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Council membership

The Council is the MRCís governing body. It directs and oversees corporate policy and science strategy, ensures that the MRC is effectively managed, and takes major policy and spending decisions. The Council consists of the Chairman, the Chief Executive and Deputy Chairman, and 13 other members. The Council members are appointed by the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills in accordance with the code of practice issued by the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments. 

This page shows the current members of the MRC Council. To view their personal profiles, click on the links below.

Mr Donald Brydon CBE, MRC Chairman

Donald Brydon is Chairman of the Royal Mail Group, Smiths Group plc, Sage Group plc and the Medical Research Council. He had a 20-year career with Barclays Group, during which time he was Chairman and Chief Executive of BZW Investment Management and acting Chief Executive of BZW followed by fifteen years with the AXA Group including holding the posts of Chairman and Chief Executive of AXA Investment Managers. He has also recently been Chairman of the London Metal Exchange, Amersham plc, Taylor Nelson Sofres plc and the ifs School of Finance and a Director of Allied Domecq plc and Scottish Power plc. He is a past Chairman of EveryChild.


Sir John Savill, Deputy Chair of Council

Professor Sir John Savill BA, MBChB, PhD, FRCP, FRCPE, FASN, FMedSci, FRS, FRSE, a clinician scientist from Edinburgh, took up the position as chief executive and deputy chair of the Medical Research Council (MRC) on 1 October 2010. The appointment was initially for three years; in March 2013 it was extended for a further year (to 30 September 2014). He was a member of the MRC Council from 2002 to 2008 and chaired two MRC Research Boards during this period.


Before taking up the post of chief executive, Sir John was the first vice-principal and head of the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, University of Edinburgh, having held this position since 2002. He retains an ongoing, research-active involvement with the University of Edinburgh part-time throughout his appointment as MRC chief executive.


Between 2008 and 2010, Sir John also worked part-time as the chief scientist for the Scottish Government Health Directorates. He was knighted in the 2008 New Yearís Honours List for services to clinical science.


Sir John started out in his career with a degree in Physiological Sciences from Oxford University in 1978, followed by a post-graduate degree in Medicine at the University of Sheffield in 1981. He received a PhD from the University of London in 1989.


After junior hospital appointments in Sheffield, Nottingham and London, he spent seven years in the Department of Medicine at Royal Postgraduate Medical School (RPMS), with spells as an MRC clinical training fellow and Wellcome Trust senior clinical research fellow.


In 1993, he moved to the chair of Medicine, Nottingham, and then in 1998 became professor of Medicine, Edinburgh, where he was the first director of the University of Edinburgh/MRC Centre for Inflammation Research, directing a group interested in the molecular cell biology of renal inflammation. He was a member of the Medical Research Council from 2002 to 2008 and chaired two research boards during this period.


Professor Jeffrey Almond

Professor Jeffrey Almond holds visiting Professorships at the Dunn School of Pathology, Oxford, and the Department of Microbiology, University of Reading.  He was formerly (up to 30 September 2013) Vice-President of Discovery Research and External Research and Development at Sanofi Pasteur, Lyon. Prior to that he was Head of the School of Animal and Microbial Sciences at the University of Reading. He has served on several Public Bodies including the Governmentís Spongiform Encephalopathies Advisory Committee (SEAC).


Professor Almond has been involved in numerous projects relating to vaccines and immune modulators. At Sanofi Pasteur he held global responsibilities for platforms in microbiology, biochemistry, molecular biology, immunology, formulation and bioinformatics. He has also had responsibility for identifying collaborative opportunities relating to vaccine and therapeutic targets and technologies.


Throughout his career spanning academia and industry, Professor Almond has published over 160 Scientific papers on microbial pathogenesis and immunology, vaccine research and development and virus replication and biology.


Professor Almond is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences.


Professor Michael Arthur

Professor Michael Arthur is Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leeds (from 1 September 2004). He was formerly Professor of Medicine (1992), Head of the School of Medicine (1998-2001) and Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences in Southampton (2003-4). He is a hepatologist with research interests in liver cell biology developed initially at the University of California, San Francisco (1986-1988) and more recently as a Fulbright Distinguished Scholar at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York (2002). Professor Arthur became a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 1998.


Professor Arthur has a significant national and international profile. He is chair of the Advisory Group for National Specialised Services (NHS). He is a US/UK Fulbright Commissioner and vice-chair of the Worldwide Universities Network. Until the end of August 2012, Professor Arthur was chair of the Russell Group of Universities.


Professor Arthur has recently been appointed as President and Provost of University College London (UCL) and will take up that post in Autumn 2013.


Tony Caplin (Resigned 19th April 2014)

Tony Caplin was chairman of North West London Hospital NHS Trust from July 2008 to January 2013. He is currently serving as consultant to his successor. He was previously chair of Ealing Hospital and Durlacher Plc and deputy chair of Barts and the London NHS Trust. Tony was chairman of one of the oldest City Stockbrokers, Panmure Gordon as well as chairman of Urban Wimax Plc.


He is chairman of Alternative Networks Plc and deputy chairman of Strand Partners, a commissioner on the Public Works Loan Board and is also a trustee of the Family Holiday Association.


Professor Dame Sally Davies

Professor Dame Sally Davies is the Chief Medical Officer (CMO), advising the UK government. She holds responsibility for Research and Development (R&D), and is the Chief Scientific Adviser for the Department of Health.


The CMO is the independent advisor to the Government on all medical matters, with particular responsibilities regarding Public Health. In particular, she provides professional leadership for Directors of Public Health.


The CMO supports the Health Secretary in strengthening the Governmentís collective effort to protect, promote and improve the health and wellbeing of the people of England.


The CMO carries the rank of Permanent Secretary and advises the Secretary of State for Health on medical matters. She is also the professional head of the Departmentís medical staff and head of the Medical Civil service


Sally has been actively involved in NHS R&D from its establishment. As DG, she established the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) with a budget of £1 billion.


Sally led the UK delegations to the WHO Ministerial Summit in November 2004 and the WHO Forum on Health Research in November 2008. She spoke on R&D at the World Health Assembly May 2005 and is a member of the WHO Global Advisory Committee on Health Research (ACHR). She also chaired the Expert Advisory Committee for the development of the WHO research strategy, endorsed by the World Health Assembly in May 2010. She is a member of the International Advisory Committee for A*STAR, Singapore and has advised many others on research strategy and evaluation including the Australian NHMRC.


Her own research interests focused on Sickle Cell disease.


Professor Chris Day

Professor Day qualified from Cambridge in 1983 and subsequently trained in General Medicine and Hepatology in Newcastle, becoming a Consultant Hepatologist on the Liver Unit at the Freeman Hospital Newcastle upon Tyne in 1994 and Professor of Liver Medicine University of Newcastle upon Tyne in 2000. He was formerly Head of the School of Clinical Medical Sciences at Newcastle University and since April 2008 has been Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the Faculty of Medical Sciences. His research interests are focused largely on fatty liver disease related both to obesity and to alcohol with additional interests in drug-induced liver injury and liver fibrosis. His work has been funded by the MRC and the Wellcome Trust; he is a former MRC Clinical Training Fellow and Clinician Scientist Fellow.


In 1999 he was the Goulstonian Lecturer of the Royal College of Physicians and in 2000 was awarded the research gold medal of the British Society of Gastroenterology. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and an NIHR Senior Investigator. He is also Co-Editor for the Journal of Hepatology, and is on the Executive of the Medical Schools Council.


Dr Richard Henderson

Dr Richard Henderson is a member of the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB) in Cambridge. He was Joint-Head of the Division of Structural Studies at the LMB from 1986 until 2001, and Director from 1996 until 2006. He is a Scientific Advisory Board member of MRC Technology, is founder and Non-Executive Director of Heptares Therapeutics and has exceptional experience of translational research and start-up company development.


Dr Hendersonís work focuses on the structural biology of proteins. He is currently using advanced electron cryomicroscopy to determine the atomic structure of large protein assemblies. This method is being used to solve many outstanding problems in structural biology. He has previously worked to solve a number of the technical and conceptual problems which limited the resolution of electron crystallography and, together with colleagues, succeeded in obtaining the first atomic structure of the membrane protein, bacteriorhodopsin. He has been awarded several prizes for his work over the years.


Dr Henderson is a Fellow of the Royal Society and a Foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Sciences.


Professor Dame, Sally Macintyre

Professor Dame Sally Macintyre is Director of the Institute of Health and Wellbeing, University of Glasgow; and Honorary Director of the MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit. She previously held research posts in both Aberdeen University and the MRC Medical Sociology Unit in Aberdeen. Professor Macintyre was awarded an OBE for services to Medical Sociology in 1998, a CBE for services to Social Science in 2006, and a DBE for services to Science in 2011.


A medical sociologist, recently she has researched socioeconomic and spatial inequalities in health across time and over the life course, using data from individuals, households and areas to improve understanding of the significance of the social and physical environment for health. Current interests include the potential of area-based health promotion initiatives, the role of neighbourhood barriers and facilitators for health, and developing an evidence-base for health improvement and reducing health inequalities. She is also interested in perceptions of risk, and the understandings and use of public health research by the public, policymakers, practitioners, and the press.


Professor Macintyre is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, the Royal Society of Medicine, and the Academy of Medical Sciences; and is an Honorary Fellow of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. She has an honorary DSc from the University of Aberdeen.


Ms Vivienne Parry OBE

Vivienne Parry is a writer and broadcaster specialising in science and medicine. She presents many programmes for BBC Radio 4 including the series 'Am I normal' and contributes features to an unusually diverse range of print and new media outlets.


Vivienne has presented Tomorrow's World and reported for Panorama. She continues to make films including a recent 60 minute documentary on the history of cancer, ĎThe Enemy Withiní.


Vivienne has a degree in immunology and genetics and sits on a number of boards including Genomics England, the British Science Association and the Council of UCL. Working at the interface between medical science and the public gives her a very broad view of medicine.


Professor Michael Schneider

Professor Michael Schneider was appointed as Head of the National Heart and Lung Institute at Imperial College, London in September 2007. He is the British Heart Foundation Simon Marks Professor of Regenerative Cardiology and Director of Imperial's British Heart Foundation Centre for Research Excellence. He served as Head of the National Heart and Lung Institute from January 2009 to August 2011.


Professor Schneider was educated at Harvard and undertook his research training at the NIH under Nobel Laureate Marshall Nirenberg. In 1984, he was appointed to the nascent program in cardiac molecular biology at Baylor College of Medicine, ultimately becoming Professor of Medicine, Molecular & Cellular Biology and Molecular Physiology & Biophysics and a Director of the Center for Cardiovascular Development. In 2000, he became the inaugural recipient of the M. D. Anderson Foundation Chair at Baylor. He has authored more than 180 scientific papers, including invited reviews and editorials.


Professor Schneiderís trainees number more than 70, and have been recognised by young investigator competitions worldwide.


Professor Paul Morgan

Llanelli-born Professor Paul Morgan graduated from the Welsh National School of Medicine in 1980. Following his early medical training in Cardiff, he specialised in Clinical Biochemistry obtaining his PhD in 1984.


Following two years in the US developing his research skills, Professor Morgan returned to Cardiff University to take up a lectureship in Clinical Biochemistry. He won the prestigious Wellcome Trust Senior Clinical Fellowship in 1987, and remained a Fellow for 15 years.


In 2001, he was appointed Head of Medical Biochemistry and Immunology in the former University of Wales College of Medicine. Post-merger with Cardiff University, he was appointed Dean of Medical Research in the School of Medicine from 2007, responsible for developing the Schoolís Medical Research strategy. He became Dean of Medicine and Head of the School of Medicine from April 2009. He is a Member of the College of Physicians, Fellow of the College of Pathologists and Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences.


Professor Morgan is a research specialist in Clinical Immunology and has created an internationally respected research group at Cardiff working in Complement Biology. He has published over 300 research papers and reviews and remains research-active, particularly in the role of complement in neurological and degenerative diseases.


Baroness Onora OíNeill

Onora OíNeill combines writing in political philosophy and ethics with a range of public activities. She comes from Northern Ireland and has worked mainly in Britain and the US. She was Principal of Newnham College, Cambridge from 1992-2006, President of the British Academy from 2005-9, chaired the Nuffield Foundation from 1998-2010, has been a crossbench member of the House of Lords since 2000 (Baroness OíNeill of Bengarve). She currently chairs the Equality and Human Rights Commission. She lectures and writes on, justice and ethics, on accountability and trust, on justice and borders, as well as on the future of universities, the quality of legislation and the ethics of communication, including media ethics.


Dr Menelas Pangalos

Dr Mene Pangalos has been Executive Vice-President of Innovative Medicines at AstraZeneca since 2010, having previously held the role of Senior Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer of Neuroscience Research at Pfizer and Senior Vice President of Research at Wyeth.


Dr Pangalos is a Visiting Professor of Neuroscience at Kingís College Londonís Wolfson Centre for Age-Related Diseases. Dr Pangalos is on the Innovation Board for the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry, the Enhancing Value Task Force for CIHE-UK, the Board of the British Pharmaceutical Group and on the Research Champion Group for Dementia. He is also a member of the Society for Biology, the American Society of Neuroscience, British Pharmacology Society and Association for the Advancement of Science and Associate of the Royal College of Science.


Dr Ruth McKernan

Dr Ruth McKernan is Senior Vice-President of Pfizer and CSO of their newly formed Research Unit, Neusentis, having established the Research Unit from scratch in six months. Dr McKernan was previously Head of the Pfizer site at Sandwich and has worked in the Pharma Industry in the UK and US for 20 years.


Dr McKernan is also Professor of Neuroscience at Kings College, University of London. She is on the Advisory Board of several Biotech companies, a member of the American Societies for Neuroscience, the British Pharmacological Society, and is an award winning science writer.


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