Professor Melanie Welham selected for the role of Executive Chair of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council

Professor Melanie Welham selected for the role of Executive Chair of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council

Professor Melanie Welham has been selected to be the Executive Chair of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) when UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) comes into being in April 2018.

Professor Melanie Welham is currently interim Chief Executive of BBSRC having previously served as Executive Director, Science for BBSRC. Prior to this, Professor Welham worked at the University of Bath as Professor of Molecular Signalling and was the first woman to be appointed a professor in her department. Melanie is a leading researcher in molecular signalling and stem cell science.

UKRI will be the main mechanism to promote the UK's unrivalled strengths in research and innovation both at home and around the world. It is at the heart of our modern Industrial Strategy and will ensure that we continue to make the most of our world-leading R&D sector and provide support for our researchers and scientists.  

Professor Welham said:

"The excellent research, people and infrastructure that BBSRC invests in makes a real difference to how we understand the world around us.

Creatively exploring the frontiers of bioscience yields remarkable insights into how life works and will, in turn, improve our lives; giving us secure and nutritious food, renewable resources, and better health for us and our animals.

I’m delighted to have the opportunity to continue to lead BBSRC in UK Research and Innovation – to work in partnership to keep the UK at the global forefront of research and innovation."

Sir Mark Walport, UKRI CEO Designate, said:

"I'm delighted with the appointment of Melanie as the first BBSRC Executive Chair. She has an excellent track record as a research leader and as interim BBSRC Chief Executive since 2016. Melanie has played a central role in developing and delivering the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund and I look forward to continuing to work closely with her as we now embark on establishing UK Research and Innovation."

The post of BBSRC Executive Chair is potentially subject to a pre-appointment hearing by the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee. The Committee will consider this in due course.