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Meet The Afon Technology

Our Directors have dedicated themselves to a variety of medical and scientific pursuits and are now providing invaluable support and recognition for Afon Technology.

Dr Sabih Chaudhry


Sabih Chaudhry is CEO and founder of Afon Technology and leads the team on a day to day basis. Sabih holds a PhD in Microwave and Telecommunications from the University of Wales; awarded in 1993. During his career he has worked extensively in senior management roles. He co-founded a medical start-up which developed three distinct and novel cancer related treatment technologies. He played a lead role in the launch of the UK’s first Wavelength Division Multiplexing Telecommunications system and project managed the world’s first large glass substrate format holographic printer.

Sabih has been working on non-invasive blood glucose monitoring since 2005. He has received a number of awards during his career of which the most recent was the Bionow Healthcare Project of the Year 2014 award for the non-invasive blood glucose monitor.



John Shillingford is our Clinical Director. He holds both a B.Sc. in Biochemistry and a Ph.D. in Biochemical Pharmacology from the University of Surrey. He is an experienced clinical researcher whose career in the Pharmaceutical, Medical Device and CRO industries has stretched over 40 years.

John has both lived and worked in the UK, a number of European Countries and additionally the USA. He currently lives in Germany. His wide experience of Drug and Medical Device Development in Europe and the USA has been acquired during the management of both Clinical and Data Operations for major Global Programmes. John has held senior positions in Management, Clinical Operations and Project Management for Aptiv Solutions, Averion International (a Medical Device Research Company), PRA International and Imform GmbH.

In addition to his board duties, John’s role at Afon Technology is to oversee the clinical trial activities. His considerable expertise in this sector will ensure that all the trials are designed to strict guidelines to satisfy the appropriate global medical directives.



David Onions is Chairman at Afon and brings a wealth of experience, knowledge and expertise in running a medical start up. David Onions is an investor in biomedical and former CMO of Invitrogen/Life Technologies (now Thermo Fisher). He founded 2 biotechnology companies (Q-One Biotech and BioOutsource) which, in total, exited for ˜$100M and he was involved in the buy-out of BioReliance which was sold for $450M to Sigma-Aldrich (now Merck KGaA).

Formerly, David was Director of the Leukaemia Research Fund’s Virus Centre and Professor of Veterinary Virology at the University of Glasgow. He has been awarded the Norman Hall Gold Medal for Research into Animal Diseases from the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, the Animal Health Trust Award for Outstanding Scientific Achievement and The British Veterinary Association’s Cup and Medal for contributions to veterinary science. In 2006 he received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Glasgow for services to biotechnology and veterinary medicine.

David Onions is a member, or former member, of several advisory groups including the UK Advisory Committee on Release of GMOs Into the Environment the FDA xenotransplantation advisory committee, The World Health Organisations Expert Advisory Panel on Biological Standardization and The UK Medical Research Council Stem Foundation.

John Hirst


John Hirst, CBE, is our Chief Financial Officer, offering guidance, advice and oversight on the companies financial and business matters. John Hirst, CBE, is currently Chairman of BSI (British Standards Institution), NOC (National Oceanography Centre) and Anglian Water Group. He is also a non-executive director of Marsh UK. Until September 2014 John Hirst was Chief Executive of the Met Office, which he joined in September 2007. As part of this role, he was the UK’s permanent representative to the World Meteorological Organisation where he was a member of the Executive Committee and chaired the Audit Committee. He also sat on the councils for ECMWF and EUMETSAT and was member of the UK Space Board.

During his time as Chief Executive he renewed and reinvigorated the strategic direction of the Met Office, establishing collaborations on science and service with public, academic and private sector organisations worldwide including the UK’s Flood Forecasting Centre, National Hazard Partnership, Environmental Science to Service Partnership and the UK Met Office Academic Partnership. Major successes for the UK Met Office, widely recognised as the best weather and climate service in the world, included helping the Government and its clients appreciate and mitigate the impact of environmental risk, and being named three years in succession in the top 20 social brands in the UK.

John was awarded a CBE in the 2014 New Year’s Honours List for his national and international services to Meteorology. John has a degree in Economics and is a chartered accountant. He is a trustee of two epilepsy charities.

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