New Trustees join Babraham Institute Board

New Trustees join Babraham Institute Board

New Trustees join Babraham Institute Board

The Babraham Institute has recently made four new appointments to the Institute’s Board of Trustees. These are Professor James Briscoe FMedSci FRS and Professor Peter Parker FMedSci FRS, both research group leaders at the Francis Crick Institute, Professor Gordon Brown FMedSci FRS from the University of Exeter, and Alexandra Pygall, a partner with law firm Stephenson Harwood.

Chair of the Board, Professor Peter Rigby FMedSci FRS, said: “On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I am delighted to welcome our new colleagues. Each brings a wealth of skills and knowledge to the Board, not only in terms of scientific knowledge and professional experience but also in leadership and governance.”

Board members’ profiles:

Prof James Briscoe, Babraham Institute Trustee

Professor James Briscoe FMedSci FRS

James Briscoe is a group leader and assistant research director at the Francis Crick Institute. He holds a BSc in Microbiology and Virology from the University of Warwick, UK, and undertook his PhD research at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund, followed by postdoctoral research in the USA. He was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2019. James established his independent research group in 2000 at the Medical Research Council's National Institute for Medical Research (now part of the Francis Crick Institute). His research interests include the molecular and cellular mechanisms of embryonic development. Read James’ full profile on the Francis Crick Institute website.





Prof Peter Parker, Babraham Institute Trustee

Professor Peter Parker FMedSci FRS

Peter Parker is the Chair of the Institute’s Science and Impact Advisory Committee (SIAC). Peter is a group leader at the Francis Crick Institute and Director of the CRUK King’s Health Partners Centre at King's College London. After training as a biochemist at Oxford, he moved to Dundee to study protein kinases and then moved into oncology at the ICRF in London before becoming a founder member of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research at UCL. He later returned as a Principal Scientist to the Imperial Cancer Research Fund before joining the newly founded Francis Crick Institute in 2015. Peter’s longstanding research interests concern protein kinases, biomarkers and targeted interventions to develop new treatments for cancer. He was elected to the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2000 and to the Royal Society in 2006. Read Peter’s full profile on the Francis Crick Institute website.




Prof Gordon Brown, Babraham Institute Trustee

Professor Gordon Brown FMedSci FRSE FRS

Gordon Brown is the Director of the MRC Centre for Medical Mycology at the University of Exeter, and Director of the AFRICA Medical Mycology Unit at the University of Cape Town. His primary research interests are C-type lectin receptors and their role in homeostasis and immunity, with a particular focus on antifungal immunity. He established his first independent research group in 2004 at the University of Cape Town as a Wellcome Trust Senior Fellow, and moved to the University of Aberdeen in 2009 to establish the MRC Centre for Medical Mycology, which relocated to the University of Exeter in 2019. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society, the Academy of Medical Sciences, the Royal Society of Edinburgh and the Royal Society of South Africa. He is currently a co-chair of the Wellcome Trust Science Interview Panel and an ad-hoc member of the MRC Infection and Immunity board. Read Gordon’s full profile on the University of Exeter website. Gordon will join the Institute Board in July 2021.



Alexandra Pygall, Babraham Institute Trustee

Alexandra Pygall

Alexandra Pygall is a partner at international law firm Stephenson Harwood LLP, where she leads the firm's multi-disciplinary life sciences group. Alexandra specialises in intellectual property and has significant experience of advising on both transactions and disputes in the life sciences sector. She advises clients on R&D, collaboration and licence agreements as well as on the intellectual property aspects of acquisitions, IPOs, investments and general commercial arrangements. She also advises clients on disputes arising from such agreements and on intellectual property disputes (ownership, infringement and validity). Alexandra read jurisprudence at the University of Oxford (Magdalen College) and molecular science at The Open University. Read Alexandra’s full profile on the Stephenson Harwood website.







Dr Louisa Wood, Babraham Institute Communications Manager,

Image description

Main image: The Board's new Trustees (L:R): James Briscoe, Peter Parker, Gordon Brown and Alexandra Pygall.

Additional/related resources:

Lab page for Prof James Briscoe, Francis Crick Institute

Lab page for Prof Peter Parker, Francis Crick Institute

Profile page for Prof Gordon Brown, University of Exeter

Profile page for Alexandra Pygall, Stephenson Harwood

Information on the Babraham Institute’s Board of Trustees

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.

About the Institute’s Board of Trustees

The Institute’s Board is responsible for overseeing the management of the Institute to ensure that the Institute runs optimally and meets the requirements associated with its funding from the BBSRC and its charitable status. The Board works closely with the Director and the Institute’s senior management to shape the Institute’s strategic vision, and set priorities and policies.  


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.