Quadram Institute announces that Professor Ian Charles OBE will retire as Director and Chief Executive in October

15th March 2024

The Board of Trustees of Quadram Institute Bioscience has announced that Professor Ian Charles OBE has decided to retire from his role as Director and Chief Executive in October 2024 after nine years leading the institute.

The Director Professor Ian Charles smiling, with a backdrop of sparkling labs behind.

Professor Charles joined as founding Director of Quadram in 2015 and during his time with us he has successfully developed the Quadram and its scientific vision to be at the forefront of a new interface between food science, gut biology and health, developing solutions to worldwide challenges in food-related disease and human health. He was awarded an OBE for his contribution to scientific discoveries and clinical research in 2023.

Chair of Quadram’s Board of Trustees, Dr Celia Caulcott, said: “I would like to thank Ian for his exceptional leadership of the Quadram Institute, establishing it as an outstanding centre of research and innovation in the vital areas of gut health, microbiology and food, and building important partnerships across the Norwich Research Park and with the Quadram partners, the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, the University of East Anglia and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council. I have very much enjoyed working with him and myself and the Board wish him the very best for his future.”

UKRI CEO, Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser, said: “Professor Charles has made an exceptional contribution to UK science, through his transformational leadership of the Quadram Institute, ensuring that the institute provides a significant national focus for research and innovation in food, gut health and microbiology”.

Professor Guy Poppy, BBSRC interim Executive Chair and UKRI Food Sector Champion, said: “Ian’s tenure as Director of the Quadram Institute has been nothing short of transformational. Under his stewardship, the Quadram has flourished into a beacon of excellence, renowned for tackling major global challenges and bridging the critical gaps between food science, gut biology and health.

Professor Ian Charles OBE said: “Serving as Director of the Quadram Institute has been both an honour and a pleasure. I am immensely proud of the team that we have built at Quadram and the very significant achievements we have made to further knowledge in our core scientific and clinical areas of focus, and to ensuring that these achievements have translational benefits for society. This was exemplified during Covid when we were able to step-up to the challenge as a core member of COG-UK and, on an ongoing basis, in our work in areas such as food security and understanding the importance of the microbiome in health and disease.

“I truly believe that Quadram is now a jewel in the UK bioscience landscape, providing a key national capability in science and clinical research as well as being respected as a collaborator on the international stage. I am confident that with the impressive facilities and ongoing financial support that we have, the team and its new Director will be well placed to continue to make a significant contribution in the future.

“I would like to thank the Quadram partners, NNUH, the UEA and BBSRC, and the team at Quadram past and present for enabling me to achieve the vision we set out for the Institute and for making the past nine years a period that I shall look back on positively. Personally, I look forward to continuing to contribute my scientific, entrepreneurial and board level skills and experience in the biomedical sector both in the UK and internationally through a portfolio of opportunities.”

An international search will begin shortly for a new Director and, to ensure a smooth transition, Professor Martin Warren Quadram’s Chief Scientific Officer will take on the role of interim Director when Ian steps down in October 2024.