Governing Council

The John Innes Centre’s Governing Council has specific responsibilities under the BBSRC Conditions of Grant.

It is responsible for the management and administration of the John Innes Centre’s income and expenditure, assets and liabilities.

Ultimately, the Governing Council has responsibility for developing the long-term vision for the John Innes Centre alongside the director, and oversees and reviews the management and achievements of the institute. 

Governing Council members

Stuart Holmes (Chair) 

Stuart Holmes Current roles include Chairman at INTO University Partnerships which joint ventures with leading Universities in the UK, USA and China to develop foreign student recruitment and tuition, and Director at Jarrold & Sons Limited.

Stuart was a senior partner in Pricewaterhouse Coopers and worked in Norwich, London and Tanzania. Stuart was formerly Chairman of the Governing Council UEA and a Director of University Campus Suffolk.


Ottoline Leyser

Ottoline Leyser is Professor of Plant Development and Director of the Sainsbury Laboratory at the University of Cambridge.

Her research uses the control of shoot branching in Arabidopsis as a model system to understand plant developmental plasticity and particularly the role of plant hormones in integrating endogenous and environmental inputs into development.

Ottoline received her BA (1986) and PhD (1990) in Genetics from the University of Cambridge. After post-doctoral research at Indiana University, she returned to the UK and took up a lectureship at the University of York (1994), where she worked until moving to the new Sainsbury Laboratory in 2011.


Phil Gilmartin

Phil Gilmartin Philip joined UEA in September 2011 as Dean of the Faculty of Science.

Previous to his appointment, he was principal of St Mary’s College and professor in the school of Biological and Biomedical Sciences at Durham University.

His research focuses on gene regulation and flower development.  He took his first degree at Leeds and his PhD at Warwick where he studied light regulated gene expression.


Keith Norman

Keith Norman Keith Norman graduated from the University of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne in 1981 with an Honours degree in agriculture, specialising in crop production.

Since graduation, he followed a career in practical farm management for six years, then changed to a more technically based role supporting Velcourt's team of Farm Managers in crop production technology and managing Velcourt’s in-house trials activity in 1989.

Keith manages the Research and Development project portfolio comprising of manufacturer trials and publicly funded collaborative projects. Keith has experience in crop production in many European countries as well as Africa. 


Dr Deborah Keith

Dr Deborah Keith Dr Deborah Keith has over 30 years of experience in the science and technology sector, most recently in corporate Research and Development with Syngenta, a global agri-business.

Following an early career in academic research in plant genetics, and in international development in Bhutan, she has spent the past 16 years focused on the commercialization of Research and Development innovation. In her most recent role at Syngenta as Head of External Collaborations, she headed global teams to build strategic partnerships with academia and commercial enterprises, and previously headed Syngenta’s Crop Protection research portfolio to deliver global products to development.

Experienced in the innovation process, corporate culture and organisational change she has led corporate teams in the development of global Research and Development strategies. Dr Keith is a Non-Executive Director of the Aerospace Technology Institute and the James Hutton Institute. 


Robert Maskell

Robert Maskell Robert Maskell is responsible for Intel's High Performance Computing business in the UK.

Passionate about Life Sciences, Robert works with academia, industry and government to drive growth and competitive advantage for the country.

Biology has become a data driven science fundamentally dependent upon compute and Robert sees technical computing as an enabler to empower positive societal change.


Amanda Collis (Observer)

Amanda studied for a degree in Plant Sciences and PhD in fungal molecular biology before joining BBSRC in 1998.

She has extensive experience of the UK Research Councils with strong interests in basic and strategic research, multidisciplinary approaches, funding partnerships and research infrastructures.

Amanda has broad experience in UK science policy, including time spent on secondment to the Houses of Parliament, Research Councils UK and detached duty to the British Consulate General – Boston where she worked alongside the UK Government’s Science and Innovation Network.

Amanda is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology.

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