Selection Committee

The Selection Committee consists of domestic and international experts who have extensive knowledge and experience in research and development of drugs, vaccines and diagnostics. This committee evaluates investment proposals and reports from development partners and recommends the investments to the Board of Directors. This committee includes no private company representatives to avoid any Conflicts of Interest between our backers and development partners.
Ann Mills-Duggan, PhD
Independent Consultant

Dr. Ann Mills-Duggan joined the Wellcome Trust in 2010 and worked in a number of roles the most recent of which was Head of Translation. Prior to joining the Trust she spent over twenty years in the pharmaceutical industry, latterly with UCB and previously with GlaxoSmithKline and GlaxoWellcome, working in research, licensing, alliance management and life science investing. Ann is a graduate of the University of Bath and earned her PhD at Imperial College, London. Dr Mills-Duggan is currently an independent consultant based in London and, in addition to her role on the GHIT Selection Committee, works with a variety of other organisations including the RIGHT Fund in Korea.


Ken Duncan, PhD
Deputy Director, Discovery & Translational Sciences
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Dr. Duncan leads the Gates Foundation's drug discovery program across a number of therapeutic areas including tuberculosis, malaria, helminth infections and diarrheal disease. Prior to joining the Foundation, he spent 16 years in the pharmaceutical industry, most recently as Director, Diseases of the Developing World at GlaxoSmithKline. He is a graduate of the University of Edinburgh, earned his PhD at the University of Glasgow, and was a Postdoctoral Fellow at MIT and Harvard Medical School.

Ken Ishii, MD, PhD
Professor, Institute of Medical Science, University of Tokyo

Dr. Ken Ishii is currently Professor at Institute of Medical Science, University of Tokyo as well as Professor of the Laboratory of Vaccine Science at the Immunology Frontier Research Center (IFReC), Osaka University in Japan. Until 2018, he was Director of Center for Vaccine and Adjuvant Research at National Institute of Biomedical Innovation, Health and Nutrition. Prof. Ishii obtained M.D. and a Ph.D. from the School of Medicine, Yokohama City University, Kanagawa, Japan. He is further qualified with his years of experience in vaccine research supported by numerous books and over 190 periodical publications over 20,000 citations since 1998 including 7 years as a IND reviewer at US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), two years as Managing Director at Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED), and over 20 years as an immunologist and vaccinologist.

Timothy Jinks, PhD
Head, Infectious Diseases Interventions

Timothy Jinks was appointed the Head of Infectious Disease Interventions in 2021, where he leads Wellcome’s work in advancing R&D for therapeutics and diagnostics, alongside research to support solutions for antimicrobial resistance. In his previous role, he designed and led Wellcome’s strategic priority area for combatting drug-resistant infections, deploying a budget of over £250 million. Before that, he was responsible for a portfolio of Wellcome projects to support early-stage product development, which covered therapeutics, diagnostics and devices across several therapeutic areas, particularly infectious diseases and oncology. Prior to joining the Trust in 2012, he accumulated over a decade of industry experience both in biologic therapeutic R&D and latterly as a consultant providing business development, licensing and commercial research services. He is a chemist-turned-molecular biologist, who holds a BS Chem from the University of Georgia and a MA and a PhD from Princeton University. In his academic career, he acquired extensive academic research experience at Harvard Medical School, Dana Farber Cancer Institute and the MRC National Institute for Medical Research.


Paul Jorgensen, BS
Independent Consultant

Mr. Jorgensen has over 30 years’ experience in biotechnology, specializing in in-vitro diagnostics development, validation, and manufacturing at both large multi-national corporations and small startups.  At Chiron Corporation and later, Bayer Diagnostics, he provided technical support for hepatitis B and C nucleic acid assays in the Asia-Pacific region.  As a founding partner at AcroMetrix Corporation, he built the company’s portfolio of HIV and hepatitis products for drug resistance testing and genotyping.  At Tethys Bioscience, Mr. Jorgensen was responsible for establishing the Tethys Clinical Laboratory.  Most recently he has worked with startup companies to license clinical laboratories and launch new diagnostic tests.  Mr. Jorgensen earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biochemistry at the University of California, Davis.  He is currently an independent consultant based in Reno, Nevada.

Hiroo Koyama, PhD
Platform Unit Leader, Drug Discovery Chemistry Platform Unit
RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science

Dr. Hiroo Koyama has over 20 years of drug discovery experience in the US pharmaceutical industry both in a major pharma (Merck) and a biotech environment, where his effort was focused on medicinal chemistry for metabolic disorder, inflammatory disease, and rare disease programs. Since 2013, he’s been leading his medicinal chemistry group at RIKEN Program for Drug Discovery and Medical Technology Platforms, collaborating with more than a dozen universities and research institutions in Japan. He received his BA and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Tokyo, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, and postdoctoral training at MIT chemistry department.

Anna-Karin Tidén, PhD, MRSC
Independent Medicinal Chemistry Expert

Dr. Tidén is a Medicinal Chemist and a Project Leader, with over 25 years international experience. Working in Sweden and in the UK as an Associate Director at AstraZeneca she has a track record of success in leading and delivering research projects in a number of therapeutic areas, e.g. Infection, CNS, Respiratory and Inflammation. During the past eight years Dr. Tidén has worked as an independent consultant to academia, SMEs and large Pharma both in leading projects and performing due diligences. She has acted as an evaluator and is currently an advisor to the Wellcome Trust, UK, and is also a member of the Scientific Advisory Board for CD3, Belgium. Dr. Tidén achieved her MSc and earned her PhD from Stockholm University, Sweden, and was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. She is currently based in Stockholm, Sweden.

Naoto Uemura, MD, PhD
Professor, Department of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics Oita University Faculty of Medicine

Dr. Naoto Uemura has a broad background in clinical pharmacology, especially early clinical development studies such as FIH/POC trials to guide critical decisions.  He currently serves as PI for various clinical trials in Oita University Hospital where he leads Clinical Pharmacology Center.  Dr. Uemura in the past served as director and senior principal scientist at Division of Clinical Pharmacology, Merck Research Laboratories, planning, executing and analyzing early development programs. Currently Dr. Uemura is a full professor in Oita University Faculty of Medicine and co-appointed as an adjunct professor at Osaka University Hospital Department of Medical Innovation and as Clinical Development Director at RIKEN Program for Drug Discovery and Medical Technology Platforms.

Rieko Yajima, PhD
Director, Drug Discovery Innovation
SPARK Program in Translational Research
Stanford University School of Medicine

Dr. Rieko Yajima is the Director of Drug Discovery Innovation at Stanford SPARK. At SPARK, she works with researchers and a community of volunteer industry advisors to de-risk the science in drug discovery and diagnostic projects, and to identify the quickest path to the clinic. She has a Ph.D. in chemical biology and served as a science policy fellow at the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. Her previous roles include being an Associate Program Director at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Washington, DC, where she advised the scientific community on interdisciplinary research collaboration, implementation, and evaluation, and being a Research Scholar at the Center for Design Research at Stanford.

Infectious disease and product development experts from around the world serve as external reviewers for the GHIT Fund to evaluate proposals.