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Appointments Board

Roles and responsibilities

The UKRI-BBSRC Appointments Board operates under delegated authority from the UKRI-BBSRC Executive Chair and is responsible for making decisions on appointments to BBSRC’s Strategy Advisory Panels, Pool of Experts, Committees and Panels, based on recommendations from the BBSRC office.

In undertaking this activity, the Board is responsible for ensuring that:

  • good practice in equality, inclusion and diversity is embedded and promoted in all its activities
  • there is an open and transparent selection process for the appointment of members
  • appointments are made on the basis of quality and suitability to carry out the required activities, against defined criteria
  • the Panel or Committee collectively provides appropriate and balanced expertise, skills and knowledge to deliver its responsibilities, and is representative of the needs and interests of the relevant stakeholder and user communities


Professor Stefan Przyborski (Interim Chair)

Stefan Przyborski is Professor of Cell Technology at Durham University. He has a background in animal cell biology and completed his PhD in Sheffield. He has had fellowships to the USA to research at the Jackson Laboratory and worked with industry in Princeton. His research focuses on understanding how the micro-environment in which cells grow influence their structure and function to enable the construction of human tissue models for use in research and development. Much of this work is based on the fundamental principles of anatomy and physiology, where the morphology of cells and their surroundings is related to their function. His research is interdisciplinary involving cell biology, chemistry and engineering, and applied to develop novel technologies to bioengineer equivalents of human tissues.

Stefan founded Durham spin-out company, Reinnervate, based on the translation of research emanating from his laboratory to construct three dimensional tissues in vitro.  His business produced Alvetex, the market leading cell culture product. The company was sold to Reprocell group in 2014. Stefan continues to work with Reprocell Europe as consultant Chief Scientific Office leading R&D of novel human tissue models that can be used in academia and industry for basic research, drug screening and safety assessment. He has received numerous awards for his innovations and is passionate about developing alternatives to animal research.

Stefan has significant experience assessing research quality (REF2014, 2021 panel member) and managing the allocation of research funding (Chair BBSRC Response Mode; Chair NC3Rs Project grants; Chair Industrial Case studentships; UKRI Joint Research Partnerships and FLF). He is currently the co-Chair of the UKRI BBSRC Appointment Panel and has served on numerous strategy groups for RCUK. Stefan is the current President of the Anatomical Society for Great Britain and Ireland.

Term ends: 31 March 2022

Professor Adrian Mulholland

Professor Adrian Mulholland has worked on modelling enzymes, and biomolecular simulation more generally, for over 25 years. Following doctoral studies in Oxford, work in industry with ICI Central Toxicology Lab and Pharmaceuticals, and postdoctoral work with Martin Karplus at Harvard, he is now Professor of Chemistry at the University of Bristol. He works on the development and application of multiscale modelling methods, in areas ranging from biocatalysis to drug metabolism and antimicrobial resistance. His research interests span protein dynamics, enzyme catalysis, enzyme thermoadaptation and evolution, high performance computing, and interactive simulation in virtual reality. His work has shown how computational enzymology complements experiment in revealing catalytic mechanisms, analysing effects of mutation, enzyme inhibition and drug resistance, and in developing computational ‘assays’ of enzyme activity.

Professor Mulholland is Chair of the cross-Council Collaborative Computational Project Steering Panel. He is also Chair of CCP-BioSim, the UK Collaborative Computational Project on Biomolecular Simulation (, and of the Steering Group of the UK Catalysis Hub. He holds current research funding from BBSRC, EPSRC, Janssen Pharmaceuticals and BP, and has held research fellowships from the Wellcome Trust and EPSRC.

Term ends: 31 December 2021

Professor Alison Smith

Professor Alison Smith is a Group Leader at the John Innes Centre, Norwich, with a research programme on plant carbohydrate metabolism. Until April 2019 she was the Deputy Director of the John Innes Centre and led a large Institute Strategic Programme on plant and animal natural products. She has an honorary Chair at the University of East Anglia, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society. She has long experience of serving on BBSRC committees and panels, including as Chair of Research Committee B and the Food Security Scientific Advisory Panel. She has also chaired or been a member of various grant-awarding and review panels for BBSRC initiatives. Among other international roles, she has been a long-serving member of Scientific Advisory Boards for two Max Planck Institutes in Germany.

Term ends: 31 December 2021

Professor David Jones

Prof. David Jones received his B.Sc. in Physics from Imperial College and then went on to do an M.Sc. in Biochemistry at Kings College London, followed by completing a PhD in Computational Biology at University College London in 1993. After a Wellcome Trust Biomathematics Fellowship at UCL, in 1995 he was awarded a Royal Society University Research Fellowship to set up his own lab at the University of Warwick. In 1999, he left to take up the first advertised Chair in Bioinformatics in the UK at Brunel University. In 2001, he was appointed Professor of Bioinformatics at University College London (a joint appointment between the departments of Biochemistry and Computer Science). His lab aims to develop and apply state-of-the-art mathematical and computer science techniques to problems now arising in the life sciences, particularly those driven by the post-genomic era. David's main research interests include protein structure prediction and analysis, simulations of protein folding, protein design and, particularly, applications of machine learning to problems in biology. He is also the author of many well-known bioinformatics applications, such as THREADER and PSIPRED, and collaborated with Profs. Christine Orengo and Janet Thornton on creating the CATH protein structure classification scheme. David was also a co-founder of Inpharmatica Ltd., which was founded in 1998 as a spin-out company from University College London and acquired by Galapagos NV in 2007. The company used a combination of bioinformatics and chemoinformatics to look at the relationships between the structure and function of proteins, and the binding of chemical groups to these proteins leading to the discovery of novel drugs. Since then, he has collaborated with various companies, including AstraZeneca, GSK, Merck, Pfizer and Google DeepMind. In 2016, David took up a 3-year secondment to the newly opened Francis Crick Institute, where he headed up the Biomedical Data Science Laboratory. He has been involved in review panels for many organizations, including BBSRC, MRC, EPSRC, UKRI, The Wellcome Trust, Novo Nordisk and EMBL.

Term ends: 30 April 2024

Professor Helen Sang (Interim Deputy Chair)

Professor Helen Sang received a degree in Natural Sciences and PhD in genetics from Cambridge University. She continued developing a research career at Harvard and Edinburgh Universities, supported by Fellowships awarded by the SERC and MRC, and was then appointed as a Principal Investigator at The Roslin Institute. The Roslin Institute joined the University of Edinburgh in 2007, as part of the Royal (Dick) School for Veterinary Sciences. Helen was promoted to a Personal Chair in Vertebrate Molecular Development in 2009 and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and the Royal Society of Biology. Her personal research focus at The Roslin Institute has been the development of technologies for genetic modification of the chicken and their application in diverse areas of research. These include investigating the potential for developing disease resistance in production chickens and using the chick embryo as a model for development of the human embryo (funded by BBSRC, MRC and Wellcome Trust). This has lead to involvement in public engagement to discuss these opportunities with policy makers, industry and the wider public. Helen lead the Roslin Institute’s successful Athena SWAN gold award application, supporting opportunities for career advancement of women in science.

Term ends: 31 March 2022

Dr Joe Adams

Dr Adams is a Scientific Leader at GlaxoSmithKline.  Within GSK he has led the development of multiple assets for primary and secondary functions across multiple indications (anti-Cancer, Parkinsons, PTSD, Depression, COPD, MS).  He has also been active in initiating, developing and embedding new technologies, most notably synthetic biochemistry.  He received the Biocat Award for Industry in 2018 (Hamburg, Aug 2018).  He has been deeply involved in establishing several large, multiple-year collaborations including Chem21, a large IMI (Innovative Manufacturing Initiative) collaboration for sustainable manufacture in the 21st century.  Within GSK he sits on the steering panel for the GlaxoSmithKline Singapore Green and Sustainable Manufacturing Collaboration. He also sits on multiple external technical, advisory and strategy panels, is a GSK Fellow and a visiting professor at the University of Manchester.  He was part of the team who developed the first Synthetic Biology Roadmap for the UK and currently leads the alliances and collaborations team for his division.

Term ends: 31 December 2021

Dr Kevin Wright

Dr Wright is a Technical Director in Corporate Quality Assurance for Procter & Gamble, with a current focus on industrial microbiology. Within P&G his primary focus has been in the application of the life sciences to innovation in product design, manufacture and quality release in the Fast Moving Consumer Goods Industry (Health, Home and Beauty Care). Delivering on this technology remit has been facilitated through defining key technical strategies (e.g. biofilms, hygiene and industrial microbiology), a combination of internal and externally funded research collaborations (PhD/Post doctoral, SME, EU and UKRI BBSRC/EPSRC/UK Innovate) and the dissemination of precompetitive information through conferences, workshops and participation/leadership in cross industry groups (Kilmer rapid methods team/Microbiology Modernisation Cross Industry Consortium, PharMiG). Current interests focus on identifying and leveraging novel measurement approaches for manufacturing systems to better characterise and model microbiological risk, with the aim of ensuring the delivery of quality products to the consumer.

Term ends: 31 December 2022

Professor Marian Dawkins

Professor Marian Stamp Dawkins is Professor of Animal behaviour at the University of Oxford. Her research interests are in animal behaviour and animal welfare, with particular emphasis on poultry and improving farm animal welfare in practice. She has many years experience of working with commercial producers and, with BBSRC and EPSRC funding has developed a ‘smart’ farming system for automatically assessing the welfare of broiler chickens. This is currently being trialled in Europe and the US and has shown that bird behaviour can detect and often predict early signs of disease before clinical signs are apparent.

Professor Dawkins studied for her doctorate with Nobel Laureate Niko Tinbergen, working both in Oxford and at the University of California in Berkeley. She has worked on signalling in birds and coral reef fishes, coordinated herd movements in cows, bird vision and the formation of dominance hierarchies. She has served as a member of the Farm Animal Welfare Committee (FAWC), the Farm Livestock Committee of the RSPCA, the Ethical Committee of the Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour and the Scientific Advisory Board of Defra. She has been Secretary General of the International Society of Ethologists and is a Fellow of the Royal Society. She was awarded a CBE for services to animal welfare.

Professor Dawkins is the author of books on animal consciousness, the science of animal welfare and, with Aubrey Manning, three editions of An Introduction to Animal Behaviour.

Term ends: 30 April 2024

Professor Paula Booth

Paula Booth is currently Daniell Professor of Chemistry and Head of Department at King’s College, London, UK where she leads the renaissance of the discipline at the university. She is also a Group Leader of a Satellite Laboratory at the Francis Crick Institute. Paula leads a very active, interdisciplinary research group working at the interface between Chemistry and Life Sciences and she has previously held Faculty positions at Oxford, Imperial College and Bristol in Biochemistry.

Her research addresses the biosynthetic folding of integral membrane proteins, studying reaction mechanisms, regulation by membrane lipids and constructing biomembranes for Synthetic Biology applications. Her innovative research has been recognised with various awards including a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award and Philip Leverhulme Prize, and her funding includes a Wellcome Trust Investigator Award, ERC Advanced Grant, EPSRC-NFS award, BBSRC-EPSRC Synthetic Biology Centre funding as well as grants from BBSRC, EPSRC and the Leverhulme Trust.

Paula has extensive experience at executive and advisory level, for example serving on the UK Biochemical Society, US Protein Society and University of Bristol Councils as well as several Scientific Advisory Boards including the Rosalind Franklin Next Generation Chemistry Board that she will Chair in 2021. She is also a REF 2021 panel member and has sat on many funding panels including BBSRC,EPSRC, ERC and The Wellcome Trust.

Term ends: 31 December 2023

Meeting dates


  • 27 April (strategic meeting)
  • 1 November (appointments meeting)


  • 9 March (strategic meeting)
  • 20 November (appointments meeting)


  • 17 May (strategic meeting)
  • 7 November (appointments meeting)


  • 26 March (strategic meeting)
  • 12 October (appointments meeting)


  • 5 April (strategic meeting)
  • 6 October (appointments meeting)