Press releases

ELRIG UK Announces Steve Bates and Dr Anderson Ryan as Keynote Speakers at Research and Innovation 2024

• ELRIG Research and Innovation 2024 takes place from 20–21 March in Manchester, UK
• Key topics include oncology, antimicrobial resistance, mass spectrometry, proteomics and animal-free drug discovery
• Launch of TechBio Breakthrough Zone offers young companies an opportunity to showcase innovations
• Award available to early career professionals making an impact on the community

Cambridge, UK, 08 February 2024:
The European Laboratory Research & Innovation Group (ELRIG) UK today announced the keynote speakers for its upcoming Research and Innovation conference taking place at the University of Manchester from 20–21 March. Steve Bates OBE FMedSci, CEO, BioIndustry Association (BIA) and Dr Anderson Ryan, Co-founder and Head of R&D and Drug Development, FasT BioPharma will lead this year’s event which will focus on accelerating drug discovery.

This free-to-attend event will bring together scientists, researchers and entrepreneurs to discuss how emerging biology and innovative technologies are pioneering the medicines of tomorrow and helping to enable the next generation of therapeutics. It will comprise four main sessions covering animal-free technologies, oncology drug discovery, tackling antimicrobial resistance as well as advances in mass spectrometry techniques and proteomics. There will also be a trade show and exhibition, a poster competition, and a host of networking opportunities.

Steve Bates leads the BIA, the UK’s trade association for innovative life science companies. A strong advocate of partnership working, Steve champions sector collaboration with research charities and academia, and is committed to next-generation talent and developing the skills needed for the sector to flourish. He serves on the UK Government’s Life Sciences Council and Vaccine Taskforce as well as the UK Biosecurity Leadership Council. Steve has helped enable effective industrial incentives, like the Biomedical Catalyst, and forged links for the sector across the USA, Europe and China. Before joining the BIA, Steve worked for Genzyme and was advisor to the UK Government of Tony Blair. He was appointed an OBE for services to innovation in 2017 and became a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Science in 2020.

Dr Anderson Ryan is the scientific co-founder of FasT BioPharma, an oncology-focussed start-up, where he leads the R&D programme. Prior to this he served as VP Head of Oncology at Mission Therapeutics, Head of Translational Science at Medicines Discovery Catapult and worked in a number of roles at AstraZeneca, including leading translational science programmes across a broad range of preclinical and clinical oncology indications. Anderson was previously a lecturer in cancer studies at the University of Manchester, and Associate Professor and Senior MRC Group Leader in the Department of Oncology at the University of Oxford, investigating new therapeutic approaches in lung cancer. He has trained more than 20 post-graduate students, published over 200 scientific papers and 12 patents, and acts as an oncology/drug-development reviewer for key funders, including CRUK, UKRI and Innovate UK.

ELRIG will be launching the TechBio Breakthrough Zone at Research and Innovation 2024. The new exhibition space provides young companies with the opportunity to present their technology and connect with potential customers and collaborators. There is also an opportunity to nominate early-career professionals for ELRIG’s Impact Award which will recognise an individual for their scientific contribution and its impact on early-stage drug discovery.

Sarah Brockbank, Conference Director, ELRIG UK and Strategy Leader—Complex Medicines, Medicines Discovery Catapult, said: “We have an outstanding line up of speakers covering key focus areas in drug discovery and development. These world-leading experts will share their insights and experiences on the challenges and opportunities in the field, and we are honoured to have Steve Bates and Dr Anderson Ryan on board as keynote speakers.”

Roger Clark, Conference Director, ELRIG UK and Head of High Throughput Screening, Charles River Laboratories, said: “We look forward to welcoming scientists from academia and industry to the University of Manchester, celebrating its bicentenary this year — the perfect setting to share bold ideas to accelerate future drug discovery and reflect upon the transformative achievements that have paved the way for new generation therapeutics.”

Steve Bates OBE FMedSci, CEO, BioIndustry Association, said: “I’m delighted to be speaking at ELRIG Research and Innovation this year. The event presents an excellent opportunity for the vibrant life sciences industry to connect, collaborate and discuss the latest innovations. This is vital to the success of the community as we strive towards the discovery and development of new medicines to cure more patients around the world.”

Dr Anderson Ryan, Co-founder and Head of R&D and Drug Development, FasT BioPharma: “The organisers have put together a terrific line up packed with interesting talks, poster presentations, exhibitors and networking opportunities. I’m proud to be presenting at such an exciting event, providing researchers and entrepreneurs with a host of opportunities to discover emerging biology and cutting-edge technologies, including those from young companies.”

For further information about Research and Innovation 2024, please visit: