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Serial entrepreneur and scientist becomes chairman of the Institute of Food Research at Norwich Research Park

Dr Tim Brears

Dr Tim Brears

Dr Tim Brears has been appointed Chairman of the Institute of Food Research from 1st June.

Tim Brears is 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.  In addition, he serves as Managing Director of Provesica Limited, a spin-out of Xention

David Boxer, CEO, IFR, commented, ’Tim brings a very valuable combination of entrepreneurial and academic experience to help us drive academic excellence, grow the Institute and help commercialise opportunities.’

Tim’s appointment coincides with the extensive development of, and investment in, the Norwich Research Park to deliver innovation and societal benefit from its research, generating economic growth and creating jobs.

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.  He also has an MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and is a Registered US Patent Agent.

‘I am delighted to be joining the board of the Institute of Food Research.  Through its internationally recognised research, the Institute plays a vital and unique role in supporting a key sector that is fundamental for human health and is constantly on the political agenda,’ said Dr Brears.

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.

Tim replaces Peter Lillford, former Research Director, Unilever, who is retiring from the IFR board.  ‘Peter’s loyalty and dedication to the IFR has been outstanding.  He has provided important leadership to the Institute that has established its present key national strategic position, ’ said David Boxer.

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