Senior appointment for University of Glasgow professor

Published: 6 May 2008

Professor John Coggins has been appointed to the council of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council.

Professor John Coggins has been appointed to the council of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council.

The Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills, John Denham, confirmed Professor Coggin’s appointment, along with four other new members.

Commenting on his new role, Professor Coggins, who is the University of Glasgow Vice Principal for Life Sciences, Medicine & Veterinary Medicine, said: “It is a great honour to be appointed to the Council of the BBSRC. 

“The Council supports some of the most important science being carried out in the UK today and I look forward to working with the other members to help promote and support research across the life sciences and at the interfaces with the physical, information and medical sciences. I also hope to be involved in promoting interactions between BBSRC-funded scientists and industry."

Professor Coggins is an international authority on the enzymology of shikimic acid biosynthesis, where his research has been characterised by its multidisciplinary approach through structural biology, bioinformatics and genomics/proteomics.

His research has underpinned major industrial innovation and commercial R&D in areas including herbicides, pharmaceuticals and translational medicine. He has been a leader nationally in encouraging and equipping researchers to engage with the public and to realise the potential economic and social benefits of their science.

The other new members are Dr David Lawrence, Head of R&D at Syngenta AG, Professor Christopher Pollock CBE, science adviser to the First Minister of the Welsh Assembly, Dr Andrew Richards,Director of Babraham Bioscience Technologies, the commercial arm of the Babraham Institute. and Dr John Stageman, Vice President and General Manager of MedImmune, Cambridge.

Three current members of BBSRC Council have been re-appointed: Professor Quintin McKellar, Principal of The Royal Veterinary College, Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell FRS, Deputy President and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, University of Manchester and Professor Malcolm Weir, Chief Executive Officer, Heptares Therapeutics Ltd.

Commenting on the new appointments, BBSRC Chairman Dr Peter Ringrose said: “I am delighted that BBSRC will be able to benefit from the wealth of experience these individuals bring across the academic, industrial R&D and business sectors. They are eminently qualified to help us address the challenges we face to maintain the UK’s world lead in bioscience against increasingly strong global competition. I am certain that they will command the confidence and support of the UK bioscience community across academia and industry, as well as our stakeholders in policymaking, business and the wider public.

“I am also very pleased that Professors McKellar, Rothwell and Weir will continue their valuable work on the Council for an additional term. Together, they, the other current members and the new appointees make a powerful and highly talented team that I look forward to leading in the coming months.”

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 £420 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, healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors.

Notes for editors

For more information, contact Ray McHugh in the University of Glasgow Media Relations Office on 0141 330 3535 or email

First published: 6 May 2008

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