The Rosalind Franklin Institute has appointed Dr Vivienne Cox to be its first chair.

Vivienne will lead the Board of the new national institute dedicated to bringing about transformative changes in life science through interdisciplinary research and technology development.

An experienced chairman and non-executive director in FTSE 100 companies, Vivienne has wide experience of creating and growing new businesses. Vivienne worked for BP plc for 28 years, in Britain and continental Europe, in posts including executive vice president and chief executive of BP’s gas, power and renewable business and its alternative energy unit. She also has a deep understanding of government, having been the lead independent director of the UK Government's Department for International Development (DFID) for seven years.

Professor Philip Nelson, EPSRC’s Executive Chair said: “Collaboration across disciplines, as well as between academia and industry, is critical to successful innovation. It is something the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, as part of UK Research and Innovation, strongly encourages. Dr Vivienne Cox has an outstanding track record of leading multidisciplinary organisations and I welcome her appointment to this role."