headshot Nick McCooke
Nick McCooke
independent chairman

Nick is an experienced and successful bio-entrepreneur, well-known for building and leading the Solexa team that pioneered Next Generation Sequencing (NGS), technology that became the basis of Illumina’s current market-leading product line. Apart from his base in the UK, Nick has lived and worked in the USA, Japan and Belgium. He acted as CEO of Pronota, interim COO of Cambridge Epigenetix, part-time CEO of Oxford Cancer Biomarkers and CEO of Solexa. Nick is currently CBO of DNA Electronics, a non-executive director of Bioventix PLC and a trustee of the Association of Medical Research Charities.

headshot Bernard Majoie
Bernard Majoie
representing Foundation Majoie

Bernard Majoie is founder of the research & development laboratory of the Fournier Group. He acted as CSO, CEO and finally Chairman of the board at Fournier Pharmaceutical Group. When retiring he played a Business Angel activity helping start-ups in Belgium and France. He is currently chairman and founder of the Fournier-Majoie Foundation dedicated to support innovative and entrepreneurial teams in biomolecular applications leading to improvements of cancer treatments.

headshot Bernard Coulie
Bernard Coulie
independent board member appointed by SOFI

Dr. Bernard Coulie is currently President and CEO of Pliant Therapeutics. He has more than 15 years of senior leadership experience and drug development expertise. He joined Pliant from ActoGeniX (acquired by Intrexon Corporation in February 2015), where he was CEO, Chief Medical Officer and Co-Founder. Prior to ActoGeniX, Dr. Coulie held various positions with increasing responsibilities in drug discovery and clinical development at Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research and Development Europe. At Johnson & Johnson, he served as Therapeutic Area Leader Internal Medicine, managing a portfolio of products ranging from early drug discovery through Phase 2 studies. Earlier in his career, Dr. Coulie was a Staff Physician in the Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at Mayo Clinic (Rochester, MN), Assistant Professor in Medicine at Mayo Medical School and a Mayo Foundation scholar. Dr. Coulie holds an M.D. and Ph.D. from the University of Leuven, Belgium. He is a board-certified internist and he holds an MBA from the Vlerick Management School, Leuven, Belgium.

headshot Marc Zabeau
Marc Zabeau
representing QBIC Arkiv Fund

Marc is a Managing Partner at QBIC Venture Partners, with a life long track record both as a pioneering biotechnologist and entrepreneur. Marc has pioneered and managed over half a dozen biotech start-up companies, including Plant Genetic Systems and Keygene. The last part of his career is dedicated to coaching young entrepreneurs towards building successful businesses as well as providing seed capital to these startups.

headshot Marc Schijvaerts
Marc Schijvaerts
independent board member

Marc is founder and Managing Director at PeopleWare. He is a seasoned executive, leader and strategist. Marc is an expert in operational management, detecting new business opportunities and advising start-ups, such as Cloud-Hammer and Tophima where holds a board seat. He has the unique ability to manage and navigate complex challenges.

headshot Jan Hellemans
Jan Hellemans
co-founder

Jan Hellemans is one of the founders of Biogazelle and CEO since 2007. In 2014, he successfully established Biogazelle as one of the fastest growing Belgian technology companies. Jan has a master in Biotechnology, a PhD in Medical Sciences (Ghent University, Belgium) and over 15 years of experience in human genetics. He acquired extensive experience in next generation sequencing and genetic diagnostics from managing an academic core facility and introducing the corresponding wet and dry lab technology in a clinical diagnostics lab at Ghent University Hospital.

headshot Jo Vandesompele
Jo Vandesompele
co-founder

Jo Vandesompele has a Master of Science in Bio-engineering, a PhD in Medical Sciences and is professor in Functional Cancer Genomics and Applied Bioinformatics at Ghent University. His research focuses on non-coding RNA biology in cancer and development of nucleic acid quantification strategies. In 2007, he co-founded Biogazelle as a privately held Ghent University spin-off company.