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Prof Melanie Welham appointed BBSRC Chief Executive

Copyright: BBSRC

The Minister for Universities and Science, Jo Johnson, has announced the appointment of Professor Melanie Welham as interim Chief Executive of BBSRC. She will take over from Prof Jackie Hunter who is leaving BBSRC at the end of February.

Prof Welham is currently Executive Director, Science at BBSRC, a role she has held since joining the Council from the University of Bath in October 2012. The appointment is effective from 1 March until a permanent appointment is made.

Jo Johnson said: “I am pleased to appoint Melanie Welham as interim Chief Executive of BBSRC. As the previous Director of Science at the BBSRC and with an excellent track record across research, academia and management, Melanie is very well placed to take on this role. I wish her well in her appointment.”

Professor Sir Gordon Duff, Chairman of BBSRC, said: “We are entering a period of great opportunity and change in the Research Councils and I am delighted that BBSRC, its staff and UK bioscience researchers will have high quality leadership in Melanie Welham. Melanie brings not only in-depth knowledge of BBSRC and our science but experience and networks across the Research Councils, Government and the research community.”

Prof Welham said: “Prof Jackie Hunter has done a fantastic job as Chief Executive since 2013 and is leaving BBSRC in a very strong position for the future. Having been part of BBSRC’s leadership team for over three years and having had a long association with the Council, both as a researcher and member of research committees I am very aware of the value, impact and potential of the organisation and the science we support. I am very much looking forward to leading BBSRC and ensuring that we continue to support excellent bioscience – vital to building the UK bioeconomy.”

Prof Welham was a BBSRC Research Development Fellow earlier in her career and progressed to become a leading researcher in molecular signalling and stem cell biology. She was co-director of the Bath Centre for Regenerative Medicine where she oversaw the activities of this interdisciplinary centre. Prof Welham served on BBSRC peer review committees for a number of years, including as a chair.

BBSRC has announced that Dr Amanda Collis, currently Associate Director, Science Strategy, will take on the role of interim Executive Director, Science, while Prof Welham is in post as Chief Executive. Dr Karen Lewis has been confirmed as interim Executive Director, Innovation and Skills.



UK Research and Innovation Media Office

Tags: BIS people BBSRC press release