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Dr Darrin M Disley Awarded OBE

11 June 2018

Cambridge, UK, 09 June 2018: Scientist, entrepreneur and enterprise champion, Dr Darrin M Disley has been appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the Queen’s Birthday honours list 2018. The OBE has been awarded to Darrin for his services to business, enterprise and health, recognising his achievement in the advancement of the UK life science industry, and support of student entrepreneurs and their businesses. 

A champion of UK life sciences, Darrin is an advisor, investor and philanthropist, supporting over 40 life science business ventures, several social enterprises, and numerous educational and entrepreneurship schemes aimed at promoting social mobility for the economically underprivileged. 

He has a track record of raising c£375 million business financing from private and public sources as well as closing c£450 million of product, service, and licensing deals. Until recently he was the CEO of Horizon Discovery Group plc, a global leader in gene editing and gene modulation technologies, from a seed funding in March 2008 to a record £69 million IPO on AIM  in 2014, four international acquisitions and a peak market capitalisation of £440 million in 2017.

Darrin supports educational, business plan competition, enterprise clubs and mentoring programs via a 10-year endowment of the Professor Christopher R Lowe Carpe Diem Enterprise Fund. Through this program he provides invaluable inspiration, guidance and financial support to student entrepreneurs and has led to the foundation of scores of new business ventures many of which he has gone on to invest in and mentor. This led to him being conferred with a lifetime-held Queens Award for Enterprise Promotion in 2016. 

In recent years he was named Cambridge Business Person of the Year twice, UK Quoted Company Entrepreneur, UK Life Science Public Company CEO, UK Iconic Male Entrepreneur, European Life Science Business Leader and Scrip Biotech and Pharma Executive of Year as well as 1 of the 100 game-changing disruptive UK entrepreneurs and 1 of the 100 Faces of a Vibrant UK Economy. 

Darrin holds a BSc in Chemistry from the University of Salford and a PhD in Biotechnology from the University of Cambridge.  He is an Enterprise Fellow at the Department of Chemical Engineering and Institute of Biotechnology and Honorary Fellow of the Judge Business School, both at the University of Cambridge. He is also an Honorary Visiting Fellow and advisor on science and industry to the University of Salford.

Commenting on the OBE, Dr Darrin M Disley said: “Having received the individual lifetime Queens Award in 2016 for my work promoting enterprise in others I was shocked and humbled to have received the OBE for services to business, enterprise and health. It is a privilege to get up every day and work with so many great scientists, educators, entrepreneurs and students, and to be able to make a difference in the community and country I love.”


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