New chair appointed for MRC Molecular and Cellular Medicine Board

Maddy Parsons

Leading interdisciplinary cell biologist Professor Maddy Parsons has been appointed as the new Chair of the MRC Molecular & Cellular Medicine Board (MCMB).

MRC research boards and panels are made up of a group of leading scientists who play a key role in delivering MRC objectives across the portfolio. The research boards hold their own research budgets and review and manage scientific activity within their specialist science areas. Board chair tenure typically lasts for four years.

About Professor Maddy Parsons

Maddy’s research focuses on understanding how cell receptor sensing of environmental changes controls signalling, adhesion and migration in the context of different diseases. The focus is on development and implementation of novel advanced microscopy approaches.

Her research is highly interdisciplinary and spans fundamental cell and molecular biology, biophysics, in vitro, in vivo and translational research. She has strong partnerships with clinicians in areas including skin-blistering, fibrosis, cancer, wound healing and inflammation, as well as collaborations with physicists, data scientists and industry partners.

At King’s College London, Maddy is Professor of Cell Biology, Director of both the Nikon Imaging Centre and the Microscopy Innovation Centre and Associate Dean for Impact & Innovation.

In a national setting, she leads the UKRI Technology Touching Life Integrated Biological Imaging Network and the BioImagingUK Community Network and is an executive committee and council member at the Royal Microscopical Society.

Maddy is a current member of MCMB and she has engaged on strategy across research councils, including in the development of the UKRI infrastructure roadmap and as a member of the STFC Science Board. She has a long-standing commitment to inter-disciplinary research training and is dedicated to mentorship for early career scientists.

Aiding the growth of interdisciplinary science

Speaking of her appointment, Maddy said:

The fantastic advances in enabling technologies, tools and ‘omics’ approaches over the past decade have been transformative in delivering new insight into the cellular and molecular mechanisms that underpin disease.

The MRC has played a critical role in enabling these activities, and in aiding the growth of interdisciplinary science. It is a huge honour to be appointed as MCMB Chair to help shape future investments in this diverse, important and rapidly evolving research area.

I am thrilled to have the opportunity to assist in the support and development of world-class fundamental biomedical research and to ensuring this remains a key priority area within the MRC portfolio.

Maddy will begin her tenure as Chair on 1 April 2021. Professor Anne Ferguson-Smith will conclude her term at the end of December 2020, and current Deputy Chair Professor Andrew Jackson will be Interim Chair between January-March 2021.

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