David Onions is an Honorary Professor in the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and former Director of The Leukaemia Research Fund’s Virus Centre. He was until recently Chief Scientific Officer and a member of the board of BioReliance. Before that he was Chief Medical Officer of Invitrogen Life Technologies (now Thermo Fisher) where he was responsible for guiding the company’s scientific efforts as it moved into stem cell technologies, diagnostics support and other clinical studies. The company became the world leading supplier of diagnostic systems for tissue transplantation which included the development and world-wide licensing of new array based devices for antibody analysis. He is a named inventor on patents for vaccines and most recently (2016) for genetic engineering of bioproduction cells.
During his career David has served on the advisory boards of Merck (adenoviral vector vaccine), Baxter (Antibodies and blood products), at Novartis (for influenza virus vaccine, regenerative medicine and gene therapy), and Seres Health (microbiome transplantation).
David has also founded three life science businesses (Q-One Biotech, BioOutsorce and Citalytics) and was involved in the buy-out of a fourth BioReliance, of which three have successfully exited, returning c. $550m to shareholders and the fourth Citalytics is trading successfully.
David has sat on the World Health Organisation (WHO) Cell Substrate Safety Committee, the FDA’s Xenotransplantation Advisory Committee, the UK Medical Research Council Stem Foundation committee and the UK Advisory Committee on Release of Genetically Modified Organisms into the Environment.
He has been awarded the Norman Hall Gold Medal for Research into Animal Diseases from the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, the Animal Health Trust Award for Outstanding Scientific Achievement and The British Veterinary Association’s Dalrympel-Champney Cup and Medal for contributions to veterinary science. In 2005 he was awarded the Nexxus award for contribution to Life Sciences 2005, and the Scottish Enterprise award for Leading Individual Contribution to Life Sciences in 2005 and the Invitrogen’s employee of the year( Quest) Award 2005. In 2006 he received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Glasgow.