BBSRC Chief Executive's blog

News from our Chief Executive, Professor Melanie Welham

  • Reflections from Japan

    Melanie Welham

    At the time of writing I am heading back from the Science and Technology in Society (STS) forum meeting, held in Kyoto, Japan. The STS forum was established 13 years ago and attracts leaders from academia, industry, funding agencies and governments from around the world. The forum is very much focused on discussion and I was delighted to present as part of the plenary session on ‘Delivering healthcare to the world’. The focus of my talk was the potential of microbiome research and I was pleased at the level of interest and positive feedback I received – a Canadian delegate commented with surprise on the 2kg of microorganisms in his gut! […]

  • Dolly’s legacy – 20 years of impact

    Melanie Welham

    I recently attended the ‘Coming of Age: the legacy of Dolly at 20’ symposium at The Roslin Institute, which reflected on and celebrated the impacts that have stemmed from Dolly’s creation. As I’m sure most of you are aware, BBSRC investment in the scientific programme that led to the creation of Dolly was key. However, at a more personal level, Dolly has inspired many breakthroughs in stem cell biology, my own area of science, and so attending this meeting was a real pleasure at a number of levels. […]

  • Recognition for unsung heroes of research?

    Melanie Welham

    When we think about the people involved in research our minds automatically think first about established leaders, then maybe PhD students or post-docs but rarely – if ever – do technicians and other non-faculty staff feature. Yet all of us who work in bioscience know how vital these roles are and how much the individuals in these roles contribute to keeping the UK’s science world leading. […]

  • Plant science, oenomics and H2020 funding

    Melanie Welham

    BBSRC’s investments are key to supporting plant science research in the UK. Our plant scientists lead the world in understanding the fundamentals of plant biology – knowledge that is now being applied to key agricultural crops across the globe. Despite the importance of plant science, it tends to lack prominence in many A-level biology and UK university courses and I recall being one of only 12 students (out of ~100) who studied plant biochemistry when I was an undergraduate. Initiatives that raise the profile of, and opportunities in, plant science to undergraduate students are, therefore, very welcome and, in relation to this, I was delighted to be the closing plenary speaker at the recent Gatsby Plant Science Summer School. […]

  • The (ever) changing landscape

    Melanie Welham

    As I prepare to go on my summer holidays I’ve been thinking about all that has happened since I took up the role of CE at BBSRC on 1 March 2016 – the David Bowie classic ‘Changes’ jumps immediately to mind.

    In my first week (day two to be precise) BBSRC received notification of our funding allocation from the comprehensive spending review, including the creation of the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF), an opportunity which has brought a new focus on research to tackle the challenges faced by low and middle income countries. […]