Joan Citoler

NBI Chair

Joan is a fourth-year PhD student at The University of Manchester. His research is mainly focused on employing biocatalysis for the synthesis of industrially relevant compounds, ranging from simple commodity chemicals to complex pharmaceutical building blocks.

In his second year with the North-west Biotech Initiative, Joan seeks to build perpetual relations with the local and national biotech industry in order to strengthen the bridge between academia and enterprise.

In his free time, Joan enjoys playing football, travelling and going to the cinema.

© 2020 Joan Citoler

Chrisoula Chappell

NBI Co-chair

Hello, everyone, I am Chrisoula I am a scientist but unfortunately, I do not have a cool hairdo like Einstein. My first degree was in Applied Biomedical Science and I worked for a year at The Christie hospital as a biomedical scientist trainee analysing blood and stem cells results.

Knowing myself it was love at first sight for research and I decided to pursue a masters by research in biomedical science and chemistry where I synthesised tiny things known as porous nanoparticles. The fun didn’t end there for me and before my PhD, I went and completed my MPhil in nanostructured materials where I synthesised some more tiny nanoparticles at the Harwell research centre.  After my MPhil, I realised that I needed to become an adult and that’s when I decided to apply for a PhD in materials. The journey has been fun and it has been an eye-opener and I have decided to give academia a chance and who knows what the future holds. Although I am a geek and I love science I also have a passion for the industry and I strongly believe that science and industry can make this world better and as such, I am honoured to be an NBI co-chair but I would ask Ross and Joan on my performance. 


For me it’s not all about work I think it is important to have a bit of a laugh on the side so I often go horse riding, bouldering, running, swimming and wild camping. I have climbed a few mountains in the Lake District, Cairngorms and Snowdonia. 

© 2020 Chrisoula Chappell

Iaroslav "Ross" Kosov

NBI Vice-chair

Ross is a third-year PhD student in Manchester Institute of Biotechnology at The University of Manchester. His project is focusing on structural biology for biofuels. Ross holds a First Class Honours degree in Chemistry with Industrial Experience from The University of Manchester (MChem, class of 2018)


In 2019 Ross was a General Secretary at the NBI. This year as a Vice-chair he is hoping to contribute to the diverse experience of the committee and continue the successful track record of the Society.


Outside the lab, Ross is a keen swimmer and cinemagoer.

© 2020 Iaroslav Kosov

Won Young Yoon


Won Young is a medical student at the University of Manchester. He is from South Korea but has lived in Egypt, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates. He completed the International Baccalaureate (Bilingual Diploma) at United World College South East Asia in Singapore. He is interested in MedTech, particularly the use of medical devices and AI in medical settings. 

He has a great interest in the biotechnology field and is a strong believer that Mobile Health is a major technological enabler in improving the quality of life of the elderly and also bringing basic medical care to impoverished communities and the developed world in terms of increasing global affordability and access.

Having planned big conferences and events before, he has been on the NWBI committee as the Operations Lead since November 2018. He hopes to gain further insight into the biotechnology field and aspires to equip himself with the skills needed to contribute to the building of a meaningful mobile health solution. 

Outside of academics, he volunteers for various organisations and attends a diverse range of conferences and hackathons around the UK.

© 2020 Won Young Yoon

Charlotte Criscuolo

Operations Manager

Charlotte is a final year PhD student at the University of Manchester. Her PhD research involves the investigation of drug synergy, drug mechanism of action and drug resistance within the context of melanoma skin cancer. She recently completed a five-month internship at Medicine’s Discovery Catapult developing assays using Single Molecule Array Technology. Before her PhD, Charlotte gained experience in the industry as a Scientist at MedImmune and as a Placement Student at Vernalis Research.


As a member of the Operations Team, she hopes to organise events that help to inspire and strengthen the link between industry and academia and to grow the biotech community within the North West. 

In her spare time, Charlotte enjoys hiking in the lakes, attending gym classes and learning Italian. 

© 2020 Charlotte Criscuolo


Mauro Rinaldi

Operations Manager

Mauro Rinaldi works on producing high-value chemicals from renewable sources through biotechnology and industrial microbiology at Prof Nigel Scrutton’s lab in the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology.


Mauro obtained his PhD in Biochemistry and Cell Biology from Rice University studying plant molecular biology and has experience working with terpenes in plants and bacteria.


As a member of NBWI, he seeks to strengthen the bonds between Academia and Industry towards knowledge and expertise transfer and delivering solutions.

© 2020 Mauro Rinaldi

Rahul Khetan

Operations Manager

Rahul is a second-year PhD student at Manchester Institute of Biotechnology, The University of Manchester. Previously, he has been a part of numerous research projects and internships in the fields of Bio-therapeutics commercialization, Market Access and Real-world healthcare data analytics. 


He is expanding his skill set in Due Diligence, M&A, Licensing, Intellectual Property and Healthcare Finance with the North West Biotech Initiative. He intends to pursue portfolio management and Licensing roles in the biotechnology industry after PhD.


He loves networking with Biotech investors, consultants and industry analysts. Travelling and Sports are his free time ventures.

© 2020 Rahul Khetan

Emily Powell

Communications Manager

Emily is a fourth-year PhD student at Manchester Institute of Biotechnology. Her research has a focus on bioengineering cells to produce viral vectors for use in gene therapy, a project in collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline.


Emily has a keen interest in the use of biotech in modern medicine. She is looking forward to working with North West Biotech Initiative to help bridge the gap between academia and the biotechnology sector.

© 2020 Emily Powell

Emilie Gerard

Finance Manager

Emilie is a third-year year PhD student at the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology. Her research focuses on engineering enzymes to halogenate molecules used as building blocks in drug synthesis by using multi-scale modelling techniques as well as experimental. 

After participating in this year’s SynbiCITE ‘more business acumen’ course, her interest for the biotech industry has grown and she looks forward to working towards bridging the gap between academia and the biotech industry by being part of the NBI committee. 

Outside of university, she enjoys bouldering, cooking and travelling. 

© 2020 Emilie Gerard

Scott Higgins

Finance Manager

After graduating from Cardiff University in 2017 with a BSc (Hons) in Biomedical Science, Scott began a PhD at The University of Manchester and is now entering his fourth and final year. His project investigates the effects of mechanical stimulation on joint health and the roles physiological cyclic and pathological impact loads play in the prevention and development of Osteoarthritis.


Due to the support Scott receives from Waters Corporation as an industrial partner, he is keen to promote this opportunity to more staff and students at the university, developing the relationship between academia and biotech companies in the future.


Outside the lab, Scott plays American football, representing Manchester in the local adult team (Titans) and BUCS (Tyrants).

© 2020 Scott Higgins

Zachary Hui


Zachary is a fourth-year Mchem student at the University of Manchester. He is currently undertaking a project investigating the synthesis of doped zeolite materials. He recently completed a three-month internship at Nanoco Technologies, working in their life sciences department who specialise in the medical applications of quantum dots.

He was the previous Co-Chair for the North West Biotech Initiative. Zachary looks forward to building upon the work achieved by previous committees and increase the exposure the NBI has, to provide greater opportunities for students, academia and industry to collaborate.

© 2020 Zachary Hui
© 2014-2020 North West Biotech Initiative and Committee of North West Biotech Initiative. All rights reserved.



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