BBSRC Chief Executive's blog

News from our Chief Executive, Professor Melanie Welham

Professor Melanie Welham
  • Inspiration, innovation and industrial strategy

    Melanie Welham

    The beginning of a new year often leads us to reflect on events of the previous year and to look forward, or even predict, ‘hot’ areas for the coming year. I will skip over the reflections of 2016 and instead look forward to some of the key themes for BBSRC in 2017.

    One theme that I look forward to continue engaging with and promoting in 2017 is the celebration of inspirational bioscience – from curiosity-inspired research, pushing back the frontiers of bioscience research and understanding, to research motivated by solving a particular challenge or problem. I regularly highlight outcomes of the research BBSRC invests in when I am on external visits and also to BBSRC Council – and it is one of the real pleasures of my role.

  • Out and about around the UK (or 10 days in the life of…)

    Melanie Welham

    People often ask me what my role as CE involves and how it is different to being an academic researcher. A good insight comes from the various activities I was involved with in the couple of weeks before my recent holiday. These saw me travelling the length and breadth of the UK to engage with different groups of BBSRC stakeholders – while physically tiring it has been an intellectually stimulating time.

  • Stakeholder engagement, research reproducibility and au revoir Tim Benton

    Melanie Welham

    At BBSRC we understand how important our relationships with academics, policy makers, end-users and civil society are.

    To deliver our vision of leading world-class bioscience, promoting innovation and realising benefits for society in the UK and beyond we need to work constructively with a huge range of different people and organisations. Some of those interactions are at the highest levels in Government, while many of them, no less important, are at the day-to-day level of delivering investments in bioscience.

  • 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.