Quadram Institute Bioscience is a company limited by guarantee (company number 03009972), with charitable status (registration number 1058499) and a Board of Trustees that oversees the Institute’s activities. Responsibility for day-to-day matters is delegated to the Institute Director and the Executive Board within an agreed and clearly understood framework of strategic control.


Director of Quadram Institute Bioscience

Prof. Ian Charles

Prof. Ian Charles

Prof.  Ian Charles is the Director of Quadram Institute Bioscience and leads the programme to develop the Quadram Institute.

Prof. Charles returned to the UK in 2015 to take up his position from Australia, where he was Director of the ithree institute, University of Technology, Sydney. He has over 30 years’ experience in academic and commercial research. His academic career has included being a founding member of The Wolfson Institute for Biomedical Research at University College London, one the UK’s first institutes of translational medicine.

Ian has also worked in the pharmaceutical industry at Glaxo Wellcome, and has been founder and CSO of biotech companies in the area of infectious disease, including Arrow Therapeutics, sold to AstraZeneca, and Auspherix a venture capital backed company founded in 2013. His current research interests include infectious diseases as well as the microbiome and its impact on health and wellbeing.

Board of Trustees

Tim Brears (Chair) – Chief Executive of Xention Limited, a Cambridge-based, venture-capital-funded biopharmaceutical company specialising in the discovery and development of ion-channel-modulating drugs for the control of atrial fibrillation.

Tim Brears, Chair of the Board of Trustees

Tim Brears, Chair of the Board of Trustees

Previously, Tim was Chief Executive of Gendaq Limited, a company focused on the development of zinc finger proteins based on technology acquired from the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge.  From 1993 to 1999 he was director of licensing at Ciba-Geigy (later Novartis) Agribusiness in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.

Tim graduated in Agricultural and Forest Sciences from Oxford University in 1983 and was awarded a PhD in plant molecular biology from Cambridge University in 1987.  He subsequently held an EMBO post-doctoral fellowship at Rockefeller University, New York, where he worked on the cloning and overexpression of nitrogen metabolic genes in transgenic plants for the purpose of improving nitrogen use efficiency.  He also has an MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and is a Registered US Patent Agent.

He is closely involved in his family’s farming business, which includes arable and beef enterprises and is involved in a number of crop assurance and environmental schemes.

Other Trustees

The membership of the Board of Trustees for Quadram Institute Bioscience is drawn from the academic community, the food industry and public representatives and covers a range of skills including business and risk, science and technology and social and ethical responsibility.

Ian Black

Ian’s career includes director roles in a number of  global organisations including NCR, AT&T, RIL and BAT with a business sector focus on Engineering, Technology and Fast Moving Consumer Goods where Ian has worked in various Corporate roles covering Strategy, HR, IT, Quality and Marketing Services.

Ian currently is the founder Director of Arch Management Consultants focusing on business strategy, HR Leadership, Change Management, Remuneration, Talent Management, Governance and Performance Improvement. In this capacity he has provided consulting services to organisations in various sectors including, insurance, consumer goods, aviation, pharmaceuticals and technology.

Ian is also a Non- Executive Director of Remploy Ltd, MLCSL Ltd and BSH Ltd where he is either Chair or Member of the Board Audit, Remuneration, Nominations and Strategy committees.

Duncan Maskell

Duncan Maskell is Marks and Spencer Professor of Farm Animal Health, Food Science and Food Safety at the Department of Veterinary Medicine, and Head of the School of the Biological Sciences at the University of Cambridge. He was also educated at Cambridge, gaining his first degree and PhD there in the 1980s, before being employed at Wellcome Biotech. He subsequently worked at the Institute of Molecular Medicine, University of Oxford, and the Department of Biochemistry, Imperial College, before being elected to his current Professorship in 1996. He was Head of the Department of Veterinary Medicine from 2004 until taking up his current role as Head of the School of the Biological Sciences in 2013.

His main research interests have centred on bacterial diseases of humans and other animals, with food poisoning bacteria such as Salmonella and Campylobacter being particularly constant elements of his research portfolio. His work has covered all aspects of the host-pathogen interaction, from how the bacteria themselves work, through to how host responses operate to lead to infection or clearance of the bacterium, and this research has resulted in over 220 papers.

Outside the University, Duncan has been a founder shareholder and consultant to a number of biotech companies. He co-founded Arrow Therapeutics in 1998, which was sold to Astra Zeneca in 2007, and was recently a co-founder of Discuva Ltd and Bactevo Ltd.

Duncan has been a member of many UK and overseas funding panels, advisory boards and Councils, including for the BBSRC, Defra and the Food Standards Agency. He was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2011.

Steven Walker

Director General, Campden BRI, Steven obtained his degree in Food Science and PhD in Microbiology from the Queen’s University of Belfast, before joining the Microbiology Department of Campden BRI in 1986. In this role he worked extensively on predictive microbiology and chilled foods microbiology.

From 1994 to 2004, Steven undertook the newly created role of Director of Research, which guided, directed and managed the company’s research programme, funded by membership subscriptions, UK Government, the EC and industrial consortia.

Following four years as Director of Cereals and Cereal Processing, where he led and managed the research, consultancy, analytical and training activities of the division, Steven was appointed as Director-General in 2009.

During his 26 years service, Steven has played a major role in both the scientific and commercial aspects of the business, working closely with senior technical, operational, financial and political representatives from the agri-food and allied industries and funding bodies in the UK and overseas.

In 2010, he was appointed Visiting Professor at Harper Adams University and elected a Fellow of the Institute of Food Science & Technology

Steve West

Following a degree in Economics from the London School of Economics, Steve qualified as a Chartered Accountant with KPMG, London, in the early 1980’s. He then moved into “industry” with Schlumberger and Xerox Corporation, taking a first Financial Director role with Odhams-Sun printers in 1988. Since 2008, Steve has been Group Finance Director of The Shropshire Group a large salad and vegetable farming, processing, packing and marketing organisation headquartered near Ely in Cambridgeshire. The business employs 5000, has sales of circa £400m and physical operations in the UK, Spain, Czech Republic, Poland, Senegal and the USA.

Steve is also a member of the Strategy Board for the Eastern Region of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

Steve lives in Ely, is married with two children, both of whom work in London.

Christine Williams

Professor Christine Williams OBE, was until very recently Pro-Vice-Chancellor at the University of Reading, responsible for the leadership of the University’s research and innovation strategy, and preparations for the Research Excellence Framework.

Christine brings a wealth of experience to the Board of Trustees, both from her distinguished career in nutritional science and in her leadership role in driving innovation and its application to supporting the knowledge economy.

Christine joined the University of Reading in 1995, as the first Hugh Sinclair Professor of Nutrition. She headed the School of Food Biosciences from 2003 to 2006, before being elected as Dean of Life Sciences. Her research interests are focused on the impact of dietary fats on human health, particularly in relation to cardiovascular disease and insulin resistance.

In 1999 she was awarded the Royal Society of Medicine Gold Medal in Nutrition for her contribution to scholarship and education in nutrition, and in 2013 Professor Williams was awarded an OBE for services to higher education and nutritional science.

Professor Williams actively engages in dissemination of nutritional science and frequently provides advice to government and industry on matters relating to dietary policy and public health. She is a Governor and Member of Council of the British Nutrition Foundation, a former President of the UK Nutrition Society, and chaired the BBSRC Agri-Food Committee from 2003-2006. She was also a member of the Food Standards Agency, Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN).