Location & dates Online 8 - 18 May 2019

EMBL Courses and Conferences during the Coronavirus pandemic

With the onsite programme paused, many of our events are now being offered in virtual formats.

Registration is open as usual for many events, with back-up plans in place to move further courses and conferences online as necessary. Registration fees for any events affected by the COVID-19 disruption are fully refundable.

More information for participants of events at EMBL Heidelberg can be found here.

Entrepreneurial skills – nature or nurture?

5th March 2019 13.00 CET

Can entrepreneurship be learned or is it a skill that you are only born with? Maria Ferguson (Cambridge Epigenetix) and Tarquin Bennett-Coles (AstraZeneca) will share their extensive knowledge and insight. They will discuss entrepreneurship from many different angles including from the perspectives of small start-up biotechnology companies and international pharma, the many varied ways of being entrepreneurial, and the range of life science roles within which people can express their entrepreneurial skills and spirit.


Maria Ferguson is Vice President of Operations at Cambridge Epigenetix Ltd. Maria brings to Cambridge Epigenetix a wealth of knowledge and pragmatism, delivering on operational excellence, talent acquisition and retention and the development of people as valuable assets, both  for the benefit of the company and their own personal career journey. She has extensive experience of working with entrepreneurial companies and start-ups and within FTSE 100 and NASDAQ publicly quoted companies. She also offers expertise of working with venture capital and private equity portfolio businesses. She has held demanding UK and international remits at executive and non-executive level; delivering on Growth, Diversification and Sale Exit. Maria has an MBA and has developed a portfolio career that spans a number of market-sectors including banking, media, logistics and retail.


Tarquin Bennett-Coles is a Global Talent Scout, Biopharmaceuticals R&D at AstraZeneca based in Cambridge. He has over two decades of life science executive search and interim management experience. Tarquin works on senior scientific leadership roles at AZ and before moving in-house worked in partnership with biotech, pharma, life science service companies, NGO’s (CEPI), NFP’s, VC spin-outs and rare and orphan disease SMEs. He has handled complex assignments across R&D, data science, drug discovery, competitive intelligence, business analytics, medical affairs, clinical development, C-Suite and board positions. He is a regular contributor to industry journals and last year chaired the BIA “Talent Challenges when Scaling Up” slot at the Autumn Bioscience Forum. He was also an invited speaker to 2018 events for industry associations One Nucleus and the BIA on the talent agenda. Tarquin is involved in the EMBL Lifelong Learning programme and an advisor to the Royal Pharmaceutical Society on career paths. He has been a guest lecturer on the Masters in Bioscience Enterprise programme since 2008. Tarquin is a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) and SIP (Science Industry Partnership) Ambassador and has a Bachelors in Education honours degree from the University of Cambridge.

View the recorded webinar here