Deputy Executive Chair of BBSRC appointed

Professor Guy Poppy standing with his arms crossed, smiling.

Professor Guy Poppy has been appointed to the role of Deputy Executive Chair of BBSRC. He will take up the role from 1July 2022.

Professor Poppy will join the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) as Deputy Executive Chair, on secondment from the University of Southampton.

This will be a 0.6 full-time equivalent appointment.

Professor Poppy will continue in his role as Programme Director of the interdisciplinary UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Food Systems programme, at a reduced level of commitment, alongside some university responsibilities.

About Professor Poppy

Professor Poppy is a graduate of Imperial College and the University of Oxford.

He worked at Rothamsted Research before joining the University of Southampton in 2001.

Guy has twice served as Associate Vice President for interdisciplinary research at Southampton and prior to this as Head of the School of Biological Sciences.

He was a member of the Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014 and REF 2021) panel assessing the quality of agriculture, food and veterinary science in the UK.

Professor Poppy served as the Food Standards Agency’s inaugural Chief Scientific Adviser from 2014 to 2020 and has published extensively on food systems and food security.

He was appointed Companion of the Order of Bath in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2021 and made a fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2022.

Bioscience central to everyday life

Professor Poppy said:

I am looking forward to becoming the Deputy Executive Chair of BBSRC.

Bioscience has never been so central to everyday life and the challenges we all face in trying to improve human and planetary health.

It is an exciting time to be joining BBSRC, with the recent publication of the UKRI strategy and the key role bioscience will play in delivering its ambitious and important objectives.

Strong links to research and government policy

Professor Melanie Welham, Executive Chair at BBSRC, said:

Professor Poppy brings excellent scientific credentials, strong links to our wide network of researchers in Universities and Institutes and importantly, at this time for bioscience and biotechnology, to government policy.

Guy will play an important role in supporting strategic developments, linking bioscience to other disciplines and working collaboratively with partners across UKRI and more broadly, where his expertise in relation to food will be particularly valuable.

I am delighted that Guy will be joining BBSRC’s executive leadership team and look forward to working with him on many of our vital activities.

Top image:  Credit: Dr Jenny Baverstock, University of Southampton

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