OUR TEAM

Our team are trained in some of the best academic and industrial labs in the world. We have hand picked our scientists to make sure we have all the skills that Baccuico needs to thrive.

We can currently be found across two labs - one in the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich and the other in the Biscuit Factory in London.

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DR DANIEL HANSEN

Co-founder & CEO

Daniel completed his bachelor at the University of Oxford and PhD at Imperial College London. His PhD project focused on cultivating unculturable bacteria and screening them for antibiotics.


Daniel has an MSc in Finance from IE Business School Madrid and has worked two years in investment banking for Barclays Capital. Alongside his PhD, Daniel worked on evaluating the commercial potential of spinouts from University College London, as part of his work for Albion Ventures.


 Daniel is currently based in London.

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DR ANDREAS HARRIS

Co-founder & CTO

Andreas completed his MSci in Physics at Imperial College London, where he focussed on modelling the evolution of species on a planetary scale. He continued his interdisciplinary research in a DPhil in Systems Biology at the University of Oxford, where his main project was the design, implementation and testing of gene regulatory networks in E. coli to develop tools for system control at a sub-cellular level.


Andreas is based in our Munich office and uses data science and statistics, machine learning, metagenomics and next generation sequencing to leverage data and enhance our bacterial library and screening methods. On the odd occasion, when help is needed, he can also be spotted in the lab.


When not working, Andreas loves the great outdoors, people, languages, food and maintaining a healthy body through a rigorous exercise routine with a heavy emphasis on mobility.

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DR HELENA FRANCIS

Head of Business Development

Helena studied Natural Sciences (Biochemistry) at the University of Cambridge before completing a DPhil in Chromosome & Developmental Biology at the University of Oxford. Her thesis focused on the use of synthetic biology techniques to interrogate the logic of the DNA code. Before joining Baccuico, Helena worked as a Management Consultant in Oliver Wyman’s London office, where she worked on a range of projects with an emphasis on strategy and risk.

At Baccuico, Helena is working to help secure and deliver on the partnerships and grant funding that will support the company’s growth ambitions.

In her free time, Helena enjoys out into the fresh air, be that hiking, cycling or trying her best to learn how to roller skate.

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DR MARK WILKINSON

Head of Compound Discovery

Mark completed his undergraduate and masters in Biochemistry at the University of Oxford. He then completed an MSc and PhD at Imperial College London, where he developed a biosynthetic platform for antimalarial drug discovery and a single molecule method for studying protein folding. Before joining Baccuico, he was based at the Drug Discovery Unit at GlaxoSmithKline in Madrid.

Mark joined Baccuico in London in September 2020 and is leading the screening and automation team for the discovery of novel antibiotics.

Outside of the lab, Mark can be found in the kitchen cooking and baking, or travelling around the world on his bike.

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DR EMMA JOHNSTONE

Head of Bioinformatics

Emma completed her undergraduate in Biology at Imperial College London and then completed her MSc in Soil Science at the University of Edinburgh before undertaking a PhD at the University of Warwick. During her PhD Emma explored how climate change driven extreme weather events, such as flooding and drought, impact soil microbiomes across a variety of land-uses.

At Baccuico, Emma leads the bioinformatic analysis of next-generation sequencing data to elucidate the diversity and metabolic potential of newly cultured bacteria.


Outside of the office Emma enjoys spending time at her allotment, exploring the outdoors or relaxing with a book.

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DR JAYNEIL PATEL

Head of Metabolite Interactions

Jay completed his PhD at Imperial College London under the supervision of Dr Alfonso De Simone and in collaboration with Unilever. He studied the structure, activity and interactions of bio-industrial enzymes, which he continued in a postdoctoral role into 2018 when he moved out of academia into industry.

At Baccuico, Jay leads the characterisation of metabolite structure and interactions using a range of structural and biophysical approaches.

Some of Jay’s interests include circuit training, football, baking and whiskey.

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DR BRUNO PINHEIRO

Head of Bacterial Diversity

Bruno is a trained pharmacist and biochemist. He has a extensive experience in the identification and cultivation of microorganisms from laboratory, clinical and environmental settings. He completed his PhD at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich where he studied conditions and genes that change primary and secondary metabolite production in a variety of bacterial species.

Based in Munich, Bruno works on the optimisation of the Baccu platform to increase the number and diversity of novel bacteria, as well as screening for high-value chemical producers.

When out of the lab, Bruno loves running, cycling, music, meeting friends – and travels to the beach as often as possible.

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DR ALEXANDRE LEARY

Head of Fungicide Discovery

After completing a BSc in Biology, Alex undertook an MRes and PhD in Molecular Plant and Microbial Interactions at Imperial College London where he investigated the molecular basis of plant immunity against the oomycete Phytophthora infestans. Before joining Baccuico, Alex was a postdoctoral researcher at The Sainsbury Laboratory in Norwich, UK.


Joining Baccuico in March 2021, Alex leads the discovery and screening of novel fungicides against a variety of fungal and oomycete targets.


Outside the lab, you can find Alex on the climbing wall or on an outdoors adventure with his dog.

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DR PAOLA NOCERA

Head of Analytical Chemistry

Paola completed her MSc in Pharmacy at the University of Campania Luigi Vanvitelli and then completed her PhD in Chemical Sciences at the University of Naples Federico II in Italy. During her PhD Paola carried out a project on the isolation and the chemical characterization of phytotoxic secondary metabolites produced by phytopathogenic fungi of agrarian crops.

At Baccuico, Paola leads the extraction, purification, and characterization of secondary metabolites from unculturable bacteria, using analytical and chromatographic techniques and data analysis, for the screening of novel antibiotics.

Outside of the lab, Paola enjoys visiting cities, trekking with her dog and spending time with her family and friends.

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HEIKE ZIERAHN

Lab Technician

Heike has a career’s worth of experience in the lab. She completed her education at the Rheinische Academy in Cologne and thereafter has worked on a wide range of projects across numerous sectors. This includes work in quality control of foods, molecular genetics in cattle breeds, mice and cancers, and microbiology.


At Baccuico, Heike is based in Munich and provides essential hands and experience in the lab, and is engaged with and supports all lab based work.


Heike loves art, travelling, hiking and good food.

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NANCY HASSANIEN

Research scientist

Nancy studied pharmacy for her bachelor degree at the German university in Cairo, and biotechnology for her master’s degree at the American University in Cairo. During her master studies, she worked with different types of orthopedic biomaterials and assessed their biological activity against mammalian and bacterial cells.


Nancy is based in Munich and has been working on the screening and identification process of novel bacteria, as well as with establishing other techniques to support the work flow.


Cooking and experimenting new foods from all over the world has always been Nancy's main passion, together with lots of friends gatherings, reading, and cycling.

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CATERINA MENICHELLI

Head of Operations

Caterina studied Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Trento. After completing her studies, she started working in Project Management and Operations in the tech field. She is PRINCE2 qualified and Lean Six Sigma trained.

At Baccuico, Caterina oversees the day-to-day administrative and operational functions of the company, monitors progress, and manages key projects.

In her free time, Caterina enjoys a good book, exploring museums and galleries in London, and keeps active by practising Pilates.