A biotechnology entrepreneur and immunologist by training, Deborah has over two decades of experience in anti-infective drug discovery research and development. Deborah studied at University College London and then worked in postdoctoral positions in internationally acclaimed laboratories in San Diego and Ghent before moving to Aberdeen (to the Rowett Research Institute, now part of the University of Aberdeen) where she founded NovaBiotics in 2004. The business has since become a leading global biotechnology business, developing a portfolio of first-in-class anti-infective therapies addressing the urgent, unmet need for safe and effective antimicrobials including Nylexa for COVID-19. NovaBiotics is on the front line of the fight against antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

Deborah is a Board member of the UK’s BioIndustry Association, a Director and founding member of the BEAM Alliance (Biotechs of Europe innovating in Anti-Microbial Resistance), was a member of the Scottish Life Sciences Industry Leadership Group and sit on the Boards of the Scottish Life Sciences Association and Opportunity North East Life Science/BioAberdeen. Deborah serves as Chairperson of the UK’s Medicines Discovery Catapult-Cystic fibrosis (CF) Trust’s working group on antimicrobials in CF and sits on the UK BioIndustry Association’s working group on AMR. Elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2018 and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine. Named as one of the 20 women leaders in European biotech in 2019, one of the 30 top female leaders in UK Healthcare in 2018 and one of the 15 leading women European biotech in 2017. In 2020, Deborah was made OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list, for services to biotechnology, industry and charity.