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New Chief Executive joins UK's leading bioscience funder

1 October 2008

Professor Douglas Kell has today started as the new Chief Executive of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), the UK's leading funding agency for academic research and training in the non-clinical life sciences.

  New Chief Executive joins UKs leading bioscience funder

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Video transcript- Video and audio help - Watch video on YouTube

Speaking in an interview for the BBSRC website, Prof Kell, said: "Having had funding from BBSRC over almost all of its remit over the years I have a broad interest in taking forward the kind of science that BBSRC has been sponsoring for a long time. Having been fortunate enough to be chosen to be Chief Executive, I’m really looking forward to this once in a lifetime opportunity."

Prof Kell succeeds Prof Julia Goodfellow, who left BBSRC in September 2007 to take up the role of Vice-Chancellor at the University of Kent. Steve Visscher has been serving as Interim Chief Executive during the intervening period. Prof Kell said: "I am fortunate to be following Julia and Steve who both worked hard and effectively to put BBSRC in a tremendous position to exploit bioscience opportunities in the future. Julia was instrumental in placing predictive and systems biology at the centre of BBSRC’s strategy five years ago, a move that was highly prescient. Steve has steered the Council through a period of great change over the last year and played a key role in helping to secure a good settlement for the biosciences in the last spending review."

Prof Kell was previously Professor of Bioanalytical Science at the University of Manchester and Director of the BBSRC-funded Manchester Centre for Integrative Systems Biology. He has a long association and involvement with BBSRC and BBSRC science. He has been a member of BBSRC Council and served on a number of further panels and boards for the Research Council. This included chairing a key review of BBSRC bioenergy research in 2006.



High resolution images of Professor Kell are available from the BBSRC Media Office, see contact below.

Notes to editors

Prof Kell’s appointment was announced by the Department for Innovation Universities and Skills (DIUS) in July. The appointment is for four years and followed open competition.

Prof Kell was born in London in 1953. He is married with three children. Prof Kell studied at the University of Oxford and then conducted research at Aberystwyth University. He joined UMIST in 2002, which merged with the Victoria University of Manchester to form The University of Manchester in 2004.

BBSRC releases videos on a range of research and policy stories. View them all at or watch and subscribe for future videos by visiting the BBSRC YouTube channel:


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 £420M 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.


Matt Goode, Head of External Relations

tel: 01793 413299

Tracey Jewitt, Media Officer

tel: 01793 414694
fax: 01793 413382