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Honorary degree for biotech entrepreneur Darren Disley

Thursday 19 July 2018

LIFE sciences entrepreneur Dr Darrin Disley has been honoured by the University of Salford.

Dr Disley, OBE, last night received an honorary Doctorate of Science during a ceremony at The Lowry on July 18 in recognition of his services to biotechnology and his support for young science entrepreneurs.

Much of his Darrin’s work is in and around Cambridge University, where for 11 years he was co-founder and CEO of Horizon Discovery, a UK listed life science business, but he also has strong contacts with the University of Salford from where he holds a BSc in Chemistry.

Dr Disley is a lifetime holder of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion and an adviser, investor and philanthropist to life science business ventures, social enterprises, and educational schemes aimed at promoting social mobility.

Global leader

He transformed Horizon Discovery into a global leader in gene editing and gene modulation technologies – taking the formative business from a seed funding in March 2008 through to a peak market capitalisation of £440m in 2017.        

In recent years he was named Cambridge Business Person of the Year twice, UK Quoted Company Entrepreneur, UK Life Science Public Company CEO, UK Iconic Male Entrepreneur, European Life Science Business Leader and Scrip Biotech and Pharma Executive of Year as well as one of the 100 game-changing disruptive UK  entrepreneurs and one of the 100 Faces of a Vibrant UK Economy.        

Darrin Disley is also an Honorary Visiting Fellow, a winner of the University of Salford Alumni Achievement Award and an adviser to the Biomedical Research Centre which specialises in cancer, inflammatory conditions, infectious diseases, immunology and drug design.

Industry collaboration

Professor Sheila Pankhurst, Dean of the School of Environment & Life Sciences, said: “The University’s identity is built around our strong collaboration with industry and Dr Disley is one of a rare breed who combines both the character of academic research and the spirit of wealth creation.I pay tribute to Darrin, particularly to his appreciation of what it means to be enterprising with scientific ideas for the benefit of society."

”Dr Disley said: “I am honoured to be recognised in this way and will do my utmost to represent the University of Salford to the best of my ability. I am committed to supporting their ongoing mission to perform world-class translational research and the delivery of students equipped with the applied skills needed to increase industrial productivity”.   

Note: A ‘Cap & Gown’ image of Darrin will be available shortly after the ceremony.

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Gareth Hollyman, Senior Press & PR Officer (Science)

0161 295 6895