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Pioneering scientist appointed as Director of the Roslin Institute

An expert in gene editing has been appointed as Director of the Roslin Institute, with immediate effect.

Professor Bruce Whitelaw, who is also Chair of Animal Biotechnology at the University of Edinburgh, has been appointed to the role after serving as Interim Director of the Roslin Institute since 2020.

He will lead Roslin’s teams of scientists and professional support staff – approximately 500 people – in world-leading research into animal bioscience.

Roslin’s researchers aim to understand animal development and disease, and to apply their findings to prevent and treat important veterinary diseases and develop sustainable farm animal production systems.

Distinguished career

Professor Whitelaw is considered a pioneer in gene editing – making alterations to an organism’s genetic code. His career has focused on the development and application of gene activity in genetically engineered farmed animals.

His research seeks to develop novel ways to tackle infectious disease in animals, evaluate new ways to study potential treatments of human disease, and enhance protein production in animals.

Professor Whitelaw was previously Head of Developmental Biology at the Roslin Institute, a position he held for 12 years. Prior to that, he held research positions at the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) Institute of Animal Physiology and Genetics Research, and the Agricultural and Food Research Council’s Animal Breeding Research Organisation.

He holds a BSc in medical microbiology from the University of Edinburgh and a PhD in molecular biology from the University of Glasgow.

Professor Whitelaw is also a member of the Board of Directors of Roslin Technologies and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology.

I’m delighted to be appointed to lead Roslin in its next chapter of pioneering animal bioscience. I look forward to working with our world-class team, collaborators and supporters in making discoveries to understand and improve animal health, welfare and productivity – and by doing so, impactfully contribute to a sustainable animal agriculture future.

Professor Bruce WhitelawDirector of the Roslin Institute

We congratulate Professor Whitelaw on his appointment as Director of the Roslin Institute, and look forward to working with him in his new role. His leadership and expertise will be of great benefit to the Roslin Institute and to the wider University.

Professor David ArgyleHead of the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies and Acting Head of the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine

The Roslin Institute is not only a key national UK centre of expertise in animal bioscience, but also internationally renowned for its research and impact. Professor Whitelaw has demonstrated clear leadership as Interim Director of the Roslin Institute and BBSRC looks forward to further strengthening our partnership with him and his team in the future.

Professor Melanie WelhamExecutive Chair of BBSRC, part of UK Research and Innovation

Related links

Profile - Professor Bruce Whitelaw