EMBL Director General becomes next Director and Chief Executive of the Francis Crick Institute

Professor Edith Heard will succeed Sir Paul Nurse at the London-based institute in the summer of 2025

EMBL Director General Professor Edith Heard will become the next Director and Chief Executive of the Francis Crick Institute in the summer of 2025. Credit: Kinga Lubowiecka/EMBL

The Francis Crick Institute today announced that Professor Edith Heard, EMBL Director General, will become the institute’s next Director and Chief Executive in the summer of 2025. 

Heard became EMBL Director General in 2019, and, since then, has overseen the creation of an ambitious scientific programme that has allowed EMBL to continue to develop and deliver cutting-edge science, services, and training for the organisation’s 29 member states. Under Heard’s leadership EMBL launched the ‘Molecules to Ecosystems’ programme with the goal to bring in a new era for the life sciences in Europe through interdisciplinary collaboration, positioning the life sciences at the heart of finding solutions to societal and planetary challenges. 

“I am excited at the challenge of the new role but at the same time, I will miss EMBL a lot. It is a truly amazing organisation that has led Europe in cutting-edge molecular life sciences for over half a century.

“It has been an immense pleasure to lead an organisation with so many dedicated staff and fellows – together we were able to develop and now deliver the ‘Molecules to Ecosystems’ programme, launching a new era in the life sciences. My decision was taken safe in the knowledge that EMBL is in the best possible shape to continue delivering across our missions for the scientific community.”

EMBL Council Chair, Professor Peter Becker said: “I want to express my sincere thanks for the vision Professor Heard has brought, and the hard work and dedication she has shown in leading EMBL as the world-class institution it is today, and to ensuring EMBL’s continued evolution as Europe’s life sciences laboratory. I know I speak for all EMBL member states when I offer my warmest congratulations to Professor Heard on her new appointment.” 

Speaking on the announcement, the Francis Crick Institute’s Chairman, Lord Browne of Madingley, said: “Professor Heard brings an exemplary international research record, compelling vision and strong leadership experience. She will enable the Crick to continue to grow, building on its reputation for research excellence and for being the home for world-class leaders in life sciences.”

Professor Heard will continue to lead EMBL until summer 2025 as it delivers across its five missions and current scientific programme ‘Molecules to Ecosystems’. EMBL Council, alongside EMBL’s Scientific Advisory Committee, will conduct a thorough search to identify her successor in leading the organisation. 

Tags: director general, Edith Heard, francis crick institute, heidelberg, leadership


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