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Adriano Henney

Programme Director German Virtual Liver Network

Dr Henney obtained a PhD in Medicine and has 23 years’ research experience in cardiovascular disease in laboratories in London, Cambridge and Oxford. His interests have focused predominantly on atherosclerosis, with studies ranging from pathology, through molecular and cellular biology to molecular genetics. In 1997, he was recruited by Zeneca Pharmaceuticals from a Senior Fellowship position leading his own molecular genetics group in Oxford, to lead the exploration of new therapeutic approaches in atherosclerosis, specifically focusing on his research interests in vascular biology. Following the merger with Astra, Dr Henney moved within the newly formed company, AstraZeneca, to a position of Global Programme Manager responsible for prototyping strategic improvements to the company’s approaches to pharmaceutical target identification, and the reduction of attrition in early development. This involved directing activities both across research sites and across functional project teams in the US, Sweden and the UK. The work undertaken in this Programme resulted in the creation in July 2003 of an entirely new multidisciplinary department that focused on pathway mapping, modelling and simulation. With personnel based in the UK and US, and global project interactions across all therapy areas, the work of this department supported drug projects across Research and Development. Under his leadership, the department evolved to establish the practice of Systems Biology that, together with strong relationships with key academic centres and biotechs, prototyped the application of mechanistic disease modelling approaches to the discovery of innovative new medicines. Since leaving AstraZeneca in 2009, Dr Henney has continued his interest in Systems Biology through his company, Obsidian Biomedical Consulting Ltd., helping academics to work more closely with industry. In April 2010, Dr Henney was invited to direct a major new German national flagship research programme in Systems Biology: the Virtual Liver Network, which remains his current focus.