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New man at helm of Institute of Food Research

Visit  Institute of Food Research website Visit UEA - University of East Anglia website

8 January 2009

David Boxer, Dundee University's Vice-Principal for Research and Enterprise and Professor of Microbial Biochemistry, has been appointed as the next Director of the Institute of Food Research and Professor Microbial Metabolism at the University of East Anglia.

Professor Boxer has extensive experience in university management and in research, having held a number of positions at Dundee University including Dean of Science and Engineering and Chairman of the Biochemistry Department.

His own research focuses on the metabolism of trace elements such as nickel and molybdenum in bacteria. He has also conducted external science assessment on international laboratories including the John Innes Centre and is closely associated with the Scottish Crops Research Institute.

The directorship of IFR is a joint appointment between the University of East Anglia and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council.

Professor Boxer said "I am delighted to be offered this position. IFR has a strong history of achievement and is an internationally leading institute in exploring the links between diet and health- a vitally important area with strong public interest. Much can be achieved by building on the strong science base at the Norwich Research Park and working in partnership with the University, the John Innes Centre and the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital Trust."

Professor Trevor Davies, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research) at the University of East Anglia, said: "David Boxer's appointment is excellent news not only for the Institute of Food Research, but for the Norwich Research Park in general and for Norwich.

"He will bring a wealth of expertise and leadership skills to us at a time when we are developing further our science and innovation vision for the city and I am sure that he will play a key role in taking this forward."

Prof Douglas Kell, Chief Executive of BBSRC said: "I am delighted to be able to welcome David Boxer as the next Director of IFR. This is a crucial appointment, jointly by BBSRC and UEA, that will help to ensure IFR can build on its track record of excellent research and continue to enhance its role alongside UEA and other partners as a vital part of growing collaboration across the Norwich Research Park."

The appointment was also welcomed by the Chair of IFR's Governing Body, Professor Peter Lillford CBE. "David represents an enormous wealth of experience in university research and in the generation of industrial and research council interest and sponsorship," he said.

"He has expressed great interest in IFR and its future national research role in the UK, and recognises the importance of its international activities."

Professor Boxer is expected to take up his role in the spring. He is married with three children and is a keen skier and recreational cyclist.



The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) is the UK funding agency for research in the life sciences. Sponsored by Government, BBSRC annually invests around £420M in a wide range of research that makes a significant contribution to the quality of life for UK citizens and supports a number of important industrial stakeholders including the agriculture, food, chemical, healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors.

External contact

Simon Dunford, Press Officer, University of East Anglia

tel: +44 (0)1603 592203


Matt Goode, Head of External Relations

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Tracey Jewitt, Media Officer

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