• UKRI Announces new Chief Executive Officer
    Ottoline Leyser

News & Views

UKRI Announces new Chief Executive Officer

Jun 20 2020

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), the national funding agency investing in science and research in the UK, has appointed Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser DBE FRS, Director of the Sainsbury Laboratory at the University of Cambridge, as the its Chief Executive Officer.

Having driven many initiatives to support an open and collaborative research culture, Professor Leyser has been actively engaged in science policy for a long time. Currently Chair of the Royal Society’s Science Policy Expert Advisory Committee, she serves on the Prime Minister’s Council for Science and Technology and as Associate Director, was integral to the establishment of the Sainsbury Laboratory (SLUC), in 2011.

Her own research has resulted in major advances in our knowledge of plant development and includes pioneering work in studying hormonal control of shoot branching through interdisciplinary approaches. In 2017 Professor Leyser was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire for services to plant science, science in society and equality and diversity in science. She has also been awarded the Society of Experimental Biology’s President’s Medal (2000), the Royal Society Rosalind Franklin Award (2007), the International Plant Growth Substance Association’s Silver Medal (2010), the UK Genetics Society Medal (2016), the EMBO Women in Science Award (2017) and the 2020 Waddington Medal from the British Society for Developmental Biology.

“UKRI has a unique opportunity to make a profound contribution to tackling the many challenges facing the world. In my career, I have seen the power of genuinely collaborative cultures to catalyse the transformative thinking needed to create effective solutions. I look forward to working with the UKRI team to ensure that the UK’s superb research and innovation system continues to work for everyone, by pioneering new partnerships, developing innovative funding models and strengthening international collaboration,” said Professor Leyser.  

SLUC Associate Director Professor Henrik Jönsson was selected to take over leadership of the Sainsbury Laboratory at Cambridge.

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