The PB Bioscience team

Charlie Spedding

Chief Executive Officer

Charlie Spedding, BSc, has a broad knowledge of human biology and biochemistry through his degree in Pharmacy. He has spent most of his working life as a Community Pharmacist, which allowed him to develop his interests in both biological science and business. He has bought, developed and sold pharmacies in two separate locations, showing that he knows how to make a small business successful. Charlie also took students to practice in order to transfer work experience and show how a business is built. He also taught writing articles and essays at a professional level. Before studying at Charlie, students usually order essay for their homework or exams.

Although pharmacy business has taken up most of his time, he is better known as an athlete. He has represented his country at the Commonwealth Games, European Championships and Olympic Games. He has been a national champion at 10,000 metres, has won the London Marathon and has an Olympic bronze medal for the marathon. As a contributor to BBC Radio Five Live for twenty years, Charlie has extensive media contacts and has written articles for a variety of magazines.

He knows from his sport what it is like to be in optimum health and from his profession what it is like to be far from good health.

Professor Mark Birch-Machin

Specialist in molecular dermatology

Mark Birch-Machin, Ph.D., is Professor of Molecular Dermatology at the Newcastle University Institute of Cellular Medicine. Prof. Birch-Machin pursued his Post-Doctoral career at the University of Oregon (USA), INSERM Paris, University of Toronto as well as Clinical Neuroscience and Biochemistry, Newcastle University (1986-1995) where he held several academic positions in the Department of Dermatology (1996-current). During this time, he was elected Treasurer of the British Society of Investigative Dermatology (BSID) and co-editor of Experimental Dermatology. He advanced to the position of Professor of Molecular Dermatology at Newcastle University in August 2005.

Prof. Birch-Machin’s research group focuses on the response of human skin to ultraviolet radiation particularly within the context of skin ageing and cancer, particularly involving the role of mitochondria and has published extensively including 3 different Nature journals. He also has interest in understanding the role of mitochondrial DNA in UV-induced oxidative stress, cancer and the relationship between oxidative stress, nutritional status and skin aging as well as the science and use of sunscreens. He has received research funding (multi-million total) from Cancer Research UK, British Skin Foundation, BBSRC, MRC, EPSRC, Wellcome Trust, NESRF, KTP , BRC, Technology Strategy Board, Royal Society and global commercial companies. In addition, he is also a co-inventor on multiple patents arising from the commercialization of parts of this research, including the invention of a product that sold in over a 1,000 stores in Canada as part of a Canadian spin out company which Mark co-founded in 2003.

In 2010, Mark was awarded the Newcastle University Spirit of Entrepreneurship award and has gone on to be a co-founder of a second spin out company in 2012 which is now called PB Bioscience. Prof. Birch-Machin has been an internationally and nationally invited keynote speaker at numerous prestigious conferences and symposia. He has been Chair of several international Scientific Advisory Boards; member of the Cancer Research UK sunsmart advisory board, expert advisor for Clearcast, RACC and the ASA, and is a member of the grants awarding committee for the British Skin Foundation as well as the Editorial board for Experimental Dermatology.

Prof. Birch-Machin is regularly a National Press Spokesperson on ‘Sunburnt DNA,’ DNA damage, skin ageing and skin cancer risk related to his current and previous roles with national skin charities. His research and quotes on sun awareness have appeared on multiple European and American TV segments (including 8 full TV programmes on BBC, ITN, Sky, Discovery), more than 180 radio programs, online columns, over 200 national and local UK newspapers and over 200 popular magazine articles.

Dr Georg Lietz

Specialist in nutrition

Dr. Georg Lietz graduated as a nutritionist with an MSc from Giessen University (Germany) in 1994 and obtained his PhD at Oxford Brookes University (UK) in 2000. He is currently appointed as a senior lecturer at the University of Newcastle where he focuses his research on diet-gene interactions as an important factor in the determination of high inter-individual variations after nutritional supplements. He has been involved in multi-centre studies that investigated the effects of fish oil and carotenoid intakes on blood lipids, vitamin status and inflammatory markers depending on genotype. He was involved in the European Nutrigenomics Network (NuGO), founded by the European Commission's Research Directorate under the Food Quality and Safety Priority of the Sixth Framework for Research and Technological Development as a Network of Excellence. During this time, he was one of 7 founding members of the Bioethics Guidelines Working Group that established the NuGO Bioethics Guideline Tool which became a benchmark ethical guideline tool for nutrigenomics based clinical trials. He also coordinated the international NuGO carotenoid focus team which investigated the importance of ß-carotene beyond its established provitamin A function.

More recently, his work has shown that genetic variations in the key enzyme responsible for provitamin A conversion explains why some people show a reduced efficiency to produce vitamin A from carotenoid precursors. His team has developed a sensitive LC/MS/MS method to detect stable isotopes in human plasma, which allows the detection of provitamin A absorption and conversion to vitamin A at physiological concentrations, as well as to investigate gender/genotype effects on vitamin A kinetics. Dr. Lietz has published in a range of international peer review journals and has written 2 book chapters on provitamin A bioavailability and its relation to genetic variations.

Dr. Lietz has been an internationally and nationally invited keynote speaker at numerous prestigious nutritional conferences. He is a member of both the British and American nutrition society, the European nutrition leadership programme alumni association, the nutrigenomics (NUGO) association, and a council member of the International Carotenoid Society. Dr. Lietz also serves as a panel member for the German Ministry of Science and Education (BMBF) for their grants in nutrigenomics.

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