From a bucket of ice, to a world leading life sciences innovator

Jonathan Milner was working as a postdoc in a Cambridge oncology lab when he was struck by an 'entrepreneurial seizure'. Inspired by his father, an engineer who ran a small company, he set up a venture to manufacture antibodies for biology research. Having come close to bankruptcy, Abcam is now worth £2.3 billion and renowned for its positive company culture. In this podcast, the first of two podcasts featuring Jonathan Milner, he takes us through this journey, and explains how lessons learned - as well as a single bucket of ice - turned a failing company into a world leader.

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Jonathan, co-Founder and currently Deputy Chairman of Abcam plc, is an entrepreneur and investor and is passionate about supporting UK life science and high-tech start-ups. He has provided considerable investment and support to over 40 companies and has assisted three technology companies to IPO on the London AIM Stock exchange.

Jonathan gained his doctorate in Molecular Genetics at Leicester University after graduating in Applied Biology at Bath. From 1992–95, he was a post-doctoral researcher at Bath, following which he worked at the University of Cambridge in the lab of Professor Tony Kouzarides researching the molecular basis of breast cancer. He identified the market opportunity for supplying high-quality antibodies to support protein interaction studies, and in 1998, founded Abcam with David Cleevely and Professor Tony Kouzarides.

Jonathan is also a non-executive director of Repositive, HealX and Syndicate Room. He is also Chairman of Axol Bioscience, Cambridge Allergy Therapy, and PhoreMost.

In 2015 Jonathan, with Professor Tony Kouzarides, co-founded the Milner Therapeutics Institute at the University of Cambridge. Also in 2015 he co-founded, with Professor Laurence Hurst, the Milner Institute for Evolution at the University of Bath.

Produced by Mark Cotton, Twitter.

Podcast links:

Abcam - assay kits, reagents, and antibodies. An innovator in reagents and tools, they provide the research and clinical communities with tools and scientific support.

The Milner Therapeutics Institute - at the University of Cambridge is dedicated to the conversion of groundbreaking science into therapies.