Dr Simon Cook appointed Institute Director


The Board of Trustees is delighted to announce that Dr Simon Cook has been appointed as the Institute’s Director. Dr Cook has held the position of Interim Director since July 2021 and will take on the role of Director for three years to provide stability and leadership as the Institute renews its strategic funding from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).

Professor Peter Rigby, FRS, FMedSci, Chair of the Institute’s Board said: “I am very pleased indeed that Dr Cook has agreed to become Director of the Institute. I know that he will provide the essential leadership and stability that will be required and will guide the Institute forward to continued success in every aspect of its mission.”

Speaking on behalf of the Institute’s strategic funder, Professor Melanie Welham, Executive Chair of the BBSRC, a part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), commented: “On behalf of BBSRC, I am pleased to congratulate Dr Cook on his appointment as the Director of the Babraham Institute. He is a highly-respected scientist and is particularly well qualified to guide the Institute’s world-class life sciences research.”

Commenting on his appointment as Director, Dr Cook said: “My experiences of leading the Institute since last July have given me a deep appreciation of the many people who work alongside me to achieve our mission of research excellence to improve lifelong health. I’m grateful for their support, and also that of the Institute’s Board of Trustees and the BBSRC. I look forward to leading the Institute and seeing the exciting growth of our research as we continue to break new scientific ground in understanding human biology.”

Dr Cook has worked at the Institute since 1997. He is a biochemist by training and undertook his PhD with the Institute’s former Director, Professor Michael Wakelam at the University of Glasgow. His research specialises in the molecular biology of signal transduction and how signalling drives cell fate decisions, including in situations such as ageing, inflammation and cancer when cell signalling pathways become deregulated. Dr Cook’s career has included time working in commercial bioscience in the USA and he utilised this awareness as the Institute’s Head of Knowledge Exchange & Commercialisation from 2013 to 2021. He became the Head of the Signalling research programme in 2020.



Press contact
Dr Louisa Wood, Head of Communications, louisa.wood@babraham.ac.uk

Image description
Dr Simon Cook in his lab at the Institute.

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 Institute Strategic Programme Grants and 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.