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Douglas Bruce Kell CBE FRSB FLSW[4] (born 7 April 1953)[1] is a British biochemist and Professor of Bioanalytical Sciences in the School of Chemistry at the University of Manchester, based in the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology (MIB).[8] He served as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) from 2008-2013.[9][10][11][12][13][14]

Douglas Kell

Carole Goble (CBE) and Douglas Kell (CBE) (13711397785).jpg
Douglas Kell at Buckingham Palace with Carole Goble after receiving his CBE
Douglas Bruce Kell

(1953-04-07) 7 April 1953 (age 65)[1]
NationalityUnited Kingdom
EducationBradfield College
Alma materUniversity of Oxford (BA, PhD)
Known forCEO of BBSRC
Dr Antje Wagner (m. 1989)
Childrenone son, two daughters[1]
Scientific career
ThesisThe Bioenergetics of Paracoccus denitrificans (1978)
Doctoral advisor
  • Stuart Ferguson[6]
  • Philip John
Doctoral students



He was educated at Hydneye House in Sussex,[15] Bradfield College in Berkshire and St John's College, Oxford. He graduated from the University of Oxford with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biochemistry in 1975 followed by a Doctor of Philosophy in 1978 with a thesis on the Bioenergetics of Paracoccus denitrificans supervised by Stuart John Ferguson[6][16] and Philip John.[17]

From 1978 to 2002 he worked at Aberystwyth University, moving to University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST) in 2002 as an Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)/Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) Research Chair in Bioanalytical Sciences.

Research and careerEdit

Kell's primary research interests are in systems biology and computational biology.[5] According to Google Scholar[5] his most cited peer-reviewed research papers are in functional genomics,[18] metabolomics[19] and the yeast genome.[20] He has also been involved in research to create a robot scientist[21] in collaboration with Ross King, Stephen Muggleton and Steve Oliver as well as several projects in systems biology.[22][23][24][25][26]

Kell's research has been funded by the BBSRC, the Medical Research Council (MRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).[27][28] His former doctoral students and postdoctoral researchers include Eva Zelena,[29][30] Thomas Williamson,[31][32] Adaoha Ihekwaba,[33][34][35] Maria Brown,[36][37][38] Julia Handl,[39][40][41] and Pedro Pedrosa Mendes.[7] His monograph Belief: the baggage behind our being which examines why people believe crazy things like brexit[42] was published in 2018.[43]

Awards and honoursEdit

Kell was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2014 New Year Honours for services to science and research.[4] Kell is also a Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales (FLSW), a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology (FRSB) and the Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (FAAS).


  1. ^ a b c d e Anon (2007). KELL, Prof. Douglas Bruce. Who's Who (online Oxford University Press ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.42346.   (subscription required)
  2. ^ "AAAS - 2012 Fellows". Archived from the original on 18 February 2013.
  3. ^ "26 April 2012 - BBSRC Chief Executive elected as Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales - News - BBSRC". Archived from the original on 27 April 2012.
  4. ^ a b c "No. 60728". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 2013. p. 9.
  5. ^ a b c Douglas Kell publications indexed by Google Scholar  
  6. ^ a b Kell, D.; John, P.; Ferguson, S. (1978). "The protonmotive force in phosphorylating membrane vesicles from Paracoccus denitrificans. Magnitude, sites of generation and comparison with the phosphorylation potential". The Biochemical Journal. 174 (1): 257–266. doi:10.1042/bj1740257. PMC 1185905. PMID 212022.
  7. ^ a b Mendes, Pedro Pedrosa (1994). Computer simulation of the dynamics of biochemical pathways (PhD thesis). University of Aberystwyth. Archived from the original on 14 April 2013. Retrieved 18 June 2012.
  8. ^ "Prof Douglas Kell, research profile - personal details (The University of Manchester)". Retrieved 2012-06-12.
  9. ^ "19 June 2012 - Reappointment of Chief Executive for the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council - News - BBSRC". Archived from the original on 26 June 2012.
  10. ^ Van Noorden, Richard (2008-11-24). "Interview: Douglas Kell | News". Chemistry World. Retrieved 2017-06-07.
  11. ^ Interview with Douglas Kell on the website of the Royal Society of Chemistry
  12. ^ Douglas Kell author profile page at the ACM Digital Library
  13. ^ Douglas Kell publications from Europe PubMed Central
  14. ^ Kell, D. B.; Lurie-Luke, E (2015). "The virtue of innovation: Innovation through the lenses of biological evolution". Journal of the Royal Society Interface. 12 (103): 20141183. doi:10.1098/rsif.2014.1183. PMC 4305420. PMID 25505138.
  15. ^ "Hydneye House - a set on Flickr". Archived from the original on 25 April 2013. Retrieved 18 January 2017.
  16. ^ "Prof Stuart Ferguson Page - Department of Biochemistry, University of Oxford". Archived from the original on 20 May 2013.
  17. ^ Kell, Douglas Bruce (1978). The bioenergetics of paracoccus denitrificans. (DPhil thesis). University of Oxford. OCLC 863351446. EThOS  
  18. ^ Oliver, S. G.; Teusink, L. M.; Broadhurst, B.; Zhang, D.; Hayes, N.; Walsh, A.; Berden, M. C.; Brindle, J. A.; Kell, K. M.; Rowland, D. B.; Westerhoff, J. J.; Van Dam, H. V.; Oliver, K. (2001). "A functional genomics strategy that uses metabolome data to reveal the phenotype of silent mutations". Nature Biotechnology. 19 (1): 45–50. doi:10.1038/83496. PMID 11135551.
  19. ^ Goodacre, R.; Vaidyanathan, S.; Dunn, W. B.; Harrigan, G. G.; Kell, D. B. (2004). "Metabolomics by numbers: Acquiring and understanding global metabolite data". Trends in Biotechnology. 22 (5): 245–252. doi:10.1016/j.tibtech.2004.03.007. PMID 15109811.
  20. ^ Oliver, S.; Winson, M.; Kell, D.; Baganz, F. (1998). "Systematic functional analysis of the yeast genome". Trends in Biotechnology. 16 (9): 373–378. doi:10.1016/S0167-7799(98)01214-1. PMID 9744112.
  21. ^ King, R. D.; Whelan, K. E.; Jones, F. M.; Reiser, P. G. K.; Bryant, C. H.; Muggleton, S. H.; Kell, D. B.; Oliver, S. G. (2004). "Functional genomic hypothesis generation and experimentation by a robot scientist". Nature. 427 (6971): 247–252. Bibcode:2004Natur.427..247K. doi:10.1038/nature02236. PMID 14724639.  
  22. ^ Kell, Douglas (2009). "Journal club: A systems biologist ponders how disparate ideas can sometimes come together beautifully". Nature. 460 (7256): 669–669. Bibcode:2009Natur.460..669K. doi:10.1038/460669e. PMID 19661875.
  23. ^ Dobson, P. D.; Smallbone, K.; Jameson, D.; Simeonidis, E.; Lanthaler, K.; Pir, P.; Lu, C.; Swainston, N.; Dunn, W. B.; Fisher, P.; Hull, D.; Brown, M.; Oshota, O.; Stanford, N. J.; Kell, D. B.; King, R. D.; Oliver, S. G.; Stevens, R. D.; Mendes, P. (2010). "Further developments towards a genome-scale metabolic model of yeast". BMC Systems Biology. 4: 145. doi:10.1186/1752-0509-4-145. PMC 2988745. PMID 21029416.
  24. ^ Pir, P.; Gutteridge, A.; Wu, J.; Rash, B.; Kell, D. B.; Zhang, N.; Oliver, S. G. (2012). "The genetic control of growth rate: A systems biology study in yeast". BMC Systems Biology. 6: 4. doi:10.1186/1752-0509-6-4. PMC 3398284. PMID 22244311.
  25. ^ Douglas B. Kell at DBLP Bibliography Server  
  26. ^ Douglas Kell's publications indexed by the Scopus bibliographic database. (subscription required)
  27. ^ UK Government Grants awarded to Douglas Kell, via Research Councils UK
  28. ^ Grants awarded to Douglas Kell by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
  29. ^ Zelena, Eva (2009). Application of ultra performance liquid chromatography mass spectrometry to metabolic profiling of human serum and plasma. (PhD thesis). University of Manchester. OCLC 643496100. EThOS
  30. ^ Zelena, E.; Dunn, W. B.; Broadhurst, D.; Francis-Mcintyre, S.; Carroll, K. M.; Begley, P.; O'Hagan, S.; Knowles, J. D.; Halsall, A.; Husermet, I. D.; Wilson, D. B.; Kell, D. B. (2009). "Development of a Robust and Repeatable UPLC−MS Method for the Long-Term Metabolomic Study of Human Serum". Analytical Chemistry. 81 (4): 1357–1364. doi:10.1021/ac8019366. PMID 19170513.
  31. ^ Williamson, Thomas Charles (2009). Systems studies of the cAMP pathway and Glycolytic Oscillations in Saccharomyces cerevisiae (PhD thesis). University of Manchester. Archived from the original on 23 December 2012. Retrieved 17 June 2012.
  32. ^ Williamson, T.; Schwartz, J. M.; Kell, D. B.; Stateva, L. (2009). "Deterministic mathematical models of the cAMP pathway in Saccharomyces cerevisiae". BMC Systems Biology. 3: 70. doi:10.1186/1752-0509-3-70. PMC 2719611. PMID 19607691.
  33. ^ Ihekwaba, Adaoha Elizabeth (2005). Modelling of cellular signal transduction process using numerical simulation techniques (PhD thesis). University of Manchester. Archived from the original on 23 December 2012.
  34. ^ Ihekwaba, A. E.; Broomhead, D. S.; Grimley, R. L.; Benson, N.; Kell, D. B. (2004). "Sensitivity analysis of parameters controlling oscillatory signalling in the NF-kappaB pathway: The roles of IKK and IkappaBalpha". Systems biology. 1 (1): 93–103. doi:10.1049/sb:20045009. PMID 17052119.
  35. ^ Ihekwaba, A. E.; Broomhead, D. S.; Grimley, R.; Benson, N.; White, M. R.; Kell, D. B. (2005). "Synergistic control of oscillations in the NF-kappaB signalling pathway". Systems biology. 152 (3): 153–160. doi:10.1049/ip-syb:20050050. PMID 16986278.
  36. ^ Brown, Maria Cecilia (2006). Metabolic footprinting: computational analysis of post-genomic data (PhD thesis). University of Manchester. Archived from the original on 23 December 2012.
  37. ^ Brown, M.; Wedge, D. C.; Goodacre, R.; Kell, D. B.; Baker, P. N.; Kenny, L. C.; Mamas, M. A.; Neyses, L.; Dunn, W. B. (2011). "Automated workflows for accurate mass-based putative metabolite identification in LC/MS-derived metabolomic datasets". Bioinformatics. 27 (8): 1108–1112. doi:10.1093/bioinformatics/btr079. PMC 3709197. PMID 21325300.
  38. ^ Brown, M.; Dunn, W. B.; Dobson, P.; Patel, Y.; Winder, C. L.; Francis-Mcintyre, S.; Begley, P.; Carroll, K.; Broadhurst, D.; Tseng, A.; Swainston, N.; Spasic, I.; Goodacre, R.; Kell, D. B. (2009). "Mass spectrometry tools and metabolite-specific databases for molecular identification in metabolomics". The Analyst. 134 (7): 1322–1332. Bibcode:2009Ana...134.1322B. doi:10.1039/b901179j. PMID 19562197.
  39. ^ Handl, Julia Karena (2006). Multiobjective approaches to the data-driven analysis of biological systems (PhD thesis). University of Manchester. Archived from the original on 23 December 2012.
  40. ^ Handl, J.; Kell, D. B.; Knowles, J. (2007). "Multiobjective Optimization in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology". IEEE/ACM Transactions on Computational Biology and Bioinformatics. 4 (2): 279–292. doi:10.1109/TCBB.2007.070203. PMID 17473320.
  41. ^ Handl, J.; Knowles, J.; Kell, D. B. (2005). "Computational cluster validation in post-genomic data analysis". Bioinformatics. 21 (15): 3201–3212. doi:10.1093/bioinformatics/bti517. PMID 15914541.
  42. ^ Kell, Doug (15 Mar 2018). "We have written a free book (monograph) on why people believe crazy things, including #Brexit". Twitter @dbkell. Retrieved 2018-03-19.
  43. ^ Kell DB, Welch GR (2018) Belief: the baggage behind our being. OSF preprints doi:10.17605/OSF.IO/PNXCS  
Government offices
Preceded by
Julia Goodfellow
CEO of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Succeeded by
Jackie Hunter