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BBSRC announces new Council members

26 May 2005

Dr Peter Ringrose, Chairman of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), has formally announced the appointment of three new members to BBSRC Council by the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, with effect from 1 April 2005.

The new Council members are Professor Quintin McKellar FIBiol FRAS FRSE, Professor Nancy Rothwell FRS and Dr Malcolm Weir. Dr Ringrose has also announced the re-appointment to Council of Professor Robert Freedman, Dr Alistair Penman FIFST and Professor Cheryl Tickle CBE FRS FRSE.

Dr Ringrose said, “I am very pleased to welcome the new members of Council who bring a wealth of expertise, experience and knowledge. Together with the existing members being re-appointed, they will help BBSRC to ensure that the UK remains a world-leader in the biosciences.”

The appointments for the new Council members run for three years. The re-appointments of Professor Freedman and Dr Penman run for three years and the re-appointment of Professor Tickle runs for two years.

Professor Quintin McKellar FIBiol FRAS FRSE

Professor Quintin McKellar graduated from Glasgow Veterinary School in 1981. He went on to gain his PhD in Veterinary Parasitology in 1984 and was appointed to a lectureship at the Veterinary School in the same year.

He became HeadProfessor Quintin McKellar of the Veterinary Pharmacology Department in 1990, and was also appointed to the Veterinary Products Committee in 1993.

He was awarded a personal professorship by Glasgow Veterinary School in 1996 and in August 1997 Professor McKellar took up the post of Scientific Director of Moredun Research Institute and Chief Executive of the Moredun Foundation.

In 2004 Professor McKellar was appointed Principal of The Royal Veterinary College of the University of London. His research interests are in the pharmacology of anti-infective and anti-inflammatory drugs in domestic animals.

Professor Nancy Rothwell FRS

Professor Nancy Rothwell is MRC Research Professor of Physiology and Vice-President for Research at the University of Manchester, overseeing research activity in both the humanities and science.

As a leading expert in the field of neuroscience, over the last decade her research has contributed toward major advances in the understanding and treatment Professor Nancy Rothwellof conditions such as stroke and brain injury. Her research has most recently focused on the discovery of a protein which damages cells in the brain following trauma caused by stroke, head injury or brain haemorrhage.

She is also credited with the discovery of the importance of a small tissue called 'brown fat' which, in contrast to other fats found in mammals, burns off calories and helps animals to stay slim.

In addition to her work for the University, Professor Rothwell is a trustee for Cancer Research UK and NESTA.

Professor Rothwell was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2004. Other achievements include winning the prestigious Pfizer prize for Innovative Science, 2003 and being elected President of the British Neuroscience Association, 2000.

Dr Malcolm Weir

Dr Malcolm Weir joined the computer-based drug discovery company Inpharmatica Ltd in June 2000 as Chief Executive and held the position until November 2004 when he became Chief Scientific Officer. Dr Malcolm Weir

Dr Weir obtained his BSc and PhD in biochemistry and biophysics at Imperial College and then joined Glaxo in 1983. He became head of the Biomolecular Structure Department and then the Molecular Sciences Division of GlaxoWellcome following the 1995 merger, with responsibility for some 300 people engaged in target and lead identification and validation.

During his time at GlaxoWellcome he pioneered the application of structural biology to drug discovery, resulting in the advancement of a number of clinical candidates, and played a leading role in developing the company's global scientific computing and proteomics strategies. Dr. Weir was elected visiting professor of biochemistry at Imperial College, London, in 1997.

Photographs of all new Council appointees are available on request from the BBSRC Media Office.

ENDS

Notes to editors

BBSRC Council members receive an honorarium of £6,120pa.

All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, in accordance with the original Nolan recommendations, there is a requirement for appointees’ political activity (if any declared) to be made public. None of the appointees is involved in any political activity. Details of Council Members' interests are available on the BBSRC website.

BBSRC Council is the senior decision making body responsible for determining the policy, priorities and strategy of BBSRC. The Chairman of BBSRC Council is Dr Peter Ringrose.

The new Council members began their appointments on 1 April 2005. Formal public announcement of the appointments was delayed during the general election campaign.

About BBSRC

The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) is the UK funding agency for research in the life sciences. Sponsored by Government, BBSRC annually invests around £380 million in a wide range of research that makes a significant contribution to the quality of life for UK citizens and supports a number of important industrial stakeholders including the agriculture, food, chemical, healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors. http://www.bbsrc.ac.uk

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