Professor Fiona Watt to step down as MRC Executive Chair in 2022

Extreme magnification - Butterfly wing under the microscope

Professor Fiona Watt has announced she will step down from the role as Executive Chair of the Medical Research Council (MRC) in early 2022.

Professor Fiona Watts

Professor Watt was appointed MRC Executive Chair in April 2018 on a four-year secondment. This was to help shape the UK biomedical research landscape to provide the best medical research environment, facilities and funding to support excellence throughout the country.

She will take up a new role in early 2022 as Director of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO).

UKRI Chief Executive Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser said:

I thank Fiona for leading the MRC and steering the organisation through more closely integrated working as part of UKRI. In particular, she has led the MRC through the challenges posed by the pandemic to medical research, and the MRC’s critical work leading rapid response funding to deliver research projects to address key areas to tackle COVID-19, including therapies and vaccines.

I look forward to working closely with Fiona and her successor as we progress the organisation’s mission and vision at a crucial time for medical research in the UK.

Announcing her decision to step down in advance will allow time for a successor to be recruited.

Top image:  Credit: UK Research and Innovation

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