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17 June, 2020 - 19:15 By Tony Quested

CTO hire a banker for fast-hiring Healx

Healx, the Cambridge AI-powered technology business accelerating the discovery and development of rare disease treatments at scale, has appointed an influencer from challenger bank Monzo as chief technology officer.

Meri Williams helped scale the engineering and data team at Monzo by 500 per cent and led significant investment in platform resilience and business continuity as the bank’s customer base grew to over four million. 

She will be ramping up recruitment across a range of product, design, engineering, AI, data science and bioinformatics roles in the coming weeks.

Well-known for leading and scaling world class tech and product  organisations, Williams will focus on deepening Healx’s investment in artificial intelligence and data and broadening the use of modern product engineering approaches to build world-class drug discovery tools.

Prior to Monzo, Williams led technology teams at award-winning online print and design company MOO, Marks and Spencer and the Government Digital Service, having spent the first 10 years of her career at Procter & Gamble. She also chairs The Lead Dev conference, which focuses on levelling up technical leaders and runs events in London, Berlin, New York and San Francisco. 

She is a published author, tech advisor to equitable venture firm Kindred Capital, international keynote speaker, and a trustee on the board of Stonewall – the UK’s leading LGBTQ rights charity.

“Meri brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the company,” said Tim Gulliams, CEO and co-founder of Healx. “She has worked with a range of high-performing organisations from digital disrupters to commercial giants, and we are very excited to have her on board to apply her ingenuity, innovation and vision to our work on rare diseases.”

Williams arrives at an important time for the company as the team looks to expand and advance its clinical pipeline. In line with Healx’s mission to identify and progress novel therapies for the 95 per cent of rare diseases currently without approved treatment, Williams will be responsible for Healnet, Healx’s AI-driven drug discovery platform. 

Healnet integrates data from multiple sources, including biomedical research and scientific literature, to form the world’s most detailed rare disease knowledge graph. Most recently, this technology has been applied to identify potential combination therapies for COVID-19.

Williams said: “I couldn’t be more excited to join Healx. They have an incredibly inspiring mission, a fantastic team, and some genuinely groundbreaking technology which they’re applying to a complex and important set of problems. 

“As a rare disease patient myself, I’m all too aware of the lack of investment in treatments for rare conditions. I’m truly overjoyed that I will get to use my academic background in artificial intelligence combined with my industry experience leading and scaling world class technology teams to help find treatments for rare disease patients faster, smarter and safer.”

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