technology sectors, allowing me to work with a number of companies hoping to develop exciting projects. Through this I met XCellR8, where the commitment and mission of the company enthused me to not only return to a role in the laboratory, but join them in developing an exciting new range of in vitro tests.
My role at XCellR8 involves performing a variety of in vitro safety and efficacy test methods, in addition to developing new test methods.
Away from the lab I can be found telling awful jokes or making a mess with paint and brushes. Despite living in Liverpool for a number of years, I remain behind enemy lines as a staunch supporter of Chelsea FC.
A lifelong love of animals and nature led me to study biology at university, and after I graduated, I was keen to put what I had learnt to good use. I am extremely excited to be able to work with XCellR8, and be part of the development and use of non-animal tests. I feel passionate about using the best scientific techniques to end animal testing, and am lucky to be part of a team who share the same views. My role as a Study Scientist is mainly lab based, performing studies to test cosmetic products and ingredients on human cells in culture. I am also involved in the maintenance of GLP at XCellR8.
At home I can often be found baking and experimenting with new recipes, reading new books and spending time with my six lovely bunnies. I really enjoy playing with make up which helps me view my lab work, especially around efficacy claims, from the perspective of a consumer.