Published on 25/01/2024
Professor Anna Hine
  • Midlands Mindforge is a patient capital investment company for university spinouts
  • The SAC members will support the company’s future investment activities
  • Professor Hine’s research has been successfully commercialised and is widely used.

A molecular biologist from Aston University is one of the industry experts appointed by Midlands Mindforge, a patient capital investment company for university spinouts and other early-stage IP-rich businesses in the Midlands, to its Scientific Advisory Council (SAC) unveiled on 24 January.

Anna Hine is a professor of protein engineering in the University’s College of Health and Life Sciences. She gained her PhD in molecular biology from the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology in 1992 and did her postdoctoral training at Harvard Medical School. She returned to the UK to take up a lectureship in molecular biology at Aston University in 1995.

Professor Hine’s research into non-degenerate, selective saturation mutagenesis has been successfully commercialised and is widely used.

The members of the SAC will lend their deep knowledge and experience to support the company’s future investment activities, as well as act as ambassadors for the company.

The SAC members are academics from across Mindforge’s eight partner universities. Each brings industry-leading expertise in the sectors in which the company will focus its investment: life sciences, greentech, and deeptech.

The SAC members will also play an important role in sharing appropriate information with the company about research innovations being undertaken across the partner universities in the Midlands.

Other inaugural members of the SAC are:

Professor Sir Jonathan Van Tam, Senior Strategy Advisor to the School of Medicine at the University of Nottingham

Professor David Haddleton, Professor of polymer chemistry at the University of Warwick

Professor Robert Mokaya OBE FRS, materials chemistry professor and ProVice-Chancellor (Global Engagement) at the University of Nottingham

Professor Chris Brightling, fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, Senior Investigator for the National Institute for Health Research, and respiratory theme lead for Leicester University NIHR Biomedical Research Centre

Professor Christine Foyer, plant sciences professor at the University of Birmingham

Professor Peter Scott, chemistry professor and Academic Director, Business Partnerships at the University of Warwick

Professor Yulong Ding FREng, Founding Chamberlain Chair of Chemical Engineering and Founding Director of Birmingham Centre for Energy Storage.

Notes to editors

About Aston University

For over a century, Aston University’s enduring purpose has been to make our world a better place through education, research and innovation, by enabling our students to succeed in work and life, and by supporting our communities to thrive economically, socially and culturally.

Aston University’s history has been intertwined with the history of Birmingham, a remarkable city that once was the heartland of the Industrial Revolution and the manufacturing powerhouse of the world.

Born out of the First Industrial Revolution, Aston University has a proud and distinct heritage dating back to our formation as the School of Metallurgy in 1875, the first UK College of Technology in 1951, gaining university status by Royal Charter in 1966, and becoming the Guardian University of the Year in 2020.

Building on our outstanding past, we are now defining our place and role in the Fourth Industrial Revolution (and beyond) within a rapidly changing world.

For media inquiries in relation to this release, contact Helen Tunnicliffe, Press and Communications Manager, on (+44) 7827 090240 or email:

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