Martin Turner becomes Associate Director and Chair of the Institute’s Science Policy Committee

Martin Turner becomes Associate Director and Chair of the Institute’s Science Policy Committee

Martin Turner becomes Associate Director and Chair of the Institute’s Science Policy Committee

The Institute is pleased to announce that Dr Martin Turner, Head of the Institute’s Immunology research programme, has become the Chair of the Institute’s Science Policy Committee with the corresponding title of Associate Director for Research Strategy. Dr Turner has run a research group at the Institute since 1997, and became the programme lead for the Institute’s immunology research in 2005. He is also an Affiliate Member at the Wellcome - MRC Cambridge Stem Cell Institute, Cambridge, and is currently part of the UKRI-BBSRC COVID-19 Cohort of Experts and National Cancer Research Institute Lymphoma Subgroup. Dr Turner is a member of the Wellcome Science Interview Panel, a prestigious group of international experts that interview funding applicants.

Professor Wolf Reik, the Institute’s Acting Director, said: “Martin is a valued member of several of our executive committees and has successfully led the Lymphocyte Signalling and Development research programme for the past 15 years. His clear commitment to supporting the Institute to achieve ambitious and innovative science means that he will be a superb Chair as the committee works together to guide the future development of the Institute’s science strategy. I thank Martin for his previous contributions to the Institute and for his future efforts and assistance.”

The Institute’s Science Policy Committee ensures that the Institute follows a coherent science strategy to meet its core mission of undertaking pioneering biological research to understand and improve lifelong health. Importantly, it also oversees the Institute’s commitment to long-term investment in people, in particular to foster the development of young researchers.

Dr Turner, Associate Director for Research Strategy, said: “I’m honoured and excited to accept this position. It is crucial that the Institute continues to maintain an interdisciplinary environment with outstanding infrastructure and support. We are incredibly fortunate to have such passionate staff throughout the Institute; every individual helps us achieve our aim.

“I’m very grateful to Dr Len Stephens who steps down as the committee’s Chair, and thank him for his leadership and support.”

Research achievements and career

Dr Turner’s research in 2002 was amongst the first to identify the in vivo role of p110delta in lymphocyte development and function. He has pursued the investigation of post-transcriptional regulation of lymphocyte development and function identifying physiological roles for microRNAs and RNA binding proteins in the differentiation and function of B and T lymphocytes. The aim of this research is to provide a comprehensive understanding of lymphocyte development and function throughout life.

He started his research career as a PhD student with Professor Sir Marc Feldmann at the University of London. During his PhD research, he made key contributions to the basic science that underpinned the development of immunotherapy treatments for rheumatoid arthritis, through using inhibitors of tumour necrosis factor (TNF) – a cell signalling protein that drives inflammation. As a postdoc with Victor Tybulewicz at the MRC National Institute for Medical Research in London he used mouse genetics to demonstrate key roles for the signalling molecules Syk and Vav1 in the development of B and T cells.


Notes to Editors

Press contact

Dr Louisa Wood, Babraham Institute Communications Manager,

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Additional/related resources:

Immunology research reports from the 2018 Annual Research Report

Institute group leaders at a glance

Latest news from the Immunology research programme

News, 13 June 2016: Martin Turner receives Wellcome Trust Investigator Award

About the Babraham Institute

The Babraham Institute undertakes world-class life sciences research to generate new knowledge of biological mechanisms underpinning ageing, development and the maintenance of health. Our research focuses on cellular signalling, gene regulation and the impact of epigenetic regulation at different stages of life. By determining how the body reacts to dietary and environmental stimuli and manages microbial and viral interactions, we aim to improve wellbeing and support healthier ageing. The Institute is strategically funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), part of UK Research and Innovation, through an Institute Core Capability Grant and also receives funding from other UK research councils, charitable foundations, the EU and medical charities.


The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) is part of UK Research and Innovation, a non-departmental public body funded by a grant-in-aid from the UK government.

BBSRC invests in world-class bioscience research and training on behalf of the UK public. Our aim is to further scientific knowledge, to promote economic growth, wealth and job creation and to improve quality of life in the UK and beyond.

Funded by government, BBSRC invested £451 million in world-class bioscience in 2019-20. We support research and training in universities and strategically funded institutes. BBSRC research and the people we fund are helping society to meet major challenges, including food security, green energy and healthier, longer lives. Our investments underpin important UK economic sectors, such as farming, food, industrial biotechnology and pharmaceuticals.