Technical Team

Jennie Law
Head of Operations
Jennie Law - Facility Manager
Jennie joined MicrobesNG with 15 years industry experience in Human Resources, L+D and Customer Management. She took up her role as MicrobesNG Facility Manager in September 2015, where she has set herself at the heart of customer service. She helped organise the commercial aspects of the Genome Science Conference and strives to deliver an outstanding "customer experience". Jennie is always happy to discuss the products and services on offer through MicrobesNG!
Pablo Fuentes Utrilla
Head of Laboratory Operations
Pablo Fuentes-Utrilla - NGS Manager
My research interest is on the use of new sequencing technologies as both diagnostic and research tools. I started my career with my PhD in Population Genetics, followed by a job in Phylogenetics and Phylogeography. I got quickly interested in the potential of Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS), and I have been working in this exciting field since 2010. After a Postdoc in which I developed NGS markers for genotyping by sequencing, I worked as Senior NGS Sequencing Technician in Edinburgh before joining MicrobesNG.
Emily Richardson
Head of Bioinformatics
Emily Richardson - Microbial Bioinformatician
Emily has recently completed a bioinformatics postdoc with Ross Fitzgerald at the Roslin Institute, Edinburgh, where she was investigating host adaptation of Staphylococcus. Prior to this she obtained her PhD in bacterial genomics at the University of Edinburgh. Emily spends most of her time wrangling with NGS data, although she occasionally dabbles in web development and training.
Álvaro Aguilar Vega
After working as an Official Veterinarian, Alvaro decided to pursue a career in microbiology and completed a MSc in Medical Microbiology at the University of Manchester, where he developed his interest in Next Generation Sequencing. Alvaro has been part of the laboratory team in MicrobesNG since 2017, helping with the sample reception and storage, DNA extraction and library preparation among other tasks in the laboratory.
Vasiliki Kafourou
Senior CX Coordinator
Vasiliki had worked on different multidisciplinary projects as a postgraduate researcher, including food science, microbiology and chemical engineering before she originally joined MicrobesNG for a placement project in 2018. We were over the moon when she was able to become a permanent fixture in the team in January 2020!
Andrew Holmes
Andrew completed his PhD at the University of Liverpool, where he developed his interest in the applications of Next Generation Sequencing. His PhD focused on bioinformatic analyses of transcriptomic data for ageing and metabolism research. Afterwards, he worked as a data manager at a major birth cohort study, where he managed legacy data for millions of laboratory samples through data cleaning and migration to new systems. We are so pleased he joined the MicrobesNG Team in February 2020 to help drive our Bioinformatics services forward!
Fabien Cottier
Senior Scientist & Laboratory Manager
Fabien is a molecular biologist with extensive experience in DNA and RNA extraction from microorganisms. He obtained my PhD from the University of Duesseldorf on the identification of environmental sensors in Candida albicans. He went on to specialise in microbial genetics, gene expression and microbiota sequencing through several postdocs in the United Kingdom and Singapore. We were delighted to welcome him to the MicrobesNG Team in February 2020.
Charlotte Thompson
Laboratory Technician
Charlotte has joined MicrobesNG after graduating with a BSc in Biochemistry. During her degree she completed a placement year in a research laboratory where she developed an interest for microbiology, molecular biology and Next Generation Sequencing.
Steven Dunn
R&D Bioinformatician
After gaining a PhD in microbial genomics, Steven worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Birmingham for four and a half years, where he worked on a number of high-profile genomics focussed projects. Steven is passionate about the democratisation of bioinformatics and enjoys helping people realise their research goals.
Helen McNeil
Business Development Executive
Helen did her PhD at the University of Birmingham, looking at the diversity of Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains in the Midlands. She went on to research antibiotic resistance in Salmonella, where she began to explore Next Generation Sequencing. After working as a lab manager for 2 institutes in the medical school at UOB, Helen joined MicrobesNG in June 2022. She will be responsible for key account management and business development and is really looking forward to combining her love of learning and science with a desire to facilitate new research and help people translate ideas into results.
Ayodeji Lawal
Service Coordinator (Finance)
Ayodeji is a process improvement advocate with an academic background in Biochemistry and over 8 years experience in process operations and customer relationship management (CRM). In applying LEAN and ITIL principles, he is focused on improving efficiency, reducing waste and ensuring customer satisfaction at every touch point.

Management Team

Prof Nick Loman
Chief Scientific Officer
Nick Loman
Nick is Professor of Microbial Genomics and Bioinformatics at the University of Birmingham, and Fellow at the Alan Turing Institute. His research interests include the use microbial genomics and metagenomics for detection and surveillance of infectious diseases.
Rupert Loman
Rupert is an investor and advisor to online media and technology businesses. Following 18 years as CEO of Gamer Network - a leading global online games media and events company he founded and ultimately sold to ReedPop - Rupert is now focused on helping businesses, founders and their teams grow to reach their full potential.

Management Group

Prof. Tim Mitchell
University of Birmingham
Dr Jane Steele
University of Birmingham

External Advisory Board

Dr Aaron Darling
University of Technology, Sydney
Dr James Hadfield
CRUK Genomics core facility
Dr Lex Nederbragt
University of Oslo, Norway
A/Prof Torsten Seemann
University of Melbourne
Prof Craig Winstanley
University of Liverpool
Prof Nicholas Thomson
Wellcome Sanger Institute