Professor Melanie Welham

Executive Director of Science, BBSRC


Melanie started her scientific career as an undergraduate in Biochemistry at Imperial College, London.

She moved to the Imperial Cancer Research Fund, London, for her PhD, which focused on cancer cell biology.

After several years of post-doctoral research at The Biomedical Research Centre, University of British Columbia, in Vancouver, Canada, Melanie was appointed to a Lectureship in the Department of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, University of Bath.

She was the first female Professor appointed in the 97-year history of her department and served as Co-Director of the University’s Centre for Regenerative Medicine for 4-years.

Melanie was awarded a 3-year BBSRC Research Development Fellowship in 2003 to focus on research in the stem cell biology area. She led a team of post-doctoral researchers, PhD students and research technicians particularly interested in research aimed at understanding how the behaviour of stem cells can be controlled and also in generating specialised types of cells from stem cells for use by the pharmaceutical industry and in regenerative medicine.

In 2012 Melanie was appointed as Executive Director of Science at the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, the largest public funder of non-medical biological research in the UK. The annual budget that BBSRC invests in research to help solve some of the key challenges facing society, such as ageing, generation of biorenewables and food production, is £450M.

In her alternate career, Melanie cares for two daughters and a husband.