Life Sciences Research for Lifelong Health




press release

Babraham scientist elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Society

Professor Wolf Reik Head of the Epigenetics ISP at the Babraham Institute has been elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Society. Professor Reik is a world leading authority in the field of epigenetics. The Royal Society is the UK’s leading scientific organization; today it announces the 2010 election of Fellows. The Fellowship comprises more than 1300 of the most distinguished scientists from the UK, the commonwealth and the Republic of Ireland. Professor Michael Wakelam, Director of the Babraham Institute, an institute of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) said, “I am delighted that Professor Reik’s outstanding contributions have been recognized by his election. His work has uncovered fundamental mechanisms and the importance of epigenomic regulation, which plays a critical role in normal growth and disease. All at Babraham are very pleased for Wolf and his colleagues.” Professor Reik commented, “I am delighted with this honour and the recognition it gives to the work my team has been involved in over the years at Babraham.” Professor Douglas Kell, Chief Executive of the BBSRC said, “I am absolutely delighted to see Wolf's work recognised by election to the Royal Society. Wolf's work in epigenetics has been profound, groundbreaking and far-reaching. It also has immense potential for application. BBSRC warmly congratulates Wolf on this signal achievement.” Contact details: The Knowledge Exchange Office Email: Tel:       +44 (0)1223 496206 Professor Wolf Reik Email: The Babraham Institute Babraham Research Campus Cambridge CB22 3AT United Kingdom Notes for Editors: The Babraham Institute is an institute of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) located near Cambridge, undertaking international quality research to support the biomedical aspects of the BBSRC’s mission. The Institute’s research is focused on understanding the biological events that underlie the normal functions of cells and the implication of failure or abnormalities in these processes. The latest technologies are being used to study the basis of conditions such as neurodegenerative disorders, birth defects, cancer and diseases of the immune and cardiovascular systems. With a strategic focus on ‘healthy ageing’, novel approaches for tackling chronic diseases and public health concerns like obesity and inflammatory disorders are being discovered. ( The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) is the UK funding agency for research in the life sciences. Sponsored by Government, BBSRC annually invests around £450 million in a wide range of research that makes a significant contribution to the quality of life for UK citizens and supports a number of important industrial stakeholders including the agriculture, food, chemical and pharmaceutical sectors. BBSRC carries out its mission by funding internationally competitive research, providing training in the biosciences, fostering opportunities for knowledge transfer and innovation and promoting interaction with the public and other stakeholders on issues of scientific interest in universities, centres and institutes. The Babraham Institute, Institute for Animal Health, Institute of Food Research, John Innes Centre and Rothamsted Research are Institutes of BBSRC. The Institutes conduct long-term, mission-oriented research using specialist facilities. They have strong interactions with industry, Government departments and other end-users of their research. Wolf Reik is Head of the Epigenetics ISP at the Babraham Institute, an institute of BBSRC, where he is researching epigenetic mechanisms of gene regulation in early embryos, germ cells, and stem cells, in particular in the role of epigenetic reprogramming in stem cell plasticity. He has a joint appointment on the managing board of the Centre for Trophoblast Research at the University of Cambridge and is the inaugural Professor of Epigenetics at the University of Cambridge. After receiving his MD in Germany, he did postgraduate studies with Rudolf Jaenisch (on retroviruses, epigenetics, DNA methylation) and then postdoctoral work with Azim Surani (on genomic imprinting) in Cambridge as an EMBO Fellow. He has published more than 150 research papers, and received a number of prizes and distinctions for his work, including the Wellcome Prize of Physiology. He is an elected member of EMBO and a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences. He is a member of editorial boards of several academic journals and of Faculty 1000 Biology. He also sits on the Executive Board of The Epigenome EU Network of Excellence, the scientific advisory board of the Centre for Genomic Regulation in Barcelona and the Curie Institute in Paris, and is a consultant to CellCentric, Cambridge.


21 May, 2010