Members of the Symbiosis leadership team sat around a board room table speaking with their laptops on front of them and a large window to the rear of the room.

Symbiosis Leadership Team

Meet Symbiosis’ leadership team and board members.

Leadership Team

Member of the Symbiosis leadership team, Cheryl Ballentyne standing on front of Symbiosis signage wearing a grey suit

Cheryl Ballentyne

Cheryl has over 18 years experience working within the sector, with 6 years at Symbiosis. She is the Head of Project Management responsible for overall leadership and supporting growth for a team of experienced Project Managers. Cheryl is also involved in leading the implementation efforts associated with improving Project Management processes and best practices. Prior to joining Symbiosis Cheryl worked in Project Management for 8 years and has previously held roles within Pre-Clinical and Clinical Development.
Headshot of Alison Clayton wearing a pink cardigan on front of a Symbiosis Pharmaceuticals wall sign

Alison Clayton

Alison joined Symbiosis in November 2021 to establish and develop our in-house analytical testing capability. With over 25 years of experience within the industry, she has held senior roles leading both large and small teams. Alison is a graduate of the University of Glasgow, holding both BSc and PhD degrees in Pharmacology. Following seven years of academic research, she moved into preclinical testing services, gaining the role of Senior Director of Preclinical Technologies before moving to lead the Global Project Services Team for Central Laboratory Testing. More recently Alison has held the roles of Managing Director for a pharmaceutical testing company as well as CEO of a SME developing products for the biopharmaceutical industry.
Headshot of Colin MacKay, member of the Symbiosis leadership team wearing a blue shirt standing on front of Symbiosis signage

Colin MacKay

Colin began his journey to set up Symbiosis in 2008, and over the past 14 years has established the company as a leading provider of clinical and small scale commercial GMP manufacturing services. With over 20 years of commercial and leadership experience in serving customers within the pharmaceutical industry, Colin understands what really matters to deliver client projects successfully. Colin graduated with a BSc in Cell Biology, and was awarded a Masters in Molecular Genetics, both from the University of Glasgow. He later completed an MBA from the University of Strathclyde.
Headshot of John McCormick, member of the Symbiosis leadership team with Symbiosis branded signage behind him

John McCormick

John joined Symbiosis in 2018 as Operations Development Director. In 2020 he was promoted to COO and appointed to the board as an Executive Director. John is responsible for the day-to-day running of the site and has significant operational experience in the production of GMP materials for clinical and commercial use with over 16 years of experience the past 11 of these at a senior level. He has held a variety of positions from product development to commercialisation with a strong emphasis on technical development and operations. Prior to joining Symbiosis, John held a variety of roles at UCB Celltech, Encap Drug Delivery, Capsugel and Lonza. He graduated from Glasgow Caledonian University with a BSc (Hons) in Analytical Chemistry and Instrumentation with IT and holds a Master of Research degree (MRes) in Pharmaceutical Sciences from Robert Gordon University.
Headshot of Lorraine Den-Kaat with Symbiosis Pharmaceutical Services signage in the background

Lorraine Den-Kaat

Lorraine has over 20 years of experience working within the financial services sector, and joined Symbiosis in 2011 to manage the Finance function. She has since taken responsibility for HR and Administration functions alongside Finance, ensuring the team is fully supported by these services . After completing her CIPD qualification in 2019, she was subsequently appointed Director of Administration and HR in 2022.

Board Members

Headshot with blank background of Robert Reekie

Robert Reekie

Robert has been a Symbiosis Board Director since 2014 and is a UK-registered medical practitioner. He has over 35 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical industry, initially in medical and regulatory specialist roles across multiple therapy areas and subsequently, in C-Suite roles in commercial clinical drug development. As a COO in global Contract Research Organisations he has successfully commercialised a range of drug development services. He has previously held Non-Executive Director roles in a number of high growth clinical service companies
Headshot of Gerry Merten, member of the symbiosis leadership team

Gerry Merten

Gerry has been a Symbiosis Board Director and Chairman since 2016. He began his career as a research chemist with Croda International and in 1985 founded his own company, Paragon Inks, specialising in the manufacture and sale of radiation curable coatings for the printing and packaging industry. Gerry grew the business from a start up to an internationally respected player with distribution worldwide. The company was also honoured with the Queen’s Award to Industry during his tenure. In 2021 he sold the company and now focuses his experience on growing Symbiosis. During his time at Paragon, Gerry also worked as a business mentor with many companies as part of a Scottish Enterprise initiative to help develop Scottish based SMEs.

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