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New Appointments to the Medical Research Council

14 Mar 2017

Two new members have been appointed to the Council of the Medical Research Council (MRC) by the Minister for Universities and Science, Jo Johnson. Mr Richard Murley has been appointed as a lay member and Dr Pauline Williams has been appointed as an industry member. The appointments are with effect from 1 March 2017.

Biographies of new members

Mr Richard Murley

Richard Murley read Jurisprudence at Oxford University and qualified as a solicitor.  He has worked for the major part of his career in the City of London providing corporate finance advice to public and private sector clients in the UK and overseas.  He is currently a Vice Chairman of Rothschild, an independent financial advisory group.  Before joining Rothschild he was seconded from Goldman Sachs & Co. as Director General of the Panel of Takeovers and Mergers, regulating public company takeovers in the London market.  Richard also chairs United Trust Bank Limited, a privately owned specialist lender based in London.

Richard has since 2010, held another public appointment as Chairman of University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, one of the UK’s largest teaching hospitals.  UCLH has a close partnership with University College London and, together with UCL, devotes significant resources to biomedical research.  He is also a Director of UCL Partners, a designated Academic Health Science Centre.

Richard is a member of the Panel of Takeovers and Mergers and a Trustee of the Royal Society of Medicine and of Crisis, the national charity for homeless people.

Dr Pauline Williams

Dr Pauline Williams is Senior Vice President and Head of Global Health R&D in GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). She is currently interim Head of the Metabolic and Cardiovascular Therapeutic Area Unit. A physician by training, Dr Williams joined Glaxo in 1992 in the clinical pharmacology department. She has worked in several therapeutic areas, with a primary focus on translational and experimental medicine. More recently she has led projects from preclinical stages through to Phase III trials and registration. In 2007 Dr Williams was appointed as Head of the Academic Discovery Performance Unit, pioneering novel medicine development partnership models with academic researchers, including Discovery Partnerships with Academia (DPAc).

In 2012 Dr Williams created the GSK Maternal and Neonatal Health R&D Unit overseeing an innovative partnership with Save the Children to develop medicines specifically designed for use in low resource settings. Dr Williams also founded the GSK Non-communicable Diseases (NCD) Open Lab, an open-innovation initiative designed to stimulate and support research by African academic researchers to understand and address the rising burden of NCDs in sub-Saharan Africa.

Dr Williams has served on a number of MRC funding review panels including the Patient Cohorts Initiative and the Development Pathway Funding Scheme. She is a member of the GSK-MRC EMINENT Steering Committee. Dr Williams also serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Cambridge University/Addenbrooke’s Hospital NIHR Biomedical Research Centre. She is a keen advocate for women in science and has participated in a number of events to promote awareness of careers in science and the pharmaceutical industry. Dr Williams was elected as a Fellow of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine in 2004.


The appointments have been made in accordance with the Commissioner for Public Appointments Code of Practice. All appointments to the Medical Research Council are made on merit, and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, in accordance with the original Nolan recommendations, there is a requirement for appointees’ political activity (if any declared) to be made public. No political activity has been declared.

Both members will receive remuneration of £6,850 per year for the appointment.



  • Categories: Corporate
  • Health categories: Generic
  • Strategic objectives: Aim: Research to people
  • Locations: Other
  • Type: News article