Advancing the application of organoids, tissue-on-a-chip, and other emerging in vitro models to support cell and gene therapy

Cell & Gene Therapy Insights 2022; 8(1), 75–85


Published: 2 February 2022
Jason Ekert, Marie Davies, Pelin Candarlioglu

Jason Ekert PhD, MBA, is Senior Director, GSK Fellow and Head of the complex in vitro models (CIVM) group at GlaxoSmithKline. He is responsible for an integrated enterprise strategy for R&D applications of complex human-relevant and translatable complex in vitro models (e.g. Organoids, Microphysiological systems and bioprinting). Before joining GSK he worked at Janssen in biotherapeutic drug discovery. Jason received his PhD from Adelaide University. Post-doctoral training was performed at University of California, Davis and Coriell Institute for Medical Research. He’s currently the past chair for the IQ-MPS affiliate. He is a member of the society for lab automation and screening (SLAS) and society of toxicology (SOT).

Marie Davies PhD, is a Senior Director in the Oncology Cell Therapy Research Unit in GSK and has more than 20 years of drug discovery experience in the biotechnology industry and large pharma. Dr Davies has extensive knowledge of drug discovery across biopharms, cell and gene therapies and vaccines with particular interest in the inter-relationships between safety, efficacy and manufacture. Throughout her career she has been accountable for delivering, reviewing and approving non-clinical safety and pharmacology packages to support non-regulatory project decisions and regulatory submissions. Dr Davies holds a PhD in Rheumatology and Immunology from University of Birmingham, UK

Pelin Candarlioglu PhD, is a tissue engineer by training having received her PhD in the field from Imperial College London but moved into oncology during her PostDoc position about circulating tumour cells at the UCL. Her introduction to organ on chip (OoC) was during the time when she was leading a Cell Biology/Microfluidics lab in Cambridge at Enplas Corporation where she was developing a microfluidic chip system specifically designed for immuno-oncology applications. Currently, as part of Complex In vitro Models (CIVM) group, she is leading a small team utilizing her expertise in microfluidics, tissue engineering and especially OoC to lead multiple initiatives both externally and internally to expand the complex in vitro model portfolio of GSK for immuno-oncology. Pelin is very active at the 3Rs initiative in GSK and supporting from reduce and replacement aspect. She is also representing GSK globally in relevant organizations such as NA3RsC MPS Initiative, IQ-MPS, NC3R, OOACT in UK and as chair of industry advisory board at EUROoCS.