Mr Jonathan Sims MSc - CEO


Jonathan SimsAfter completing his Bachelor's degree in Chemistry at Imperial College (1984), Jonathan attended Sandhurst and then spent the following 16 years serving in the Royal Logistics Corps. His first direct involvement with international business was in 1998 when he completed his Masters’ thesis (Operations Management from the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (1998)) studying quality in Chinese manufacturing. Highly numerate, his expertise has been in operations and manufacturing with particular emphasis on improving quality, speed and customer service whilst reducing costs. He has very strong leadership qualities that were developed during his service with the British Army, where he reached the rank of Major. After leaving the Army, he moved to China where he established a manufacturing business designed to enable Western SMEs to access Chinese manufacturing; this business has continued to grow since its creation. His other interests are expedition caving and cave diving.


Mr Richard Healey BSc - Chairman


Richard HealeyAfter spending 7 years in the Royal Navy as an Engineering Officer and gaining a Bachelors degree in Engineering Richard moved into industry after a postgraduate finance and commercial law degree course at Bristol University. He became the Commercial Director of Crouzet Ltd, the UK subsidiary of a large French multinational. The After the company gained considerable market share Richard was headhunted by Bowthorpe Holdings, a UK footsie 250 company, to become Managing Director of its Hellerman Division, Hellerman established partnerships with 3M and Alcatel and was successful in marketing and selling these company’s products along with its own core products. Richard was then asked by Alcatel to establish its cable accessory division in the USA. He did this and gained a viable market share within the first 2 years. After 5 years with Alcatel he moved to become CEO of Morgan Crucible’s International Division. This division had 8 Managing Directors and 12 factories around the world.

Richard is an experienced senior executive who has operated in a range of companies from small leading edge technology operations to large blue chip multinationals. He has considerable experience of the “change process” and his recent positions have been situations where value needed to be added quickly.. He has also been a member of audit committees and chaired remuneration and nomination committees.

He has experience of global partnerships having worked in USA, Europe, China and the Far East as well as spending time in Australia. He has a strong profit focus and a consistent record of growing companies both organically and by acquisition. Latterly Richard has been Chairman of 2 listed public companies on the London Exchange and has been able to show a substantial return for those company’s shareholders.


Dr David Saul BSc, PhD - CSO


David SaulDr David Saul received an honours degree in Genetics from The University of Sheffield (UK) in 1980 and went on to acquire a PhD in Molecular Genetics in 1984 (also from Sheffield) working on the genetics of cell division. Since then he has worked in a several fields relating to the molecular study of organisms and their genes, but has largely focussed on extremophiles and their uses for biotechnology. 

For 21 years, David worked as a researcher and academic at the University of Auckland, New Zealand which is one of the top universities worldwide. His specialities include, molecular genetics, microbiology, biotechnology and computational biology. He is one of the founding scientists of ZyGEM. Presently, he is the CSO coordinating the R&D program for ZyGEM in New Zealand.


Jeff Hickey - Director of Reagents Development


Jeff HickeyJeff received a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Loyola University in Maryland and a Master of Science in Biotechnology from the Johns Hopkins University. He began his forensics career in 1996, as a scientist at Cellmark Diagnostics which was eventually acquired by Orchid Biosciences. He performed forensic examinations in hundreds of criminal cases and testified in court as a DNA expert in homicide and sexual assault trials in ten states and the District of Columbia.

Prior to joining MicroLab, Jeff was the Assistant Technical Leader of the Nuclear DNA section at the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory (AFDIL), a United States Department of Defense Laboratory. He joined the Microlab project in October of 2011 and leads the business development and scientific activities related to human identification DNA assay used in MicroLab’s integrated microfluidic device.


Dr James P. Landers, PhD, FRSC - Microfluidics Science Consultant 


James LandersJames is currently Professor of Chemistry and Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Virginia, as well as Associate Professor of Pathology at the University of Virginia Health System. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry with a minor in Biomedicine and his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Guelph in Ontario (Canada) in 1984 and 1988, respectively. After a year as a post-doctoral fellow at the Banting Institute at the University of Toronto School of Medicine, as a Canadian Medical Research Council (MRC) Fellow at the Mayo Clinic-Rochester, he studied cancer biology and diagnostics under Thomas Spelsberg, a renowned breast cancer biochemist. He launched and directed Mayo Clinic’s Clinical Capillary Electrophoresis Facility in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, developing clinical assays based on capillary electrophoretic technology.

James joined the Chemistry Department at the University of Pittsburgh in 1997, where he forayed into analytical microfluidic systems with the goal of developing the next generation molecular diagnostics platform. This research was bolstered by the move in 1999 to the University of Virginia where access to a dedicated class-100 cleanroom for microchip fabrication allowed for rapid prototyping of microdevices for separations, DNA purification, and DNA amplification.

His group was among the first to generate a fully integrated lab-on-a-chip (PNAS 103:19272, 2006), successfully applied to detecting infectious agents in biofluids and cancer diagnostics, and more recently defined new approaches to fluidic control on microchips (NATURE Physics 5:231, 2009). He has authored more than 180 papers and 25 book chapters on topics as diverse as receptor biochemistry, capillary electrophoretic method development, microchip fabrication, forensic DNA analysis and integrated microfluidic systems for application to both the clinical and forensic arenas. In addition, he has recently completed the third in the succession of editions of CRC Press Handbook of Capillary Electrophoresis, with this one extrapolated to microchip electrophoresis and associated micro techniques.


Orion Scott, Ph.D. - Director of Engineering 


Orion ScottOrion graduated in 2008 with his Ph.D. from Mechanical Engineering at the University of Virginia. Prior to this he received his M.S. in Applied Mechanics from UVA in 2004, and his B.S. in Civil Engineering from UVA in 2001.

Having joined MicroLab in 2008, Orion is now the engineer responsible for overseeing the development of the integrated DNA platform. His technical skills have developed across a broad range of engineering disciplines necessary to develop an instrument containing a variety of technologies - lasers, optics, heaters, mechanical actuators, microfluidic pumps, pneumatic system, and a variety of sensors are all integrated with custom developed printed circuit boards and software control.


Ms. Sharon Fisher BSc - Operations Manager, ZyGEM NZ


Sharon FisherSharon has educational grounding in science, working with Professor R. B. Elliott, one of the world's top research scientists in child occupational health. Her management experience came with a change in career move to become Purchasing Officer for Auckland University which led to her becoming the Financial Manager for the School of Biological Sciences, Auckland University. Sharon Fisher brought to ZyGEM 15 years of experience in controlling assets, financial control and human resource management, and currently controls the company's financial and production operations and is the first point of contact for all sales inquiries.



Dr Garth Smith DSc, PhD, MSc - Plant Systems.


Garth SmithGarth was awarded a PhD in Plant Physiology in 1977, and a DSc in Kiwifruit Physiology in 1997, both from Waikato University. He then founded two companies based upon his research; one centred on the discovery of two plant based compounds that are safe for humans but highly effective against drug resistant malaria, and the other company on a zero calorie sweetener extracted from a fruit.

Garth is a scientist with an international reputation who has published approximately 200 scientific papers on plant physiology,