Meet Our Team

Simon Saxby – CEO

Simon joined Leaf Expression Systems as CEO in August 2018, having previously been on the company’s Science Advisory Board. Simon has over thirty years of global international experience in life sciences, including his recent roles as CEO of Stratophase Ltd and Project Director for the design and build of the UK Government’s Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult commercial scale GMP Manufacturing Centre in Stevenage. He is a course mentor for the Cambridge University MBE programme and has also served as a Visiting Lecturer in Industrial Biotechnology at Vienna Medical and Technical University, and as a Course Student Advisor at The Boston University School of Management, USA.

Dr Nicholas Holton – Principal R&D Manager

Nick graduated from the University of Otago with a PhD in Biochemistry. He has extensive postdoctoral experience working on the biochemistry and function of plant membrane receptors and has also worked for many years with Agrobacterium and Nicotiana species. Nick joined Leaf Expression Systems in February 2017.

Dr Ross Overman – Principal Scientist Process Development

Ross graduated from the University of York with a degree in biochemistry and holds a PhD in Biomolecular Science from the University of Manchester. He had worked in the pharmaceutical industry for over 15 years where he has produced a range of proteins to support drug discovery across a number disease areas. Ross joined Leaf Expression Systems in August 2018.

Richard Hart – Director of Business Development

Richard joined Leaf Expression Systems in January 2019. He has worked in the biopharmaceutical industry for 30+ years with extensive experience in the manufacturing of biologics using mammalian, microbial and yeast cell culture approaches. He is excited to join the Leaf Expression Systems team to lead the growth of the contract research, development and manufacturing activities that support Leaf’s clients’ programmes for the development of human and veterinary biologics, with the significant time and cost savings that plant expression enables.

Rebecca Baldwin –  Laboratory Manager

Beccy joined Leaf Expression Systems in August 2018. Her previous work experience has included 5 years with Anglian Water in their Microbiology Laboratories and 11 years at the University of East Anglia working across the Science Faculty as a Senior Technician. She has a degree in Ecology from the University of East Anglia and is a Science Council Registered Scientist.

Dr Claire Fowler – Process Development Scientist

Claire graduated from the University of York with an integrated Masters in Chemistry in 2014. She stayed on at the York Structural Biology Laboratory to undertake her PhD in structural and biochemical studies of lignocellulose degrading enzymes before joining Leaf Expression Systems in December 2018.

Karen Annison – Apprentice Laboratory Technician

Karen joined Leaf Expression Systems in August 2017. She finished sixth form in 2014, studying Business studies, Travel and tourism and science. She is currently working towards a laboratory technician qualification at West Suffolk College.

Dr Albor Dobon – Senior Molecular Biologist

Albor joined Leaf Expression Systems in July 2018, after working here for three months as part of the  BBSRC Flexible Talent Mobility Account. He graduated from the UPV (Spain) with a MSc. Eng. in Agronomy and a PhD in Plant Biotechnology. He has been a Marie Curie Fellow at the John Innes Centre where he has been involved in several projects, including exploring the plant production of VLPs in the Professor George Lomonossoff Lab.

Rebecca Holland – Executive Assistant

Becca joined Leaf Expression Systems in November 2016 having been on the Norwich Research Park at the John Innes Centre for 7 years working in Business Development and External Relations. She was involved in the very early stages of the initiation of the Leaf Expression Systems project in a supporting admin role. Becca has worked in the NHS and commercial sectors and has over 25 years working as a PA at Board level.


Peter Garrod – Facilities Manager

Peter joined Leaf Expression Systems  in February 2018 from Scottow Enterprise Park where he had a key engineering role in the rapid transformation of the derelict former RAF site of 600 acres and over 100 buildings.

Previously he worked in the private sector as a UK engineering leader with the Fertiliser industry. R&D and Innovation are key areas for Peter.

Gemma Goodrum – Accounts Administrator

Gemma joined Leaf Expression Systems in November 2018 having previously worked at Lintott Control Systems in Norwich for 10 years. She started there as an Administration Assistant and has gained experience in administration, purchasing and most recently accounts.