Dr Carol Treasure
Dr Carol Treasure
Co-Founder & CEO
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!
Strategic Advisory Board
Strategic advisor – commercial
I have had a long and varied career working at a senior or board level in technically based businesses (hence my lack of hair!) both in the UK and Asia Pacific. Over recent years I have been fortunate to build a thriving strategic consultancy business alongside a focused portfolio of non-executive roles working with some really exciting high growth businesses. I love working with energetic, forward thinking companies, just like XCellR8 where there is both a strong confidence in the quality of our science and a commitment to clear customer focused values.
My passions outside work are enjoying time with my family, travel plus watching and playing sport.
Strategic advisor – finance
I started my working life as a management accountant at the Aga Group before moving to an even larger PLC, Invensys, for three years across a number of group roles. In 1999 I moved to Capital Safety Group, the market leader in fall protection manufacture, where a few years later I became the youngest divisional finance director at 29, looking after the EMEA region.
In 2014 I decided to rethink my work life balance and work part time. After helping Dantec (a VC owned composite hose manufacturer) through a successful exit to a German trade buyer, I now work with a number of smaller SMEs to pass on my experience and help them raise funding and grow, while maintaining profitability.
I know a lot about cosmetics because I have a 13 year old daughter! I play golf and 5 a side football to stay fit and enjoy travelling particularly in the pursuit of wildlife spotting.
Strategic advisor – HR
I am a HR and OD professional, initially gaining my experience working with AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals. I worked alongside several senior leadership teams, supporting key projects around business transformation. I developed an excellent track record in facilitating organisational change, new team start up and coaching leaders to drive real improvements in business performance.
In 2013, I started my own company and since then have really enjoyed working with a wide variety of great people and companies, not least XCellR8. My focus is always on improving team effectiveness and keeping an organisation’s focus on what will add the most value. I demonstrate a relentless belief in the possible, great intuition about people and my high personal resilience and enthusiasm is often infectious.
When I’m not busy working, I am lucky to have a fabulous family and three gorgeous children who keep me very busy! Having grown up in the beautiful Peak District, I love the outdoors so will often drag them with me to get outside and explore our beautiful countryside.
I spent my early career working for a variety of advertising agencies, including McCann Erickson where I helped put Next on TV for the first time.
After my first daughter was born, I crossed over to the dark side and worked within marketing teams for professional services and financial businesses, rising to marketing director for SaaS provider Sorted Group and winning awards for branding and campaign effectiveness along the way. I became a consultant to combine my passion for marketing with the flexibility to be there for sports days.
I work with SMEs in the B2B arena, specialising in brand strategy, lead generation and business development. I believe that language is the most important thing we have, which is handy when your job is all about great communication.
At weekends, I’m usually found in the Lake District, hiking, wild swimming and enjoying cream teas. I’m also a founder member of the Knutsford Bake Club and once appeared on Masterchef.
Dr Terry McCann
Dr Terry McCann
Strategic advisor – technical
I have more than 20 years’ business leadership experience, supporting business development & providing business consultancy services to small & large enterprises within the life science & drug discovery.
After a career in academia, in 1997 I joined the management team of a small scientific instrument company that was acquired by PerkinElmer in 1998. In various business leadership roles I managed annual sales of up to $40M, driving growth >20% p.a.
In 2004 my wife and I changed our careers and went travelling for 15 months. We volunteered on four wildlife conservation projects (in Nicaragua, Kenya, Brazil, and Mongolia) and travelled around each of these regions.
Since 2005 I have been fully occupied with TJM Consultancy, serving the needs of our diverse clients. I also contribute to scientific debate through journal and conference contributions, and since 2014 I have written the Lush Science Prize background paper, which supports the judging panel in identifying potential recipients of the prize.
I live up a mountain in southern Spain, with my wife, our dog, and her tortoise (who she’s known for a lot longer than she has me!).
Scientific and Commercial Team
Dr Alex Edwards
Dr Alex Edwards
Contract Testing Manager
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 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!
Dr Fiona Jacobs
Dr Fiona Jacobs
I turned my lifelong curiosity in all things scientific into a degree in Biochemistry from the University of Sheffield. I followed this with a PhD which focussed on elucidating the biochemical activity of previously uncharacterised proteins involved in cancer. This not only gave me great experiences using in vitro investigative techniques but showed me, first-hand, how cell-culture provides relevant and robust models for human systems.
I then completed a post-doctoral research project at the University of Liverpool, where I used transcriptomics to identify druggable targets in rare ocular melanomas; this further developed my
experimental cell-culture and data analysis expertise.
I joined XCellR8 in 2017, having been inspired by our ethos and 100% animal-product free approach. My role involves planning and supervision of both regulatory and non-regulatory studies, analysing data and interpreting this into information relevant to sponsors. I’m still invigorated by the team’s dedication to producing ethical, robust high-quality data day-in, day-out.
In my spare time I attend weekly Spanish language lessons with my fiancé as well as enjoying the exciting task of planning our wedding. I also enjoy exploring the beautiful Cheshire countryside, especially visiting the many local ice-cream parlours.
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 four 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.
I have over a decade’s experience in providing support at a senior and board level. I’m super-organised with the ability to juggle a variety of tasks from booking travel, scheduling and attending meetings, managing a very busy diary, project managing an office and lab relocation and supporting the growth of XCellR8.
Before joining XCellR8 I worked for a global charity, working within the marketing team which allowed me the opportunity to develop my writing skills. I also implemented an internal communications strategy which was adopted across the group and delivered an award-winning marketing campaign. Earlier in my career, I spent several years working in recruitment after completing an HND in Media and Journalism.
I’m definitely someone who is always on the go and loves spinning a million plates. That’s why working as an Executive Assistant for Carol is so fantastic; no two days are the same. The ethics of the company are extremely important to me and we have some inspiring values that everyone in the team embraces.
I’m also a mum to an active 10-year-old who is aiming to be the next Steven Spielberg, a volunteer with a local scouts group and regularly attend Zumba.
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 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.
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 administrator 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’.
From a young age I have always had a keen interest in science, which led me to studying for my undergraduate master’s in biochemistry at the University of Leeds.
During my time at Leeds, I completed research in a potential antiviral therapy, from which I was introduced to cell culture and molecular biology, skills that I was keen to develop outside of academia. The passion and vision of XCellR8 instantly captured my attention, and our drive to redefine testing made me want to be a part of the team.
This is one of the aspects of why I enjoy working at XCellR8 as I get to collaborate with like-minded individuals and help develop ways to constantly improve.
Outside of work I enjoy spending time with family and friends and travelling.