About The Company of Biologists
The Company of Biologists is a not-for-profit publishing organisation dedicated to supporting and inspiring the biological community.
We are run by distinguished practising scientists. We exist to profit science, not shareholders. We inspire new thinking and support the community of biologists.
The focus of our activities is:
- publishing leading peer-reviewed journals
- facilitating scientific meetings and communities
- providing travel grants for young researchers
- supporting and funding research societies
About the Board of Directors
We are privileged to have a Board of Directors who give their time to The Company of Biologists without payment. They are experienced, senior scientists from a range of life science and clinical research backgrounds, who believe in the importance of what the Company does and who are dedicated to furthering its influence. Let’s meet some of them:
Göran NilssonProfessor Göran Nilsson has long been interested in animals that can do the extreme. His research group at the University of Oslo has studied adaptations to variable oxygen levels in the brain, heart and respiratory organs of various animals that can survive without any oxygen for months. It has also studied the effects of elevated CO2 and temperature on the physiology of marine fishes, to find out how they will cope with the predicted increases in ocean temperature and acidity. A simple experiment recently reminded Göran how biology has the ability to excite. He was studying changes in the behaviour of ...
Laura MacheskyProfessor Laura Machesky leads the Migration, Invasion and Metastasis research group at the Beatson Institute for Cancer Research in Glasgow, UK. The group aims to understand the control and mechanisms of actin assembly in various normal and cancer cells with the hope to understand fundamental aspects of cell movement. Laura’s defining moment in science happened when looking down a microscope one Saturday afternoon ...
Paresh VyasToday Paresh Vyas is Professor of Haematology and Honorary Consultant Haematologist as well as Group Leader at the MRC Molecular Haematology Unit in Oxford, UK. He runs a clinical practice in myeloid disorders (especially Acute Myeloid Leukaemia) and has research interests including haematological defect in MDS and AML, in adults and children with Down Syndrome. He first studied medicine at Cambridge University, before moving on ...
Kate StoreyKate Storey’s early career took her from the University of Sussex where she obtained a BSc in Neurobiology, via a PhD with Michael Bate at Cambridge, to post-doctoral research with David Weisblat at the University of California at Berkeley. Returning to the UK and the University of Oxford she continued post-doctoral research with Claudio Stern before establishing her own independent research group. In 2000, she moved her group to the College of Life Sciences, University of Dundee. Kate has been a director of The Company of Biologists since ...
List of Directors
Prof Sarah Bray
Genetics, Molecular Biology & Development Biology, University of Cambridge.
Dr James Briscoe
Developmental biologist at the Francis Crick Institute.
Dr Julian Burke
Molecular biologist by background and the Chief Scientific Officer for Leica Microsystems, a Danaher Corporation.
Prof Andrew Cossins
Environmental animal physiologist and formerly Head of the Institute of Integrative Biology, University of Liverpool.
Mr Alastair Downie
Head of IT at the Gurdon Institute.
Prof Matthew Freeman, FRS
Cell biologist and Head of the Dunn School of Pathology, University of Oxford.
Prof Clare Isacke
Cancer cell biologist and Academic Dean at the Institute of Cancer Research.
Prof Jane Langdale, FRS
Plant developmental biologist with an interest in the evolution of developmental mechanisms.
Prof Laura Machesky, FRSE
Cell biologist at the Beatson Institute for Cancer Research.
Prof Simon Maddrell, FRS
Emeritus Honorary Professor of Integrative Physiology, University of Cambridge.
Dr Sean Munro, FRS
Cell biologist and Head of the MRC-LMB’s Division of Cell Biology.
Prof Göran Nilsson
Animal physiologist, Department of Biosciences, University of Oslo.
Prof Peter W J Rigby, FRS, FMedSci
Developmental biologist at The Institute of Cancer Research and Chair of the Board of the Babraham Institute
Prof Daniel St Johnston, FRS
Developmental biologist and Director of the Gurdon Institute.
Prof Kate Storey, FRSE
Developmental biologist and Head of the Division of Cell & Developmental Biology, College of Life Sciences, University of Dundee.
Prof Paresh Vyas, MRCP, FRCP, FRCPath
Haematologist specialising in treatment of blood cancers and member of the MRC Molecular Haematology Unit, Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine.
Prof Alan Wilson
Researcher into the anatomy and mechanics of animal locomotion and veterinary surgeon. Head of the Structure & Motion Laboratory at the Royal Veterinary College.
A history of inspiration
The Company of Biologists was created by eminent zoologist George Parker Bidder III.
The British Journal of Experimental Biology, a young and dynamic publication, had run into financial difficulties despite having subscribers including H.G. Wells, Julian Huxley, R.C. Punnett and a series of key world institutions. Bidder was determined to save it; he saw its importance in giving talented scientists a voice and bought the journal for £150.
On 15th October 1925 The Company of Biologists was born. Bidder installed James Gray, a young experimental biologist, as the Editor in Chief (and in 1930 the journal was renamed The Journal of Experimental Biology). A scientist of rising stature and broad interests, Gray would go on to nourish its growth for the next 30 years.
A growing portfolio
In 1946, The Quarterly Journal of Microscopical Science joined the Company – gifted by Bidder. It was later relaunched as Journal of Cell Science (renaming it Cell was discussed but considered too radical). This was followed in 1953 by a third journal – the Journal of Embryology and Experimental Morphology, relaunched in 1987 as Development.
In the new millennium two more journals were created to meet changing needs and the rise of open access – Disease Models & Mechanisms and Biology Open.
In 1952, The Company of Biologists became a UK charity. A key condition is that none of the Directors may receive remuneration for their services.
George Parker Bidder III