Dr Sullivan initially earned his PhD at the Roslin Institute (Edinburgh), under Professor Ian Wilmut and Dr Jim McWhir, becoming one of the first researchers in Europe to culture human embryonic stem cells. His work focused on pluripotency induction in human somatic cells.
Thereafter, Dr Sullivan worked as a Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge, Harvard University, and UCSD deepening his expertise of other human stem cell types (including induced pluripotent stem cells) and their medical applications.
While at Harvard, he read ‘How Economics Shapes Science’ by Dr Paula Stephan, which stimulated his interest in the financial, as well as the scientific and clinical, hurdles that must be surmounted to bring stem cell therapies to the clinic. Thereafter, he also worked for Novartis, dealing with clinical trial management and compliance, to better understand manufacturing, logistic, and regulatory challenges to bringing new therapeutics to market and earned an MBA at Trinity College Dublin focusing on risk mitigation during ATMP development.
Dr Sullivan was the Chief Scientific Officer of the Irish Stem Cell Foundation, where working with others, he facilitated the introduction of stem cell legislation into the Irish Program for Government and also a Project Support Officer for the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service.
Prior to his current position, Dr Sullivan was Program Manager and International Liaison Officer for the Global Alliance for iPSC Therapies (GAiT) where he worked to establish a HLA-homozygous haplobank network for clinical-grade induced Pluripotent Stem Cell (iPSC) lines.
Veronica Falco holds a BSc in Biomedical Sciences with a focus on Gene Therapy and a MSc in Gene and Stem Cell Therapy.
Throughout these years Ms. Falco collaborated with healthcare and gene and cell therapy experts fuelling her dedication to bring ground-breaking therapies to patients. She worked as a clinical technician in the cytogenetics department of TOMA Advanced Biomedical Assays where she cultivated her cell culture and molecular analysis skills in the cytogenetics department.
Ms. Falco carried out her research project at the National Heart and Lung Institute (NHLI). Within this setting, she developed iPSC-derived fibrotic alveolar organoids to assess the role of novel genetic variants in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and came across challenges and potential solutions for efficient 3D culture. During her time at NHLI, Ms. Falco had the privilege of participating as both an attendee and a speaker at the inaugural COST Action, dedicated to establishing an open access repository of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSCs) derived from patients with interstitial lung disorders. Through her invaluable experiences, Ms. Falco gained direct exposure to real-life challenges in clinical translation, which significantly deepened her engagement and commitment to the field.
Ms. Falco is now working as an ATMP consultant at Lindville Bio specializing in iPSC manufacturing and therapeutic development. She is helping developers navigating the complex route to clinical translation bringing safe and effective treatments to patients.