EI appoints new Director

07 December 2015

The Earlham Institute (EI) is delighted to announce the appointment of Professor Neil Hall as its new Director.

Professor Neil Hall will join EI in April 2016 from the University of Liverpool where he is currently the Director of The Centre for Genomic Research.

As a leader in the field of genomics, Professor Hall has specialised in understanding the genomics of infectious disease over the past decade. He has led projects at The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR) in the US, including the effort to sequence the genome of Plasmodium falciparum, the malaria parasite.

Professor Hall, who is also Head of the Department of Comparative and Functional Genomics, gained his PhD in Genetics at Liverpool University. His current research interests range from investigating the genetics of pathogen population structures to developing genomic tools to assay complex genomes such as wheat, a crop of significant interest and research focus at EI.

Professor Nigel Brown, EI's Board of Trustees’ Chair, said: “I am delighted that Professor Neil Hall has accepted the position of Director of EI.  His expertise and experience will bring strong and relevant leadership to the Institute.  The Board of Trustee Directors and I look forward to working with him in taking the Institute forward.”

TGAC receives strategic funding from the Biotechnology and Biological Science Research Council (BBSRC) and, Professor Jackie Hunter, BBSRC Chief Executive, said: “EI represents an important UK National Capability, pioneering genomic and bioinformatics science that is helping to drive the development of the bioeconomy. I am very pleased to see the appointment of Professor Hall as EI’s new Director. He has a superb track record in both genomics tools development and in applying this to tackling bioscience challenges. His combination of experience, knowledge and leadership make him the right person to lead EI.”

Professor Hall, said: “I am really excited to take on the role of Director. EI’s unique capability means it is exceptionally well placed to address some of the key challenges in the biosciences. I expect the Institute to have an expanding role in the research landscape, nationally and internationally, over the coming years. I have been impressed with the level of development at TGAC since its inception, and I am looking forward to join such an enthusiastic and energetic institute and to lead it to the next stage of development.”

Neil will take over from Interim Director, Professor Dylan Edwards who has been working at the Institute since August 2015. Professor Edwards will commence a new role in February 2016, at the University of East Anglia, as Executive Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Professor Edwards, said: “I am extremely pleased to see Professor Hall being appointed as Director at TGAC; since my time working with the team at the Institute I have been tremendously impressed with the world class research being delivered there. I will also look forward to continuing my close working relationship with the science faculty as part of the wider Norwich Research Park."


Notes to editors.

Notes to editors

For more information, please contact:

Hayley London

Marketing & Communications Officer, Earlham Institute (EI)

  • +44 (0)1603 450 107


About Earlham Institute

The Earlham Institute (EI) is a world-leading research institute focusing on the development of genomics and computational biology. EI is based within the Norwich Research Park and is one of eight institutes that receive strategic funding from Biotechnology and Biological Science Research Council (BBSRC) - £6.45M in 2015/2016 - as well as support from other research funders. EI operates a National Capability to promote the application of genomics and bioinformatics to advance bioscience research and innovation.

EI offers a state of the art DNA sequencing facility, unique by its operation of multiple complementary technologies for data generation. The Institute is a UK hub for innovative bioinformatics through research, analysis and interpretation of multiple, complex data sets. It hosts one of the largest computing hardware facilities dedicated to life science research in Europe. It is also actively involved in developing novel platforms to provide access to computational tools and processing capacity for multiple academic and industrial users and promoting applications of computational Bioscience. Additionally, the Institute offers a training programme through courses and workshops, and an outreach programme targeting key stakeholders, and wider public audiences through dialogue and science communication activities.



The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) invests in world-class bioscience research and training on behalf of the UK public. Our aim is to further scientific knowledge, to promote economic growth, wealth and job creation and to improve quality of life in the UK and beyond.

Funded by Government, BBSRC invested over £509M in world-class bioscience in 2014-15 and is the leading funder of wheat research in the UK (over £100M investment on UK wheat research in the last 10 years). We support research and training in universities and strategically funded institutes. BBSRC research and the people we fund are helping society to meet major challenges, including food security, green energy and healthier, longer lives. Our investments underpin important UK economic sectors, such as farming, food, industrial biotechnology and pharmaceuticals.

For more information about BBSRC, our science and our impact see: http://www.bbsrc.ac.uk For more information about BBSRC strategically funded institutes see: http://www.bbsrc.ac.uk/institutes