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Our team

We have an incredibly talented and experienced team who are extremely passionate about improving access to evidence-based mental health therapy.

Executive team

Nigel Pitchford

Nigel Pitchford

Chief Executive Officer

Nigel Pitchford
Nigel Pitchford
Chief Executive Officer

Nigel became CEO of Ieso in March 2019, having previously been the Chief Investment Officer and a group board director for Touchstone Innovations plc. He has been closely associated with Ieso since Innovations led the first institutional investment round into the company in 2013, and has been a non-executive director on Ieso’s board since 2017.

Nigel is highly-regarded within the UK life sciences community, and brings significant fundraising, strategic and operational experience to the company. During his venture capital career he has been influential in nurturing successful companies such as Domantis, Arakis, Apatech, Horizon Discovery and Oxford Immunotec.

Andy Blackwell

Dr Andy Blackwell

Group Chief Science and Strategy Officer

Andy Blackwell
Dr Andy Blackwell
Group Chief Science and Strategy Officer

Andy gained his doctorate in psychology from the University of St Andrews before working as a medical research scientist in world-leading laboratories in the departments of psychiatry and experimental psychology at the University of Cambridge.

In 2006 he became Chief Scientific Officer of Cambridge Cognition, a psychology and technology-focused business, and a year later joined the company board. He was part of the team that developed the commercial strategy that built the company up to a successful public listing on the AIM market in 2013.

At Ieso Digital Health Andy’s principle role is to develop and implement a global science and technology strategy to complement the commercial vision of the company.

Stephen Freer

Stephen Freer

Chief Clinical Officer

Stephen Freer
Stephen Freer
Chief Clinical Officer

Stephen Freer is our Chief Clinical Officer at Ieso Digital Health. Before joining the organisation in 2016, he held senior clinical leadership roles within the public healthcare sector and continues to hold his accreditation as a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist. This has enabled Stephen to combine his commercial, operational and clinical experience to remodel and improve mental health treatment pathways during his career.

Stephen is completing an Executive MBA which builds on his PGCert in Healthcare Leadership and MSc in Psychological Therapies Research. He has the unwavering aim of amplifying the effects of evidence-based treatments for common mental health problems and was previously profiled by the NHS Leadership Academy for his work in this area.

At Ieso, clinical research, patient-focused care and innovation are at the heart of what drives and motivates Stephen and the clinical team. Therefore, a vital aspect of the Chief Clinical Officer role is to hold the organisation to account in its mission to deliver world-class mental health treatments and products that put patients and their outcomes at its core.

Charlotte Housden

Dr Charlotte Housden

Chief Operating Officer

Charlotte Housden
Dr Charlotte Housden
Chief Operating Officer

Charlotte Housden is our Chief Operating Officer at Ieso Digital Health. Charlotte specialises in building successful teams in growing life-sciences and healthcare organisations.

Charlotte is passionate about improving access to and the quality of treatments for mental health disorders. This is reflected in her educational background, which includes a BSc in Psychology, a MSc in Cognitive Neuroscience, and a doctorate in Psychiatry from the University of Cambridge.

Prior to joining Ieso in 2019, Charlotte worked at a neuroscience and technology company, Cambridge Cognition, where she formed and led international product management and sales teams.

Kate Woolland

Kate Woolland

SVP for Corporate Development

Kate Woolland
Kate Woolland
SVP for Corporate Development

Kate is SVP for Corporate Development, and leads corporate strategy, strategic sales, commercial partnerships and acquisitions, to take Ieso into new areas of growth.

Kate worked in management consultancy for 18 years, most recently as a partner in the Healthcare Practice at PA Consulting, and as such brings experience in scaling a healthcare business. She has particular expertise in working with senior stakeholders across multiple organisations to drive innovation and change in health systems.

Valentin Tablan

Dr Valentin Tablan

Senior VP, Artificial Intelligence

Valentin Tablan
Dr Valentin Tablan
Senior VP, Artificial Intelligence

Valentin has spent nearly 20 years in the field of Natural Language Processing, Knowledge Representation, and Artificial Intelligence. His team apply advanced AI techniques to Ieso’s vast dataset to determine which evidence-based therapy interventions are most effective. Under his leadership, Ieso has created the industry’s first (real-time) AI-enabled tools that augment therapists’ which in turn increases quality and improves clinical outcomes.

Prior to joining Ieso Valentin was the lead scientist on the question-answering service that powers Amazon’s Alexa smart assistant; he is now using that expertise to help computers familiarise with the way patients express themselves during therapy.

Valentin holds a PhD from the University of Sheffield and is a multi-lingual language specialist. He is a frequent speaker on deep learning tools and techniques which can revolutionise healthcare applications, medicine and diagnostics.

Jennifer Gentile

Dr Jennifer Gentile

SVP US Clinical Operations

Jennifer Gentile
Dr Jennifer Gentile
SVP US Clinical Operations

Dr Jennifer Gentile is a leader in the telehealth industry who provides leadership for US clinical operations and quality, provider recruitment and training, and plays a key role in business and product development. She is responsible and accountable for ensuring that patients receive the highest quality care delivered by highly trained therapists supported by AI Therapist Assistants. As well, Jennifer works with Key Opinion Leaders and stakeholders to secure success in the US healthcare marketplace.

Before working with Ieso, Jennifer's role as Director of Behavior Health was essential in the creation of the American Well online therapy program. In addition to program development experience, she comes with over 15 years of clinical experience which includes clinical work, training and research. She maintains appointments with Harvard Medical School and the Department of Psychiatry at Boston Children’s Hospital. She holds a Master of Health Care Management from Brandeis University, a doctorate from William James College, and completed a fellowship in Metabolic and Genetic Psychology from Boston Children’s Hospital.

Non-Executive Board Directors

Dr Andy Richards

Dr Andy Richards CBE

Chairman

Dr Andy Richards
Dr Andy Richards CBE
Chairman

Andy is an entrepreneur and investor with an established track record in founding and scaling up innovative Biotech and Healthtech companies in the UK. In addition to his Directorship at Ieso, he is also Chairman of Arecor, Congenica, Abcodia, Closed Loop Medicine and Babraham Bioscience Technologies Ltd (BBT) and is a Director of Owlstone Medical and Cancer Research Technology (commercial board of CR-UK). He is an advisor to several investment funds including Cambridge Innovation Capital and the UCL Technology Fund and was, until recently, a director of Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Andy is a Cambridge Graduate with a PhD in Chemistry and an early career spanning positions with ICI (now AstraZeneca) and PA Technology. He was a founder and executive director of Chiroscience plc until its merger with Celltech in 1999 and since that time he has founded, invested in and helped to scale more than 25 innovative ventures including companies such as Vectura, Arakis, Cambridge Biotechnology Ltd and Geneservice. Andy is also a founder member of the Cambridge Angels. He received a CBE for services to life-science investment in 2015.

Dr Vishal Gulati

Dr Vishal Gulati

Non-Executive Director

Dr Vishal Gulati
Dr Vishal Gulati
Non-Executive Director

Vishal is a healthtech VC at the leading European investment firm, Draper Esprit. Vishal qualified and practiced as a physician and prior to Draper Esprit he worked on the Human Genome Project at the Wellcome Trust and at Atlas Venture as a biotech investor.

Since 2012, he has been the leading promoter of digital and data driven health in the European VC sector and has led investments not only in Ieso Digital Health, but in PushDoctor, Clue, LifeSum, Horizon Discovery plc, and Fluidic Analytics too.

Alastair Stewart

Alastair Stewart

Non-Executive Director

Alastair Stewart
Alastair Stewart
Non-Executive Director

Alastair is a Partner at IP Group plc, the leading FTSE 250 venture investor. He represents the Group on several commercial-stage health-tech company boards and leads IP Capital, the firm’s co-investment platform, third-party fund management and advisory division. He has over fifteen years of public and private investment experience and has worked at JPMorgan, Jefferies and with the NHS. He holds a BSc in Biology and has an MBA from London Business School

Jo Parfrey

Non-Executive Director and Chair of Audit Committee

Jo Parfrey
Non-Executive Director and Chair of Audit Committee

Jo is an accomplished Non-Executive Director, bringing healthcare sector experience and investment expertise to the boards of a broad spectrum of public and private companies over a two-decade period. She currently sits as a Non-Executive Director on the boards of Octopus AIM VCT plc, Henderson International Income Trust plc, Babraham Bioscience Technologies, the campus manager for one of the largest bioscience campuses in Europe, and Start Codon, the life sciences accelerator.

Throughout her career, Jo has held senior roles at the Board and Committee level, including at the following institutions: Guy’s and St Thomas’ Enterprise, Essentia Trading, and LGV Capital. At LGV Capital, Jo spent 11 years developing a strong investment portfolio and supporting businesses through their growth and successful realisations. Jo is an ACA-qualified chartered accountant and holds a BA Hons in Chemistry from the University of Oxford.

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