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Executive Chair's biography

Professor Melanie Welham

Professor Melanie Welham was selected to be the Executive Chair of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) when UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) came into being on 1 April 2018. Before April 2018 Melanie was 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.

Professor Melanie Welham. Copyright: BBSRC

Melanie is a leading researcher in molecular signalling and stem cell science. She obtained her first degree in Biochemistry from Imperial College London before undertaking a PhD at UCL. Until September 2011, she was co-director of the Bath Centre for Regenerative Medicine where she oversaw the activities of this interdisciplinary centre.

Earlier in her career, she was awarded a BBSRC Research Development Fellowship, which enabled her to develop and pursue new research directions. She moved from the study of signalling in white blood cells to seeking to understand the fundamental mechanisms controlling the behaviour of embryonic stem cells.

Melanie has a well-developed understanding of the requirements and demands of delivering BBSRC research and the interface between the Council and the research community. For more than four years she served on BBSRC peer review committees, including periods as either chair or co-chair. Professor Welham also served on the advisory committee for the UK National Stem Cell Network from 2009-11.