Jeremy Farrar to be next Wellcome Trust director

The University of Oxford professor of tropical medicine and global health has been named as the new director of the Wellcome Trust.

April 24, 2013

Jeremy Farrar will take over one of most important jobs in UK science at the beginning of October.

He replaces Sir Mark Walport, who stepped down at the end of March to become the government’s chief scientific advisor. Ted Bianco, the trust’s director of technology transfer, will continue as acting director in the interim.

Sir William Castell, chair of the trust, said Professor Farrar – who is also a global scholar at Princeton University – was an “inspirational leader”, whose direction of the trust’s Major Overseas Programme in Vietnam, since 1996, has seen it develop rapidly into “a world-class centre for infectious disease research”.

“Jeremy is one of the foremost scientists of his generation, whose work – much of it funded by the trust - has contributed to better understanding, surveillance, prevention and treatment of diseases including emerging infections, influenza, tuberculosis, typhoid and dengue fever.

“We are confident that we could not have found a better person to build on the exceptional work that Sir Mark has overseen…over the past decade.”

Professor Farrar, who has contributed to over 450 papers and serves on several World Health Organisation advisory committees, was appointed an OBE in 2005 for services to tropical medicine.

He has also been awarded Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City Medal for his work on H5N1 avian flu.

He described the trust – which is supported by an endowment of more than £14.5 billion – as “one of the world’s outstanding philanthropic institutions and one of the UK’s most remarkable national assets”.

“It will be a privilege to lead an organisation that has contributed so much to science, medicine and society, from the sequencing of the human genome, to the development of today’s front-line treatments for malaria,” he said.

“As a scientist who is grateful to have received trust funding for my own work, I know first-hand how its flexible support makes such achievements possible.”

Meanwhile, advocacy group the Campaign for Science and Engineering has announced that its new director will be molecular biologist Sarah Main.

Dr Main previously worked in a policy role at the Medical Research Council. Most recently she was seconded to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills to work on building evidence for the value of public research funding for the UK economy ahead of this year’s spending review.

She will take up the role at the beginning of June. She replaces Imran Khan, who is now chief executive of the British Science Association.

CaSE chair Hugh Griffiths said Dr Main “brings deep knowledge of science policy, as well as experience of working as a research scientist”.

paul.jump@tsleducation.com

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 6 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

United Nations peace keeper

Understanding the unwritten rules of graduate study is vital if you want to get the most from your PhD supervision, say Kevin O'Gorman and Robert MacIntosh

Eleanor Shakespeare illustration (5 January 2017)

Fixing problems in the academic job market by reducing the number of PhDs would homogenise the sector, argues Tom Cutterham

Houses of Parliament, Westminster, government

There really is no need for the Higher Education and Research Bill, says Anne Sheppard

poi, circus

Kate Riegle van West had to battle to bring her circus life and her academic life together

man with frozen beard, Lake Louise, Canada

Australia also makes gains in list of most attractive English-speaking nations as US slips