BBSRC Chief Executive's blog

News from our Chief Executive, Professor Melanie Welham

  • Blueprints for life and synthetic biology

    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

    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!

    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

    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. […]

  • With some sadness…my final blog for BBSRC

    Jackie Hunter

    It is with some sadness that I write this, my last blog before leaving BBSRC. I have very much enjoyed the opportunity to communicate in this way although I must confess that I find it odd that some people have been surprised to find I write it myself. I do have to acknowledge that Matt Goode, head of our External Relations team, has always sanity checked it for factual accuracy, missing links and other potential errors and usually adds a whizzy title – so thanks Matt! But the words and content have been mine as I wanted to use this blog to give an insight into BBSRC thinking and the role of Chief Executive. […]