argonaute rna

Meet the Team



The broad Argonaute team has deep industry experience.  We have the leaders of RNAi projects at GSK and AstraZeneca.  We have entrepreneurs who have built businesses in novel chemistry and process chemistry.

We have experience in taking early stage ideas from academia into commercial exits.  We have professors at the forefront of their fields.  We have a shared sense of mission and we work exceptionally well together.

Meet the team
Chief Executive Officer
Dr Mike Khan

Mike as CEO leads Argonaute in all scientific aspects.  He blends deep siRNA domain knowledge with clinical experience and has taken siRNA drugs through IND to design and completion of Phase 2.  He is the former CMO of Silence Therapeutics plc, and has over 25 years of experience as a leader in R&D, spanning the full spectrum of preclinical, translational and clinical development.

Mike was a Clinical Lecturer in Medicine at UCLH and former Head of Molecular Medicine and Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Warwick. He is a senior clinician leading one of the foremost cardio metabolic clinics in the UK, based at the University Hospitals of Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust. He is an expert advisor to NICE and the EC, and has contributed to establishing the current state of the art for treatment and prevention of cardiovascular diseases in the UK.
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Executive Chairman
Anthony Parker

Anthony co-founded Argonaute RNA Ltd in 2015. Anthony has responsibility for running the Company’s business and implementing its strategies.  His background is in finance and he has worked for thirty years in investment banking and fund management.  He has extensive experience in biotech, including as non-executive director of an immunotherapy company listed on the AIM market of the LSE.
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Chief Financial Officer
Richard Tompkins

Richard co-founded Argonaute RNA Ltd with Anthony in 2015. Richard leads on guiding all R&D projects from planning to implementation to meet intellectual property objectives. Formerly a Royal Marines officer, Richard has seventeen years of investment banking and consultancy experience, latterly at Citigroup and Barclays. He has a PhD in Economics from Exeter.
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Science Team

Chief Medical Officer
Dr Stella Pelengaris

Stella is responsible for detailed experimental design and oversight of both our own lab and the conduct of third party service providers. At the Imperial Cancer Research Fund Stella and colleagues developed the world’s first switchable genetic mouse models for the study of cancer.

For over a decade she was group leader in molecular medicine and systems biology at Warwick University and Medical School with highly cited publications in Cell, Molecular Cell, Diabetes and Nature.  From 2012 she was executive director at Pharmalogos identifying drug targets on behalf of big pharma and numerous listed companies in siRNA therapeutics.

Chief Scientific Officer
Dr Dan Mitchell

Dan is Associate Professor of Immunology and Principal Fellow in Pharmacology at Warwick Medical School, overseeing translational clinical research.  He studied Biochemistry at the University of Oxford and has a PhD in Pathology from Imperial College London, investigating autoimmune kidney disease and mechanisms of innate immunity via gene targeting.

His Fellowships at the University of Oxford and the Medical Research Council focused on the molecular immunology and glycobiology of human medicine – especially solid organ transplantation, infection, and vascular disease.  His speciality is the synthesis of high-definition glycoconjugates and their evaluation as selective cell-targeting agents.  Dan has worked extensively in complement immunobiology and biochemistry.
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Lead Biomolecular Scientist
Dr Pamela Panetta

Pamela has a BSc in Biological Sciences and MSc in Neurobiology.  She has over a decade of experience conducting lab-based biomolecular research.  Her PhD in Medical Sciences from the University of Warwick focused on glucose-dependent signalling underlying placental alterations.

Her extensive expertise in different areas of research encompasses a range of in vivo and in vitro skills and a variety of molecular biology techniques.  Pamela runs Argonaute’s research laboratory in Bristol, conducting the in-house experiments and managing engagement with oligosynthesis partners and in-life study partners.
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Assistant Biomolecular Scientist
Dr Gerda Gasiunaite

Gerda has a BSc in Applied Molecular Biology from the University of Aberdeen with focus on a promoter region of a gene involved in Bipolar Disorder and Depression.  Her PhD project at the University of Bristol investigated interactions between two cell membrane receptors involved in nociception.

She then joined a specialist laboratory at the University of Aberdeen as a Research Fellow to investigate mechanisms of diabetic wound healing and potential therapeutic effect of topical inhibition of PTP1B.  She has extensive experience in the design and conduct of siRNA-focussed cell-based assays.
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Head of Regulatory Affairs
Dr Nigel Richardson

Nigel has a first degree in Chemistry and subsequent PhD in Synthetic Organic Chemistry from Exeter.  His background in industry is nine years with Dow AgroSciences as an Analytical Chemist followed by GSK leading its oligonucleotide therapy for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy into the final stages of development and regulatory submission.

He has also worked as Chemistry Lead in a team focused on novel platforms for oligonucleotide delivery. Nigel was Senior Director within the CMC Analytical Division, leading a department of 55 scientists who focused on analytical modernization and new technology introduction. Nigel is CatSci’s Director of New Modalities and oversees collaboration between CatSci and Argonaute.
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Head of Translational Research
Dr Mark Edbrooke

Mark Edbrooke specialises in oligonucleotide therapeutics and macromolecule delivery. He worked for 20 years in GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) before joining AstraZeneca (AZ), working on therapeutic antisense, RNA interference, microRNA, and modified RNA.

He now consults for numerous UK-based universities, US- and UK-based investment companies, UK- and non-UK biotech companies, and was involved in the early days of the Nucleic Acid Therapy Accelerator (NATA), a government-funded accelerator for nucleic acid therapeutics.
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Scientific Advisor – Oligonucleotide and Bioconjugate Chemistry
Dr Andy Chapman

Andy is CEO & Co-Founder of Carbometrics, a specialist supramolecular chemistry company with core competency in the design, synthesis and derivatisation of highly selective and robust synthetic small molecule receptors.

Andy has led two highly successful commercial engagements with large pharmaceutical and medical device companies.  He has worked in leading academic institutions in the UK and Spain and his varied research activities have led to several high-impact articles and books.
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IP Strategy
Dr Rob Docherty

Rob is both patent attorney and patent strategist for Argonaute.  He has a first degree in Biological Sciences from Portsmouth and a PhD from Essex in molecular biology.  He was a post-doctoral fellow in the University of Texas at Dallas, University of Oxford and University of Manchester. Rob has an MBA from Leicester de Montfort University.

Rob has particular experience in protecting intellectual property for nucleic acid based therapeutics, for example in relation to RNA interference and gene therapy in relation to cardiovascular disease and neurodegenerative disease.  Rob filed Argonaute’s foundational patent for University of York and has accompanied the key steps in evolution of Argonaute technology from inception to our current suite of patents granted and in application.
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Lead In-Silico Analyst
Dr Alex Paterson

Alex is a specialist in Bioinformatics.  He has a first degree in biochemistry at Surrey and a PhD in molecular neuroscience and diagnostic medicine from Bristol, centred on using next generation sequencing technologies to detect blood borne biomarkers of neurogenic hypertension.

At Bristol, Alex wrote and lead the Introduction to Bioinformatics lectures for the Molecular Neuroscience M.Sc. course.  Alex was also part of the Bristol Genomics Facility, in charge of transcriptomic service data analysis.  Alex leads the in-silico sequence selection programme at Argonaute.
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Board Non-Executive Directors

Non-Executive Director
Dr Ross Burn

Ross is CEO of CatSci, which he span out of Astra Zeneca in 2010.  CatSci provides chemistry R&D services for small to large pharmaceutical companies worldwide.  Ross has led the collaboration with Argonaute in the development of new siRNA medicines.
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Non-Executive Director
Dr Johnathan Matlock

Johnathan holds a PhD from the University of Bristol in Organic Chemistry and is a Chartered Chemist of the Royal Society of Chemistry.  He was part of the science team at Ziylo which patented the molecule at the heart of a glucose responsive insulin. Ziylo was acquired in August 2018 by Novo Nordisk A/S in a staged M&A for up to £623m.  Johnathan is co-founder of Science Angel Syndicate and is an active angel investor with a portfolio of 38 frontier science and technology companies.
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Non-Executive Director
Alexander Fink

Alex is a principal at the Fink Family Office who led the last two funding rounds for Argonaute.  He brings a wealth of knowledge on how to grow and scale businesses.  He has helped raise over £200 million worth of fundraising since 2020, including companies such as Pupil, Curve and Bud.

Alex was named as a RESI trailblazer by Property Week in 2019 and was ranked No3 in the climate change power list by Homes UK in 2020.  Alex started his career in the city where he spent over 10 years as a fixed income trader advising high profile institutions and hedge funds.
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Non-Executive Director
David Ball

David has over 25 years’ of experience in financial, including 15 years as equity portfolio manager and partner with Tudor Investment Corp.  David is a Chartered Accountant, and holds undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Engineering from Cambridge University.  He represents Parkwalk on boards and has experience of taking early stage companies through from scale up funding through to acquisition.

Non-Executive Director
Dr Nabil Al-Chalaby

Dr Nabil has 14 years’ experience as Consultant Cardiologist in teaching hospitals and universities.  His particular speciality is hypercholesterolaemia and atherosclerosis and he advises on Argonaute’s cardiovascular disease drug development pipeline.



Finance Operations
Peter Nowell

Peter has a BA from Oxford in Maths.  He heads the finance operations at Argonaute and is an experienced analyst and compliance officer.  Peter also provides finance support to Science Creates Ventures.
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