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Andrew Wilks

Professor Andrew Wilks PhD has been involved as a scientist in pharmaceutical drug discovery for three decades, most recently as Chief Scientific Officer and founder of Cytopia, an Australian public drug discovery company engaged in cancer and inflammation drug discovery and development.

Prior to starting Cytopia, Andrew was an accomplished scientist at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research in Melbourne where he discovered the JAK kinases and published one book, 86 peer reviewed publications, and 35 patents and patent applications.

His work on JAK kinases has been highly cited and he is a frequently invited speaker at international scientific and medical symposia.

Andrew is a member of the board and/or scientific advisory board of a number of research companies. He holds an Honorary Professorship in the Department of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences at Monash University (Melbourne), and was the inaugural winner of the Australian Biobusiness Award in 2007 and the AusBiotech Industry Leader Award in 2016.

Based in Melbourne, Andrew co-founded SYNthesis in 2007 and now oversees global operations.



Peter Colman

Professor Peter Colman was one of the key scientists involved in determining the structure of influenza virus neuraminidase, leading to the development of Relenza®, a drug that is effective against all known strains of the influenza virus.

He was a founding member of the Board of Directors of Biota Holdings Ltd from 1985 to 1991 and was a founding member of the Board of Directors of Starpharma Ltd, serving on the Starpharma Board for more than ten years as both a Director and a member of its Research Committee.

From 1989 -1997, Peter was Chief of the CSIRO Division of Biomolecular Engineering, and in 1990 Foundation Director of the Biomedical Research Institute, which was co-located with the division in Parkville.

In 2001, Peter moved to the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute to establish and lead the Structural Biology division. His many awards and honours include the Australia Prize for excellence in pharmaceutical design, the Victoria Prize, the Mayne Florey Medal, the Centenary Medal the James Cook Medal (Royal Society of NSW).

Peter is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering and holds an honorary Doctor of Science from the University of Sydney.

Xian Bu

Founder & Managing Director, SYN|thesis med chem Pty Ltd

Dr Xian Bu is a co-founder and managing director of SYNthesis med chem, including the group company's wholly-owned subsidiaries in China. Xian previously served as Vice President for the Chinese chemistry service company, SynCores, and worked as a Senior Drug Discovery Scientist at Cytopia where he has co-authored more than 10 patents and contributed to advancing two drugs into clinical trials.

Xian has been a highly motivated entrepreneur with both scientific expertise and business knowledge, and has excellent track record of scientific achievements and business management.  Xian is an accomplished medicinal chemist in his own right and has been involved in drug discovery research for many years. He has strong scientific expertise in the drug discovery and development area, especially in design and development of small molecules as drugs for oncology and cardiovascular diseases. He has also demonstrated remarkable talent in the management of CRO companies, and has an outstanding track record of growing and expanding business for small companies.


Portfolio Manager

Lauren Giorgio

Business Development Associate, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research

Dr Lauren Giorgio joined Catalyst Therapeutics in March 2016 and is responsible for the day to day operation of the company, particularly managing the project portfolio and implementing research and commercialisation strategies. 

Lauren has a PhD in cancer biology from the University of Adelaide, and currently holds the position of Business Development Associate at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research.