Peter Becker new chair of EMBL Council

8 Dec 2022

The governing body of the renowned European Molecular Biology Laboratory: LMU-based molecular biologist Becker takes the reins from January.

Professor Peter B. Becker | © jan Greune

The Council of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) has named Professor Dr. Peter B. Becker, Chair of the Biomedical Center at LMU (BMC), as the next chair of the governing body from January 2023. Prof. Becker, who served as a vice-Chair from 2020, replaces Iceland’s Eirikur Steingrimsson.

The Council consists of the delegates of the 27 EMBL member states. It determines the scientific, technical and administrative policies of the Laboratory and provides the basic financial resources of EMBL through membership fees.

“I am honoured to have been selected as Chair of EMBL Council. The organisation has an ambitious science programme, and the next few years promise significant scientific progress,” Prof Becker said. “I will work closely with Council and management to ensure EMBL is best placed to navigate the difficult period we all face across the member states due to rising inflation and energy costs.”

“Peter’s advice and oversight as a Council delegate since 2016, and as a vice-chair from 2020, have been of enormous value to EMBL, especially during the period of development of our new scientific programme Molecules to Ecosystems,” EMBL Director General Edith Heard said. “Peter’s research brilliance and organisational experience make him an excellent choice as chair. I very much look forward to working with him.”

Prof. Becker studied biology at the University of Heidelberg, and obtained his PhD from the German Cancer Research Center and the Ruprecht Karl University of Heidelberg in 1987. He held a group leader position at EMBL from 1991 until 1999, before being appointed Chair of the Molecular Biology division at the LMU. He was instrumental in establishing the Biomedical Center Munich in 2015. He serves as the Chairman of the BMC Board since 2015. Becker received Germany’s highest research honour in 2005 - the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft. He was elected a member of the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina.

The European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) is an intergovernmental organization dedicated to molecular biology research and is supported by 27 member states, two prospect states, and one associate member state. EMBL was created in 1974 and is funded by public research money from its member states. Research at EMBL is conducted by approximately 110 independent research and service groups and teams covering the spectrum of molecular biology and bioinformatics. The Laboratory operates from six sites: the main laboratory in Heidelberg, and sites in Hinxton, Grenoble, Hamburg, Rome and Barcelona.

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