Energy Country Review: Complimentary 7-day trial

  • News-alert sign up
  • Contact us

Professor Edith Heard Appointed Director and CEO of the Francis Crick Institute


The Francis Crick Institute has announced the appointment of Professor Edith Heard as its new Director and Chief Executive. Professor Heard, who has led the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) since 2019, is expected to take up the post in summer 2025. 

She succeeds the Crick’s founding Director and Chief Executive, Sir Paul Nurse, who will continue to maintain a laboratory at the institute.

Speaking on the announcement, the Crick’s Chairman, Lord Browne of Madingley, said: 
“I am delighted to be able to announce the appointment of Professor Edith Heard following a global, year-long search for an exceptional candidate to lead our exceptional institute.

She brings an exemplary international research record, compelling vision and strong leadership experience. She will enable the Crick to continue to grow, building on its reputation for research excellence and for being the home for world-class leaders in life sciences.”

Turning to the outgoing Director and Chief Executive, Sir Paul Nurse, Lord Browne went on to say: 
“I want to acknowledge the extraordinary role Paul Nurse has played in establishing the Francis Crick Institute as a beacon of scientific excellence.

As our founding Director and Chief Executive, we all owe Paul a debt of gratitude for establishing the institute on a global stage and for driving discoveries which are already having a beneficial impact on human health. I am delighted that we will continue to benefit from his brilliant scientific mind and research.”

Speaking on her appointment, Professor Edith Heard said: 
“I am delighted to be able to take up this position at one of the world’s premier scientific institutions, although very sad to leave EMBL next year.

The Francis Crick Institute has quickly established a global reputation for its work at the frontiers of science. I relish the challenge of building on that work. I also want to pay tribute to Sir Paul Nurse, without whom the Francis Crick Institute would not be the world-leading institution it is today.” 

Speaking on her departure from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), Professor Heard went on to say: 
“I am excited at the challenge of this new role but at the same time, I will miss EMBL. It is a truly amazing organisation that has led Europe in cutting-edge molecular life sciences for over half a century. I am proud of all that we continue to achieve together in launching a new era in science.

My decision was taken safe in the knowledge that EMBL is in the best possible shape to continue delivering across our missions for the scientific community. I do believe now is the right time to pass on the baton, and, in doing so, I leave a strong and dedicated team. I now have an exciting opportunity to return to the country where I was born and raised and to the research community where I completed my PhD.” 

The Francis Crick Institute’s current Director and Chief Executive, Sir Paul Nurse, speaking on the announcement said: 
“After over a decade at the helm of our Institute, I am proud of all who work here and the scientific excellence we have created together.

"The Crick is a special place, we are a home for some of the best life scientists in the world, carrying out high-quality, discovery-based research and helping the UK to play a leading role in solving global health challenges. 

“I want to thank everyone who has helped make the institute what it is today. Without your hard work and team effort, it would not have been possible. I am excited to retain my laboratory team at the Crick and continue pursuing my research.

The decision to step down from the Director role has been made much easier by knowing that in Professor Heard, the institute has an excellent scientist and leader. I am completely confident that the Crick will continue to flourish under her leadership.”

KeyFacts Energy news: People on the Move

< Previous Next >