Archive for 'Uncategorized'

  • Research advice and food – in Vogue

    Uncategorized | Melanie Welham

    During the past week I have attended the meetings of two groups that make important contributions to BBSRC’s scientific strategies, our Research Advisory Panel and Appointments Board (more on this next week).

    Membership of our Research Advisory Panel is drawn from across our advisory structures and includes the Chairs of our responsive mode, strategic Lola and fellowships committees, strategy advisory panels and members of Council. It helps to ensure BBSRC draws on a diversity of perspectives. We welcomed Jane Silverthorne, from the Bio Directorate of the National Science Foundation (NSF), as an observer at this meeting. We enjoy excellent relations with the NSF and have partnered with them for a range of funding calls including through a Lead Agency pilot agreement, Ideas Labs and ERA-Nets. […]

  • Blueprints for life and synthetic biology

    Uncategorized | Melanie Welham

    During my formative years, I recall reading Stephen Rose’s Penguin paperback The Chemistry of Life. While providing inspiration for me to pursue a career in biochemistry, the text opens with an interesting analogy between cooking and biochemistry. I have often recalled this line when experimenting in the lab (and also when cooking up a culinary storm!) and I was reminded of it again when reading the most recent paper from Craig Venter and colleagues reflecting that we actually have rather a long way to go before we fully understand all the essential ‘ingredients’ (in the form of the DNA) that provide the ‘minimal’ blueprint for life. […]

  • Career paths

    Uncategorized | Melanie Welham

    As the Easter holiday period approaches, so the focus in my household is turning to preparation for AS and A-level exams – I’m sure this will be the case for many of you too. I have always been passionate about encouraging young people to be aspirational but we do need to be mindful that career paths can take many twists and turns and there is no one ‘right way’ for everyone. […]

  • Global challenges: don’t forget the fungi!

    Uncategorized | Melanie Welham

    A theme woven through my second week as interim CE has been the opportunity that the Global Challenges Research Fund, announced by the Government in the Spending Review in November 2015 and confirmed in our allocations last week, brings to the bioscience research and innovation community.

    The Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) seeks to leverage the excellence of the UK’s research base to tackle problems faced by developing countries, from health and agriculture, through to energy and conflict resolution, challenges which very much align with UN sustainable development goals […]

  • First impressions, motivation and allocations

    Uncategorized | Melanie Welham

    In stepping into the role of interim Chief Executive of BBSRC I have been quite overwhelmed by messages of support and have been reassured by many words of encouragement. When I joined BBSRC as Director of Science in October 2012 (initially on secondment from the University of Bath) I didn’t imagine I would eventually be leading the organisation. Such opportunities don’t arise very often and at this particular juncture, as we enter a period of change, it is essential for bioscience to have a strong voice. […]