Professor John Tagg (BSc, MSc, PhD)
Professor John Tagg is the founding scientist of the company. He acts as a scientific consultant to the Company and has an important role in the direction of strategic research of the Company. John is an accomplished communicator of Science.
Dr Tagg is a Professor emeritus of Microbiology at the University of Otago. He is a world recognised expert in the fields of streptococcal and bacteriocin research. He has over 30 years experience in microbiology and has a special interest in BLIS-producing organisms. Professor Tagg's personal passion to find a better answer to controlling Streptococcal infection was inspired by his own experience when as a teenager he contracted a Streptococcus pyogenes infection that led to rheumatic fever and a need to be on a daily penicillin regime throughout his teenage years.
He is regularly invited to chair sessions and to present the findings of his group at national and international conferences in the fields of streptococcal and bacteriocin research. His high and sustained research productivity over 25 years is reflected in more than 115 publications and reviews in peer-reviewed journals. Professor Tagg has been a regular member of the Health Research Council Biomedical Assessing Committee and has frequently reviewed contributions to microbiological journals, especially Applied and Environmental Microbiology of which, he is a member of the Editorial Board. Professor Tagg has been a Committee member, Treasurer, Vice-President and President of the New Zealand Microbiological Society.
Dr Philip Wescombe (BSc (Hons), PhD)
Dr Wescombe has been involved in the science behind BLIS Technologies Ltd since 1997 when he began his postgraduate studies with Professor Tagg at the University of Otago. During his PhD, he was involved in research that resulted in the salivaricin B patent - the cornerstone science behind the formation of BLIS Technologies Ltd. Since joining BLIS technologies in 2001 he has been involved in improving the stability of S. salivarius K12 formulations, carrying out clinical trials relating to the colonisation capability of K12, and investigating new organisms for their potential as probiotics to broaden the science base of BLIS Technologies Ltd.
Scientist and Technical Marketing
Dr John Hale (BSc (Hons), PhD)
Dr Hale joined BLIS in 2011 as a Scientist and Technical Marketer. Following his PhD studies at the University of Otago he completed post-doctoral studies at the University of British Columbia (Vancouver) and Monash University (Melbourne). He brings an in depth knowledge in the field of antimicrobial peptides and bacteria. In his current role Dr Hale runs clinical trials and supports clients on technical issues.