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Management Team

Censo has a committed team with a breadth of experience including pharmaceutical drug discovery and development, stem cell manufacturing, business operations, and regulation.
Our team is committed to the use of human pluripotent stem cell technology for better development of drugs.


Aidan Courtney

Chief Executive Officer

After studying Economics at Cambridge University, Aidan specialised in finance in London before concentrating for the last twenty years on high technology and science based companies. He has extensive experience of working with leading scientific and technical specialists in many industries and leading multi-discipline teams to develop commercially focussed businesses based on new technologies. In 2013, Aidan led the creation of the EBiSC consortium which is establishing a European Bank for induced Pluripotent Stem Cells to meet the rapidly growing needs of the research community. Aidan also holds a masters degree in law and is Associate Member of the Mason Institute for Medicine, Life Sciences and Law at the University of Edinburgh.


Kevin Bruce

Chief Operating Officer

Kevin brings over 10 years’ experience in pluripotent cell processing operations from his time with Roslin Cells, Roslin Cell Sciences and Censo Biotechnologies. He was responsible for establishing operations for induced pluripotent stem cell production and quality control for the European Bank for Induced Stem Cells (EBiSC). Kevin Bruce holds a BSc (Hons) in Microbiology and Biotechnology and has over 15 years working within a regulated scientific environment for small bio-tech, large CROs and SMEs in relation to manufacture of therapeutics from transgenic animals, human pluripotent stem cells and development of cell based therapies.


Ashley Barnes

Head of Drug Discovery Services

With a degree in Pharmacology from the University of Sunderland and MSc in Biochemistry, Ashley has gained over 21 years’ experience in pharma drug discovery, latterly with GlaxoSmithKline. Ashley has extensive experience in managing target based and phenotypic based discovery programmes including those with academic collaborators over a number of diseases areas include neuroscience, respiratory and immunology. He has a background in target identification, validation and screening with a focus in G-protein coupled receptors and has expertise in molecular biology including gene editing, cell biology and assay development. Ashley has developed numerous cell based assays ranging in scale from bespoke single compound assays to 1536-well high throughput cell based screening assays using both primary cells and recombinant cell lines.


Simon Mackenzie

Chief Business Officer

Simon is a seasoned biotech executive, having held senior business and scientific roles in drug discovery, innovation, business development and collaborative alliance management. He has a successful international track record of working at the interface of academia and industry, generally at an early stage in their development. Having worked with a diverse customer base in Japan, the UK, Europe and the US, Simon has an extensive global network of key figures within the biotech and pharma industry, and a strong knowledge of multiple cultural methodologies gained from working across pharma, biotech, academic and service organisations.

Passionate, about innovative ideas, he has developed an interest and expertise in early stage business creation and growth, implementation of effective management, and development of sales into large corporate organisations, start-ups, and academic organisations. Commercially focused, with a keen eye for analysing existing operations, gathering data from customers and stakeholders to clearly define challenges and needs, implement strategic visions, and build compelling and profitable solutions.