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29.10.2021 | Published by bit.bio

Meet bit.bio’s two new Vice Presidents of Translational Medicine

Welcome to the team!

Monique Dao, VP, Translational Medicine, Immunology (Mo, on the right) and Julie Selkirk, VP, Translational Medicine, Neurology (on the left). It’s been nearly a month since they joined so we wanted to ask them a few questions about what it’s been like so far at bit.bio.

Julie previously worked at Pfizer, Bristol Myers Squibb and Vertex and Mo brings over 20 years experience in cell and gene therapy, including from her role as Head of Cell Biology at Sana Biotechnology, Inc.

What prompted you to join bit.bio?

Julie - Upon learning about the breakthrough opti-oxTM technology I found myself getting incredibly excited about how cell therapy could really be transformational in diseases where there were either no current therapeutics, or where small molecules and biologics had only made incremental improvements for patients to date. The potential that cell therapy could be the next frontier in treating, maybe even curing patients, was an opportunity that I really wanted to be a part of.

Mo -  Same for me. And additionally, I believe the opti-ox platform will “democratise” cell therapy - delivering safe and efficacious therapy to anyone, anywhere, at any time.

What’s been your favourite thing so far about the company?

Mo - Novel therapeutics come from cutting-edge research.  My favourite thing has been meeting our research colleagues at bit.bio - to learn about their exciting research and to receive their tremendous support as we work together and translate bit.bio’s scientifically driven research into promising therapies for patients.

Julie - Mo and I have joined at a time when the company is scaling rapidly. So we immediately started thinking about how we would like our US side of the business to look. This was very exciting. I got to tour a potential location for our US office on my 6th day here! It is a rare opportunity to get involved in a company with such promise so early, to really be able to contribute to the desired culture and build from the ground up. 

And what’s the most surprising thing you’ve learnt?

Julie - I have enjoyed meet-and-greets with many of the bit.bio scientists and line leads based at the UK Cambridge site, and whilst it has been wonderful to learn about all of the different functions, I was struck by what a multicultural team we have! I have enjoyed getting to know my new colleagues that appear so full of amazing ideas and come from such diverse backgrounds. 

Mo -  With locations in the UK, Singapore, and the US, bit.bio functional teams are geographically diverse!  Yet, I have been pleasantly surprised how incredibly “in-sync” the teams are in the organisation. I believe this is because everyone at bit.bio shares at least one common mission - to serve the global community, bridging discovery research to cellular therapy for all.

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