The Pirbright Institute, a world-leading centre of excellence in research and surveillance of virus diseases of farm animals and viruses that spread from animals to humans announces the appointment of Professor John Stephenson as Chair of the Trustee Board and six new Trustees. Professor Stephenson succeeds Professor Quintin McKellar CBE, who is stepping down. Professor Stephenson is joined by Trustees Mr Ian Bateman, Mr Ian Black, Mr Jon Coles, Professor Vince Emery, Dr Sandy Primrose and Jane Tirard. Mike Samuel and Dr Theo Kanellos have retired as Trustees after serving for nine and five years respectively.
Dr Bryan Charleston, Director of The Pirbright Institute, said: "We thank Professor Quintin McKellar for 15 years of dedicated service, including five years as Chair of the Trustee Board, and Mike Samuel and Dr Theo Kanellos for their service on the Board of Trustees. Under the leadership of Professor McKellar the Trustee Board has overseen capital improvements to the site of circa £300 million over the last ten years that have equipped the Institute for 21st Century science, enabling Pirbright to continue to be a world leader in innovation and research on the control and surveillance of livestock diseases.
“Professor John Stephenson brings his wealth of experience to the Chair of the Trustee Board, from a distinguished research career in virology and immunology as well as five years as a Pirbright Trustee. He is the ideal candidate to continue to push forward the Institute’s excellent reputation in livestock disease research, diagnostics and surveillance and navigate the potential challenges ahead.”
Professor Stephenson has had a distinguished research career, with a long-standing interest in the interaction between virus infection and the immune system. In 1999 he joined the Department of Health as Chief Research Officer responsible for managing programmes on Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease (CJD), vaccines, pandemic influenza and counter terrorism. In 2007 he was appointed Director of Research and Development for the Health Protection Agency. Professor Stephenson also holds an honorary professorship at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, where he is also a member of Council.
Professor John Stephenson said: “I am honoured to have been appointed Chair of the Trustee Board for The Pirbright Institute. The unique state-of-the-art facilities and globally-recognised expertise at Pirbright provides the United Kingdom with a National Capability to control highly infectious viral diseases of livestock, helping to protect the livelihoods of farmers and national economies in the UK and around the world. I look forward to helping provide strategic counsel as we deal with the ever-changing landscape in global livestock disease control and surveillance.”
Six new members are joining the Trustee Board to broaden the range of expertise amongst Board members and to facilitate succession planning. Together they have a huge amount of experience in research, industry, academia and business.
Mr Ian Bateman is currently Director of Quality at NHS Blood and Transplant. He is an Executive Director and Board member with significant strategic leadership experience across a range of industries, in well established, newly developing and aggressively growing organisations. He has a strong background in corporate leadership of quality, regulatory affairs, corporate governance, assurance, risk, health and safety, environment management and continuous improvement. This experience has been gained in areas such as blood, tissues and cells, organs, pharmaceuticals, in vitro diagnostic devices and communications; within both the commercial and public sector.
Mr Ian Black has worked as a senior executive in a number of global organisations including NCR, AT&T, RIL and BAT with a business sector focus on engineering, technology and fast moving consumer goods. He is also the founder and a Director of Arch Management Consultants focusing on organisation strategy, HR leadership, change management, remuneration, talent management, governance and performance improvement. In this capacity he has provided consulting services to organisations in various sectors including, insurance, consumer goods, aviation, pharmaceuticals and technology. He also served on the Board of Quadram Institute BioScience (QIB) in Norwich and chaired its Remuneration and Nomination Committee.
Mr Jon Coles joins The Pirbright Institute from Brunswick Group LLP, the leading international communications consultancy. He has been a Partner at Brunswick for over 28 years advising the Boards of Directors of global groups on strategic communications and corporate reputation, with a particular focus on clients in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and agriculture industries. Jon graduated in Physiology and Biochemistry from the University of Southampton.
Professor Vince Emery is Senior Vice-President (Global) and Professor of Translational Virology at the University of Surrey. Professor Emery leads the University of Surrey's global strategy seeking to catalyse and expand international research networks, student and staff recruitment and mobility, to foster teaching collaborations, and to realise transnational educational opportunities. His current research aims to provide an interdisciplinary approach to understanding viral infections in immunocompromised hosts such as HIV-infected patients and transplant recipients. He is also Deputy Director of I-sense which is developing early warning sensing systems for infectious diseases and is supported through a multi-million pound grant support from EPSRC (www.i-sense.org.uk). Professor Emery is a fellow of the Royal Society of Biology and was selected as a Fellow of the American Society of Transplantation in 2017 for his contribution to infectious disease research and its impact on patients following transplantation. There is a close working relationship between The Pirbright Institute and School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Surrey, to the benefit of students and researchers at both institutions.
Doctor Sandy Primrose has a detailed business knowledge gained at a senior level in a diversity of industries, including pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, medical devices, instrumentation, food microbiology, radio-chemicals, fine chemicals and environmental testing. His expertise includes mentoring early-stage companies, managing complex products from concept to commercialisation and technology transfer, setting strategic direction, preparation of detailed operational plans and overseeing plan implementation. He has also worked at senior level with government organisations such as the Food Standards Agency, Defra and Health Protection Agency.
Jane Tirard has over 30 years of regional and global experience in business and financial management, spanning both the private and public sectors. Her experience includes high level strategic financial planning and working knowledge of government departments, funding councils, academia and the pharmaceutical sector. Prior to joining Pirbright’s Trustee Board she was the Director of Finance and Corporate Services at Diamond Light Source, the UK’s synchrotron science facility. Previously she was the Finance Director at Queen Mary University of London, and Executive Director of Finance at the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC).
The new Trustees join existing Board members so that the full membership of the Trustee Board now comprises: Mr Ian Bateman, Mr Ian Black, Mr Jon Coles, Professor Vince Emery, Mr Roger Louth, Dr Vanessa Mayatt OBE, Dr Sandy Primrose, Sir Bertie Ross, Professor David Rowlands, Professor John Stephenson (Chair), Jane Tirard.
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About The Pirbright Institute
The Pirbright Institute is a world leading centre of excellence in research and surveillance of virus diseases of farm animals and viruses that spread from animals to humans. Based in the UK and receiving strategic funding from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), the Institute works to enhance capability to contain, control and eliminate these economically and medically important diseases through highly innovative fundamental and applied bioscience.
The Institute is an independent company, limited by guarantee and a registered charity, governed by a Board of non-executive Trustee Directors.
With an annual income of nearly £32.1 million from grants and commercial activity, and a total of £14.3 million strategic investment from BBSRC during 2017-2018, the Institute contributes to global food security and health, improving quality of life for animals and people.
For more information about The Pirbright Institute see: www.pirbright.ac.uk
The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) is part of UK Research and Innovation, a non-departmental public body funded by a grant-in-aid from the UK government.
BBSRC invests in world-class bioscience research and training on behalf of the UK public. Our aim is to further scientific knowledge, to promote economic growth, wealth and job creation and to improve quality of life in the UK and beyond.
Funded by government, BBSRC invested £498 million in world-class bioscience in 2017-18. We support research and training in universities and strategically funded institutes. BBSRC research and the people we fund are helping society to meet major challenges, including food security, green energy and healthier, longer lives. Our investments underpin important UK economic sectors, such as farming, food, industrial biotechnology and pharmaceuticals.
More information about BBSRC, its science and its impact: www.bbsrc.ukri.org
More information about BBSRC strategically funded institutes