Senior Leadership Team

Professor Nick Lench PhD FRCPath

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Professor Nick Lench joined NATA as Executive Director in January 2022. Nick has over 25 years of academic, healthcare and commercial experience in medical genetics and genomics. He is an honorary Reader at the UCL Institute of Child Health, was awarded a personal Chair in Medical Genetics at Cardiff University in 2005, was a founding CEO of London Genetics Ltd and Programme Director at Oxagen Ltd.


Suzanne Rupp

Programme Director 





Mark Cunningham

Head of Operations 



Mark graduated from the University of Hertfordshire and started his career in recombinant protein expression & purification at start-up and biotech companies in England. In 1994, Mark moved to the United States where he contributed towards therapeutic monoclonal antibody development for the Janssen R&D arm of Johnson & Johnson. After a 20-year career with J&J as a scientific and operational leader, Mark moved back to the UK where he has recently joined the UKRI’s Nucleic Acid Therapy Accelerator (NATA) as Head of Operations.

Peter Oliver PhD

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Pete comes to NATA with over 25 years’ experience in cell and molecular biology. After a degree in Biochemistry and a PhD in Genetics, he led projects studying new models of neurological disorders at the University of Oxford, before becoming a group leader at the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics in 2012 funded by an ERC Consolidator Award. His group’s work in rare disease modelling using the mouse resulted in a new position as an MRC Programme Leader at the MRC Mammalian Genetics Unit in 2017. Pete joined NATA in February 2022, bringing an understanding of multi-disciplinary approaches to translational science; from biochemistry and cell biology to the application of preclinical genetic tools. Pete remains a visiting academic member of the University of Oxford and is an active co-investigator in the MRC National Mouse Genetics Network.