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Plasma4's multidisciplinary platform draws on research expertise from across chemistry, materials science, infection & immunity and microbiology


Rob Short

Founder & Director


Sherry Kothari

CEO & Director

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Endre Szili


Rob is Head of Chemistry at the University of Sheffield. He retains adjunct professorial positions at Lancaster University, where he was previously the Director of the Material Science Institute, and within the Future Industries Institute at the University of South Australia, Adelaide.   Rob holds a BSc and PhD from the University of Durham. He started his academic career at the University of Sheffield, where he held the Chair in Biomaterials from 2001. He has since held the positions of Institute Research Director, Dean of Research and PVC at the University of South Australia.   As well as being an academic, with over 250 publications, Rob is a successful entrepreneur and brings +30 years experience in technological plasma, working on plasma-based technologies for life science, healthcare and medical products.  He co-developed the myskin™  and cypatch™  technologies for the treatment of chronic wounds and burns, and the advanced cell culture technology, PureCoat™. Rob is an inventor on more than 10 distinct patent families, supporting products sold globally.   He has led teams that have won in excess of £125M funding from government, industry, investors and charities.   He collaborates globally with groups in the USA, UK, Continental Europe, Japan, Korea and Australia.   In 2013, he was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering.

Originally trained as a clinician, Sherry has spent the last 20 years working at the research/ health/industry interface. With a keen eye for spotting new opportunities, she has a passion for leading innovation in complex, multi-stakeholder, multi-sector environments, helping to address societal challenges and generating real-world, tangible impacts. Formerly CEO / Managing Director of a large, complex R&D organisation in Australia (with diverse partners including state and federal Government, health providers and businesses) Sherry identified an important, transformational industry need – to make cell therapy manufacture more affordable. She set this organisation up from scratch, with strategic, operational and fiscal responsibility. Under her inclusive and focused leadership, the organisation established two successful start-up companies exploiting smart surfaces for implanted medical devices and technologies for cancer immunology. Sherry has also been a founder investor in two other life science spin-out companies in the UK. She brings an astute understanding of the innovation pipeline and a passion for driving innovation and translation into practice. Sherry has worked on industry-led research initiatives in new tools and therapies for wounds through the Australian Wound Management Innovation Centre and supported the development of myskin in the UK, (a cell-based product for the treatment of severe burns). Sherry’s broader experience also includes being a board director, trustee and mentor. She is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and has been a recipient of awards, including the SA Women in Innovation Award 2014 and finalist in the Telstra Business Women’s Awards 2016 (Australia).

Endre is an Australian Research Council Future Fellow (2020-2024), Senior Research Fellow and head of the plasma medicine research group at the Future Industries Institute, University of South Australia. He is also a part-time visiting Professor at University of Orleans in France between 2022-2024. He completed a BBiotech(Hons) in December 2002 and PhD in Chemistry in December 2008 at Flinders University. He has a successful track record of approximately 60 publications (eight invited) and two book chapters. His research has set out to “back-fill” major gaps in knowledge into understanding the fundamentals of plasma-tissue interactions through novel approaches that has helped streamline the development of medical plasma technologies. He has presented his research in more than 30 invited talks worldwide, including a 2018 invited talk on ‘Developing in vitro models to analyse the metrology of plasma-tissue interactions’ at the Gordon Research Conference, Plasma Processing and Science – Session: Plasma Agriculture and Medicine in the USA. He has been awarded over AU$2M in research funding including funding from the Australian Research Council and National Health Medical Research Council. His research led to the invention of a new plasma technology (Patent # WO 2015/123720 A1) that offers a safer approach for the application of plasma in wound therapy. In 2013, he received the Early Career Researcher Award at the University of South Australia. In 2017, he was honoured as an “emerging leader in applied physics” by the board of Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics. In 2021, he received the Early Career Award in Plasma Medicine (ECAPM) awarded by the International Society for Plasma Medicine (ISPM). He serves on the editorial and advisory boards for Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics, Journal of Physics Communications, IEEE Transactions on Radiation and Plasma Medical Sciences and Frontiers in Physics.

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Toby Jenkins

R & D Lead


Nishtha Gaur

R & D


Alex Robson

R & D

Toby is Professor of Biophysical Chemistry at the University of Bath. His research focusses on developing materials and sensors for controlled drug delivery and microbial sensing. Toby obtained his PhD from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, subsequently he worked in the Department of Physics at Leeds University and later won the Alexander-von-Humboldt fellowship at the Max-Planck Institute for Polymer research in Mainz, Germany. In 2000 he started work at the University of Bath where he has supervised 28 PhD students to completion and published over 130 peer reviewed papers. Toby works closely with clinicians, including urologists at Bath’s Royal United Hospital and burns clinicians at the South West Children’s Burns Centre in Bristol and Queen Victoria Hospital, East Grinstea. Toby is a fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and member of both the British Burns Association and the European Society for Pediatric Infectious Diseae.

Nishtha is a Senior Research Associate at Lancaster University. With a Bachelors and Masters in nanotechnology and a PhD in plasma medicine, she brings expertise and experience across physics, chemistry, biology and nanomaterials. Her research in the field of plasma technology is two-pronged: a focus on the applications of plasma for chronic wounds, skin cancer and onychomycosis; and unravelling the mechanisms involved in plasma-tissue interactions and investigating the safety of the plasma device. Nishtha has built up collaborations that span Japan, USA, Australia, India and the UK. She also serves on the editorial board of leading research publications and is an alumnus of the Impulse Programme, Henry Royce Institute, Cambridge University, UK. Growing up in an entrepreneurial family has provided Nishtha with an ideal platform to combine her two passions – plasma medicine and entrepreneurship – and a real asset to Plasma4.

Alex is a Research Associate in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Sheffield and holds MPhys (Hons), MSc and PhD degrees from Lancaster University. His research involves the development of thin film coatings via plasma polymerisation, material analysis via techniques such as X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and scanning probe microscopy (SPM), and the development of plasma/material medical technologies. Alex has studied a wide range of material systems, from biomaterials and polymers, through to compound semiconductors and 2D materials. His research has always had a strong industry and applied focus; he has collaborated on research projects with > 40 companies and is the former managing director of Lancaster Material Analysis Ltd, a spin-out company he co-founded at Lancaster University to commercialise beam-exit cross-sectional polishing (BEXP), an argon-ion-beam milling for the cross-sectional analysis of structures via SPM.

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