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UK research charity LifeArc appoints experienced leader Melanie Lee as new CEO

Published on: 04/09/18

The life sciences medical research charity LifeArc, formerly MRC Technology, has appointed Dr Melanie Lee as its new Chief Executive Officer, effective 1st of November 2018.

Lee, an experienced pharma executive and former biomedical researcher, brings a wealth of experience to the role having previously worked in senior research leadership positions at Glaxo and UCB. She has also taken on CEO roles at both Syntaxin and NightstaRx while chairing the charities Cancer Research Technology and Cancer Research UK.

The accomplished business and not for profit leader will thus succeed present CEO Dave Tapolczay who will be retiring from his position next month after 11 years at the UK based charity.

Explaining her reasons for accepting the CEO role Melanie said: “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for me to join a unique charity that can create life-changing therapeutics. The innovative scientific research supported by LifeArc encompasses numerous life science sectors and has the potential to deliver great science, innovative medicines and new diagnostics to patients in need; it’s this potential that really motivates me. I am looking forward to the prospect of leading this vibrant research charity through the next phase of its development.”

Lee graduated from the University of York in 1979 with a 2:1 in Microbial and Molecular Biology. She later went on to achieve a PhD from the National Institute for Medical Research in London.  Lee’s appointment as CEO of LifeArc poses a great opportunity for the London-based research charity, as the royalties derived from the sales of Keytruda have transformed the organisation’s abilities to fund research.

Commenting on the announcement, Dr John Stageman, OBE, LifeArc’s Chair, said: “We conducted a detailed and lengthy search for our new CEO and my fellow Trustees and I are delighted that Melanie has decided to join us at this most exciting time in the organisation’s history. I believe that she possesses the ideal blend of business leadership plus strategic and scientific acumen to help us deliver a bright future for LifeArc. With the addition of Melanie’s unique professional experience to our already-established senior executive team, I am confident that LifeArc can continue to evolve by turning great science into greater patient benefit.”

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