Consortium Partner

Censo Biotechnology Ltd (former Roslin Cellab Ltd)

Formed in 2008, Censo Biotechnology LTD (Censo) is a commercial stem cell company wholly owned by the Roslin Foundation and changed its name from Roslin Cellab (RCL) in 2016. Being an SME, Censo is also able to collaborate in European R&D consortia whose funding may come either through the Technology Strategy Board (TSB), European Framework Program or Eurostars program. Censo provides contract research and product development work for academic and commercial clients in the life science, biotechnology and pharmaceutical sectors. Censo’s expert scientists come from Edinburgh University’s MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine and the Roslin Institute and have many years’ experience of deriving, culturing manipulating and differentiating human stem cells in a wide range of 2D and 3D systems. Censo has collaborated with engineers, chemists, photonics and material scientists to develop and validate new products and processes. Censo is located within the Roslin BioCentre, in the village of Roslin just to the south of Edinburgh, Scotland. 

Key staff involved

Aidan Courtney (Chief Executive Officer of Censio Biotechnology Ltd) – since moving to Scotland fifteen years ago, Aidan has worked with a wide variety of high technology start-ups and early stage companies. In each case his role has been to help the core scientists and engineers transform their novel technology into a strong business proposition. After graduating in Economics, Aidan qualified as a Chartered Accountant and worked for eight years in property finance, before moving over to the high tech sector. He holds a master’s degree in law specialising in Intellectual Property law and is a visiting fellow at the School of Law at the University of Edinburgh. He is a member of the BIA RegMed Industry Group Advisory Committee and the Scottish Stem Cell Network Advisory Board.

Paul de Sousa (Executive Director ) – he is a Reader at the University of Edinburgh which he joined in 2005 after seven years at the Roslin Institute. At that time he co-founded with Aidan Courtney Roslin Cells Ltd, serving to translate stem cell research into quality assured Good Manufacturing Practice to enable stem cell based therapies. He serves as Roslin Cells Chief Scientific Officer and as an executive director. His university laboratory is concerned with basic and applied aspects of human pluripotent stem cells as can be obtained from early embryos or induced in adult tissue derived cells by genetic manipulation. Dr De Sousa is on the scientific advisory board of UK government and academic institutions, notably the UK Department of Health Advisory Committee for Safety of Blood Tissues and Organs. His research has been funded by UK, Scottish and European research councils, charities and enterprise agencies in programmes that he has co-ordinated, led or co-investigated.

John Gardner (Senior Project Manager at Censo Biotechnology Ltd) – before joining the company, he was instrumental in setting up the derivation techniques and facilities for the production of Human Embryonic Stem Cell lines at Roslin Cells. He was responsible for training all staff in the techniques of embryo culture, stem cell derivation, the culture of hESCs and their analysis. In his subsequent role as Production Manager he was responsible for the operation of the company’s clean room facility, which produced Clinical Grade Human Embryonic Stem Cell lines to cGMP standards. His experience in the areas of quality control and cGMP have proved to be invaluable in the set up of Roslin Cellab and establishing their high operational standards of project management for their clients. In his position he is now responsible for ensuring that the projects for clients are dealt in a professional manner, from their initial conception though costing and to final reporting. He has a vast experience in all areas of tissue culture and assay techniques and for 20 years was employed at the Roslin Institute in various roles. He graduated from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne in Genetics and studied for an MPhil at Edinburgh University in Immunology.

Eirini Koutsouraki (MSD in Cell and Molecular Biology) – has graduated from the University of Essex, United Kingdom where she obtained a BSc (Hons) and an MSD in Cell and Molecular Biology. During that time she worked in optimising a novel method of bacterial and mammalian transfection while also being employed by a biotech company as a Research Officer to further develop the technology. She then held an internship in stem cell biology in the USA and subsequently moved to Edinburgh to pursue a PhD in human ES cell epigenetics at the University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom. Eirini has an extensive experience of more than 8 years working with stem cells and her main expertise includes stem cell differentiation, epigenetics of human pluripotent stem cells, transfection and toxicology screening.

Aidan Courtney

Paul de Sousa