We inform our design based on interactions with NGOs, water companies, industry experts, leading researchers and the communities that will benefit from our products that stop hazardous chemical discharge in water.
A targeted approach
Existing water treatment removes 99.96% of contaminants with a general treatment, but does not treat the 0.04% of micropollutants that are exceptionally difficult to capture but also highly toxic such as heavy metals. Our selective membrane cartridges addresses this urgent unmet need by capturing and eventually recycle the micropollutants to enable the circular economy.
Imperial College based
Our team first came together for the world's biggest synthetic biology competition, iGEM, where we came 2nd out of 250 universities competing at MIT (2014). With products developed from our improved technology, we're addressing the global challenge of micropollutants in industrial water in order to reach the sustainable development goals (SDGs)
Lack of access to clean water is predicted to affect 47% of the world’s population by 2030. Contamination of water supplies by industrial micropollutants such as metal ions, pesticides and pharmaceuticals is a major contributor to this water stress. These micropollutants are persistent in the environment and dangerous to human health.A 2010 Mount Sinai study found 287 toxic micropollutants, that can be traced back to industrial usage, were found in the umbilical cord of US infants.
CustoMem tackles this problem by targeted capture of micropollutants from industrial wastewater that are challenging and energy intensive to remove with current technology. We can safely repurpose the captured micropollutants into high-value products. Our products are developed using our world class expertise in wastewater treatment, biomaterials and synthetic biology from experience at Whatman, Alcan, Imperial College, Cambridge and UC Berkeley. Using our expertise, we offer customised solutions for the most problematic pollutants.
Customers benefit from a simple, cost effective, plug-n-play solution that is low maintenance. It operates as a drop in to existing infrastructure, with reduced energy requirements compared to using membrane filtration. When products are used up, we supply a new unit and recycle captured pollutants from the used one in a responsible manner. Ultimately, we provide peace of mind for our customers as they fulfil sustainability commitments & regulations.
CustoMem cofounder awarded Royal Academy of Engineering Enterprise Fellowship
CustoMem 2016 PNAS publication on the platform technology
Henrik Hagemann CEO and Cofounder
Henrik completed his First Class Bioengineering MEng degree at Imperial College London where his research included a genetic toolkit for a thermophile and the intersection of synthetic biology with biomaterials. He is an active member of the synthetic biology community, having co-founded the synbio society at Imperial (SynBIC) and participated in iGEM as an undergraduate (2014) winning First Runners Up. He was the first two-time winner of the Institution of Engineering & Technology (IET) award and given the only Imperial College Outstanding Student Achievement Medal upon graduation (2015) among 2200 graduates. He has participated in 6 entrepreneurial programmes, has been invited for the IET Early Career Awards where he won First Runners up for his poster and SynBioBeta London 2016 to speak about CustoMem. On the side, he is also co-founder of a Burmese Refugee Assistance Charity (2008).
Gabi Santosa CSO and Cofounder
Gabi completed her BSc Biochemistry studies at Imperial College London where her research focused on developing a self-regulating directed evolution phage toolkit development. With her extensive research experience across 5 different labs internationally over 5 years, she is able to quickly adapt through problems in the lab. She is an active member of the entrepreneurial community, having participated in the Venture Catalyst Challenge, IP Wise Up for IP training based on CustoMem, the Imperial-Althea programme and a 10 week Lean Launchpad program run by SynbiCITE & Steve Blank. In synthetic biology, she is the driving force & cofounder of the Synthetic Biology society SynBIC where she organises an ongoing lecture series, manages internships for students and recruitment for the Imperial iGEM team. Her analytical skills are exemplified through her excellence in research for Imperial iGEM where her genetic parts collection won the Best Parts prize out of 245 projects at MIT.
Dr Ben Reeve CTO
Ben completed his PhD at Imperial College with Tom Ellis in 2016 where his research focused on genetic toolkit development for non-model organisms including thermophiles and acetobacter. He is a leading young researcher, having published 7 papers in synthetic biology journals including ACS synbio and PNAS. He was the winner of the iGEM competition in 2011 with Cambridge university. Very deep relations to Henrik and Gabi, having worked together on Imperial iGEM 2014 and with Henrik since 2013. PhD in engineering non-model organisms called thermophiles and deep genetics understanding from BA at Cambridge university.
Shayne Petkiewicz Business Development Manager
Shayne’s research has focused on modelling feedback in cellular systems. His interest in entrepreneurship and business development has led him to join the Imperial Consulting Group as an Associate as well as lead a diverse team to place in an Imperial College Entrepreneurship Business Plan Competition.Previously, he has worked for 1.5 years as a Research Associate in the Joint BioEnergy Institute (lead by Jay Keasling) and completed his BS in Chemical Engineering at UC Berkeley.His research efforts have yielded in two scientific publications.As Business Development Manager, he focuses on business and product development. He has close relations to Henrik and Gabi, as he has been involved with CustoMem since September 2015.
Dr Tom Ellis
Dr Ellis is a senior lecturer leading research in synthetic biology and synthetic genome engineering in the Imperial Department of Bioengineering. He has track record in synthetic biology, being author of over 20 publications in synthetic biology including work in Nature Methods, Nature Biotechnology, PNAS and Nature Reviews. He co-leads the teaching of Imperial’s synthetic biology undergraduate module and has won multiple awards for teaching and for supervision of 4 of the UK’s most successful iGEM teams.
Professor Richard Kitney
Professor Kitney is Chairman of the Institute of Systems and Synthetic Biology; and Co-Director of the EPSRC National Centre for Synthetic Biology and Innovation and The UK National Industrial Translation Centre for Synthetic Biology – both at Imperial College London. He has published over 300 papers in the fields of synthetic biology, mathematical modelling, biomedical information systems, and medical imaging. Professor Kitney was a member of the British Government’s working group on the development of a Roadmap for synthetic biology for the UK and a member of The Royal Society’s Working Party on Synthetic Biology. He is now a member of the British Government’s Ministerial Leadership Council for Synthetic Biology. In June 2001 Professor Kitney was awarded The Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for services to Information Technology in Biomedicine.
Professor Paul Freemont
Professor Freemont is co-director and co-founder of the EPSRC Centre for Synthetic Biology and Innovation and the National UK Innovation and Knowledge Centre for Synthetic Biology at Imperial College London. He is also head of the new section of Structural Biology in Imperial’s Department of Medicine. Paul is the author of over 170 scientific publications, a Fellow of the Society of Biology and appears regularly on radio and television broadcasts on the subject of synthetic biology. Paul is an active member of the synthetic biology community and has co-supervised Imperial undergraduate iGEM teams since 2006.
If you are curious about our receiving documents with our recent development , or want to meet the team - email us:
info at customem dot com
CustoMem is a SynbiCITE affiliated partner, the UK's pioneering Innovation and Knowledge Centre (IKC) dedicated to promoting the adoption and use of synthetic biology by industry