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Posted: 17 July 2008

BBSRC appoints UCD Professor to senior management team

Professor Janet Allen FRSE, Director of the UCD Conway Institute, has been appointed as one of three new members of the senior management team of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).

The BBSRC is one of seven Research Councils that work together as Research Councils UK (RCUK). It is funded from the Government's Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS). With a current budget of £400M, it supports a total of around 1600 scientists and 2000 research students in universities and institutes in the UK.

As the new Director of Research at the BBSRC, Professor Allen will be joined at the BBSRC by Dr Celia Caulcott, currently Research Manager at Imperial College, London and an independent research management consultant, who has been appointed Director for Innovation and Skills at the BBSRC, and Paul Gemmill, currently BBSRC Interim Executive Director who has been appointed Director of Communications and Information Management.

Professor Allen trained initially in biochemistry and medicine. In addition to her highly successful career in senior appointments in medicine and academic research, she has held research directorships in the global pharmaceutical sector with Parke Davis/Pfizer and with an innovative biotech SME, Inpharmatica. She has also established a spin-out company: Ligand Xpress Ltd.

Professor Allen was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2000. Her research interests are primarily in cell and molecular biology; and in 2002 she was appointed Visiting Professor at the University of Glasgow and at Imperial College, London School of Medicine. Professor Allen recently joined BBSRC’s Integrative and Systems Biology Strategy Panel.

"Professor Allen and Dr Caulcott will bring to the BBSRC unparalleled breadth of complementary experience at the critical interface between basic bioscience and its translation, backed by strong research credentials in academia and industry,” said Steve Visscher, BBSRC Interim Chief Executive, announcing the appointments.

"These appointments reflect our progress in drawing together BBSRC’s funding of world-class research with our activities to promote its economic and social impact. The two Directors will work together within a single Science and Economic Impact grouping that will also integrate research training and career development, so that we can address coherently the needs of academia and industry."

"Paul Gemmill brings his managerial strengths, previous experience of communications with the Disability Rights Commission and expertise in project management to a new Directorship that will play a key role across BBSRC's activities. His energy and experience in taking forward a wide range of work across BBSRC will significantly strengthen our corporate functions," said Mr Visscher.

UCD colleagues who have worked with Professor Allen during her time at the UCD Conway Institute would like to wish her every success in her new role at the BBSRC.

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Professor Janet Allen FRSE, Director of the UCD Conway Institute, who has been appointed to the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)