Details of the membership of the General Advisory Committee on Science (GACS).
GACS comprises 14 independent members:
In addition, the Chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) attends GACS meetings as an invited observer.
The current members of GACS are:
Professor Colin Blakemore (Chair)
Professor Blakemore, FMedSci, Hon FSB, Hon FRCP, FRS, studied Medical Sciences at Cambridge and completed his PhD at the University of California in Berkeley. After 11 years in the Department of Physiology at Cambridge University, he became Waynflete Professor of Physiology at Oxford University from 1979 to 2007. From 1996 to 2003, he was Director of the MRC Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience at Oxford. His research has been concerned with many aspects of vision, early development of the brain and plasticity of the cerebral cortex. He was Chief Executive of the MRC from 2003 to 2007 and is now Professor of Neuroscience at Oxford, an Honorary Professor at Warwick and Emeritus Professor at Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School in Singapore. He has been President of the British Neuroscience Association, the Physiological Society and the Biosciences Federation (now the Society of Biology).
Professor Blakemore was President of the British Association for the Advancement of Science (now the British Science Association) from 1997 to 1998 and Chairman from 2001 to 2004. He is committed to promoting dialogue between scientists and the public, and is a frequent contributor to radio and TV, including the 13-part BBC2 series The Mind Machine. His books for the general public include Mechanics of the Mind (which won the Phi Beta Kappa Award in Science), Images and Understanding, Mindwaves, The Mind Machine, Gender and Society and The Oxford Companion to the Body.
Dr Ian Brown OBE (ex officio member as Chair of the Advisory Committee on Animal Feedingstuffs, ACAF)
Dr Brown is a medically qualified registered specialist in occupational medicine and toxicology. He is also a graduate in agricultural biochemistry and nutrition and has a wide range of knowledge and experience covering occupational health, toxicology, agriculture and food safety. Dr Brown was formerly a Consultant Physician in Occupational Medicine and Toxicology at Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust and is now Director of Occupational Health at the University of Oxford and Honorary Consultant Physician. He was also Chair of the Pesticide Residues Committee and is a member of the Advisory Committee on Toxic Substances of the Health and Safety Executive Board. From 1999 to 2005 Dr Brown was a member of ACAF, and from May 2001 until May 2002 served as the Acting Chair, following the unexpected resignation of the Chair, at that time.
Professor Sarah O'Brien (ex officio member as Chair of the Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Food, ACMSF)
Professor O’Brien is currently Professor of Health Sciences and Epidemiology and a Consultant in Public Health Medicine at the University of Manchester. Her research interests include foodborne zoonoses. Previously she was Head of Gastrointestinal Diseases Division at the Health Protection FSA Centre for Infections, where she was responsible for assessing data and generating, through surveillance and research, the evidence base for the origins and spread of gastrointestinal infection. She has published widely on these subjects. She has held a number of hospital and health authority appointments and also lectured in public health medicine between 1986 and 1995. She was Consultant in Public Health Medicine at the Scottish Centre for Infection and Environmental Health between 1995 and 1998 before joining the Health Protection FSA. Additionally, Professor O’Brien is a member of the Food Standards FSA’s Epidemiology of Foodborne Infections Group. Following her role as acting Chair in 2006, she was appointed as Chair to ACMSF in February 2007.
Professor Peter Gregory (ex officio member as Chair of the Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes, ACNFP)
Professor Gregory is the Chief Executive of East Malling Research and Professor of Global Food Security at the University of Reading. He was Chief Executive and Institute Director of the Scottish Crop Research Institute located near Dundee up until March 2011. His research interests include aspects of food systems and food security with a particular emphasis on environmental change (climate change). He has spent most of his career at the University of Reading undertaking research on the interactions of plant roots with soils, and has worked extensively oversees in Australia, Syria, Nepal and Kenya on various projects seeking to increase crop production. He is a member of the Scottish Science Advisory Council.
Professor David Coggon (ex officio member as Chair of the Committee on Toxicity, COT)
Professor Coggon OBE is Professor of Occupational and Environmental Medicine at the University of Southampton where he works in the Medical Research Council Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit. He has been engaged in epidemiological research for more than 30 years, concentrating mainly on occupational and environmental causes of disease. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and from 2008-11 was President of its Faculty of Occupational Medicine. In 1998, he became a founder Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences. From 1998 to 2000 he served on the COT Working Group on Organophosphates and the Independent Expert Group on Mobile Phones (both Department of Health). He has also been a member of the Industrial Injuries Advisory Council (Department for Work and Pensions), the Expert Panel on Air Quality Standards (Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions), the Advisory Group on Non-Ionising Radiation (Health Protection Agency), and the Plant Protection Products and Residues Panel at the European Food Safety Authority, and an expert adviser for the World Health Organization and the International Agency for Research on Cancer. From 2000 to 2005 he was Chair of the Advisory Committee on Pesticides (Defra), and from 2001 to 2007 he chaired the Depleted Uranium Oversight Board (Ministry of Defence).
Professor David Phillips (ex officio member as Chair of the Committee on Carcinogenicity, COC)
Professor Phillips was appointed as a member of the COC in April 2000 and as Chairman in April 2006 (reappointed in 2010 for a second term). He is also a member of the COM. He is head of a research team at the Institute of Cancer Research and has internationally recognised expertise in carcinogen-DNA interactions, human biomonitoring and in molecular epidemiology. He has extensive research interests in mechanisms of carcinogenesis, with particular emphasis on environmental factors involved in cancer causation. He is editor-in-chief of the journal Mutagenesis and will be President of the UK Environmental Mutagen Society from 2010 to 2012.
Dr David Lovell (ex officio member as Chair of the Committee on Mutagenicity, COM, from 1 November 2012)
Dr Lovell is a Reader in Medical Statistics in the Division of Biomedical Sciences at St. Georges, University of London. He was previously Associate Director and Head of Biostatistics Support to Clinical Pharmacogenomics at Pfizer Global Research and Development in Kent, where he provided data management and statistical support to pharmacogenetics and genomics.
David has conducted and managed research programmes on genetics, statistics and quantitative risk assessment. Dr Lovell has been a member of COM since 2006. He is an ex officio member of COC. He has been a member of the Scientific Committee of EFSA and a member of the Independent Scientific Advisory Committee, an expert committee of the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency.
Professor Peter Jackson (ex officio member as Chair of the Social Science Research Committee, SSRC)
Peter Jackson is Professor of Human Geography at the University of Sheffield. From 2004 to 2007 Peter served as Director of Research for the Social Sciences at the University of Sheffield. From 2005 to 2008 he led an interdisciplinary programme on ‘Changing Families, Changing Food’ funded by the Leverhulme Trust. He is currently directing a programme on consumer anxieties about food (CONANX), funded by the European Research Council. He also serves on the Training and Skills Committee of the Economic and Social Research Council.
Professor Janet M Bainbridge OBE (expert member and Deputy Chair of GACS)
A Professor of Biotechnology and Food Science, Janet is a former Dean of Science and Technology at the University of Teesside. She currently delivers a portfolio of consultancy and non-executive roles. She was a senior specialist adviser (Government and Europe) to One Northeast from 2003 to 2007 and is currently Chair of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Scientific Advisory Committee on Genetic Modification (Contained Use), a member of the Borderline Substances review group (MHRA); the New and Emerging Infections Panel and a trustee of the charity Sense About Science. Currently Professor Bainbridge is employed by UK Trade and Invest as a part-time global R&D specialist. From 2006 to 2008, she was a Board member of the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) and chaired the R&D sub-group of that Board as designate Chair of the Potato Council Limited. She has recently been appointed to the BBSRC Sustainable Agriculture Panel. Former appointments include Chair of the Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes (ACNFP; 1997 to 2003), Member of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Council, member of the Advisory Committee on releases to the Environment (ACRE); member of the Chief Scientists GM Expert Group and Chair/member of several Foresight Committees.
Professor Anne Murcott (expert member)
Professor Murcott is Professorial Research Associate at the Food Studies Centre, School of Oriental & African Studies in the University of London, Honorary Professor in the School of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Nottingham and Professor Emerita in Sociology at London South Bank University. She is a past Honorary Professor in Sociology at the University of Leicester and at City University, London and in 2009 was awarded an honorary Doctorate by the University of Uppsala. Her research includes pioneering work in the sociology of food, a field in which she has been active nationally and internationally for 30 years. She is the author of numerous articles, has edited and co-authored nine books, and served as editor of The Sociology of Health & Illness.
From 1992 to 1998 she was Director of the ESRC Research Programme The Nation’s Diet: the social science of food choice. In addition to co-editing a tenth book, her activities still include PhD training/ supervision/ examining as well as service as advisor to research projects and postdoctoral work. A member of the FSA Advisory Committee on Research from 2002 to 2007, she served as a member of the Steering Panel for the Government Office for Science’s Review of the Food Standards FSA 2008 to 2009 and as Chair of the Review Panel of the Independent Review of the Controls on Infant Formula and Follow-on Formula, 2008 to 2010.
Professor Duncan Maskell (expert member)
Professor Maskell has been Head of the Department of Veterinary Medicine since 2004 and Professor of Farm Animal Health, Food Science and Food Safety since 1996 at the University of Cambridge. He leads a research group working on all aspects of bacterial diseases with particular emphasis on the major foodborne pathogens Salmonella and Campylobacter. He was a Member of the BBSRC Agri-food Committee from 1997 to 2003, and its Chair from 2000 to 2003, and a member of the Food Standards FSA Advisory Committee on Research from 2002 to 2007. Professor Maskell is a non-executive Director of the Moredun Research Institute.
Mrs Pamela Goldberg (lay member)
Mrs Goldberg was Chief Executive of the medical research charity Breast Cancer Campaign, from 1997 to June 2011. She was involved in establishing the charity's first Scientific Advisory Board and developing its first research strategy as well as setting up governance guidelines for the Trustee Board. She is committed to ensuring that patients and the general public are given information that is evidence-based and that scientific results are communicated effectively to the general public.
She is a Fellow of the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce); a Trustee of the Moorfields Eye Charity; a Member of the Human Tissue Authority and a member of the Independent Review Panel for Borderline Products (IRPBP) and Independent Review Panel for Advertising (IRPA) for the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory FSA (MHRA).
Mrs Leen Petré (lay member)
Mrs Petré is Principal Manager of the Media and Culture Department at the Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB). Before that she was RNIB's European Campaigns Manager (2000 to 2004). Leen holds a degree in Political and Social Sciences and an MA in European Studies from the University of Leuven. After graduating, Leen built up 10 years of work on a range of international and European consumer issues, including food standards.
Since 2005, Mrs Petré has been Chair of the Consumer expert group on digital switchover (appointed by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, DCMS) and consumer representative on the DCMS/BIS Ministerial group on digital switchover. Leen is a member of the Communications Consumer Panel and Fellow of the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce).
Professor Colin Dennis CBE, DL (expert member)
Professor Dennis was director of the Campden BRI group from 1988 to 2009. He currently holds a number of advisory roles in food safety and governance as a consultant and volunteer, including as Chair of the English Food and Drink Alliance. He is President of the Institute of Food Science and Technology, a Fellow of the Institute of Food Technologists in the USA and is a Scientific Governor of the British Nutrition Foundation. He is a Board Member of the National Skills Academy and was a Non-Executive Director of the United Kingdom Accreditation Service. His scientific background is in botany, biochemical sciences and food science and technology, and he has an extensive publication record in the area of food microbiology and food safety and its management. He was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for services to the agri-food industry in the 2009 New Year Honours List.