Jeremy Farrar has been named as the new head of the Wellcome Trust, the charity says. Farrar, an infectious disease specialist, currently oversees the Wellcome Trust's Major Overseas Programme in Vietnam as well as the Oxford University Clinical Research Unit there.
Beginning October 1, he is to replace Mark Walport who left that post to become Britain's chief scientific adviser. The current interim director is Ted Bianco who had been heading up the agency's technology transfer office.
The University of Oxford's Colin Blakemore, who is also a former director of the Medical Research Council, tells the Nature News Blog that Farrar is a good fit for the Wellcome Trust, which has been increasing its support for research affecting the developing world.
"He may bring some new ways of working to the Trust, which would be more oriented toward public health and downstream research, applying tools we have today in addition to developing new tools," adds David Heymann, the chair of Public Health England's advisory board.