We have an incredibly talented and experienced team who are extremely passionate about improving access to evidence-based mental health therapy.
Dr 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.
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.
Maddy Kennedy - Chief Financial Officer
Maddy is an experienced CFO with experience in both public and private companies. She works closely with the CEO and management teams to achieve their goals, contributing to strategic and operational planning with commercial and financial experience to enable financially informed decisions.
Prior to joining Ieso Maddy was an interim CFO, most recently with Psioxus Therapeutics, a leading immuno-oncolytic virus company, to work with senior teams to deliver on the transformational out-licensing deal and implement next stage of growth including expansion into the US and pre-IPO preparation.
As CFO for Lab 21, she was heavily involved in the restructuring, refocus and refinancing of the business to deliver profitability having successfully acquired and integrated fix businesses.
Chris Cavazos - Interim US General Manager
Chris Cavazos offers over two decades of experience in various executive level positions as an accomplished and respected leader in the industries of Behavioral Health Care and Wellness. He has served in various capacities such as Principal/Chief Operating Officer of a national Wellness Company and Division President for one of the US’s largest specialty behavioral health care companies.
Prior to starting his own consulting firm, Chris served as Chief of Operations for the Wellness division of one of the largest Health Plans in the US, a Fortune 75 Company. Given his clinical and operations experience, Chris is uniquely qualified to support Ieso’s US Operations on an interim basis as we seek to find a permanent leader in this critical role.
Chris holds two Master’s degrees in the fields of Clinical Social Work and Health Care Administration.
Sarah Bateup - Chief Clinical Officer
Sarah is a BABCP (British Association of Behavioural & Cognitive Psychotherapists) accredited cognitive behavioral therapist and supervisor and has delivered over 27,000 hours of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to people across the UK. Having worked for many years within the UK National Health Service (NHS) managing talking therapies services, she is responsible for all clinical management at Ieso Digital Health, including therapist supervision and quality monitoring. Sarah also provides clinical training at a number of leading universities.
Craig Gravina - Chief Technology Officer
Craig has over 20 years’ experience developing highly innovative platforms, products and disruptive technologies within the health care, clinical trials, and digital media industries. He has successfully built and sold several technology startups, and led large-scale product strategy and development efforts across significant product portfolios. Prior to joining Ieso Digital Health, Craig served as the CTO of Cogstate, a software and services vendor focused on cognitive assessment within clinical trials. He oversaw healthcare strategy for Nuance Communications and a portfolio of products representing $1B in revenue for the company.
Jane Cooke - Executive VP HR
Jane Cooke is a HR and Organisational Development professional with an extensive career working in high growth, multinational companies and contribution to the growth of a life sciences company from Cambridge University spin out to AIM listed multinational plc. This included due diligence and integrations as part of M&A activities in the US and China. She has substantial experience, in scaling organisations, evolving organisational structures through growth phases together with the leadership structures and HR processes that are required to support maturing organisations. Jane is passionate about building and enabling teams and creating organisational cultures in which people are highly engaged and alighted with vision and strategic imperatives.
Jane recently completed an MSc in Organisational Development from Surrey University during which she worked with a group of founders/CEOs conducting research into organisational culture in scaling organisations.
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.
Gidget Madix - Chief Growth Officer
Gidget brings an outstanding level of behavioral health acumen spanning more than three decades. Gidget has focused her career on building high performance sales and customer relationship teams for a diverse range of companies including Cigna, Magellan, MHN/HealthNet (now Centene) and most recently Bensinger, DuPont & Associates. In her role as Chief Growth Officer for Ieso, Gidget is responsible for Ieso’s continued expansion and penetration in US. With her comprehensive background in health care and experience in start-ups, product innovation, sales leadership and strategic alliances, Gidget accelerates Ieso’s strategic vision of transforming the delivery of mental health in USA for both payers and providers through the company's online, evidenced-based psychological interventions.
Non-Executive Board Directors
- Simon Cartmell, OBE - Non-Executive Chairman
Simon Cartmell is a 35 year life-sciences industry veteran. He has extensive pharmaceutical, biotech and med-tech experience gained in commercial, product development and corporate executive roles. Having spent 10 years in venture capital, he is a serial entrepreneur in early stage healthcare businesses and currently serves as a Non-Executive Director on the Boards of ReNeuron plc and BoneSupport Holdings AB and as Chairman of OssDsign AB.
He is also active in educational charitable work and sits on the Court of Assistants and associated Committees of the Worshipful Company of Haberdashers and is Chairman of Governors of the Haberdasher Askes’ Elstree schools. Simon is also very active in his local community and is a Director several sporting bodies. Simon was made a Freeman of the City of London in 2012, recognised by the Prime Minister for his community work as a ‘Point of Light’ in 2015 and awarded the OBE for services to the Healthcare Business sector in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in June 2016.
- Dr Andy Richards CBE - Non-Executive Director
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 Silence Therapeutics plc, Cancer Research Technology (commercial arm of CR-UK), and Owlstone Medical. 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 - 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.
- Dr Sam Williams
Sam has 20 years' experience in the biotechnology industry, both as a top-ranked equity analyst in the City and, subsequently, as an entrepreneur and chief executive. He is CEO of Istesso Limited, an IP Group backed drug discovery company, oversees IP Group's biotechnology portfolio and sits on the Group's Executive Committee. He represents IP Group on the boards of Ieso Digital Health Ltd, Diurnal Group PLC, Glythera Limited and Microbiotica Limited, as well as being Non-Executive Chairman of C4X Discovery Holdings PLC. Sam holds a PhD in molecular biology from Cambridge and a degree in biology from Oxford.