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Cambridge Epigenetix strengthens leadership team to support development of epigenetics-based diagnostics

02 November 2017

Cambridge, UK, 02 November 2017: Cambridge Epigenetix (CEGX), a pioneer in the development and application of epigenetic technologies, today announced that it has appointed diagnostic experts, Hayden Jeffreys as Chief Operating Officer (COO) and Dr Joanne Mason as Vice President (VP) of Biomarker Discovery. Following on from the appointment of Dr Vitali Proutski, Vice President Informatics, in June this year, these appointments further strengthen CEGX’s in-house expertise to help drive the development of high-value diagnostic assays based on its disruptive epigenetic discovery platform.

Hayden Jeffreys, joins CEGX as COO. Hayden is a senior level executive with 20 years of experience in the clinical diagnostics industry with specialisation in the molecular diagnostic and blood bank fields. Previous appointments include Interim CEO Erba Diagnostics Inc, in addition to being the Head of Corporate Business Development and Strategy for Erba Mannheim and Lumora. He has also held senior positions at Lab21 and Gen-Probe. Hayden has expertise in leading and implementing organisation transformation to create stakeholder value, growing revenue and developing effective structures within organisations through formulating and implementing strategy, driving commercial operations and linking R&D output into commercially viable products. 

Joanne Mason, PhD joins CEGX as VP of Biomarker Discovery. Joanne holds a PhD from the University of Cambridge and sits on the MHRA Genomics for Diagnosis Forum, UK NEQAS for molecular genetics DNA extraction steering committee and Genomics England sequencing advisory board. Previously she was Director of Sequencing and Sample Acquisition for Genomics England, where she managed sample collection and sequencing for the 100,000 Genomes Project. Joanne also set up and managed an NGS core facility leading translational research, offering disease-specific diagnostic NGS panels and introducing clinical-grade whole-genome sequencing into the diagnostic setting at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Jason Mellad, PhD, CEO at CEGX, said: “The ability to attract such high-calibre talent is further validation of CEGX’s disruptive technologies. The experience that both Hayden and Joanne have in the diagnostics field will help us to deliver upon our strategy of developing the next generation of diagnostics.”

Hayden Jeffreys, COO at CEGX said: “It’s exciting to see the potential of epigenetics-based diagnostics, particularly with regard to 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC). CEGX have a proprietary, disruptive discovery platform that it is utilising for in-house diagnostic assay development and as such, the Company is uniquely placed to capitalise on the potential of an underexploited and fundamental area of molecular medicine.”

Joanne Mason, PhD, VP of Biomarker Discovery, said: “I look forward to applying the experience I have gained in setting up and managing large-scale clinical and discovery projects, such as the 100,000 Genomes Project to oversee CEGX’s high-throughput facility and help harness the power of 5hmC in biomarker discovery, and its translation into clinical diagnostics.”
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About Cambridge Epigenetix
Cambridge Epigenetix’s mission is to improve health through the routine measurement of the epigenome. Cambridge Epigenetix utilizes innovative technologies, often based on fundamental chemistry, to detect the epigenetic biomarkers that will be most useful in clinical settings. Spun-out of the University of Cambridge in 2012, the Company was founded by Professor Sir Shankar Balasubramanian (co-inventor of Solexa sequencing) and Dr Bobby Yerramilli-Rao to commercialise its founding technology, oxidative bisulfite sequencing (oxBS-Seq), which enables users to quantify, and discriminate between, functionally-distinct DNA modifications – impossible with traditional bisulfite methods. Cambridge Epigenetix is a privately held company headquartered in Cambridge, UK, supported by several high-profile investors: GV (Google Ventures), Sequoia, Syncona, New Science Ventures and the University of Cambridge. The Company is seeking partnerships across a broad range of applications in life sciences, as well as developing its own pipeline. For more information, visit