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Akhila is a first-year PhD student based at the Photon Science Institute, University of Manchester. Her project is on the use of mass spectrometry imaging methods for the spatial chemical profiling of plant leaves for agrochemicals in collaboration with the Agritech company, Syngenta. Before coming to the UK for her PhD, she did her integrated Bachelor’s and Master of Science programme in Chemistry at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh, India.


She aspires to do translational research and wishes to help bridge the gap between academic and commercial research for students.


When not in the research realm, she likes to binge-watch documentaries, play table tennis and go for hikes.

Akhila Ajith

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Megan is a second-year BBSRC DTP student whose project is focussed on the selective inhibition of pro-inflammatory microRNA’s for the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease. Megan graduated as the University of Leeds’ highest-achieving Medical Science student, including a year-in-industry, where she worked as a Quality Assurance Assistant for an innovative medical devices company, The Binding Site. As well as academic experience, Megan worked through the pandemic as a Biotechnologist, manufacturing the Oxford Astra-Zeneca COVID vaccine. For her professional internship as part of her PhD programme, Megan is working for a virtual drug discovery company, C4X Discovery, learning how to select the next generation targets for curing intractable diseases. 


Alongside her PhD, Megan works for a virtual tuition agency, aiming to ignite a passion for science in the younger generation. In her spare time, you’ll either find Megan in the gym or out enjoying Manchester’s best bars and restaurants!

Megan Taylor

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Montserrat Vega (she, her) is an enthusiastic biotech entrepreneur with an interest in the biomedical sector. Currently in the second-year of a dual Manchester-Beijing PhD programme, she focuses on applying synthetic biology and AI to develop novel therapeutic approaches for cancer. Montserrat has joined different scientific projects in Mexico, Spain and Canada and launched innovation/startup ventures in Romania and LATAM, aiming at cultivating the seeds of a more inclusive world. 

During her spare time, she loves playing chess, theatre and exercising, among many other things!

Miriam Montserrat Vega-Gordillo

© 2022 Akhila Ajith
© 2022 Megan Tayor

Finance Managers

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Alexandra (she/her) is a third-year MSci Pharmacology student, with a prospective final project in Quantum Biology. In the future, after her project on H-tunnelling in enzymes, she wants to pursue a PhD in the effects of electromagnetic fields on cell fate and behaviour. In addition to Quantum Biology, she is interested in computer science, biotech, pharmaceuticals, and is eager about the crossover of these fields, and the potential this meld has to transform the world we know.

As part of the committee, Alexandra hopes to narrow the gap between biotech and academia by fostering relationships among students and professionals in the field.


When not at University, Alexandra tries to go outdoors, hiking and climbing, or you can find her in cafes having conversations with friends.


Medeea Nagy

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Carl (he/him) is a final-year PhD student in pharmacology at the University of Manchester with a passion for research and teaching. His project focused in understanding the effects of clinically relevant doses of radiotherapy in a model of the blood-brain barrier and its components, necessary to protect the brain from harmful substances and secondary cancer cells. Prior to his PhD, Carl obtained a BSc (hons) in Biomedical Sciences at the Federal University of Pernambuco, where he developed several scientific projects in pre-clinical and molecular studies and promoted events aimed to showcase the different specialisations of the profession for peers within the department.


As part of the committee, Carl expects to contribute with the organisation of events aimed to facilitate, shorten, and strengthen the contact between academia and industry. As Financial Manager, Carl hopes to bring new sponsors to help promote and collaborate with the different activities organised by the NWBI committee.


In his spare time, Carl enjoys reading fiction, hiking – specially with my two beautiful dogs – and dancing - also with my doggies!

Carl Carvalho

© 2023 Carlson Carvalho
© 2022 Alexandra Medeea Nagy

Media and Communications


Charis is a first-year PhD student at the University of Manchester having just completed their master's degree in Mechatronics engineering. Their project combines machine learning and wearable technology to create systems that recognise and identify physiological reactions and emotional states. 

During their masters, they had the experience of working internships with the University of Manchester and Siemens Mobility for which they are excited to apply their skills. Moving into the world of medical engineering, Charis is excited to network with a broader audience and explore the world of biotechnology and bioelectronics. 

Outside of electronics Charis is a keen PC gamer and self-confessed nerd enjoying various games and media. As well as spreading STEM knowledge via tutoring and volunteering to help out the community.

Charis Whyte


Maya Popat

Maya is a third-year student on the MChem Chemistry with Medicinal Chemistry course at the University of Manchester. She is currently working on a lab project which involves synthesising model silanes for exploring organosiloxane biocatalysis, using enzymes as a greener alternative to conventional silylation methods.

As well as being a member of the NWBI, Maya is the third-year medicinal chemistry representative at the University.


Maya aims to help organise informative events for students looking to learn more about industry, whilst also enhancing her knowledge of the pharmaceutical field as a part of this initiative.


In her spare time, Maya loves going out to eat at restaurants and is currently learning French.

© 2022 Charis Whyte
© 2023 Maya Popat
© 2022 Miriam Montserrat Vega-Gordillo

Operation Managers


I am Pan from the Nursing department, and my research focuses on the usability of continuous monitors in non-ICU settings. Essentially, my interests and research revolve around medical technology. I have a deep passion for the healthcare industry because I believe that bridging the gap between academia and industry can be challenging. Therefore, working within the industry and advocating for the implementation of these technologies is genuinely my interest. I have experience in venture capital, consulting, and I am currently working on my own company. I look forward to getting to know all of you better.

Jo-Fan Pan


Katy is a final year PhD student in the Division of Cardiovascular Sciences researching the mechanisms behind reduced blood flow in Alzheimer's Disease. She has an integrated masters in Genetics from the University of Glasgow, during which she researched the effect of temporal changes in maternal glucose during gestational diabetes.


In her free time she enjoys playing competitive netball, running, walking with her family or heading to the pub with friends.

Katy Walsh


Petr is a second-year PhD student based at the University of Manchester. After completing his BSc in Biotechnology, he went to pursue a PhD focusing on the production of Covid-19 antigens in plants in hopes to manufacture a cheaper and more effective version of a Covid-19 vaccine.

As a part of the committee, Petr hopes to organise events making biotech more interesting and approachable to the public.


Outside of the lab, Petr enjoys climbing, skiing, cooking, and travelling.

Petr Broz

© 2022 Petr Broz
© 2023 Katy Walsh
© 2023 Jo-Fan Pan



Magnus is a third-year PhD student at the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology. His project involves studying the unnatural photoactivity of flavin-based enzymes, using both computational chemistry techniques, such as time-dependent density functional theory, and a femtosecond pulsed IR laser. He obtained his masters in Edinburgh, where he achieved a first in Chemistry with industrial experience (Mchem).

As a previous Co-Chair for NWBI, Magnus helped to organise events to connect academics and students with the rapidly expanding biotech industry. 

In his spare time, Magnus enjoys hiking in the Lake District and playing board games.

Magnus Speirs

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Olivia Knapp

Olivia is a fourth-year PhD student at the University of Manchester. Her research is focused on understanding the properties and functions of molecular knots and machines in the field of supramolecular chemistry. Before her PhD, Olivia obtained a First Class Honours in Chemistry MChem from the University of Oxford. 

In her free time, Olivia enjoys playing tennis, watching rugby and playing the saxophone.

© 2022 Iaroslav Michurin
© 2022 Olivia Knapp
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