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Pioneer Prof Sir John Bell appointed as President, Ellison Institute of Technology Oxford and Co-CEO of EIT Global

The Ellison Institute of Technology (EIT) has today announced Prof Sir John Bell, Regius Professor of Medicine, University of Oxford, as the President of EIT Oxford. Prof Bell will also become Co-CEO of EIT Global, alongside Dr David Agus.

Under his direction, EIT Oxford will drive scientific and technological innovation in EIT’s four key areas: medical science and healthcare, food security and sustainable agriculture, clean energy and climate change, and government policy and economics.

Prof Sir John Bell is part of the EIT Faculty of Fellows, a distinguished group of world leaders, scientists and entrepreneurs, including Dr David Agus, President of EIT Los Angeles; Tony Blair, Former UK PM and Executive Chairman of the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change (TBI); and Larry Ellison, Chief Technology Officer of Oracle.

Oxford, 21 February 2024

The Ellison Institute of Technology (EIT) today announced the appointment of world leading scientist Prof Sir John Bell as the President of EIT Oxford. Prof Bell will also become Co-CEO of EIT Global, alongside Dr David Agus. Starting 1st April 2024, Prof Bell will lead multi-disciplinary teams at EIT Oxford – a major new interdisciplinary research and development facility that will support EIT’s mission to develop and deploy technology in pursuit of solving humanity’s most challenging and enduring problems.

Prof Sir John Bell is renowned worldwide for his immense contributions to medicine, medical research and the life science industry. In 2023 he was made Companion of Honour in the King’s Birthday Honours list and he joins EIT from his present position as Regius Professor of Medicine at the University of Oxford. In his new role, he will continue to build upon his deep ties to the University of Oxford through EIT Oxford’s ongoing, robust partnership with the university.

Larry Ellison, Chief Technology Officer of Oracle and EIT Faculty Fellow, said:

“We are delighted to welcome Regius Professor Sir John Bell as the first President of EIT Oxford. All of us here at EIT are looking forward to working with Prof Bell to make a home in Oxford, collaborating with the University, and building teams of faculty and scholars that invent economically practical solutions to important problems. We are committed to help build an environment rich in intellectual and technological resources where the only limits are imagination and natural law.”

Professor Sir John Bell said:

“The creation of the Ellison Institute of Technology in Oxford should provide a set of novel solutions to some of the greatest challenges facing the planet. It will benefit greatly from the outstanding science base in both Oxford and the UK and will create sustainable solutions in the areas of green energy, food security, health and global governance. It is a real honour to be asked to lead this interdisciplinary initiative and I am sure it will receive strong support from the science community that will provide the talent to generate exciting products that will have a lasting impact that future generations will benefit from.”

In his new role, Prof Sir John Bell will work collaboratively with Dr David Agus, forming part of a global team driving scientific and technological innovation in EIT’s four key areas: medical science and healthcare, food security and sustainable agriculture, clean energy and climate change, and government policy and economics. As President of EIT Oxford, Prof Sir John Bell will oversee operations of the EIT Oxford campus, which will include over 30,000m2 of research laboratory space, an oncology and wellness patient clinic, laboratories for robot development and the world’s largest computer for designing and training artificial neural networks.

Dr David Agus, Founding Director and President of EIT Los Angeles, said:

“As our EIT Oxford Campus comes to life, the addition of Prof Sir John Bell will supercharge our efforts to bring our local research teams online as we work to accelerate scientific and technological innovation for humanity. His scientific leadership helped guide the UK out of the COVID-19 pandemic and will be the same driving force that helps steer EIT’s work with the brilliant minds in the Oxford community. I’m thrilled to join forces with him officially as Co-CEOs of EIT Global, knowing that although the global problems we seek to solve loom large, our interdisciplinary teams and collaborators are up to the challenge.”

Professor Irene Tracey, University of Oxford Vice-Chancellor, said:

“Professor Sir John Bell has been for several decades an enormously impactful and fantastic colleague as well as mentor to many at Oxford and beyond. He is a giant in the field of medical science, and we are thrilled that he will be able to continue to contribute his enormous energy, vision and talent by establishing EIT Oxford as a key part of the Oxford ecosystem and wider UK research base. I am excited by what we can achieve together by working collaboratively and in partnership, especially through our innovative Ellison Scholars programme. I wish him and all the Ellison team every success and I look forward to continuing to work with John.”

An Oxford Alum himself, Prof Sir John Bell has devoted much of his working life at the University of Oxford, completing his medical training in Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar and later at Stanford University. In 1992, he became the Nuffield Professor of Clinical Medicine at Oxford and in 1994, was one of the founders of the Wellcome Centre for Human Genetics -one of the world’s leading centres for complex trait common disease genetics.

As a research scientist, Prof Sir John Bell’s extensive research interests span the areas of autoimmune disease, immunology and genetics. He was crucial in creating Genomics England, UK Biobank and Our Future Health. He has advised the UK government and health secretary. Holder of prominent roles during the Covid epidemic, enabling the development of the testing platforms for lateral flow tests and helping to initiate the molecular testing program nationally, Prof Bell played a major role in the development and roll out of the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine.

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