Minister for Universities and Science David Willetts today announced the reappointment of Professor Sir Tom Blundell as the chair of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).

Sir Tom is Professor Emeritus and Director of Research in Biochemistry at the University of Cambridge. He was previously Head of the School of Biological Sciences in Cambridge and Sir William Dunn Professor of Biochemistry.

Sir Tom has played an active role in national science policy. In the 1980s, he was a member of the advisory group to the Prime Minister (ACOST). He was President of the UK Biosciences Federation (2004 to 2008) and President of UK Science Council, 2011.

Sir Tom was a Non-Executive Director of Celltech from 1996 to 2005 and has been involved in science advisory roles with Pfizer, UCB and SmithKlineBeecham. He co-founded Astex Therapeutics which has oncology drugs in clinical trials in USA and UK.

BBSRC invests in world-class bioscience research and training on behalf of the UK public. Its 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, and with an annual budget of around £500 million, the BBSRC supports research and training in universities and strategically funded institutes.

David Willetts said: “I am delighted that Sir Tom Blundell has agreed to remain as chair of BBSRC. His extensive academic experience in the field of biochemistry coupled with his active role in science policy makes him an invaluable asset to the council.”

The re-appointment is for two years from 1 July 2013 until 30 June 2015 - Sir Tom’s first term as BBSRC Chair began on 01 July 2009 and runs to 30 June 2013.