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Department of Plant Sciences

Baulcombe to be new President of the Biochemical Society

World-renowned plant scientist and geneticist Sir David Baulcombe, FRS, has been elected President of the Biochemical Society.

Sir David, whose research has contributed to major advances in molecular biology and biotechnology, will become President of the Society, the largest discipline-based learned society in the biosciences, from January 2015.

“It will be an honour to have someone of Sir David’s calibre at the helm of the Biochemical Society,” says Society Chair Steve Busby.

“Sir David is a testament to the impact biochemistry can have on the world. His research into gene silencing and epigenetics has influenced scientists globally and his findings have opened new avenues in areas like HIV and cancer treatment and disease-resistant agriculture.

“Sir David is a passionate advocate for using biochemistry to tackle global issues such as improving lifelong health, treating disease and providing food security.

“His contributions to science and advocacy for biochemistry make him the ideal ambassador to represent and promote the Biochemical Society on a national and global stage.”

Sir David joins the Biochemical Society as it implements its five-year strategy to strengthen its international relationships, grow its representation of industry biochemists and expand its public outreach and education initiatives.

“I have always admired the Biochemical Society and the way it promotes our subject. It will be a privilege to help with its current exciting work,” says Sir David.

Sir David enjoys a long list of honours in recognition of his work, including his election as a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2001 and a knighthood for his services to plant science in 2009. He was last month named by Thomson Reuters as one of the world’s most influential scientific minds.

Professor Busby paid tribute to outgoing President Professor Ron Laskey, who has served since 2012. “Ron has played a hugely important role within the Society during his three-year term, a time in which we saw renewed membership growth for the Society and celebrated the role of women in biochemistry. I would like to thank him for his dedicated service.”