Our team merges expertise in chemistry, molecular biology and computational pharmacology with a natural enthusiasm for global health. We believe in open-source science as a means to generate low revenue drugs and thus contribute to a more egalitarian world.
Gemma Turon, PhD
Co-Founder & CEO
Trained as a molecular biologist, Gemma completed a PhD in colorectal cancer and stem cells at IRB Barcelona in 2019, before taking a one-year break to focus on working and volunteering in the third sector. This shifted her scientific interest to global health and neglected diseases, and the existing barriers to tackle some of the most urgent health issues in developing countries. With Ersilia, she aims to explore new ways of community building and engagement in the scientific arena, at the intersection between academia, biotech start-ups and NPOs.
Miquel Duran-Frigola, PhD
Co-Founder, CSO & Trustee
Miquel’s research interests lay at the intersection between drug discovery and large-scale biological data analysis. During his PhD studies and early career, Miquel developed several in silico methods, producing scientific publications in a broad range of topics, from theoretical chemistry to cell-based data. Along this process, he has worked at IRB Barcelona, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Tel Aviv University, ISGlobal-CISM (Mozambique) and CIDRZ (Zambia). With Ersilia, Miquel aims to apply his expertise in computational pharmacology to unmet clinical needs of the Global South.
Graduated in Mathematics at the UB, Núria is now pursuing a master's degree in Fundamental Principles of Data Science. In collaboration and cooperation with Ersilia, she will carry out her final thesis based on AI / ML methods applied to antimalarial drug discovery. With Ersilia, Núria aims to gain expertise and knowledge hand by hand with Ersilia members while contributing to a solidarity project.
Board of Trustees
Our Board of Trustees ensures that all activities performed within Ersilia are aligned with our mission.
Edoardo Gaude, PhD
Co-Founder & Trustee
Edoardo is motivated in making an impact by applying his expertise to real-world medical needs. After a PhD in oncology at the University of Cambridge, Edoardo took on a clinical scientist position at Owlstone Medical Ltd (Cambridge, UK). In 2018, he founded POCKiT diagnostics Ltd, a medical company aimed at improving stroke care. During his academic and industrial career, he published ~40 scientific articles, filed 3 patents, designed and performed several clinical studies, and contributed to raising £1.2M public and private funds. With Ersilia, Edoardo aims to harness his science entrepreneurship expertise for the creation and furthering of open innovation and science crowdsourcing.
Miquel Duran-Frigola, PhD
Co-Founder, CSO & Trustee
As a Trustee, Miquel is committed to ensuring a perfect alignment between the charitable mission of Ersilia and it daily activities. In particular, he thinks that it is important to look beyond the scientific aspects, which he tries to cover in his role as CSO, and give equal attention to creating a thriving community of collaborators, contributors, volunteers and beneficiaries. Likewise, Miquel is convinced that a radically open source policy is the only way forward to reduce the imbalance in research productivity between high-income countries and low- and middle-income countries, were funding is scarce. Finally, Miquel believes that Ersilia needs to prioritise projects that are led by researchers in the Global South.
Akash has completed his education in strategy and finance from INSEAD (France), and has worked extensively in the life sciences industry. During his career, he has advised multiple global life sciences companies (including large pharma, biotech, diagnostics companies, etc.) on a wide range of issues related to business planning, commercial strategy, and M&A. He is passionate about bridging the healthcare access gap in developing countries, and bringing innovative medicines to patients. With Ersilia, Akash aims to apply his life sciences business planning and commercial modelling expertise to deliver a sustainable solution to some of the major healthcare issues in the low- and middle-income countries.
Alacia has an MSc in Biotechnology (University of the Western Cape) and MSc in Technology Management (University of Pretoria) and has worked with centres and institutes within the academic space for over a decade including the Centre for Microbial Ecology, University of Pretoria and Genomics, Global Change Institute, University of Witwatersrand and the Holistic Drug Discovery and Development (H3D) Centre at the University of Cape Town. Her diverse educational background has served her well in her career at H3D where she worked as the Research Project and Operations and then as the Head of Marketing and Communications at the Centre. She also works as a marketing consultant for the H3D Foundation. With Ersilia, Alacia brings her diverse experience, expertise and passion for project and operations management, capacity building and education and, marketing and communications to share the story of Ersilia and its impact with the world.
The invisible city of Ersilia
Ersilia is a city imagined by Cuban-Italian writer Italo Calvino in his book 'Invisible Cities'. Calvino's vivid description of the city is a perfect metaphore for our mission.