Earlham Institute appoints Tim Kamombo and Dr Mike Csukai to Board of Trustees

02 November 2023
The exterior of the Earlham Institute building on a sunny day

The Earlham Institute has appointed two new Trustees to its Board, with Tim Kamombo and Dr Mike Csukai having taken up the posts at the Norwich-based life science research institute.

Tim Kamombo brings a wealth of financial and accounting experience while Dr Mike Csukai’s industry experience spans a range of life science disciplines that complement the Institute’s areas of research focus.

Professor Neil Hall, Director of the Earlham Institute, said: “We’ve welcomed two exceptional individuals to the Board, each of whom brings invaluable insight and experience to help us drive forward an ambitious programme of life science research and innovation.”

Tim is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. He has extensive experience in financial reporting, accounting, and audit. His experience spans across different sectors, including financial services and charities.

Having joined the Earlham Institute Board in June 2023, Tim is also the Chair of the Audit Committee. He is also a Finance Director at PensionBee Group plc, which he joined after 10 years in audit with PwC and Grant Thornton in Zimbabwe, USA, London, and Jersey.

Tim also sits on a number of other charity committees and boards in the UK, including Guy’s and St Thomas Foundation, where he is a co-opted member of the Finance & Audit Committee. 

On joining the Institute’s Board of Trustees, Mr Kamombo said: “The Earlham Institute has a broad portfolio and strong track record of impact in organisms that are important to society and the economy. I’m excited to be joining the Board at the start of a new funding cycle, with so much ambition and potential to realise.” 

Tim Kamombo (left) and Dr Mike Csukai (right)
Tim Kamombo and Dr Mike Csukai

Mike Csukai is Head of Lead Characterisation at Biotalys, a biotech scale-up based in Ghent, Belgium. He received his PhD in Genetics from the University of Leicester, before undertaking postdoctoral work in the Department of Molecular Pharmacology at Stanford University.  

He moved back to the UK to take up industrial roles at Zeneca and then Syngenta, where he spent 24 years – including Bioinformatics Lead for the crop protection division – before joining Biotalys in 2023.  

Mike’s work at Syngenta and now Biotalys has focused on the discovery of fungicides and novel protein-based fungal control methods. He has used bioinformatic, genetics, biochemistry, and cell biology tools to support the disease control discovery pipeline and improve the fundamental understanding of fungal and oomycete plant pathogens.  

Mike is an active member of the UK scientific community, having been an elected member of the British Society for Plant Pathology Board and a member of the British Mycological Society Fungal Biology Research Committee. He has also served on a number of BBSRC expert and strategy review panels.

Dr Csukai said of his appointment: “It’s an exciting time to join the Earlham Institute - they’ve recently launched ambitious strategic research programmes in genomics, data science, and computational biology.  

“I hope to complement the existing expertise on the Board with my personal experience from industrial bioscience, which I believe will be valuable in identifying the best ways to translate the Earlham Institute’s science into impact.”

The Earlham Institute is led by the Board of Trustee Directors, which comprises experienced individuals with backgrounds in science, finance, legal and commercial areas relevant to the Institute’s work.

The Board is supported by the Director, Executive, and Senior Management Teams.

Professor Peter Holland, Chair of the Board of Trustees, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Tim and Mike, who will bring valuable financial and industry expertise to the Board. Importantly, they both have leadership experience gained from movement across their respective sectors.  

“Their knowledge, energy, and passion will help to promote the research and innovation taking place at the Earlham Institute.”

Notes to editors.

About the Earlham Institute

The Earlham Institute is a hub of life science research, training, and innovation focused on understanding the natural world through the lens of genomics.

Embracing the full breadth of life on Earth, our scientists specialise in developing and testing the latest tools and approaches needed to decode living systems and make predictions about biology.

The Earlham Institute is based within the Norwich Research Park and is one of eight institutes that receive strategic funding from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), part of UKRI, as well as support from other research funders.

@EarlhamInst  /  Earlham Institute