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New Chair and Council Members for BBSRC

Copyright: BBSRC

Universities, Science and Cities Minister Greg Clark today announced the appointment of Sir Gordon Duff as the new chair of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).

Sir Gordon Duff will succeed Sir Tom Blundell on 01 July 2015. The appointment is for four years.

Universities, Science and Cities Minister Greg Clark said: “Sir Gordon Duff brings a depth of knowledge and experience at a senior level in both academia and medical regulation which will serve him well in his leadership of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, and I wish him well in the role.

“I thank Sir Tom Blundell for his hard work and dedication as Chairman of BBSRC over the last six years.”

Sir Gordon Duff said: “I am delighted with this appointment and look forward to working with BBSRC colleagues to support the best research in agriculture, food, energy and health – key areas that underpin the UK's expanding bioeconomy, bringing benefits to all."

See the announcement at: www.gov.uk/government/news/new-chair-of-the-biotechnology-and-biological-sciences-research-council-appointed

Sir Gordon is Principal, St Hilda’s College Oxford.  He chairs the Strategic Partners Board of the Imperial Academic Health Science Centre. He also chairs the MRC-National Institute of Health Research’s National Phenome Centre (Imperial College London), the Scientific Advisory Board of the MRC Centre for Drug Safety Sciences (Liverpool) and the Scientific Advisory Board of Interleukin Genetics Inc, Boston. He also serves on the International Scientific Advisory Board of the Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics at the University of Pennsylvania. He was previously Chair of the MHRA (UK national regulator of medicines and medical devices).

New Council members

In addition, two new members have been appointed to the Council of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and one member has also been reappointed.

The new members are:

  • Dr Belinda Clarke
  • Dr Deborah Keith

The appointments are with affect from 23 March 2015.

The current member of BBSRC Council that has been reappointed is Dr Mike Goosey.

BBSRC Chair, Professor Sir Tom Blundell FRS, said: "I am pleased to welcome the new members to BBSRC Council who bring excellent experience from the agri-tech sector to help strengthen our leadership in this important area."

Dr Belinda Clarke

Dr Clarke has a technical background in plant sciences underpinning a career spanning nearly 20 years at the interface between industry, academia and Government. She currently leads the UK’s first agri-tech cluster, Agri-Tech East, which brings together farmers and growers, researchers and technologists, and investors and entrepreneurs to create a global hub of agri-tech innovation to underpin economic growth and increased productivity, profitability and sustainability.

Dr Clarke is a non-Executive Director of Leatherhead Food Research, as well as a Trustee of the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association, which focuses on education and translation of agri-science to farmers. She was a member of the BBSRC Bioscience for Industry Strategy Panel (2009-2012) and a member of the UK Synthetic Biology Leadership Council (Nov 2012 – March 2014).

Dr Deborah Keith

Dr Deborah Keith has over 30 years of experience in the science and technology sector, most recently in corporate R&D strategy in Syngenta. Following an early career in academic research in plant genetics and in international development in Bhutan, she has spent the past sixteen years focused on the commercialization of R&D innovation. In her most recent role at Syngenta as Head of External Collaborations, she headed global teams to build strategic partnerships with academia and commercial enterprises. Previously she headed the Syngenta crop protection research portfolio to deliver global products to development, leading R&D strategy development and organisational change. 

Dr Keith is currently a Non-Executive Director of the Board of the James Hutton Institute, the John Innes Centre and the Aerospace Technology Centre.  She has previously been a Higher Scientific Officer at the John Innes Centre, focused on the development and commercialisation of scientific research for agriculture, and a Research Fellow at the University of Reading.

ENDS

Notes to editors

Chair

This appointment has been made in accordance with the requirements of the Code of the Commissioner for Public Appointments. All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, in accordance with the Nolan recommendations there is a requirement for appointees’ political activity to be made public. Sir Gordon Duff has not been involved in any relevant political activities in the last five years. He will receive an honorarium of £16,340 per year.

Council members

BBSRC Council is the senior decision making body responsible for determining the policy, priorities and strategy of BBSRC. Appointments are made in accordance with the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments Code of Practice.

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.

No political activity or public appointments have been declared.

Eligible members of Council will receive an honorarium of £6,850 per year. The honorarium is paid in respect of all duties carried out during their appointment to Council.


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