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Board & Management

Mr. Angus St John

Chairman, Director Investment


Mr. St John is Managing Director Sponsor Coverage APAC for MUFG Bank. Based in Sydney, he is responsible for building the Bank’s regional sponsor coverage franchise, working with clients from private equity firms, sovereign funds and asset management entities. Angus has over 25 years’ experience working with institutional investor and financial sponsor clients and has built his career with senior roles across global investment banks and management consulting firms in San Francisco, Sydney and Singapore. He worked with several successful businesses at start-up and scale-up phase, including in healthcare, to develop business strategy, improve operating models, and achieve beneficial capital raising outcomes.

Dr. Tara Karnezis

CEO, Managing Director

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Dr Karnezis has over 15 years' experience in research leadership, heading scientific programs with commercial application at Stanford University and Peter Mac. She is an expert in vascular biology with an internationally significant track record including publications in Nature, Cancer Cell and Nature Neuroscience. Dr Karnezis authored the seminal Nature paper that described Sox18 as the master-regulator of lymphatic vessel development. In addition to experience with target identification and validation, she has been involved in identifying druggable targets related to the interaction of vascular biology and oncology.

Dr. Ramin Shayan

COO, Director Clinical

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Dr Shayan is a senior academic plastic surgeon with world-leading experience in both clinical and research aspects of angiosarcoma, Kaposi’s sarcoma, vascular malformations and solid malignancies that rely on their neo-angiogenesis for their blood supply. Dr Shayan is Director of the O’Brien Institute Department, St Vincent’s Institute for Medical Research. He has been active in supporting and managing ongoing research into vascular biology and its application to addressing serious clinical unmet needs.

Mr. Vince Rizzo

CFO, Director Finance

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Mr Rizzo is a leading management accounting, investment and commercialization expert with experience in corporate and tax structure and R&D administration. Mr Rizzo, a director of over 25 companies, is in charge of investor relations for a private funds management company with $45 million under management. He has provided financial and investment stewardship through creation of fundraising vehicles and organization of investment rounds. In 1996 he oversaw ASX listing and exit of SDS Ltd through sale to Sandvic (AUD$110 million), then remained a director and Chairman of the Audit Committee. Mr Rizzo brings board reporting compliance. management capacity, and rigorous governance skills.

Prof. Marc Achen

Non-Executive Director


Professor Marc Achen is a Laboratory Head at St Vincent’s Institute of Medical Research, Melbourne, and an expert in molecular aspects of vascular biology. He has published over 100 international research papers and has been an Inventor on over 70 patents. His current focus is on the function of lymphatic vessels in lymphoedema, a common side-effect of cancer surgery. Professor Achen’s industry experience includes involvement in founding Vegenics Pty Ltd, now a subsidiary of Opthea Pty Ltd. His commercialization experience includes collaborating with several biotechnology companies leading to five product candidates entering clinical trials.  Professor Achen's expertise in research and commercialization relating to vascular disease aligns well with Gertrude Biomedical's focus on the vascular target Sox18.

Prof. Peter Koopman

Non-Executive Director


Prof. Koopman is Emeritus Professor at the University of Queensland (UQ), and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science. He has over 40 years’ experience in biomedical research, specializing in developmental biology, molecular genetics, and mouse models of human disease. He has published ~300 research papers, and attracted over $56 million in competitive grant funding. His team at UQ discovered Sox18 in 1995 and has led the way in Sox18 research, revealing its role in blood and lymphatic vascular biology and cancer, and establishing the principle of therapeutic strategies targeting Sox18.

Mr. Wallace Cameron

Non-Executive Director


With legal, accounting and MBA qualifications, Mr Cameron has high-level international taxation and commercial law experience in the UK, Hong Kong and Europe with Denton Hall Burgin (now Dentons). He has had significant business, board and commercialization experience as Chairman, CEO and managing director of Gribbles Pathology which became Australasia’s largest pathology services provider and a global pathology, diagnostic and analytical services and molecular science company. Mr Cameron guided Gribbles through successful exit with Healthscope in 2004. Since this sale, he has invested in Biotechnology ventures in Australia and globally.

Dr. Jeffrey Hill

Head of Biology


Dr. Jeffrey Hill is the Head of Biology at Gertrude Biomedical where he works on the discovery and development of novel SOX18 inhibitors to treat patients with largely unmet medical needs. Before joining Gertrude Biomedical, Jeff was VP, Head of Biology at the Center for Translational Research at Shenzhen Bay Laboratories, China. From 2019 to 2021, Jeff was Director of the Sussex Drug Discovery Centre (SDDC) at the University of Sussex.  From 2006 to 2019 he worked in Singapore for A*STAR as Director and Head of Biology at the Experimental Therapeutics Centre (ETC), where he advanced three new therapeutics into clinical development. Prior to moving to Singapore, Jeff worked with GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals in the UK.

Prof. Matt Cooper, FRSC

Non-Executive Director


Prof. Matt Cooper is a medical researcher who has worked in academia and industry on platform technologies, diagnostics and therapeutics in cancer, infectious, autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.  He has founded 6 companies, most recently Inflazome which drove drugs from the lab into the clinic in less than 3 years with an acquisition by Roche in 2020. He has also had appointments as a NED, SAB member or consultant in more than 20 others, including Alere, Apax Capital, AstraZeneca, Cambridge Antibody Technologies, Forbion, GE Healthcare, OSI Pharmaceuticals, Pfizer, and Solexa. Matt has more than 200 patents and 370 publications including > 25 in Nature & Science journals.  He is driven to help people who are sick.

Dr. Justin Ripper

Head of Medicinal Chemistry


Dr. Justin Ripper is Head of Medicinal Chemistry at Gertrude Biomedical working towards the development of small molecules, that target SOX18, with the potential to become drugs. Justin has over 25 years’ experience as a Medicinal Chemist in Drug Discovery, working in senior roles with companies such as SYNthesis Med. Chem., Bionomics Ltd and the AstraZeneca funded, Natural Product Drug Discovery Program, at Griffith University. He has worked in the field of Oncology for the past 15 years and is keenly motivated by working with such a multidisciplinary team at Gertrude. He is determined to make a difference to patients suffering from disease.

Dr. Terry Lee

Project Manager


Leveraging his seven years of extensive commercialisation experience in the biotechnology sector, Terry oversees the operations of Gertrude Biomedical. He is currently aiding in the development of novel SOX18 inhibitors for oncology indications, having previously advanced small molecules to clinical trials. Terry is commercially focused and facilitates operational business development by providing strategic management and administrative leadership to Gertrude Biomedical. His project management role includes planning and implementing financial management and operational activities to contribute to the Company's success.

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