Ferenc Darvas, PhD – InnoStudio Inc.
Executive Chairman of the Board, Founder
Prof. Ferenc Darvas acquired his degrees in Budapest, Hungary (medical chemistry MS, computer sciences BS, Ph.D. in experimental biology). He has been involved in introducing microfluidics/flow chemistry methodologies for synthetizing drug candidates since the late 90’s, which led him to found ThalesNano, the inventor of H-Cube®. Awarded twice with R&D100 (“Technical Oscar”), Fellow of the American Chemical Society (2016). Dr. Darvas is the founder and President of the Flow Chemistry Society (CH), founder and Editorial Board member of the Journal of Flow Chemistry. He took a leading role in forming the space chemistry concept, via founding the Space Chemistry Consortium and organizing the Space Chemistry Symposium series at ACS. Initiator of the world-first anti-Covid drug discovery experiments on ISS.
Naohiro Sato, PhD – Japan Manned Space Systems Corporation
Deputy General Manager, Space Business Dept.
Naohiro Sato studied Aerospace Engineering and received his Ph.D. at Tokyo University. He joined Japan Manned Space Systems Corporation (JAMSS) in 1997. He was certified as one of the first JAXA astronaut training instructors in 2001. From 2009, he worked for simulation for flight controllers of ‘KOUNOTORI’ (HTV). He had been working for JEM/HTV training and operations for more than 10 years. From 2016, looking at the post ISS era, he was engaged in developing new business for manned LEO activities. He organized a panel discussion session of LEO commercialization in the side event of the International Space Exploration Forum in 2018. He is now the project leader of the ‘KIRARA’ service that produce high quality proteins in space to support drug discovery.
Martin Braddock, PhD, FRSB, FRAS – Sherwood Observatory
Professionally, Martin is a Global Project Leader within the BioPharma Business Unit for Respiratory and Immunology at a major BioPharmaceutical Company based in Cambridge, United Kingdom. He previously held a Royal Society Fellowship at the University of Oxford and has over 200 publications and is a named inventor on 8 patents. In 2012, he was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology for outstanding contribution to science. He is also passionate about all aspects of astronomy and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Astronomy in 2015 for his services to outreach activities. He has given over 100 presentations throughout the world and is a recent nominee to RAS for an Outreach Medal. He is a STEM ambassador where he works with schools to help inspire the next generation of young scientists at both school level and through UK based astronomy societies.
Paul Reichert, PhD – Merck
Paul Reichert is an Associate Principal Scientist in the Structural Chemistry Department at Merck Research Laboratories (MRL). He has been conducting pharmaceutical research for 35 years working at MRL on the discovery and development of small molecule and macromolecular therapeutics. He has over 25 pharmaceutical application patents of crystalline proteins and is also the author of over 31 papers on the development of biologic therapeutics. In collaboration with NASA, he has been a principal investigator for eleven microgravity experiments on Space Shuttle flights as secondary payloads. Currently, besides his work at MRL, Paul is a principal investigator in collaboration with CASIS and has performed experiments for crystallization of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies on Space X-CRS-3 and 6 and 10 mission to the International Space Station (ISS).
Gergo Mezohegyi, PhD – InnoStudio Inc.
Head of Space Chemistry Innovation
Gergo obtained his Ph.D. in chemical and process engineering at the University Rovira i Virgili (2010), and completed postdoctoral researches at KU Leuven and the National Institute of Chemistry in Slovenia. He joined InnoStudio in 2019 and took the role of developing, coordinating and implementing R+D+I projects at the field of space chemistry. He contributed to receiving national and international grants for projects with the aim of developing flow chemical equipments for microgravity applications. He supports building international strategic partnerships and business development. He developed the concept of bringing Covid-19 drug research to space. He is author of 8 scientific papers, one of them with >450 citations, and co-inventor of 1 patent.
Jana Stoudemire – Axiom Space
Commercial Innovation Strategy Lead
Jana is responsible for identifying new business opportunities for biomedical and technology research and in space manufacturing applications on the world’s first commercial space station. She transitioned from pharma to lead life science research in microgravity as part of the team managing the International Space Station U.S. National Laboratory (ISS-NL). Jana then joined Space Tango where she successfully established the initial foundational partnerships that are helping to define an emerging biomedical market on orbit, representing a new sector of the Space economy. Jana is a member of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Committee on Biological and Physical Sciences in Space, Regenerative Medicine Manufacturing Society member, and past New Organ Alliance Oversight Committee Member along with co-chair of the Microgravity Enabling Technology Committee.
Hiroaki Tanaka, PhD – Confocal Science Inc.
Chief Executive Director
Mr. Tanaka has been Chief Executive Director at Confocal Science Inc. (CS) since 2004. Prior to that, he was involved in the NASDA PCG program, STS-84, STS-107 and JAXA PCG (JAXA(NASDA) GCF#1-#6). After that CS supported JAXA NGCF#1-#3, JAXA PCG#1-#18 and JAXA LT/MT PCGs. Also, he supported JAMSS Kirara#1-#3 missions. CS designed numerous crystallization cells for space experiments (GCB GT, JCB HD, JCB MCB, JCB SGT, C SGT, etc.). Recently, CS fixed a contract with AXIOM SPACE to support their PCG project in near future. Selected references: Y. Hashizume, K. Inaka, N. Furubayashi, M. Kamo, S. Takahashi and H. Tanaka, Methods for Obtaining Better Diffractive Protein Crystals: From Sample Evaluation to Space Crystallization, Crystals 2020, 10(2), 78.
Richard Jones M. Sci- InnoStudio Inc.
Richard joined InnoStudio as CEO in 2017. He has since left to become CEO and Co-Founder of ThalesNano Energy Inc, but continues to operate as a board member. Before this, Richard was CEO of ThalesNano where he completely overhauled the product line, doubling the number of new instruments and greatly extending the number of countries ThalesNano sells into. He joined ThalesNano in 2004 where he started as Chief Research Chemist, helping to develop the chemistry on the H-Cube® and other flow reactors. He then went on to become Product Manager of the R&D 100 Award winning H-Cube® before becoming Director of Product Management. Prior to ThalesNano, Richard was at Biofocus Discovery and worked on the synthesis of several Kinase and GPCR inhibitor based compound libraries. Richard studied chemistry at the University of Bristol where he graduated with honors in 1999. He has over 20 scientific papers, books, and patents specializing in flow chemistry to his name.
Kenneth A. Savin, PhD – Redwire
Chief Scientific Officer
Ken received his Ph.D. from the University of Utah in 1996 and came to Eli Lilly and Co. in 1998 from the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Research Center as a senior organic chemist. He had roles in management and research in drug disposition, lead generation, isotopic chemistry, acquisitions and assessment, process chemistry and route design, technology and clinical innovation. During Ken’s final years at Lilly, he led a team of scientists to develop and fly five experiments on the International Space Station. In May 2017, Ken retired from Lilly and joined the team at the Center for the Advancement of Science In Space (CASIS), the manager of the International Space Station U.S. National Laboratory. He has been a part of the Business Development and the Science and Technology teams and worked as the Sr. Program Director of In-Space Production at CASIS. Ken left the International Space Station National Lab at the end of 2021 and is now the Chief Scientific Officer at Redwire.
Bernhard Hufenbach – European Space Agency / European Space Research and Technology Centre
Lead of Commercialisation and Innovation Team
Bernhard Hufenbach leads the commercialisation and innovation team of the ESA Directorate for human and robotic exploration. In this function he is responsible for developing and implementing a comprehensive innovation plan for space exploration, which includes the delivery of new initiatives aimed at paving the way for a future Low Earth Orbit and lunar economy. He works since 31 years at ESA in areas such as strategic planning, innovation management, project management, policy development, programme appraisal and evaluation, strategic partnership development, future studies and programme definition, outreach and technology development with a particular focus on space exploration. He holds two Master degrees from the Technical University of Berlin and Delft in Space Systems and Technologies and Space System Engineering, respectively.