Andrew Southan, CEO

Andrew Southan PhD

Chief Executive Officer

Andy has over 25 years’ experience in life science research, including 14 years in the CRO sector.  In 1991 he received his PhD in Pharmacology from the University of London (UK), investigating the effects of anaesthetics and high pressure on CNS potassium channels.  Following a move to industry Andy worked as a brain slice electrophysiologist supporting ion channel-based CNS programmes at Wyeth (UK), before moving to Imperial College London where he published the first patch-clamp recordings from cerebellar inhibitory nerve terminals.  At CeNeS Pharmaceuticals he performed CRO services (hERG, nAChR) and internal research on HCN and two-pore channels.  He subsequently established the electrophysiology laboratory for Ionix Pharmaceuticals, a company focused on identifying novel pain therapeutics, where he worked on Nav, Cav and mechanosenstive ion channels.  Before joining Metrion Andy spent 12 years in leadership roles at BioFocus and Charles River managing stand-alone projects, multi-year collaborations and fully integrated drug discovery programmes.

Marc Rogers, CSO

Marc Rogers PhD

Chief Scientific Officer

Marc has extensive experience managing screening projects and outsourcing preclinical drug discovery work, and leads our biology teams for international pharma collaborations and UK and European grant projects. Trained as a physiologist (NZ) and neuroscientist (Australia), Marc undertook an extensive postdoctoral career in the US (Baylor College of Medicine, University of Hawaii, UCSF) training in ion channel biophysics, neurosecretion, and synaptic physiology using a range of patch clamp electrophysiology and fluorescence imaging techniques. He carried out ion channel assay development and automated patch clamp screening at Exelixis in the Bay area before moving to the UK in 2005 to  develop ion channel assays on various automated patch clamp platforms (AutoPatch, Patchliner, QPatch) at Xention, specialising in Nav, Cav and TRP channels for pain, Kv channels in auto-immune disease, and cardiac safety panels.

Robert Kirby

Robert Kirby PhD

Head of Client Research Services

Robert is a skilled pharmacologist with over 10 years’ experience in ion channel drug discovery. At Metrion Robert leads the team working on a major collaborative drug discovery project with an international pharma company. He also co-ordinates screening activities for CRO work including Metrion’s panel of CiPA cardiac assays. Prior to his role at Metrion Robert was a Principal Scientist at Xention Ltd (UK) where he lead screening campaigns on behalf of clients for a variety of ion channel targets (Nav1.x, Cav1.x, Cav2.x, Kv1.x, TRPx, Kirx, gIRK, ICrac, HCN and hERG) using automated patch clamp electrophysiology (QPatch, PatchLiner) and fluorescence-based screening platforms (FLIPR, FLEXStation). Prior to this Robert obtained his PhD (Sheffield Hallam, UK) investigating a novel pharmacophore for BK potassium channel openers and spent a year at Drexel University (USA) researching the role of GPCR’s in autoimmune disease.

Tony Rush PhD

Group Leader, Neuroscience and Translational Assays specialist

Tony has been an ion channel researcher for over 20 years across academia and industry and is widely published in the area. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Dundee (UK) characterising sodium channels of DRG neurons using the patch-clamp technique. He then studied hippocampal synaptic plasticity at Trinity College Dublin (Ireland) , before continuing sodium channel research with Stephen Waxman at Yale University (USA). Subsequently, Tony co-ordinated ion channel contracts at NeuroSolutions Ltd (UK), taking projects on multiple targets from initial discussions through to completion for a wide variety of clients in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. He moved to AstraZeneca (Sweden) to work on preclinical pain targets where he was lead biologist for a number of ion channel programmes and large scale screens (IonWorks, QPatch, manual patch). Tony returned to the UK where he worked on ion channel screening projects (Patchliner) and translational neuroscience assays (MEA, manual patch) for external partners and grant-based projects firstly at Xention, and now at Metrion.

John Ridley

John Ridley PhD

Business and Strategic Partnerships Executive

John has a dual role at Metrion that involves business development activities and performing electrophysiology studies in the lab. He has 10 years’ experience working in ion channel drug discovery. This experience was obtained firstly as a Senior Scientist at Xention, where he was involved in the discovery of ion channel blockers for atrial fibrillation, neuropathic pain and autoimmune diseases, and then as the Business Development Manager at Xention. John is also the Business Development Director for Cambridge Animal Health, which is a company that is dedicated to developing a non-surgical technology to neuter cats and dogs of both sexes. Additionally, he co-founded Inovion Pharma, which is focused on finding therapies for rare disease channelopathies. John holds a PhD in cardiac electrophysiology from the University of Bristol and an MPhil in Bioscience Enterprise from the University of Cambridge.

Sophie Rose PhD

Sales and Marketing Manager

Sophie completed her undergraduate chemistry degree at Newcastle University in 2008, which included an Erasmus placement in France at the Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines (UVSQ) where she synthesised aromatic sulfoximines for appendage onto photo-active species for use in two-photon absorption applications. Following this Sophie returned to Newcastle University to commence her doctoral research and in 2012 was awarded a PhD in Chemistry from the Molecular Photonics Laboratory on the Synthesis and characterisation of rationally designed donor-acceptor dyads incorporating the Boron Dipyrromethene fluorophore. In 2012 Sophie became UK Account Manager for Cambridge Research Biochemicals and was promoted in 2014 to a dual role as Sales and Marketing Manager. Sophie joined Metrion as Sales and Marketing Manager in March 2018 and has a varied role with key responsibilities including new business generation, plus sales and strategic (including digital) marketing.