About Me

Education

In 2011 my passion for science and desire to create meaningful impact on society took me to the University of Aberdeen to study Medicine (MBChB). After successfully completing three years of medical school my academic attainment (top 10% of the class) allowed me to go to the University of Edinburgh to study an intercalated BMedSci (Hons) in physiology. 

Over the course of my intercalated degree I furthered my knowledge in basic scientific research and experimental design. I also developed a particular interest and fascination with the microbes that live within our gut, the neurobiology of obesity, and the neurophysiological effects of recreational drug consumption. 

My dissertation was titled 'Evaluation of a Potential Protective Role for Cannabis Against MDMA-Induced Neurotoxicity in Human Recreational Users'. I performed an in depth literature review on how cannabis and MDMA (also known as Ecstasy) can affect the human brain and body. I graduated from Edinburgh in June 2015 with an upper second class degree and then returned to medical school in Aberdeen two months later after being awarded a Robert Nicol Scolarship for academic excellence. 

I pushed through the entirety of fourth year balancing my medical studies with other extra curricular activities, which took a lot of focus and determination. In July 2016 I passed my final medical school exams with merit and then elected to take a leave of absence after being awarded an Enterprise Fellowship by the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Startup Activities

During my intercalated degree I developed a deep interest in translating research and technology from the academic lab into the clinic. I began exploring entrepreneurship as a means to develop ideas and it soon became clear to me that startup companies are the best vehicle to carry innovative concepts forward. This realisation led me to start my first company, EuroBiotix CIC - a biotechnology social enterprise established to support clinicians provide a medical treatment called Faecal Microbiota Transplantation (FMT). 

I progressed the company alongside my studies for two years before going full time in September 2016. This was challenging, medicine is a demanding degree and biotech startups work in a tightly regulated and highly complex science-driven world. Over this period I raised significant amounts of capital from grants and business competitions, built the team to eight people, led the company through an equity round and established a number of pilot trials for our product offering. 

I also have active interests in a number of other science related and social enterprise projects. I also a founding Director of a startup called HackHealth, which is a social enterprise that was established to foster innovation and promote socially impactful entrepreneurship by providing talented individuals with new opportunities and resources to translate research and drive new ideas forward. 
 
My journey as an entrepreneur has been filled with ups and downs. I have had successes and I have had failures. I have been forced out of projects and I have seen how people can change under pressure and stress. Overall however, the experience has been extremely positive, and I have never once felt that my academic, clinical and entrepreneurial activities are incompatible. In fact, I believe they go hand-in-hand. I am now just as comfortable in a board room or in front of investors as I am in the hospital or keeping up to date with the latest scientific advances at a conference. 

Other interests

I really enjoy public speaking and I have been fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to speak a number of times in front of large audiences of people (If you are interested check me out in the video ↓  below). I have presented evidence in the Scottish Parliament and I often get invited to sit on panel discussions on commercialising research and medical innovation. 
 
I am a guest lecturer at the University of St Andrew's and the University of Aberdeen, an Elected Fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, and an Enterprise Fellow at the Royal Society of Edinburgh. 
Medical Student

James is the only medical student to be awarded a prestigious enterprise fellowship at the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Fellows

One of the youngest Elected Fellows of Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce.

Lecturer

James is also a guest lecturer at the University of St Andrew's.

Looking to join a great team, or you have an interesting project you want to discuss?