First Icelander to hold the post will oversee important developments
Professor Eiríkur Steingrímsson will commence his initial one-year term as Chair of EMBL Council on 1 January 2020. Elected at the Council’s winter meeting, Prof. Steingrímsson will be the 16th Chair of EMBL Council, and the first Icelander to hold the position.
A vice-chair for the past three years, he is a professor at the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Iceland and has held research positions in Iceland and the United States.
“The next year promises to be both exciting and challenging for EMBL Council. The organisation is preparing an ambitious five-year science programme for implementation from 2022, and I am honoured to have been elected Chair of Council at this important moment in EMBL’s history,” Prof. Steingrímsson said.
“Council has already been involved in preliminary discussions with our Director General Edith Heard, and we share her vision for EMBL to deliver even greater societal benefit to member states and globally.”
EMBL Council also warmly thanked Professor Patrick Cramer of the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen, Germany, for his leadership as Chair from 2016 to 2019.
EMBL Council is the senior governance body for the organisation, and is responsible for deciding policy in scientific, technical and administrative matters. Each of EMBL’s 27 member states, two associate member states and one prospect member state is represented on the Council.
Professor Heard said: “I am delighted with Professor Steingrímsson’s election, and look forward to working with him and Council as we develop our next programme. The world is facing many challenges and we hope that EMBL can provide a better understanding of the impact that the environment can have on both human and planetary health, and come up with new solutions and discoveries.”
Council also re-elected Vice-chair Professor Anne Paoletti of France’s Ministère de l’Education Nationale, de l’Enseignement Supérieur et de la Recherche, and elected as Vice-chair Professor Peter Becker of the Ludwig-Maximilian University Biomedical Center Munich.