Big DNA announces Chairman and Scientific Advisory board appointments

4th May 2016

Big DNA is pleased  to announce Harry Stratford has become the non-executive chairman and Prof Dr Horst Kessler and Dr Annalisa Jenkins have joined its Scientific Advisory Board.

Harry Stratford has over 36 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical industry. He has built two successful publicly listed pharmaceutical companies from the ground up. Harry was the founder, CEO and Executive Chairman of Prostrakan Plc, the UK International specialty pharmaceutical company. He founded Shire Pharmaceuticals in 1986 and was CEO for almost a decade. Harry holds a BSc. in Chemistry from the University of London and was awarded an OBE in 2007 New Year’s Honours list for his contribution to the Scottish Life Sciences Industry. Harry is also a Non-Executive Director of Fastnet Equity PLC, Consilient Health Ltd and Neurocentrx Ltd.


Prof. Dr. Horst Kessler, Carl von Linde Professor, is a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study, Technische Universität München, Germany. Dr Kessler’s research covers the design and synthesis of peptides and peptidomimetics and their functionalization. He has an active interest in peptide drug design and optimization, including oral bioavailability studies, and has authored in excess of 730 scientific publications.. He has won numerous research awards and prizes, including the Otto Bayer Award, the Max Bergmann Medal for peptide chemistry, the Emil Fischer Medal (German Chemical Society), the Max Planck Research Award, the Vincent-du-Vigneaud Award (American Peptide Society) and the Hans Herrloff Inhoffen Medal amongst many others. Dr Kessler studied chemistry in Leipzig and undertook his PhD at Tübingen

Dr Kessler is a named inventor of cilengitide (EMD 121974).


Dr Annalisa Jenkin’s previous roles include Head of Global Research & Development at Merck Serono, during which time cilengitide was one of the drug development programs. Prior to this, she held several leadership roles at Bristol Myers-Squibb (BMS) from 1997 to 2011, most recently serving as Senior VP and Head of Global Medical Affairs. Earlier in her career, Dr Jenkins was a medical officer in the British Royal Navy during the Gulf Conflict, achieving the rank of surgeon lieutenant commander. Annalisa is a member of the board of directors of Dimension Therapeutics, Ardelyx, Inc., Biothera Pharmaceutical Inc., Viventia Bio, Inc., iOX Therapeutics Limited, and MedCity, and previously served as a board member of Prosensa Holding N.V. (acquired by BioMarin Pharmaceutical). She also is a committee member of the Science Board to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, and a member of the European Union Commission’s Scientific Panel for Health. She also serves on the boards of Women in Bio and the Center for Talent Innovation (U.K.), is an executive committee member of Springboard Enterprises, and is on the Advisory Panel of the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association. Dr. Jenkins graduated with a degree in medicine from St. Bartholomew’s Hospital in the University of London and subsequently trained in cardiovascular medicine in the U.K. National Health Service.