Scientific Management Committee

The Science Management Committee is responsible for the scientific leadership of the institute, reporting to the Executive Committee.

  1. Sir Paul Nurse, Director

    Paul Nurse is responsible for interactions with the Board and funders, as well as all aspects of the institute's operations, including science strategy, recruitment, resource allocation and management. 

    Paul Nurse was appointed in January 2011 following seven years as President of Rockefeller University in New York. He was also President of the Royal Society from December 2010 to December 2015.

    Before moving to the US, Paul spent more than three decades as a research scientist in the UK. His senior positions included Chair of Microbiology at the University of Oxford and Director General of the Imperial Cancer Research Fund (ICRF). He played a major role in ICRF's merger with the Cancer Research Campaign in 2002 to form Cancer Research UK - which he led as Chief Executive.

    Paul, along with Tim Hunt and Lee Hartwell, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2001. He also won the US Albert Lasker Award and numerous other awards and medals. His current research focuses on the molecular machinery that drives cell division and controls cell shape.


  2. Dr Sam Barrell, Chief Operating Officer

    Dr Sam Barrell is the Chief Operating Officer of the Crick and is responsible for leading the operational management and running of the institute.

    Sam joined the Crick in September 2017 from a career in the NHS as a noted healthcare leader, manager and a former GP.

    Sam was Chief Executive of the Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Musgrove Park hospital and serves a patient population of around 538,000 people. Before that, she played a major role as Chief Clinical Officer in overseeing the formation of the South Devon and Torbay Clinical Commissioning Group - the body which plans, organises and oversees healthcare services in that area - at the time of the 2012 reforms of the National Health Service.

    Sam sits on a number of advisory boards for think tanks and healthcare networks and was awarded the CBE in 2014.


  3. Sir Richard Treisman, Director of Research

    Richard Treisman joined the Crick as Director of Research in April 2015. He was previously the Director of the Cancer Research UK London Research Institute (at  Lincoln's Inn Fields and  Clare Hall), which he was appointed to in 2002 after three years as Director of Laboratory Research at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund (ICRF). He joined ICRF in 1988 from the Medical Research Council (MRC) Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge.

    Richard was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1994 and a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2000. He received the EMBO Medal in 1995 and the Louis Jeantet prize in 2002.

    His current research interest is the interaction between cytoskeletal dynamics and transcriptional regulation.


  4. Sir Peter Ratcliffe, Director of Clinical Research

    Peter Ratcliffe is Clinical Research Director at the Francis Crick Institute, and also serves as Director of the Target Discovery Institute at the University of Oxford, splitting his time equally between Oxford and the Crick.

    Peter trained as a nephrologist (kidney specialist), then founded the Oxford Hypoxia Biology Laboratory, initially studying the regulation of erythropoietin by the kidney. His laboratory demonstrated the existence of a widespread system of oxygen sensing in animal cells and elucidated the mechanism by which oxygen levels are signalled though the post-translational hydroxylation of the key transcription factor Hypoxia Inducible Factor (HIF). The laboratory is currently engaged in the biochemical and physiological characterization of these and related oxygenases, and in the exploration of their therapeutic potential in human disease.

    Peter received his degrees and medical training from the University of Cambridge, University of Oxford and St Bartholomew's Hospital, London. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society and a recipient of several international awards, including the Lasker Award, the Louis-Jeantet Prize for Medicine and the Canada Gairdner International Award. 


  5. Dr Steve Gamblin, Director of Science Operations

    Steve Gamblin is Director of Science Operations at the Crick and was Director of Research at the Medical Research Council (MRC)'s National Institute for Medical Research before it joined the Crick.

    Steve's research has provided critical insights into the fundamental mechanisms underlying cellular signalling and disease processes. Steve is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, a member of EMBO and a Fellow of the Royal Society. 


  6. Dr John Diffley, Associate Research Director

    John is responsible for overseeing the Crick's training programmes for junior researchers. John joined the ICRF Clare Hall Laboratories as a junior group leader in 1990.  Prior to joining the Crick he was Deputy Director of the Cancer Research UK London Research Institute, and Director of the LRI Clare Hall Laboratories.

    John was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2005 and a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2011.  He was awarded the Paul Marks Prize for Cancer Research in 2003 and the Louis-Jeantet Prize for Medicine in 2016.

    Research in his laboratory focuses on understanding the mechanism and regulation of DNA replication.



  7. Dr Julian Downward, Associate Research Director

    Julian is responsible for scientific oversight of the Science Technology Platforms at the Crick.  Julian carried out post-graduate work at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund in London and post-doctoral work at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the USA before setting up his own lab in 1989 at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund, which later became the Cancer Research UK London Research Institute, where he was Associate Director from 2005.

    Julian's current research focuses on the role played by major oncogenes such as RAS and EGFR in human cancer. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society and the Academy of Medical Sciences and a Member of the European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO).


  8. Dr Anne O'Garra, Associate Research Director

    Anne O'Garra is responsible for career development and mentoring of Group Leaders, scientific interest groups and support of equality and diversity.

    After training at the Medical Research Council's National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR), Anne O'Garra led a research group at the DNAX Research Institute (now Merck) in California, and revealed molecular mechanisms for the induction and function of cytokines in the immune response. After 15 years, Anne returned to the UK in 2001 and formed the Division of Immunoregulation at NIMR, to interface research in immunology and infectious diseases. This continued her research on the immune response to infection, with major emphasis on tuberculosis in mouse models and human disease.

    Anne is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, UK, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a member of EMBO and a Fellow of the Royal Society. As an advocate of women in science, Anne chaired the Athena Swan Institute Pilot Bronze award for the NIMR.


  9. Professor Malcolm Irving, Associate Research Director

    Malcolm has a 0.4 appointment as an Associate Research Director at the Crick. In this role he is responsible for liason with the Crick's partner universities. Malcolm is also a member of the Crick's Executive Committee in his King's College London capacity.

    Malcolm is Professor of Biophysics and Director of the Randall Division of Cell and Molecular Biophysics at King's College London. He also chairs the Research Committee of the School of Biomedical Sciences at King's. His main research interest is in molecular mechanisms in contraction and regulation of skeletal and cardiac muscle.

    Malcolm was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2003 and a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2006.


  10. Professor Peter Johnson, Director, Crick Cancer Research Network

    Peter joined the Crick in January 2017 on a 0.4 basis. His role is to support collaboration between the Crick and other CRUK-funded centres in both basic and translational research, and foster the development of increasing numbers of clinical academic trainees with an interest in cancer research within the Crick.

    Peter is a Professor of Medical Oncology at the University of Southampton, and held a part-time appointment as Chief Clinician for Cancer Research UK from 2008-2017. His research is focused on how the immune system deals with cancer and how a person's own defence system can be re-targeted to allow it to attack cancerous cells.