The Babraham Institute announces its new Chair

The Babraham Institute announces its new Chair

Professor Peter W J Rigby, FRS, FMedSci has been named as the next Chair of the Babraham Institute’s Board of Trustee Directors.

Originally trained as a molecular biologist in Cambridge, UK and Stanford, California, Professor Rigby has since worked in London at Imperial College, the MRC National Institute for Medical Research and the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR). His research has focused on the regulation of gene expression during embryogenesis, in particular during skeletal muscle development.

Professor Rigby was the Chief Executive of the ICR from 1999 until 2011, during which time he led the Institute to become one of the UK’s leading academic research centres. He remains as Professor Emeritus of Developmental Biology. Professor Rigby is a Fellow of the Royal Society, a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and a Member of the European Molecular Biology Organisation.

Professor Michael Wakelam, Director of the Babraham Institute, said of Professor Rigby’s appointment: “Peter Rigby brings with him a wealth of experience, not just in research relevant to that of the Institute, but also in the challenges associated with managing an active research institute. My colleagues and I are very much looking forward to working with him and benefiting from his significant experience at the leading edge of biological research.”

Professor Rigby has served on the Wellcome Trust’s Board of Governors since January 2008 and recently relinquished the role of Deputy Chair, which he had held since October 2010. Professor Rigby also serves as a Member of the Council of Marie Curie Cancer Care.

Professor Rigby said of his new role at the Babraham Institute: “The Institute has, for over sixty years, produced world class research and it continues to do so. I am very much looking forward to working with my fellow Trustee Directors, and with Michael Wakelam and his senior colleagues, and I hope that my experience will enable me to help the Institute to achieve its strategic goals and to further improve the quality of its work. I should like to pay tribute to my predecessor, Bill Cushley, who has led the Board through some very complex times with enormous skill.”

Professor Rigby will take up his new role on the 1st January 2014. He will succeed Professor William Cushley from the University of Glasgow, whose ten year tenure as a Trustee Director, Chairman and Member has seen significant changes for the Institute, which is internationally recognised for the quality of its research into genomic and epigenomic regulation of development and ageing.

Professor Cushley said of his successor: “The Board and I are absolutely delighted that we were able to attract a scientist of Peter Rigby’s calibre to the role of Chair at the Babraham Institute. Peter brings not only exceptional scientific skills, insight and judgment to the Board, but also top level experience of strategic management in the charity and research council sectors. This is a fantastic appointment for Babraham and I wish Peter every success as he takes the Institute forward through the exciting opportunities that lie ahead.”  

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Notes to Editors:
About the Babraham Institute:
The Babraham Institute undertakes world-class life sciences research to generate new knowledge of biological mechanisms underpinning ageing, development and the maintenance of health. Our research focuses on cellular signalling, gene regulation and the impact of epigenetic regulation at different stages of life. By determining how the body reacts to dietary and environmental stimuli and manages microbial and viral interactions, we aim to improve wellbeing and support healthier ageing. The Institute is strategically funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), part of UK Research and Innovation, through an Institute Core Capability Grant and also receives funding from other UK research councils, charitable foundations, the EU and medical charities.
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, health and well-being 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.